This spectacular hinterland area is home to six national parks and a World Heritage rainforest, just an hour from the Queensland capital Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
By Martha Tattersall & Georgia Rickard
The Scenic Rim – Brisbane's World Heritage-listed backyard – is home to lush rainforests, spectacular mountain ranges and ancient landforms. Located inside an ancient volcanic caldera, it's an area of stunning scenery, luxury lodges, an abundance of locally produced food, and communities that offer a friendly welcome to visitors. There's plenty of opportunity for adventure, with walking tracks, cycling trails and natural rock pools. At the end of the day, relax under the stars with one of the tasty local wines.
- Swap camping for glamping in Spicers Canopy's luxury safari-style retreat
- Taste premier wines and gourmet produce in the Scenic Rim
- Experience Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, held annually in late June
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Top things to do in the Scenic Rim
Escape to the rainforest
World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park is a world of ancient rainforest, crisp mountain air, dozens of walking trails, and more than 500 waterfalls and 250 species of Australian wildlife. From the Gold Coast it's just a 90 minute drive to get here. You can visit for the day or spend some time unwinding at the popular O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat. This contemporary mountainside retreat is home to some lovely accommodation, as well as a resident glow-worm population and one of the best day spas on the Gold Coast. Don't miss watching the sun set over Morans Falls.
Hike and glamp
If you're looking for an escape from the stress of everyday life, Spicers Canopy is the perfect antidote. This safari-style luxury eco retreat can be booked independently, but it's arguably best enjoyed as part of the Scenic Rim Trail, a four day guided luxury walk through the area's mountains, valleys, forests and volcanic plateaus. Relax around the communal space where a stone fireplace, polished floors and a large central table set the scene for sharing stories while the sun sets around you.
...or glamp in truly wild style
The Scenic Rim is also home to Nightfall, an intimate glamping experience of just three semi-permanent luxury tents, set on the edge of Lamington National Park. Nightfall is unique in that it has very little infrastructure; massages and spa treatments are bestowed in an intimate forested area beside the river. Nightfall has a strong emphasis on fine food and wine.
Embark on a two-wheeled adventure
The Hidden Peaks Trail is a 110 kilometre (68 mile) cycling adventure that takes place over four days along purpose built, world-class single tracks, as well as rainforest, road and fire trails. This is a unique way to explore the diverse landscape of the beautiful Scenic Rim region, accompanied by chef-prepared meals and a knowledgeable guide who'll lead you to comfortable accommodation at the end of each day.
Sleep on top of a mountain
Stunningly situated on a small, flat expanse of grass at the top of a mountain, Spicers Peak Lodge is an exclusive luxury lodge offering just 12 suites, with an excellent spa and a multi-award-winning restaurant on site. Its private location (the lodge is surrounded by wilderness) makes it an attractive choice for guests seeking privacy. Many choose to arrive and depart by helicopter.
Stay for Scenic Rim Eat Local Week
Held annually in late June-early July, Scenic Rim Eat Local Week celebrates the food, farmers, and natural beauty of the Scenic Rim through a program of festivals and farm gate events. This is your chance to sample some of the region's fresh produce, cheeses, or gourmet products such as olives, jams, and relishes. The week-long festival has something for foodies of all ages, from family farm tours and cooking classes to exclusive dining experiences.
Taste the local wine, beer, and liquor
Alongside the Scenic Rim you'll find the Granite Belt Wine Country. This premier wine producing area has more than 40 cellar doors and fabulous gourmet produce amid an impressive rocky landscape. You'll also find fabulous boutique wines closer to the coast along the Scenic Rim Wine Trail. While you're exploring the region, be sure to try the seasonal beers at Scenic Rim Brewery and stop in at Tambourine Mountain Distillery to sample one of the 80 varieties of liqueurs, vodkas, and schnapps.