Your guide to epic adventures within the Scenic Rim

22 May 2023
10 mins read
Epic adventures within the Scenic Rim, two hikers view the sunset on Mount Maroon in the Scenic Rim, Queensland, Australia

The Scenic Rim is bursting with adventurous ways to explore its stunning natural beauty. From hiking to hang-gliding, rock climbing to kayaking and mountain biking to 4WDing, here are some of the most thrilling and epic adventures within the Scenic Rim:


Explore the Gondwana rainforest

Four of the Scenic Rim’s national parks protect large areas of UNESCO world heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest.

The Lamington, Main Range, Mount Chinghee, and Mt Barney national parks protect the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, large areas of warm temperate rainforest and nearly all of the Antarctic Beech cool temperate rainforest.

For an unforgettable rainforest adventure, join local experts ParkTours or Horizon Guides to explore these ancient, magical worlds on a day or multi-day hike.

Walk through ancient landscapes

Home to six national parks, sweeping valleys and epic mountain ranges, the Scenic Rim is a mecca for experienced hikers and bushwalkers.

For breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and epic waterfalls, there’s nothing like hiking the fabled 21.4km Border Track through the rainforest wonderland of Lamington National Park. You’ll want to start early and book in to stay at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat at one end of the walk or Binna Burra Lodge at the other. Weekend walkers can also take advantage of the early morning bus transfer services every Saturday from O’Reilly’s to Binna Burra, or from Binna Burra to O’Reilly’s, and then walk back at their own pace.

For a multi-day immersion in a dramatic and untouched landscape, and a walking experience where adventure meets luxury, nothing beats challenging yourself with the Spicers Scenic Rim Trail through Main Range National Park. With passionate guides leading the way on adventures ranging from two to six days, here big effort warrants big rewards and, at the end of each day, you’ll be treated with a night at a special Spicers eco-camp, complemented by delicious dinners and award-winning wines. While the main walking season is in the cooler months from March to November, there’s even a summer walking option when you’ll trek trails at high altitude and under rainforest canopy to skip the heat and say goodbye to summer’s humidity.

Check out more great walking experiences within the Scenic Rim here.

Scale rugged mountains

For that on-top-of-the-world feeling, the Scenic Rim has bountiful rewards for those who like to tackle mountain peaks.

No list of adventures within the Scenic Rim is complete without hiking a mountain and you are spoilt for choice here with a range including Mount Maroon, Mount Barney, Mount Gillies, The Steamers, Mount Cordeaux and Mount Greville all set to peak. Strong hiking, navigation and scrambling experience and good fitness levels are required for all. Why not do the smart thing and be guided by an expert for your first visit? Ecotourism Certified for over 20 years, Mt Barney Lodge offers a wide variety of guided walks and more challenging expeditions, all with highly experienced and fully-qualified outdoor leaders to help you safely explore the well-recognised peaks of their surrounding mountains.

Rock climbing and abseiling enthusiasts of all levels are also in for a thrilling adventure in the Scenic Rim, with an abundance of perfect natural locations, such as Mt. Barney, Mt. Maroon, and Frog Buttress (Mount French). These sites offer a variety of routes, from beginner-friendly climbs to more advanced challenges, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Here you’ll be immersed in the region’s awe-inspiring scenery, with the pristine environment of the Scenic Rim adding an extra layer of allure to the experience. Not sure where to start? Mt Barney Lodge’s Rock Adventure activities offers beginner through to advanced Rock Climbing, Abseiling and Lead Climbing adventures.

Make the most of the experience by staying at Mt Barney Lodge, with a great choice of deluxe caravans, camper trailers, camp-sites, cabins and homesteads available to settle into for the night.

Take to the air

For the ultimate rush, why not try ziplining, hang gliding or hot air ballooning over the Scenic Rim? Experience the thrill of floating above the ground and taking in breathtaking, birds-eye views of the region’s stunning landscapes.

Are you ready for a high-speed, adrenaline-fueled flight across a canyon on Australia’s longest, fastest and highest zipline tour? Of course you are! Conquer your fear of heights on the Canyon Flyer zipline tour with Treetop Challenge at Tamborine Mountain as you tackle seven (yes, seven!) extreme ziplines on their thrilling three-hour adventure over Cedar Creek canyon.

Imagine soaring high above sweeping valleys and rainforest, feeling the rush of wind in your hair, and experiencing the thrill of flying like a bird. This dream becomes reality with a para or hang gliding flying experience from Oz Paragliding and Hang Gliding, with tandem flights and learn to fly activities available.

For a more serene adventure, bask in the early morning light as you drift above the region’s stunning patchwork of rolling hills, farmland and forest, lakes and winding creeks on a hot air balloon ride with Floating Images or Hot Air Balloon, with spectacular views out to ancient mountain ranges and the ocean.

Get off the beaten track

The Scenic Rim’s rugged terrain and epic natural landscapes are ideal for 4WD adventures.

If your ultimate adventure raises the revs as much as your heart rate, nothing beats taking the 4WD for a spin at the Scenic Rim Adventure Park. Here, experienced drivers can set the diff lock and make their own way conquering challenging trails at this magnificent 695-acre property. For those who are new to 4WDing, level up your skills and gain confidence by taking a 4WD Awareness Course at the park, and you’ll be tracking like a pro in no time. After enjoying your fun on the trails, relax and recover at your own on-site campsite.

Eager for more? Explore the 900-acres at Swan Gully Park west of Beaudesert, with tracks ranging from easy off-road right up to ‘winches and lockers required’. Grab a day pass, or camp overnight at this pet friendly site.

Fancy a 4WD drive through the region? Try a tag-a-long daytrip with 4WD Tours Qld. Spend time with like-minded people while touring through the magnificence of the region and receiving help with track spotting and getting through challenging sections.

Take to the water

Home to three spectacular lakes and countless creeks and rivers, the Scenic Rim is a playground of for water adventures and waterside recreational pursuits. Lake Moogerah and Lake Maroon are the perfect destination for boating, swimming, jet-skiing, water-skiing, fishing and kayaking on expansive lakes, while Lake Wyaralong offers a more serene and peaceful experience, perfect to seek out a prime spot for a picnic or to relax and spot local native birds and wildlife.

Craving the angling rush that comes from reeling in a beauty? You’re in luck, at Lake Moogerah, you can fish for Australian Bass, Golden Perch, Silver Perch and Mary River Cod – just to name a few! For Carp and Bass, head to Lake Wyaralong. Just check you have the correct fishing permits before throwing the line in.

Make a base for your fishing adventure mere metres from the shoreline. Check out these great overnight options for places to pitch a tent at a waterside camp spot, or book into self-contained accommodation for a touch of luxe, and a convenient location that gives you maximum time casting a line, plus plenty of amenities to cook and enjoy your catch of the day.

Kick up some dirt

With rugged hills and epic views, the Scenic Rim is an easy magnet for mountain biking enthusiasts and the Kooralbyn Valley Mountain Bike Park and Mount Joyce Recreation Park are their key destinations. With a range of high calibre cross-country, downhill, and technical trail networks and outstanding jumps and trail features, they’re sure to meet the expectations of riders of all abilities.Keen to test yourself with others? You’ll want to sign up for one of local event experts, On the Edge Events’ next-level, heart-thumping mountain biking events like the Gravity Enduro and Kooralbyn Endurance.

Make the most of your day on the trails by staying nearby at The Kooralbyn Valley resort where you’ll find a range of rooms, dining and other activities.

For a different trail riding experience, rev your engines and get ready to kick up some dirt at Queensland Motor Park (QMP), the ultimate destination for adrenaline junkies and motocross enthusiasts. This sprawling 1,800-acre park offers a range of tracks suitable for all riders, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Whether you prefer trail riding or entering a motor cross/enduro competition, you’ll find tracks that offer equal parts challenge and thrill.

The QMP is a family-friendly venue so bring the kids along to give them a run on the Mini and Junior MX trails. The QMP has more routes to tackle than there’s time in the day, so extend your stay with camping options available for a nominal fee of just $5 per person per night.

Run the Scenic Rim

Ready to tackle the ultimate trail running test of your endurance, strength, and grit while running through some of the most gob-smacking scenery in Queensland? You are in for the adventure of a lifetime! Lace up your trail runners for the Scenic Rim Ultra, one of the most challenging and awe-inspiring runs in Australia.

With four options to choose from, ranging from a 25km jaunt to a gruelling 105km slog, there’s a distance for all trail runners. But you’ve been warned, with over 4,000m of elevation gain, punishing mountain climbs and technical descents amidst breathtaking scenery, the Scenic Rim Ultra is not for the faint of heart. Fear not,runners, for the cut-offs are generous and the support is second to none.

Not ready to commit to the Ultra? On The Edge Events also provides a regular Scenic Rim Trail Running series with long and short trail runs open to seasoned runners and first timers alike.

Or, for something a little different and the perfect combo of fun, fitness and a physical and mental challenge, grab your friends for True Grit‘s epic 5km and 10km obstacle courses in the Scenic Rim.

Get all the right gear

For a wide range of quality adventure and travel gear, stop off at Far Outdoors in Boonah. Here you’ll find solutions for all your camping, fishing, climbing and hiking equipment needs and friendly advice about the local area from their experienced team.

Forgot to pack some camping essentials? Drop in to Mitre Ten Boonah or Mitre Ten Beaudesert for a wide range of camping equipment to make your stay a breeze.

Always stay safe

Remember, it’s important to prioritise safety during any adventure activity. Some activities may require proper guidance, special permits, or equipment. Always plan and prepare, stick to designated tracks and go only where it’s permitted. It’s advisable to check with local tour operators, adventure companies, or visitor information centres for up-to-date information and guidance before undertaking any adventure in the Scenic Rim.