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With a talent for restoring and renovating heritage buildings, April Cornwell has established her rural roots in Kalbar.

As the owner of award-winning wedding and conference venues White Chapel and Black Hall and Herrmann House luxury homestead accommodation, April has helped place the Kalbar area and the Scenic Rim on the map.

The pocket of the Scenic Rim that includes the historic townships of Kalbar, Harrisville, Roadvale, Peak Crossing and Rosevale is only 50 minutes from Brisbane yet a million miles away from everything else, which is part of its appeal.

At the turn of the last century, Kalbar was a German settlement known as Engelsberg and many remnants of this time remain from graveyard headstones in German to descendants who still live in town. There are historic boards around Kalbar so you can embark on an outdoor heritage trail and uncover the past.

It feels like you are travelling back in time when you visit – local fruit tastes the way it used to, the country pubs remind you of nostalgic meals and there is plenty of open space – it is like a breath of fresh air.

Top picks

A few personal favourites from April.

AC Royal-Hotel

Country pubs

Shopping in Kalbar

AC ,Summer-Land-Cammel

Summer Land Camels

AC Events

Events and festivals

The Royal Hotel in Kalbar offers the combination of classic country pub atmosphere and contemporary dining, while the historic Royal Hotel Harrisville even has a restored vintage train carriage for an overnight stay.

Historic Kalbar has a wide variety of stores that are perfect for ambling around. Visit the Scenic Rim Farm Shop & Cafe for an array of local produce and specialty items and stop by Elderflower Farm next door for freshly cut flowers and garden goodies.

Located in Harrisville, Summer Land Camels is a must-visit with farm tours, camel rides and gourmet camel milk products available for a unique rural experience.

Make sure you visit the Kalbar region for one of the many festivals on the event calendar. From the Kalbar Sunflowers and Kalbar Show to Kalbar Country Day, there is something on for everyone.

“With charming country towns nestled amid lush, green farmland and surrounded by majestic mountain ranges, the Kalbar area is the perfect destination for visitors looking for an unforgettable gastronomic experience, a country shopping expedition or a trip back through history.”

Kalbar and Harrisville are full of great shops, pubs and cafes to enjoy locally made and grown items. You can base yourself in Kalbar and explore the surrounding areas of Harrisville and Peak Crossing, visiting Summer Land Camels and Elderflower Farm.

The Scenic Rim Farm Shop & Cafe is the perfect place to source an amazing array of fresh produce and gourmet goodies from the region and sit under amazing heritage trees to enjoy breakfast or lunch.

With stunning venue and accommodation options that range from rustic and historic pubs to luxury homesteads such as Herrmann House and Mount French Lodge, the Kalbar area is ideal for an overnight stay or longer.

Visit one of the many annual festivals and events to gain an authentic taste of country life. From the quirky (Hay Bale Festival) and historic (Country Day) to picturesque (Sunflower Festival) and tasty (Scenic Rim Eat Local Week), you can have a fun-filled time all year round.

Framing it all is the absolutely spectacular scenery that veers from rolling mountains to panoramic valley views and plenty of places to soak up the ambience at a brewery, winery or eatery.

My local secret

There is an old-fashioned sweet shop hiding inside the Kalbar Post Office

Called Post Master’s Sweets, it is a cute Wonka-style candy store full of classic lollies, chocolates and fudge that is also open on weekends.

A little about April...

A former globe-trotting advertising copywriter, April Cornwell is a passionate member of the Kalbar business community as the co-owner of White Chapel and Black Hall wedding chapel and reception venue and the luxurious Herrmann House accommodation. The entrepreneur is one of the original members of the Kalbar Progress association and has helped the town to grow and celebrate amazing country events such as the Kalbar-BQ , Kalbar Sunflower Festival and Fassifern Lions Kalbar Country Day and Hay Bale competition .