Lisa Groom.

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Lisa Groom has the great outdoors in her blood as the granddaughter of Binna Burra Lodge founder Arthur Groom, who coined the name, Scenic Rim.

The Beechmont resident and ParkTours owner is historically and authentically connected to Lamington National Park and has an innate passion for leading guided tours in the area.

Beechmont and Canungra are the launchpad areas to embark on adventures within Lamington National Park and both interesting country communities in their own right.

Beechmont is a visually beautiful area with rolling hills and a historic farming district that serves as the eastern gateway to Lamington National Park. Canungra provides access to the National Park from the western side and is differentiated by a strong community of independent shops and cafes. The Scenic Rim shares a connection through community values and the mountainous landscape.

The area’s appeal stems from the ability to detach from city life on this side of the Scenic Rim and suddenly find yourself in a rural farming community or charming village hub, despite its proximity to the Gold Coast – only an hour away.

Top 5.

A few personal favourites from Lisa.

Lamington National Park

Cafes at Beechmont and Canungra

Local shopping at Canungra

Tandem hang-gliding and paragliding

Wineries and event venues

Whether you visit from the eastern side at Beechmont or Canungra on the western side, Lamington National Park is a must-do. Go on a half-hour walk right up to a full-day hike or stay longer at Binna Burra Lodge or O’Reilly’s Rainforest Lodge.

Visit the lovely local coffee shops in the area such as Flying Bean Cafe in Beechmont and Canungra’s The Outpost Cafe and Bean In.

Browse the beautiful, quirky and independent boutiques in Canungra village such as My Country Escape, The Blue House and Canungra Books & Art.

Look into tandem hang-gliding and paragliding experiences – the area is an adventure playground for these high-flying activities.

There are quite a few wineries and special wedding and event venues worth checking out. Visit O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards, Sarabah Estate Vineyard, Binna Burra Lodge and The Providence Farm Hall.

“Beechmont and Canungra are filled with a relaxed, rural vibe and layers of history for the ideal gateway to explore the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.”

You can easily spend a few days in the area because it just draws you in. Each side of Lamington National Park is connected by the main Border Track, which forms the spine of the walking track system. The 21.4km, full-day, long-distance hike is a pilgrimage route that everyone should do once in their life and connects the two iconic lodges: Binna Burra Lodge and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Lodge. The Border Track contains a mixture of rivers, mountains, waterfalls and some more adventurous hiking you can do in a hard or soft way.

If you just want a short rainforest walk there is something for everyone from Grade 1, which are the shorter, easier-graded walks, right up to Grade 5, the long-distance, rougher tracks with creek crossings. Anything from a casual short stroll to a full-day adventure is definitely possible in Lamington National Park.

The rainforest birdlife is simply spectacular and includes the noisy pitta, eastern bristlebird, rufous scrubbird and a variety of bowerbirds, such as the satin bowerbird and regent bowerbird, which are said to be the ancient songbirds of Gondwana.

Most of the rainforest animals are nocturnal, which is another great reason to stay overnight. You can go spotlighting or on a guided night tour with Binna Burra Lodge or O’Reilly’s Rainforest Lodge and see kangaroos, wallabies, possums and tiny pademelons as well as lots of interesting reptiles and the Lamington spiny crayfish, which is endemic to the area.

It is important to be reminded how special the Gondwana Rainforests area is with its volcanic origins that go back 23 million years and provide the basalt soil where rainforest loves to grow. These are clouds forests with ancient songbirds and a uniquely magical experience in the Scenic Rim.

A local secret:

Flying Bean Cafe in Beechmont is a local weekday hangout

A cool spot to watch hang-gliders and paragliders take off from the launch site with views over Numinbah Valley and Mount Warning. They do fantastic coffee and a great breakfast and lunch with the odd evening soiree.