Susie Cunningham.

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Beaudesert-based writer Susie Cunningham believes community and country characters are at the heart of the Scenic Rim’s major hub.

As a local resident of more than a decade, she shares her insights about the must-see sights and hidden delights of Beaudesert and Kooralbyn.

There is more than meets the eye in Beaudesert. It is one of the Scenic Rim’s main centres and biggest township that provides services and shopping for the wider area but it is the people who set Beaudesert apart and make it special.

Beaudesert is home to a flourishing arts and creative community and a strong Mununjali culture that can be seen in public art displays and in local gallery exhibitions.

The annual Mununjali NAIDOC Family Fun Day is held in Jubilee Park and has grown substantially in recent years, attracting visitors from around the Scenic Rim and beyond who are interested in learning about the local culture and traditions through performance, food and stalls.

Top 5.

A few personal favourites from Susie.

SC Towrie-Sheep-Cheeses

Towri Sheep Cheeses

SC Wyaralong-Dam

Wyaralong Dam

The Overflow Estate 1895

SC Local-Produce

Sample local produce

Local pubs

Take a farm tour of Towri Sheep Cheeses, an artisan boutique sheep dairy and cheesery, to taste the unique products, meet the pet sheep and learn about the cheesemaking process.

Go on a scenic drive to nearby Lake Wyaralong for a picnic of local produce and enjoy the recreational facilities at the base of Mt Joyce.

This lovely local winery on Lake Wyaralong has a great selection of wine and gourmet food in a stunning waterfront setting and sometimes hosts live music.

The Beaudesert and Kooralbyn area has a lot of small-scale farms however you can also sample the local produce right here in town at The Big Pumpkin and Beaudesert Community Arts and Information Centre, which is open seven days a week and has a range of honey, jam and preserved items.

Beaudesert has two fantastic country pubs: the Art Deco-style Beaudesert Hotel and revamped Railway Hotel. Both offer great menus and are perfect for a good old-fashioned lunchtime pub meal.

“Beaudesert is a gateway town to all the amazing places in the Scenic Rim and a friendly, down-to-earth place for a laidback, no-fuss experience.”

In the middle of the township, The Centre is a modern arts space that hosts rotating public exhibitions and arts dinners. There is always something going on, including the quirky public art around town that make you stop and appreciate the local art and cultural contributions.

On the fringe of Beaudesert is evidence of the area’s equine and farming heritage with the Beaudesert Racecourse and polo fields as well as campdrafting and other horse events run through the Beaudesert Show Society that draw visitors and industry professionals as competitors and spectators.

To gain a sense of Beaudesert, stop in town to see the locals going about their business at the boutiques and cafes or on a morning walk. Beaudesert has a range of wonderful country cafes for a bite to eat and barista-made coffee such as Beaudesert Cafe with its fresh modern Asian menu, VK Everyday’s for coffee and specials and Bean To? cafe for homemade fare and friendly service.

A 25-minute drive away, Kooralbyn differentiates itself from Beaudesert with a hilly hinterland landscape and lookouts that offer views across the valley and some charming cafes to enjoy after a scenic journey.

It is something really special to be able to see the mountains and beautiful scenery surrounding Beaudesert, especially in the mornings and afternoons when the sun hits Mt Barney on the horizon.

A local secret:

Beaudesert itself is not known for hiking, but locals love the 40km of multi-use trails at Wyaralong Dam

A 20-minute drive northwest. You can do short bushwalks or embark on more challenging trails to the top of the Mt Joyce. The Mt Joyce Summit Walk is a manageable but long trail from the banks of the dam up to the top where you can see spectacular views of Mt Barney and Mt Lindesay on the horizon.