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Your next family walks adventure is just a 90 minute drive from Brisbane or an hour from the Gold Coast in the Scenic Rim; nominated by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top ten ‘must-visit’ destinations for 2022.
If the only adventures the family’s been on lately are virtual ones, it’s time to get back to basics, disconnect from technology and reconnect as a family. It’s no secret that fresh air, a dive into clean natural surroundings and time away from screens work wonders for mental health, so why not teach the kids how to take care of themselves on and off the trails, as well as make memories as a family?
Ready to slip on the walking shoes but not sure where to start? Here’s eight of the best family walks packed with scenery in the Scenic Rim, ranging from short strolls to walks that let the bigger kids stretch their legs. Read on to discover our trails to try with the whole family.
Take a journey through Queensland’s oldest national park, Tamborine National Park on the Curtis Falls Track which promises lush rainforests and tumbling waterfalls. This short 1.1km return trail is suitable for walkers of most abilities, making it the perfect family-friendly adventure. After a 30-minutes stroll through wet eucalypt forests and dense rainforests with beautiful ferns growing in the trees above, find yourself at Curtis Falls where the Cedar Creek cascades over basalt columns into a serene pool below. As this is an important glow-worm and platypus habitat, please follow the signs and don’t enter the rock pool and surrounding area.
After snapping a family photo with the falls as your background (and keeping an eye out for the resident platypus), wind your way back along the trail to the car park and refuel the hiking team with a waffle cone from Lemon Lovers Gelato. And why not stay at the neighbouring Tall Trees Motel to keep all your hiking and tasting activities within easy distance?
For a spot to impress both the older and younger ones in your tribe, make your way to the Binna Burra hub in Lamington National Park. With the perfect plan of divide and conquer, take the littlies on the 5.1km Tullawallal Circuit and walk through stunning rainforest to Australia’s northernmost pocket of ancient Antarctic beech trees: one of our remaining links to the ancient forests of Gondwana.
For the biggies, pack plenty of water and snacks and embark on the 10.6km return trail along the Coomera Circuit to the Coomera River Falls, delving into the rainforest to find some of the Scenic Rim’s most spectacular waterfalls and cascades.
After the day on the trails, retire to your accommodation at Binna Burra Lodge (take your pick of sky lodges, glamping tents or campsites), and treat the clan of bushwalkers to a tasty classic lunch or dinner at the Binna Burra Tea House.
For the epicentre of adventure in the Scenic Rim, book a stay at Mt Barney Lodge, which gives you access to a range of walks and activities, perfect for the kids (and kids at heart). Once you’ve familiarised yourself with your Queenslander homestead, Rustic Family Cabin or set up the RV/tent in their grassy campground, pick between short and long walks, both offering views of the bold nature scenes within the Scenic Rim.
For a shorter walk, set out to Yellow Pinch Lookout. After walking up the 1km to arrive at the lookout, you’ll be rewarded with picture-perfect views of the commanding presence of Mount Barney before you.
For families keen on a bigger adventure, set off along the 7.4km return Lower Portals track and take on the creek crossings that lead to a deep waterhole, set within a rocky gorge of Mount Barney Creek and perfect for swimming and exploring. This track has moderate to steep slopes and is rough in sections. Make sure to watch out for the directional signs to locate the creek crossings.
After completing your hike, buckle up and plug Harvest Café into maps. Open on the weekends, this local eatery is set on the working Oaky Creek Farm, where you can taste produce that’s travelled zero food miles from paddock to plate. Can’t get enough? Take a bag of their farm grown goods and boutique seasonings home for your own kitchen.
For a walk that takes the family into lush rainforest canopies, wind your way to the O’Reilly’s hub in Lamington National Park and embark on the famed Treetop Walk. Let the kids roam ahead on the wide boardwalk and see if they can spot the rare and endangered birds that nest nearby. After a couple of minutes stroll, you’ll arrive at nine suspension bridges, lifting you up to 16 metres off the ground into the canopy. For daring youngsters, climb the ladder up the giant fig tree to the viewing platform 30 metres above ground for sweeping views over Lamington National Park above the tree line.
To complete the trail, follow the bridges which loop back to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and check into accommodation of your choice; a Villa, Mountain View room, glamping tent or campsite. Cool off from the walk in the infinity pool and refuel with lunch at the Rainforest Café or book into the dining room for dinner complimented by their very own O’Reilly’s wine from their Canungra Valley Vineyards.
For a short walk that’s large on views, point your car towards Moogerah Peaks National Park and set off on the North Cliff Track, a 720m return walk from the carpark at the top of Mount French, up to Logans Lookout, where panoramic views over the Fassifern Valley and the Great Dividing Range await. The well-marked trail winds past rocky outcrops and through eucalypt forest, packing plenty of scenery into this easy journey.
Tackle this trail in the morning to leave time for a well-earned lunch at the Scenic Rim Brewery. Found less than 20 minutes’ drive from the trailhead, make sure to book ahead for a flavoursome feed and a drop of their iconic Australian themed brews (anyone fancy a Digga’s pale ale?). There’s no point fighting the delighted pleas from the kids for a cone from their on-site ice cream shop ‘The Creamery’, you might as well treat yourself to one too.
After a feed, just twelve minutes down the road, check into your family’s very own idyllic country retreat at Milford Country Cottages to rest up for more exploring in the morning.
Move over peak hour traffic, there’s plenty of ways to get the heart rate up in nature. Take the kids to see the Scenic Rim from new heights and venture out onto the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. Taking you above the canopy of Tamborine National Park, this paid experience buys you free roaming along the 1.5km trail and 300 meters of steel elevated walkway. After a glimpse of the views over the rainforest, our bet is your jaw will be planted firmly on the cantilevered floor, which happens to be suspended 30 metres above ground.
Stay on the mountain, just five minutes’ drive away at Cedar Creek Lodges, where you’ll enjoy a secluded night in 114 hectares of subtropical rainforest. Cedar Creek Lodges offer stylish accommodation to keep the whole family more than cosy, and kid’s activities galore, like high ropes, mini golf, laser skirmish, crystal digging and watersports at the adjacent Thunderbird Park.
Pack your swimmers for this walk which rewards hikers with a dip at Cedar Creek Falls. This easy 500-metre boardwalk delves into the rainforest to emerge at Cedar Creek Lookout where you’ll see your pool for the day at the base of the falls. Take the trail down beside the lookout to natural plunge pool, where the whole family can cool off, splash and soak the day away in the cool mountain stream.
Afterwards, head down to the foothills of the mountain and escape for the evening at the true blue Bearded Dragon Hotel, where the kids can feed the alpacas and baby goats, and you can enjoy a cocktail at sunset and bubbles in their Spa Suites, or tantalise your taste buds in their on-site restaurant and tavern.
Break your drive at the top of Cunningham’s Gap for the 1.6km return Rainforest Circuit walk and be rewarded with a spectacular view over distinctive volcanic peaks, the Fassifern Valley and Lake Moogerah. For an easier way round the circuit, turn left at the base of the stairs and walk in a clockwise direction.
Want to keep going? Branching off the Rainforest Circuit, the 6.8km return hike to Mount Cordeaux will take around 2.5 hours. Zigzagging though rainforest to the exposed upper slopes, the track ends at a lookout with sweeping views towards Brisbane and south across ‘The Gap’ to Mount Mitchell and the peaks beyond. Note – with sheer and dangerous cliff edges, walkers must remain on the track, stay behind fences and away from cliff edges, and supervise children at all times.
Keen to stay and rest after your walk? With a booking into one of the nearby Moogerah Lake Houses, you can turn this walking trip into a group adventure with space for up to nine guests. Views won’t stop after you complete your walk. Rest and recover on the balcony of your spacious accommodation for expansive views over Lake Moogerah.
For a place to refuel the team, on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, take a short stroll to the Lake Moogerah Café for a tasty feed that’s sure to hit the hunger spot.
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We are proud of our diverse communities within the region. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the many lands within the Scenic Rim - the Mununjali in the Centre, the Wangerriburra to the East, the Ugarapul to the West, and all those of the Yugambeh and Jagera language groups. We pay respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
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