Idyllic places to cool off in the Scenic Rim

19 Jan 2024
6 mins read
The Scenic Rim has got your summer sorted with these idyllic places to cool off

The Scenic Rim has got your summer sorted

Struggling to beat the heat? What if we told you rushing waterfalls, crystal-clear creeks and pools with a view are only a hop, skip and the M1 away?  

Located an hour’s drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, you’ll find the Scenic Rim – a region named by Lonely Planet in 2022 as one of the world’s Top 10 Regions for its natural features, namely stunning rainforests and waterfalls, expansive pools and clear swimming holes.

If that’s not enough to have you packing your bags – with parts of the region standing 500m above sea level, it’s not uncommon to find the higher areas of the Scenic Rim region are at least eight degrees cooler than the coast. Your summer = sorted. 

Pack your swimmers, it’s time to experience nature’s finest ways to cool off with this guide to summer in the Scenic Rim.

📷 (above) O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat guest’s infinity pool, credit TEQ

1. Take a hike to Elabana Falls, Lamington National Park

7.1km return walk, 2.5hrs, moderate

Looking for a waterfall that will leave your followers double tapping with envy? A quick scroll through #visitscenicrim is all it takes to see why Elabana Falls are Insta-worthy – ever flowing and dropping into a spectacular shelf below.

Found on the Box Forest Circuit, starting at the trailhead near O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, this walk twists and turns through lush rainforest, where you’ll feel the excitement build as you hear the roaring cascades well before you see them.  

After snapping a #corememory with your hiking buddies, retrace your steps back to base or continue on the full 10.9km circuit to find more world-class falls. 

And why not reward yourself following your walk with a night of country luxury by staying local at Beechmont Estate or Country Mile Escape?

2. Camp and cool down at Kerry Valley Secret in The Lost World

Dreading a sweaty stroll back to the car from a walk to a waterfall? Stay where you play – put up camp beside the pristine Stockyard Creek at Kerry Valley Secret.

Put up the tent or park your caravan amongst silky oaks and ironwood trees, with a creek to your side and views of Lamington National Park scenery all around. 

Booking the campground here means you reserve the entire property to yourself, giving you the privacy and exclusivity that every camper dreams of – listening to the birds sing rather than your neighbours snore! 

Add your togs to the packing list and discover their Albert River swimming hole just a short stroll from your campsite. For your own ‘lazy river’ experience, pack the inflatable donuts and let the current take the wheel from the swimming area to the landing spots downstream.

For some calmer splashing the little ones will love, enjoy nature-play in the babbling Stockyard Creek mere metres from your campsite.

3. Soak in serenity at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park

Cool down with nature’s air conditioning by booking a stay at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park. O’Reilly’s is the epitome of chill, with temperatures known to sit eight degrees cooler than the coast.

From its lush, mountain-top position, swap screen time for green time and take in the spectacular panoramic views overlooking the Lost World Valley from O’Reilly’s #instaworthy Infinity Pool.

Sure you can visit O’Reilly’s on a day trip, but with a range of great accommodation on offer, you’ll want to extend into an overnight stay and, as an in-house guest, spend your days soaking in the Infinity Pool, or making a splash in their plunge pools or spa. 

For something more active, don your walking shoes to explore the many streams, cascades and waterfalls peppered through the Lamington National Park around your accommodation. 

And, of course, sundowners and summer go hand in hand, whether you order a cocktail, beer on tap or chilled glass of local white from the Rainforest Bar to watch the sunset over the valleys below. 

4. Beat the heat at a luxury mountain lodge

Leave the traffic headed to the coast behind and whisk your favourite people away from the city to a modern luxury lodge holding prime position on a majestic mountain side overlooking the ancient Scenic Rim. 

For those seeking privacy and the peace of nature, in less time than a feature length movie, find yourself poolside in maximum comfort at Mount French Lodge in Charlwood. 

With four guest houses and a legendary Great Room for catered meals and shared activities, you and your seven favourite people will have exclusive access to the property’s 100 acres and stunning facilities.

Your summer itinerary isn’t confined to soaking in the large saltwater pool. For some it’s also sitting with a book under shady trees or exploring the mountainside and then relaxing with a champagne framed against an endless horizon. Whether walking, playing or simply being, this is a place where families and friends truly connect. 

5. Make a splash at one of the Scenic Rim's five public pools

For an easy and playful way to soak up summer, visit one of the five public pools throughout the Scenic Rim region. 

Pack the kids into the car and plug Beaudesert Pool into the navigator to arrive at a 50-metre pool, wading pool and toddler splash park the kids won’t want to leave. 

The 25-metre public pools in Boonah, Rathdowney, Canungra and Tamborine Mountain also offer a range of child-friendly facilities, from children’s play areas to small toddler pools to Mum and Bubba classes, and learn to swim classes. 

For serious swimmers wanting to partner cooling off with daily exercise, join the swim squad at each of our pools to increase your heart rate, decrease your temperature and make new friends in the process.

Learn more about the facilities and rates of each of our pools here

Top tips for a safe summer in nature

  • Only swim in waterholes or creeks where allowed
  • Check the weather forecast and current conditions. During and after heavy rain, creek conditions can change and become dangerous. Fast flowing, rapidly rising water—with strong currents—can occur. Stay safe—do not enter the water.
  • Choose walks suited to your fitness level
  • Pack more water and snacks than you think you’ll need, even for short walks
  • Never  walk in or after storms or heavy rainfall
  • Walk early in the day. Do not attempt a long walk after midday

For more tips visit this handy guide