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Scenic Rim Trail

The Scenic Rim isn’t short on stunning views, but if you really want to experience the region’s best scenery you should lace up your walking boots and hit the trails.

The Scenic Rim, with its six National Parks and world heritage-listed rainforest, is simply made for walking.

Whether you’re seeking a scenic stroll, or a more intense climb, the Scenic Rim will deliver.

Go it alone and hit one of our many popular and accessible trails, or take advantage of the local adventure experts, who will take you off the beaten track.

Start planning your 2019 Scenic Rim walking holiday now because many of the guided tours will book up fast.

Don’t know where to start?

Check out our list of must-do walks and the Scenic Rim walking experts who will guide you.

Lisa Groom from interNATIONAL PARKtours.

Secrets of the Scenic Rim

Lisa Groom is an outdoor adventure specialist, whose family pedigree in the Scenic Rim’s great outdoors goes back to her grandfather Arthur Groom, the eco-tourism pioneer who co-founded Binna Burra Mountain Lodge. Lisa heads up interNATIONAL PARKtours, a guided walking holiday business, which offers tours in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Asia Pacific and America.
In March Lisa will lead a tour of her favourite Scenic Rim spots – Secrets of the Scenic Rim.
The five-night tour departs on March 24 and is classed as easy to moderate walking covering between 2 and 12km a day.
Immerse yourself in the food, wine, walks, art and nature of the region as you traverse rainforests, rivers and the escarpments of the World Heritage-listed rainforest, passing through the Moogerah Peaks, Main Range, Mt Barney, Tamborine and Lamington National Parks.

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Mt Maroon by Jason Charles Hill

Moon Rise on Maroon with Mt Barney Lodge

Innes Larkin and the team at Mt Barney Lodge are knowledgeable and passionate eco-rangers who will introduce you to this stunning part of the Scenic Rim. The Mt Barney guides will lead five Moon Rise walks to the Mt Maroon summit during 2019, starting on February 20.
The view from Mt Maroon summit on a clear, full moon night reveals beautiful scenery, bathed in silver light.
You’ll see Lake Maroon, the Mt Barney profile, as well as other Scenic Rim mountains and even the lights of Brisbane in the distance.
This walk is rated for hikers who are fit and determined and is a five to seven-hour return walk from Mt Barney Lodge.

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Scenic Rim Trail is one of many amazing walks you can enjoy.

Spicers Scenic Rim Trail

If you’re ready for an adventure, with a good dose of home comforts, then you’ll love this walk.
Choose from a two day, 28km experience, or a five day adventure.Departing Cunningham’s Gap, you’ll be escorted by one of the Spicer’s Resort guides, who will share their local knowledge an insights along the way.
After a full-day of walking, rest and recharge in the luxury glamping tents at Spicer’s Canopy Eco-Lodge.
In 2019 Spicer’s will also offer a five-day walking experience, traversing Main Range National Park, part of the unique Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area. Launch date is mid 2019.

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The Border Track

Tread the path of the Scenic Rim’s pioneers as you trek the 21.4km between O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat to Binna Burra.
This track connects the Binna Burra and Green Mountains sections of the Lamington National Park.
Walk at your own pace on a self-guided walk, or contact O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and book in for a private guided walk with their local experts.
O’Reilly’s offers regular bus transfers between the two properties.

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Refresh with this view from the Spring Creek Mountain Cafe.

Spring Creek Mountain Trail with Horizon Guides

Boonah’s Teresa Cause leads regular guided walks of the local trails. She will release her guided walking tour itinerary in early 2019. One of her most popular hikes is the Spring Creek Mountain Trail, a three-day expedition which starts in the Scenic Rim at Cunningham’s Gap and follows the Rabbit Board Fence to Killarney.

This walk is offered in September. If you have a walk you’re keen to do but need some guidance – Teresa also offers tailor-made guided tours of the region’s best trails.

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Retrace the track Bernard O’Reilly took to rescue survivors of the Stinson crash.

Stinson Walk

Follow the trail taken by Bernard O’Reilly in 1937 when he went in search of the crashed Stinson Aircraft. Twice a year O’Reilly’s offers a Stinson Walk package, where guests can choose from either a 37km hike, or a 16km walk.
Retrace Bernard’s footsteps through the rugged McPherson Range to the Stinson crash site. The first 2019 Stinson Walks leaves on May 17.

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Take a hike. Try these amazing Scenic Rim walks.

14 of our favourite Scenic Rim Walks

Looking for some walking inspiration? Here are 14 of our favourite Scenic Rim walks, ranging from easy to hard, they’re great options for people who want to go it alone and self-guide.

Start training for the Scenic Rim Ultra.

Scenic Rim Ultra

Start training now for this epic event. It returns to The Overflow Estate 1895 Winery from October 4 to 6. Competitors can choose to tackle either the 65km or 105km tracks, both of which loop around the winery.
Celebrate your efforts with a well-earned glass of local wine. Be warned the courses are hilly and will serve up plenty of challenges. There’s only 150 spots available in each distance so register early.

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Lisa Groom, interNATIONAL PARKtours.

Lisa Groom is a member of the pioneering Groom family, whose vision and hard work helped create the beautiful Binna Burra Lodge. Following in the footsteps of her grandfather Arthur and father Tony, Lisa now leads guided walking tours of her much-loved home region.

Her business, interNATIONAL PARKtours, offers guided walking tours to stunning destinations in the Scenic Rim, Australia and overseas.

In 2019 Lisa and her team will offer Scenic Rim Short Breaks, bringing together the region’s best walks, food, wine and natural scenery.

We asked Lisa to share her local tips on the best places to eat, drink, have coffee and walk!

Favourite Scenic Rim place to eat

Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm, just outsie Boonah, for beautifully cooked seasonal lunches and dinners.
Tamborine Mountain Pizza for a Friday night in.

Favourite Scenic Rim place to have coffee

For a jaw-dropping view, The Flying Bean Cafe on Beechmont.
For the best chai latte or mocha, The Mountain Brew Coffee on Tamborine Mountain.

 

What I love about the Scenic Rim is ….

The amazing natural diversity, from the views of Main Range and Moogerah Peaks, to the quiet valleys of Lost World, then the cooling rainforests of Lamington National Park. Combine that with outstanding food & wine, and passionate local people in every community, there’s always something happening in part of the Scenic Rim.

My favourite Scenic Rim view is …

The Coomera Falls Lookout in Lamington National Park and the sunset across the Main Range from Green Hills Road, just outside Boonah.

Mt Maroon by Jason Charles Hill

Favourite Scenic Rim walk?

I have two. The Mt Maroon walk, as it offers enough excitement as you climb up then views in every direction.
I also love the Daves Creek walk in Lamington National Park for its diversity and changing landscapes

 

Height: 836m

Location: Accessed via Waterfall Creek Reserve Camping Ground, Maroon

Mt May is part of Mt Barney National Park, a Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area known for its rugged ridges, remote peaks and spectacular wilderness.

The rocky trail, which sits at about 836m, is is recommended for experienced bush walkers with sound navigational skills and a high level of fitness.

Access is via Waterfall Creek Reserve Camping Ground, and hikers on Aussie Bushwalking.com evaluated the climb as ‘hard’ and recommended allowing at least four hours to complete it.

Mt May by @jhk801 via Instagram.

Experienced hikers on Aussie Bushwalking.com reported difficulty finding the start of the Mt May track, and strongly recommend downloading the free GPS track shared by another walker to the site.

They recommended ascending by the northern ridge from the campsite, descending via the southwest ridge and then walking the 4WD road back to the Mt May reserve.

Views from Mt May by @sons_ofadventure via Instagram.

Local Scenic Rim hiker Kate Bennie, who blogs as Sons of Adventure, wrote about her experience hiking Mt May with her family.

In her piece, published in the Queensland Times, Kate described Mt May as an off the beaten track hike, and a trail less travelled.

Mt May views by @kusiabanda via Instagram.

Kate reported stunning views over Lake Maroon, Mt Maroon and Mt Barney – just rewards for a steep and tricky hike.

“Mt May has two summits, and to start we headed straight up out of Waterfall Gully up the northern ridge to the north summit. It’s heart-pumpingly steep and there are no signs or defined track so it can be a bit tricky to find the way at times. The views overlooking Lake Maroon and beyond are stunning as you gain altitude,” she wrote.

“Descending into the saddle involved some rock scrambling and navigation, followed by a steep climb to the second summit. Once on the south summit we could enjoy amazing views from a couple of different positions on the peak. To the north, we looked over the south peak which was framed by Lake Maroon on one side and Mt Maroon the other. To the south we looked to Mt Barney and could appreciate that awe-inspiring mountain from a new vantage point.”

On Run Hike Laugh, one keen, solo hiker described Mt May as an “under-rated” peak and considered it one of the best climbs in south-east Queensland.

In her detailed account, that hiker also reported difficulty finding the start of the track, and urged fellow walkers to bring their navigational skills, a map and compass and plenty of water.

Mt May North Peak by @fotosizigia via Instagram.

Did you Know?

  • Mount May was formed from underground cooling of a molten rock called rhyolite, which is similar to granite.
  • Mount Barney National Park and Mount Lindesay National Park were gazetted as separate parks on September 6, 1947. Mount Barney National Park was extended to include Mount May and Mount Maroon in 1950. Thirty years later, in 1980, the two parks were amalgamated to form the current Mount Barney National Park, named after the park’s highest peak.
  • Mount Barney National Park covers 17,659ha of rugged terrain.

Height: 469m

Location: Accessed via Wyaralong Dam

Mt Joyce is the southern most peak in the Teviot Range, a group of mountains that travels north to Ivory’s Rock.

Mt Joyce is located within the park surrounding Lake Wyaralong and offers facilities for horse riding, mountain biking, watersports and picnics.

Views from Mt Joyce over Lake Wyaralong

The park is located about one hour’s drive south-west of Brisbane and a ridgeline walking trail to Mt Joyce is accessed from the Eastern Trailhead.

Walkers can reach Mt Joyce along a ridgeline trail, which leaves from the Eastern Trailhead and links up with Base Camp within the recreation park. A track from the Western Trailhead also leads to Mt Joyce but the final stages are for foot traffic only.

The park features 40km of multi-use tracks and trails, including a advanced mountain bike trails and great picnic facilities.

Try the mountain bike trails around the Lake.

Mt Joyce and the Wyaralong Dam parklands are located between Boonah and Beaudesert. Picnic facilities, toilets and walking tracks are all available within the park.

There are designated camp sites at the Eastern Trailhead and Mt Joyce Base Camp, with a seven-night limit on stays. No fees are payable. Download this SEQ Water map for detailed information

The Eastern Trailhead is located near the dam wall and provides a chance to view the Wyaralong Dam via a viewing platform. A series of multi-user trails lead west from this trailhead, including access to Mt Joyce.

The Mt Joyce Basecamp campsite is only accessible by trail and includes open camping areas, a toilet, a simple shelter shed and water tanks. Walkers and trail runners could use this site as a base before summiting Mt Joyce.

The Western Trailhead, also known as Lilybrook, caters primarily for horse enthusiasts and features holding paddocks, watering areas and loading ramps. Camping here is for event use only.

Did you Know?

  • Mt Joyce was originally named Kent’s Peak but was later renamed.
  • Mt Joyce is the southern most mountain in the Teviot Range, which stretches north to Ivory’s Rock near Peak Crossing.
  • Mt Joyce is now surround by a recreation park featuring 40km of multi-use trails.

What mountain is that? Mt Mitchell

Height: 1162m
Location: Main Range National Park

Mt Mitchell views. Image courtesy TEQ

Mt Mitchell views. Image courtesy TEQ

Mount Mitchell is a twin-peaked volcanic mountain, located immediately south of Cunninghams Gap.

It was named after Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell and on a clear day you’ll see the Brisbane city skyline.

Mt Mitchell is popular with walkers and boasts an accessible 5km trail to the main summit, offering fabulous views.

The  grade four walk to the peak of Mt Mitchell begins on the southern side of the Cunningham Highway. Take care when crossing the highway and follow signs at pedestrian exit points.

If you’d like some local’s knowledge on your walk, the Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers Walk explores Mt Mitchell on the first day of their tour.

The narrow escarpment of Mt Mitchell captured by @charlesbalcon.

The narrow escarpment of Mt Mitchell captured by @charlesbalcon.

Mt Mitchell is one of a number of mountains located in the Main Range National Park and is the said to have been formed by remnant lava flows from the unlocated Main Range Shield Volcano.

Main Range National Park covers 29,730ha of land and includes Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area.

The Main Range Shield Volcano once spread across the Fassifern Valley, probably as far as Mt Maroon, Boonah and even Ipswich, and west to Warwick.

Mt Mitchell captured by @kersplashhh

Mt Mitchell captured by @kersplashhh

Prolonged erosion over 20-million years has removed mainly the eastern side of the volcano.

The relatively steep gradients and greater erosive power of the eastwards-flowing streams rapidly eroded the volcanic lava to create a retreating escarpment, exposing intrusive plugs and dykes beneath.

In contrast the gentler western valleys and ridges have remained behind the escarpment’ to form today’s Main Range.

The Scenic Rim is made for walking. You’ll find stunning walks to suit all fitness levels in our six national parks. Here’s 14 Scenic Rim walks to try.

Summer holidays are great for road trips. The Scenic Rim is on your doorstep – just an hour’s drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast – and offers plenty of unique and exciting experiences.

We’ve pulled together some of our favourite road trips, listing all the best places to stop for food, drinks, coffee, shopping and a swim.

All you need to do is jump in the car and visit the Scenic Rim.

Which of our itineraries will you try?

  1. Boonah & Beyond: A 38km round trip that will take you to cafes, Boonah’s local shopping strip, historic country pubs, two wineries and a brewery!
    Commercial Hotel Boonah1

    The Commercial Hotel, Boonah.

     

  2. The Lions Road: A 96km journey from Beaudeesert to Kyogle, via the robotic dairy, Rathdowney, an olive grove and the incredible Border Ranges.
    Lions-Rd

    The Lions Road

     

  3. Tamborine Mountain: Explore this gorgeous hilltop oasis on this 25km loop of all that is fabulous on the mountain, including breweries, cafes, gardens, rainforest skywalk, wine and a coffee plantation.
    Tamborine rainforest skywalk

    Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Tamborine Mountain

     

  4. Canungra Day Trip: Spend a whole lazy day exploring the village town of Canungra.
    canungra valley vineyard

    O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard

     

  5. Lodge to Lodge: Give yourself a few days and travel from one end of the Lamington Plateau to the other, stopping at two of the region’s most popular and historic mountain lodges.
    Binna Burra Sky Lodges

    Binna Burra Sky Lodges, a perfect place to stay.

     

  6. Antiques, Art and Camels: What a quirky day you’ll have when you visit the western Scenic Rim. We’re crafted a schedule to keep young and old happy – camel farm, antique shop and a winery.
    Summer Land Camel Farm

    Summer Land Camel Farm, a stop on the Antiques, Art and Camels itinerary.

     

  7. Cheese Pleaser: What makes a good road trip great? Cheese of course! Here’s a tour of the Scenic Rim’s amazing boutique cheesemakers and their farms.
    Towri Sheep Farm

    Towri Sheep Cheese Farm on the Cheese Pleaser itinerary. (Bookings required)

     

  8. Boonah to Queens Mary Falls: One of the region’s most popular drives, which will take you along the NSW-QLD border into the lush pastures of Killarney.
    Queen Mary Falls

    Queen Mary Falls

     

  9. The Lost World: Explore this stunning southern part of the Scenic Rim which offers visitors the chance to tour working farms, take a cooking class, or refresh at a country pub.
    The Lost World

    The Lost World

     

  10. The Farm Gate Tour: Want to visit some working farms and get your hands dirty? This itinerary is for you. On this journey, you’re guaranteed to meet chooks, goats, sheep and camels!

    Meet the animals on the Farm Gate Tour

So, you want to climb a mountain but you don’t know where to start?

Well, the Scenic Rim is just the place to find your feet, given it’s home to more than 70 summits.

A perfect spot to start is in the World Heritage Listed Lamington National Park up on the McPherson Range outside Canungra.

CoomeraCircuit.NeerigomindalalaFalls Okay, so you won’t quite be climbing a mountain – you’ll drive up relatively steep and winding country roads to get to the tracks – but those tracks are great for getting some mileage in the legs.

You’ll get the fresh mountain air into your lungs, but Lamington won’t knock the wind out of your sails like a first-time mountain climb will.

Whether you choose to set out from the Binna Burra section or the O’Reilly’s (Green Mountains) section, you’ll have plenty of well-marked tracks to choose from – about 160km of them, in fact.

There is something for everyone, from the smooth, wheelchair-accessible 1.8km Centenary Track at O’Reilly’s to the rock-hopping, creek-crossing 17.4km Coomera Circuit at Binna Burra.

If you really want to build up the strength in your legs, there aren’t many tracks more pleasant (or picturesque) than the Border Track, which is 21.4km each way and links Binna Burra and O’Reilly’s.

Or if you want someone to guide you, local companies like Horizon Guides or International Park Tours can offer you valuable local wisdom on the tracks of Lamington National Park and beyond. Read more

 

Retrace the tracks Bernard O’Reilly took 80 years ago as he raced to save the survivors of the Stinson Plane crash.

Staff from O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat will lead walkers through the Lamington National Park from February 17 to 19.

Guests can choose from two walks – the longer Bernard’s Footsteps Stinson Hike (37km one way), or the shorter Rescue Route (14km return).

Both walks travel through stunning landscape and diverse flora and fauna.

The Stinson Airliner was travelling from Brisbane to Lismore and Sydney in near cyclonic conditions in 1937, when it was last seen passing through clouds above Kerry in the Scenic Rim.

The plane had been missing 10 days when Bernard read about the missing plane while visiting his brother. They discussed where the plane might be and Bernard set out early the next day to search, carrying only two loaves of bread, a pound of butter, sugar, tea and some onions. Late on the second day Bernard’s calls into the wilderness were answered and he found two survivors.

Find out more about the O’Reilly’s Stinson walks and accommodation packages.

Read the full story of the Stinson rescue as told by Bernard’s daughter Rhelma Kenny.