Things to Do in Scenic Rim, Australia
From the popular city destinations of Boston, Massachusetts and Paris, France to smaller towns around the globe like West Linn, Oregon and Yreka, California, the hometown series is a journey through the hometowns of travel bloggers around the globe. Not only does the hometown series reveal fantastic destinations across the globe, but it also highlights the benefits and importance of “being a tourist” in your own backyard. On the next stop in the series we will head back to the land down under to hear about the great things to do in Scenic Rim with Leila from Let’s Go See It All.
The state of Queensland attracts people from all over the world for a great number of reasons. With unique drawcards like the Great Barrier Reef in the north, or the beaches and theme parks in the south, which are renowned favorite things to do in the Gold Coast, the area is a popular vacation destination.
In stark contrast to the ocean, beaches, and nightlife of the coastal destinations in Queensland, the Scenic Rim is a wilderness wonderland. There are tons of things to do in Scenic Rim, Australia, with the area featuring ancient Gondwanan rainforests, friendly rural towns, and providing the opportunity for loads of native animal sightings!
The Scenic Rim region is located inland around 50 miles southwest of Brisbane, the state capital, and I am fortunate to call this beautiful part of Australia home. Here I share from a local’s perspective – the top things to do in Scenic Rim, my little corner of the globe.
Things to Do in the Scenic Rim
Visit National Parks
Hands down, one our favorite things to do with the kids, is venture outdoors to explore the natural wonders of our local National Parks. Luckily for us, and for anyone planning a visit to the Scenic Rim, there is no shortage of protected wilderness areas here.
In our own backyard, we have had koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, parrots, tree frogs, snakes, lizards, possums, bats, and long nosed bandicoots! When you visit the National Parks of the Scenic Rim, these are just some of the animals you may encounter, and it’s one of my very favorite things about our hometown.
Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park is one of the most famous in the region. Like many of the rainforests in this part of Queensland, it spans back millions of years, back to when the Australia was part of the supercontinent. Gondwana. You really do feel as if you’ve stepped onto the set of a dinosaur movie as you traverse your way through ferns, swinging vines and past waterfalls. Moran Falls is located inside the Lamington National Park and is just one of many waterfalls in the Scenic Rim.
Moogerah Peaks National Park
Moogerah Peaks National Park is a landscape of rugged volcanic peaks, expansive bushland, and interesting rock formations. We like to start our hike from the Moogerah Dam, which is especially spectacular after a period of rain. It was constructed in the early 1960s for water supply, but now it’s also a recreational area for barbecues and camping.
The hike to the top of Mount Edwards, which stands beside Moogerah Dam, is slightly challenging but fun for all ages. The stunning view from the top allows you to appreciate the surrounding mountain ranges and serene countryside.
Main Range National Park
Another massive National Park and one of the best things to do in Scenic Rim, you need a 4WD to get to many of the places in this one, but it is worth it. It’s less popular, which means it’s less busy and so very peaceful. Although there are lots of sections to visit, and not all in one day, my favorite lookout is from the Governors Chair in the Spicers Gap section.
Visit Rural Towns
Driving between destinations in the Scenic Rim, you will pass a variety of adorable country towns. One of my favorite things to do is visit local markets, browse the local fruit & vegetable grocers, and visit the cafes and bakeries.
If you visit Main Range Park, you will likely drive through Boonah along your route from Brisbane. Stop in at the charming visitor information center, buy lunch at the local bakery, or visit the Boonah Country Markets if you’re lucky enough to be in town on the second or fourth Saturday of the month. Boonah is the perfect place to stay if you want access Main Range National Park, or Moogerah Peaks National Park.
The tiny township of Canungra is a perfect base from which to explore Lamington National Park. It is surrounded by lush green countryside, and the local area is home to several breweries and wineries, as well as cafes and pubs. One of my favorite things each time we drive in and out of Canungra, is to look up into the trees and see the huge colony of bats sleeping the day away. In the evenings, if you choose to spend the night, you will see them flying overhead as the sun sets.
Mount Tamborine is a must do day trip, as well as more natural beauty, including a skywalk through the rainforest, it is the go-to place to explore the talents of local artisans. You’ll find handcrafts, artwork, and delicious produce. There is also a glow worm cave, which my kids love, and on the way up the mountain – keep a lookout for the large piano shaped boulder that has been painted to match its musical appearance.
Where to Stay in The Scenic Rim
The best way to explore the Scenic Rim is on a road trip. A campervan is a great way to be able to move from place to place, and easily extend your stay an extra day or two, when you find a place you fall in love with. We hire our recreational vehicles through Discovery Campervans, which is a Queensland owned and operated small business.
Andrew Drynan Park
Campgrounds are conveniently found throughout the Scenic Rim. We love staying at Andrew Drynan Park near Rathdowney, which is accessible to yet another National Park, Mount Chinghee. Andrew Drynan Park has wide open spaces, clear running creeks to splash in, and lots of happy wildlife encounters. You’ll see loads of birds, lizards, and kangaroos throughout the Scenic Rim in general.
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
If you prefer luxury, O’Reilly’s Rainforest retreat is perfectly located by Lamington National Park, and you will love the free activity of feeding wild lorikeets each day!
Where to Eat in The Scenic Rim
The best thing about the Scenic Rim is being able to stop in at local establishments as you road trip your way through the region. In each small town you will find charming country pubs, bakeries, and cafés. Being that I am vegan, one son is vegetarian, and the other kid is just plain fussy, we only choose places where the whole family are happy. So, if we recommend them, it means they passed all those criteria!
Ginga Ninja Sushi Café
In Canungra, I recommend the Ginga Ninja Sushi Café. This Japanese cuisine may seem out of place in the little country town in Queensland, but the flavour says otherwise!
Spice of Life
For your visit to Tamborine Mountain, we recommend the Spice of Life Café and Deli, which is right in the main street. Perfect located to stop and have breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner.
If you get the opportunity to visit Queensland, I absolutely recommend a visit to this enchanting little piece of Australia. It is a region that is focused on preserving the natural environment, as well as supporting its local businesses and the wider community. There is an abundance of adventure to be had for free, but if you want to go the extra mile, there are also paid tours as well, such as hot air ballooning, ziplining, wine tours, and craft workshops.
Whatever you decide to do when you visit, you’re sure to enjoy yourself and create lifelong memories!
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