Why the Scenic Rim is Queensland’s best kept travel secret

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Welcome to Open for Business.

Each week, news.com.au in partnership with Tourism Australia and the National Bushfire Recovery Agency will shine a spotlight on an Aussie region devastated by the 2019 and 2020 bushfires. The video series will provide ideas on ways to help, where to visit and cafes not to miss on your next holiday at home.

When it comes to a holiday in Queensland, it’s easy to get swept up in all that the vast coastline has to offer.

From kicking back in Noosa, to island hopping around the Whitsundays, it’s no surprise holiday-makers around the world turn to the Sunshine State to find just that.

But a slice of the state, which was devastated by bushfires between August and November 2019, has made a miraculous recovery after the residents that call the ‘Scenic Rim’ home came together to pick up the pieces.

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Set among the stunning scenery of lush rainforests and mountain ranges in an ancient volcanic

caldera, Queensland’s Scenic Rim is a hidden haven of nature, food and adventure.

Sitting just over an hour from Brisbane and two hours from the Gold Coast, the region is filled with quaint villages, luxury rural retreats, wineries, breweries and an abundance of local paddock-to-plate producers.

The Scenic Rim, with its streets of unique shops and markets, nature walks and dense rainforests, doesn’t normally struggle to attract visitors given it’s the home of the World Heritage Mount Barney National Park.

But more than a year on from the devastation, combined with a global health pandemic, businesses in the region need your help more than ever before.

So if you want a weekend away full of nature, nurture and everything in-between – some of the best places in the world are on our doorstep and well and truly, Open for Business.

As with most regional Australian communities, the Scenic Rim region is no stranger to a growing number of unique shopfronts and outdoor markets across the region.

Don’t miss My Country Escape in Canungra for bespoke gifts and homewares, or Duck Junction in Boonah followed by a stop intoLux and Gather at Tamborine Mountain for an array of books, skincare and furnishings.

Slip into Dandelions 3 which stocks a range of eco-friendly and sustainable products, or for a new addition to your wardrobe you will want to spend an hour or two at Outland Denim for racks of ethical fashion and premium denim products.

You’re on holidays right? So loosen the belt and satisfy your sweet tooth by stocking up your Esky with some lollies at Granny Macs Confectionary Store. For the chocolate lover, you can’t go past Chocolates on Gallery Walk in Mount Tamborine for your sugar fix.

Surrounded by the World Heritage listed Mount Barney National Park, it’s no surprise that your time spent in the region will be primarily outdoors.

Start your roadtrip by exploring the ancient Gondwana Rainforests at Lamington National Park. Walk among the treetops on O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, strolling across nine suspension bridges which will give you an unrivalled view of the forest below.

Cool down in the Scenic Rim’s spectacular waterfalls, swimming holes, crystal clear creeks and stunning lakes – especially in the humid summer months.

For a nature experience like no other, pack your walking shoes and explore the Lost World Valley, a hidden canyon of forests, pastures, wild rivers and rock pools that offers bushwalking trails, scenic vistas and historical sites.

For a unique animal encounter, you can’t go past a visit to Australia’s largest camel farm, Summer Land, where you can get up close and selfie-personal with some of the 550 beauties, which are mostly wild rescues from Central Australia

But let’s be honest, for most of us it’s where and what we eat that makes up some of the best memories of any holiday at home.

Queensland’s Scenic Rim is quickly becoming a foodie’s destination, offering visitors a variety of dining experiences from casual, relaxed eateries to five-star gourmet restaurants.

Nestled on 12,000 acres of bushland and residing within a historic barn, Homage Restaurant is leading the charge when it comes to paddock-to-plate fine dining. Part of the Spicers Retreats Collection, you’ll find Homage in Grandchester at the Spicers Hidden Vale retreat – the pinnacle of luxury within the region.

If all the walking has got you feeling parched, sit back and try seasonal beers at Scenic Rim Brewery or stop in at Tamborine Mountain Distillery to sample one of the 80 varieties of liqueurs, vodkas, and schnapps.

For a view like no other in the region, drop in to the Clifftop Dining Room at Binna Burra Mountain Lodge for epic views across the subtropical rainforest or enjoy Devonshire tea at its Lamington Teahouse.

But given you’re in one of the best rainforest regions in the country, and there’s even wineries nearby, finish your stay with a picnic and a bottle of semillon from O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards. You won’t be disappointed.

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