When thinking about Queensland, images of pristine beaches, hot, sunny summer days and the Great Barrier Reef may well spring to mind. However, unbeknown to most, there’s a little pocket in southeast Queensland that boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, a remarkable pageant of vast mountain ranges, biodiverse forests, dramatic escarpments and ancient volcanic plateaus.
The Scenic Rim Trail is a four-day, three-night hiking experience that explores the diversity and beauty of the Scenic Rim region and is the first, and currently the only, Great Walk of Australia operating in Queensland.
Day one features a five-kilometre ascent to the twin peaks of Mount Mitchell. Along the way, knowledgeable and experienced guides delve into the rich history of the area, as well as pointing out some of the local flora and fauna. Reaching the summit is the cue for a well-deserved lunch break and a chance to take in the incredible 360-degree display of the Fassifern Valley below.
The trail to the first nights’ accommodation follows a path less travelled through our private land, traversing grand eucalypt forests and tackling a few creek crossings before passing through the gates to the Canopy Eco-Lodge. Here, ten luxury tents with fine linen, personal dressing gowns and king-sized beds await, along with freshly made scones and champagne on the deck to celebrate completing the first day of the Scenic Rim Trail.
Before dinner, there’s a chance to take a dip in the hot tub and gaze upon the twin peaks of Mount Mitchell, reminiscing about the day’s climb to the top just a few hours before. A chef-prepared three-course dinner is then served in the main lodge, incorporating local produce with bold Australian flavours.
The second day on the Scenic Rim Trail explores the Millar Vale and Oaky Creeks, believed to have been the original route for indigenous traders passing across the Great Dividing Range from inland Australia to the coast. As the day’s walk is shorter, there’s ample opportunity to take part in a variety of activities back at the Canopy Eco-Lodge in the afternoon, including a four-wheel-drive tour through the surrounding national parks. Alternatively, hikers can choose to simply stay and relax by the campfire.
Day three follows in the footsteps of the early settlers, offering a glimpse of a part of Queensland that, even today, only a handful of people have been lucky enough to experience. The trail leads through the dense rainforests of Spicers Peak, complete with giant ferns and awe-inspiring 1,000-year-old hoop pines, before opening out to panoramic views of Spicers Gap and the Great Dividing Range.
A long day of hiking comes to a close at the beautiful Spicers Peak Lodge. On this, the final night of the walk, a delectable five-course degustation dinner with paired wines is served at the Peak, the lodge’s award-winning, two-hatted restaurant.
On day four, hikers can choose to enjoy a leisurely sleep in or take part in a short walk to Ryan’s Lookout to explore a little more of the Scenic Rim, before being transferred back to Brisbane.
The Scenic Rim Trail is an all-inclusive experience, with all accommodation, meals and beverages, and luggage portage included. Hiking gear such as daypacks, hydration equipment and bottles are also provided. Cost: $2,290 per person twin share or $2,490 per person single share.
To book or to find out more information, please call 13 77 42 or visit scenicrimtrail.com