A Weekender's Guide to the Scenic Rim
Wander through lavender fields, ride a camel and sample locally made spirits — 90 minutes from Brisbane.
Whether you're craving a weekend in a country hideaway or an unforgettable wining and dining experience at one of the many wineries, the Scenic Rim is where to venture to when you're planning a weekend escape from Brisbane. An hour-and-a-half's drive from the city, the Scenic Rim stretches across the Great Dividing Range and boasts idyllic hinterland areas such as Tamborine Mountain and Lamington National Park. You can spend a couple of days exploring the tranquil rocky cliffs at Cedar Creek Falls, watching the sunset over the range or trying your luck camel riding — there's so much to do here.
Awarded its twelfth hat in the 2020 Australian Good Food Guide Awards, Kooroomba Kitchen is a must-visit on your trip to the Scenic Rim. The restaurant's most breathtaking feature is its lavender fields, which you can walk through or admire while you eat. Executive Chef Daniel Groneberg's changing menu includes pork loin steaks, lavender honey-glazed quail and slow cooked beef cheek and truffle mash.
For a more casual feed, stop in at Mexican-style eatery El Burro Cantina for dinner. Found on the main street of Tamborine Mountain, the fun and vibrant eatery is where you can let loose and enjoy a glass of sangria and a selection of tacos or tostadas under the colourful lanterns in the courtyard. The frozen margaritas and fajitas here are a winning combination.
On a sweeter note, the nostalgic The Fudge Shop Springbrook is where you can unleash your inner kid and satisfy even the sweetest of sugar cravings. The family-owned shop is packed with house-made fudges in flavours like classic caramel and Baileys Irish Cream. The multipurpose business also sells soaps, jams and a range of lemon myrtle-scented products, which make for good souvenirs from your weekend away.
Witches Falls Winery's winemaking techniques will impress even the most seasoned wine enthusiasts. Witches Falls prides itself on environmentally sustainable processes and its growing conditions are similar to the Northern Rhone region in France, making it especially good at producing merlot and syrah. It also produces a Wild Harvest range of chardonnay, tempranillo, viognier and sauvignon blanc.
Situated on Tamborine Mountain is the old-school and romantic Hampton Estate Wines. We recommend the wine tasting experience here; book in on Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 10am till 4pm and try its classic range of wines made with grapes from the Granite Belt. Not into vino? It also has a whisky bar.
For a one-stop experience, book into Tamborine Mountain Distillery for a tasting of its many and varied spirits. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the process of gin and vodka making from the copper pot to the shelf. The distillery offers tastings from just $8 per person and you can choose between a selection of four liqueurs or spirits to sample.
For an unexpected, yet fun, mode of transport, try camel riding. Summer Land Camels offers farm tours and 15-minute camel rides from $30. Situated in the volcanic crater of the Scenic Rim, the farm has impressive views out to Flinders Peak, which is all the more entertaining viewed from the hump of a camel. Afterwards, peruse the gift shop for camel milk skincare or try the camel milk-infused vodka.
When you want to cool off, spend the afternoon hopping between the Scenic Rim's many waterfalls and swimming holes. Experience the thrill of Curtis Falls in Tamborine National Park, or cool off in Cedar Creek Falls, which has a waterhole within easy access of the car park. Or, pack a picnic and watch the hang gliders at Robert Sowter Park. It's also an excellent spot for sunsets.
For a luxurious weekend getaway, check in to Spicers Peak Lodge. It has a range of suites and most include meals from the on-site restaurant as well as breathtaking views. The Lodge also has a spa, making it the perfect place to unwind after a long working week.
If you're wanting a true country escape, book in to this unusual Airbnb called Stargazer. The refurbished shipping container offers contemporary accommodation with bedrooms overlooking the hinterland. The best part is the glass ceiling, ideal for spotting shooting stars. There's also an outdoor fireplace and pizza oven for cooking in the cooler evenings.
For the semi-adventurous, skip pitching a tent and try glamping at Nightfall. Situated beside Christmas Creek and the rainforests at Lamington National Park, Nightfall's tents are decked out with twin bathtubs and cosy fireplaces. A night here starts at $795.
Top image: Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm via Tourism and Events Queensland
Published on January 20, 2021 by Neesha Sinnya