Welcome to Australia’s Scenic Rim! Your adventure begins on the Gold Coast where you’ll be picked up at 8.30am by your local leader and meet your fellow travellers. From here, hit the road and drive towards Tamborine National Park, Queensland’s oldest national park and home to all manner of unique wildlife and landscapes. Step into a eucalyptus forest on the Curtis Falls track, which eventually gives way to lush rainforest punctuated with towering ferns. Continue to the shady Palm Grove circuit through subtropical rainforest – be sure to look up to see strangler figs and piccabeen palm trees, and look down to see collections of unusual fungi. Tonight you may like to get to know your group over dinner at a local restaurant recommended by your leader and reminisce about the day’s discoveries.
Start the day by driving to Mt Cordeaux, forming the northern side of Cunninghams Gap and overlooking the Scenic Rim. Follow the walking track up the mountain, passing by an abandoned goldmine shaft where gold was never found. The track ends just before the summit and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with showstopping views of the Main Range National Park, the Darling Downs and even the high-rise buildings of Brisbane. Descend the mountain, then join the Rainforest circuit and venture through lush vegetation as your leader shares stories of the flora and fauna that call this place home. Climb to an incredible lookout point serving up views of Lake Moogerah and the Fassifern Valley. Later in the day, drive on to the Bunjurgen Estate Vineyard in the heart of the Scenic Rim. While here you may like to indulge in a wine tasting at your own expense (you’ll soon find out why the Shiraz is so acclaimed!) or perhaps just sit back and enjoy the serene location.
Enjoy breakfast at your gorgeous accommodation before driving to Mt Mitchell, a volcanic peak in the Main Range National Park to the south of Cunninghams Gap. Today you’ll be climbing to its summit, and while some parts of the track are quite steep, you can rest assured that the views from the top make every step worth it! Cross through mountain heath, woodland and diverse rainforest, and be sure to turn your head to the sky in search of peregrine falcons soaring above you. Stop at the top to admire views of Mt Barney, the Main Range and the Moogerah Peaks before descending down the mountain. After your hike, pay a visit to the Gorge swimming hole downstream from Lake Moogerah and cool off with a refreshing dip surrounded by nature, then return to your accommodation for an evening at leisure.
Start the day with a visit to Mt Barney where you’ll set off along the Lower Portals track, crossing undulating and sometimes rugged terrain. Pass through open bushland, peaceful rockpools and meandering creeks. You may be visited by a wallaby on your walk or spot black cockatoos flying above you. This evening your accommodation is a delightful and eco-conscious homestead converted from a typical 1900s 'Queenslander' farmhouse where you’ll enjoy a veranda offering up stunning mountain views. As the sun begins to set, head out with a local guide to discover the plants and wildlife in the surrounding areas, learning about the role each plays in the environment. Take a relaxed stroll up to a lookout point and watch the sun set over the Mt Barney with a glass of local wine in hand, while snacking on some local delights like Scenic Rim olives and cheese – a perfect way to see out your last night in this spectacular part of the world. For a final taste of local culture, you may like to head down to the pub for dinner this evening and enjoy a classic country meal.
Take some time to enjoy a final breakfast before heading out to Lamington National Park, named after the same bloke as your favourite coconutty cake and every bit as appealing. This World Heritage Site is dotted with ancient trees, tumbling waterfalls and fascinating wildlife, all best discovered on foot. Venture into the park for a final walk and uncover its natural wonders with your local leader’s expert guidance. Return to the Gold Coast in the afternoon, where on arrival your Scenic Rim adventure comes to an end.