Queensland's Scenic Rim was the only Australian destination to appear in Lonely Planet's recent "top 10 hottest destinations to visit in 2022" recently." If you're keen to explore the region, whether it's for a day trip or weekend away, here are some of my favourite Scenic Rim destinations.
It's a inspiring drive up into the Gold Coast hinterland to Beechmont, with 360 degree views at every turn. Make sure to stop at one of the lookouts for views all the way to Surfers Paradise and across Mt Warning. Pack your walking shoes for a hike in Lamington National Park then head to Hazelwood Estate, a new polo club, restaurant and accommodation for lunch. You'll need to book to get the code to gain entry to the charming farm estate. The food (under chef Cameron Matthews, ex-Spicers exec chef) is fabulous.
It ticks all the boxes for a perfect day out for me. Set on an isthmus jutting out into the Wyaralong Dam, this charming winery is picturesque, feels pleasingly off the beaten track and has good food - either inside the contemporary architect-designed building or outside at picnic tables overlooking the water. Have a wine tasting, listen to live music on weekends and enjoy the serenity.
I have been known to drive out here just to pat the camels, especially the adorable babies! About an hour from Brisbane, this camel farm makes great day out, particularly if you have kids. You can do a farm tour, feed the camels, have a meal in the cafe and buy camel milk products, from cheese to camel milk coffees.
My recommendation is to visit the gorgeous Elderflower Farm for morning tea, and a look around, then head into town and wander the shops (there's a couple of really good interiors/gift shops) then have lunch at Lovett Cafe or the friendly Royal Hotel Kalbar. Each October, the town also has have a hay bale exhibition, when people create incredibly imaginative sculputes of hay outside their homes.
Set on a rolling hill with lovely spreading views and rows of gorgeous, fragrant purple lavender, you could almost be in Provence. Have a wine tasting and stay for lunch - the food is excellent. Just be warned, it is incredidibly popular on weekends and you'll need to book -often a couple of weeks in advance.
Come up the mountain on a the second Sunday of the month to experience the local markets. The rich red soil in these parts producers a lot of premium produce, often organically grown, avocados and rhubarb being specialities. Visit the cellar doors, do the rainforest walk on a cantilevered bridge, go to the local distillery or craft brewery, or one of my faves, visit the glow worm cave.
I have a bit of a soft spot for Boonah. It's a friendly, quaint little town. Pack an esky and buy from the local butcher, fill up on fresh fruit and vege from the historic Oppy's Farm produce, pick up some great bread from Arthur Clive bakehouse and stop for lunch at The Dungandan Hotel, where there's always plenty of very cool retro cars to check out.