We have done our fair share of exploring around Brisbane over the many years we spent living in Queensland.
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But this part of Queensland offers so many creek crossings, rock scrambling to Bare Rock, steep climb, and other outdoor activities that we never got a chance to experience it all. Plus, life often gets in the way of the fun stuff on your doorstep!
One destination on our list for many years was the Scenic Rim, an area known for great hiking in a rainforest circuit, great produce, and one of the best regions for outdoor lovers on the East Coast of Australia. Lonely Planet also listed it as one of the top 10 regions of the world.
On our recent trip to Australia, we finally got the perfect opportunity to explore this area by hiking along the Scenic Rim Trail on a 2 Day Scenic Rim Walk by Spicers.
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What Is The Scenic Rim?
The Scenic Rim is one of Australia’s most accessible World Heritage Listed regions in Brisbane’s backyard, just an hour from the Gold Coast in South East Queensland.
The area spans 4254sq km (2643sq miles), consisting of awe-inspiring views of mountains, incorporating the Cedar Creek Falls and Rock Pools, the Great Dividing Range, the Border Range, Fassifern Valley, and Tamborine Mountain.
The best way to explore the Scenic Rim is on foot along the Scenic Rim National Parks, which features world-class hiking trails through the best of what the region has to offer.
Hiking The Scenic Rim Trail
Guests can do Scenic Rim hikes in many different ways. Many locals explore the region on day hikes, conquering one part of the trail after another, even without navigation skills. Other walkers can set out on multi-day hikes, carrying their equipment and provisions until they reach the final camp site.
Spicers Scenic Rim Trail
Spicers Scenic Rim Trail is an all-inclusive luxury guided walking experience that includes two nights of luxury glamping accommodation, all meals & beverages, and a multi-day hike of guided walks through World Heritage Listed National Park, Gondwana Rainforest of Australia World Heritage Area, and Spicers own 20 sq km (2,000-hectare) nature refuge.
Spicers offers a a variety of walks along the Scenic Rim, ranging from 2 to 6 days.
3-day hike takes you to the Great Dividing Range, Spicers Gap Road, and Spicers Peak Nature Refuge, with some steep ascent, rocky outcrops, and cliff edges. The following days will take you to Miller Vale Creek and a remote section of the Main Range National Park before returning to walkers camp on your last day.
4-day hike is the Spicers Scenic Rim Trail signature walk within a dense rainforest, which will bring you to the southern parts of the Cunningham’s Gap, Mistake Mountain Range, Gondwana Rainforest, and Bare Rock. Each morning, you can enjoy incredible views of the Sunrise Lookout from your relaxed luxury accommodations.
6-day walk is the ultimate luxury hiking experience, comprising the experiences of 3 and 4 walks and a helicopter transfer on your final morning. You can experience a 16m rock ladder at the Mistake Mountain Rage, 360-degree views of lush rainforest, sunrise and sunset at the Peak Lodge, a 4WD tour, and star gazing.
One of the biggest drawcards of this experience for us was the opportunity to spend a few nights at one of the nearby Spicers retreats locations. We experienced the Spicers’ hospitality firsthand after going through many obstacles during the walk.
Spicers Retreats are particularly renowned for their commitment to sustainability. They have several green initiatives to reach their goal of zero emissions and zero waste by 2030 and plastic-free from 2025.
They are EarthCheck Certified and support their local community by buying local produce. It partners with several local and National businesses, non-profit organizations, and programmes in their dedication to environmental issues.
You can read more about their Green Credentials here.
Our Spicers Experience Of The Scenic Rim Trail
Scenic Rim Trail: Day 1
Distance: 13 km (8 miles)/ 6.5 hours
Trail: Mt Mitchell Plateau
Difficulty: Grade 3 – Moderate
Our adventure in the Scenic Rim track started with a morning tea. It was here that we met the rest of our group, parted with our luggage, and had day packs stocked with provisions, a water bottle, and other essentials for the first day of hiking.
The first part of the day was the most challenging, as we hiked from the start of the trail to the summit of Mt Mitchell. It was a challenging trek through Main Range National Park, an area famous for forests and ridges, as we hiked 300m (328 yards) up through the Gondwana Rainforest, Eucalypt Forest, and the lookout at Mt. Mitchell.
Along the way, we learned more about flora and fauna along the trail, marvelled at the old red cedar trees, and heard stories about the history of the settlers to the Scenic Rim.
The weather did not disappoint, and the incredible 360-degree views of the Scenic Rim from the top of Mt Mitchell rewarded us.
After a relaxing bush lunch, we continued along the trail to Spicers Canopy Lodge.
The afternoon walk was only a couple of hours, and the trail was mostly downhill, which offered a bit of relief after a challenging morning. Shortly after lunch, we found ourselves hiking within Spicers Private Nature Reserve, where the trail became flat.
The trail lead us directly into our final section of the hike, the lovely Spicers Canopy, a secluded glamping experience with a touch of Spicer’s luxury. Afternoon tea awaited our arrival. We were pleased to kick off our boots and enjoy a glass of bubbly with some homemade pumpkin scones.
There was plenty of time to soak in the hot tub, take a nice hot shower, and enjoy the beautiful sunset before we had dinner in the common area. Exhausted from the day, we retired to bed pretty early, ready to take on another day of hiking ahead.
Scenic Rim Trail: Day 2
Distance: 15 km (9 miles) /8 hrs
Trail: Spicers Peak Ascent
Difficulty: Grade 4 – Harder than the previous day
The second day began around 8 a.m. after a delicious breakfast at the Spicers Canopy. Shortly after, we tied up our shoes, grabbed our day packs, and embarked on another day-long hike along the Scenic Rim Trail.
The trail started gently as we walked across the Spicers Reserve along Oakey Creek. After about an hour, the trail ascended and climbed another 600m (656 Yards) throughout the day.
After lunch in the forest near the summit, we continued along the trail past Spicers Peak and through the saddle across Cedar Mountain. Just when we thought the challenging part of the trail was over, we had to endure a challenging descent followed by another steep ascend en route to the Spicers Peak Lodge.
While most of the trail was well-manicured, parts of the trail on the second day had us scrambling over boulders and using ropes to make our way on the steep and difficult sections ahead.
It was a Grade 4 hike, challenging not just because of the elevation change but due to the strain on our legs along the way.
But we forgot all our struggles when we reached Spicers Peak Lodge, where refreshments, drinks, and sweeping views awaited us. From there, we went to Spicers Canopy for sunset and canapes.
Where to Stay on Scenic Rim Trail
Located on top of a grassy hill offering stunning views towards Mt. Mitchell, Spicers Peak, and Mount Cordeaux, the Spicers Canopy Lodge served as our base on the trail and offered a unique ‘glamping’ experience.
Our African safari-style tent featured a king bed with a sitting area and a lovely covered deck that offered the best view of Mt. Mitchell. The bathrooms were shared, but they offered plenty of hot water and toilet paper.
Little touches of luxury made it easy to forget the struggles on the trail and relax in the comforts of Spicers Canopy. We particularly enjoyed our time in the hot tub at the end of the day with cocktails in hand and the vibrant pink colours splashed across the sky.
The firepit in front of the lodge was another great addition. It was a great place to exchange stories with fellow hikers, enjoy delicious canapes and drinks, and unwind after hiking. Its farm-style main cabin has an open kitchen for fresh air, where guests can have their delightful dinner and breakfast the next day.
The Food At Spicers Canopy
Our 2-day Scenic Rim Trail Walk included all meals and drinks, and the chef at Spicers Canopy did not disappoint. Every meal was delicious, prepared with fresh, locally sourced, and organic produce. The canapes at the end of the day were a particular treat!
Spicers Mount Mistake Farmhouse
The working farmhouse, located atop of Mt Mistake, offers guests the chance to experience rural life in Australia. The property has 7 luxury rooms, with 6 in the welcoming main house and one stand-alone cottage. Each room features a comfortable king bed, a spacious private ensuite with a large shower, toilet, and basin, along with all essential amenities. Guests staying at Spicers Mount Mistake Farmhouse as a part of Spicers Scenic Rim Walks will enjoy meals serves family style, otherwise, self catering is also an option. Hikers on a 6-day walk will experience this accommodation on their first night.
Spicers Ampitheatre Eco-Camp
This unique accommodation option is in a natural amphitheater with panoramic views of the mountains and the peaceful background of Gondwana Rainforests. Each cabin has a king bed and a private balcony with a lourve window. The area has two wash pavilions equipped with hot showers and toilets. The ampitheatre features an observation deck where guests can enjoy the overlooking lush rainforests and an elegant dining room for a celebratory dinner.
Spicers Timber Getters Eco-Camp
Guests can experience charming and rustic accommodations across the Dalrymple Creek Valley, featuring old logging equipment to celebrate the natural environment. The luxury campstay offers private rooms with stunning views of the surrounding rainforest canopy and the unique atmosphere of this historical building. Wash pavillions near the cabins offer hot showers and flushing toilets. Guests share a dining room, where a chef prepares the dinner.
Spicers Hidden Peaks Cabins
The inviting lodge features a spacious wooden terrace where visitors can assemble for various activities, from lounging on the plush couch and reading a book to telling tales around the fire pit about their day’s experiences. Each luxury private ensuite has a king-size bed and a bathroom featuring wooden benchtops.
Spicers Peak Lodge
An ultimate luxury accommodation option that offers guests the best of both worlds: stunning views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest and all the amenities of a luxury lodge. Guests can enjoy the restaurant, bar, and spa on-site or simply relax in their private suite and enjoy the stunning scenery. The lodge features the highly regarded Peak Restaurant and a private dining room, art collection, and game room with a pool table.
The Overall Experience
The Scenic Rim Trail wasn’t a walk in the park, and to be honest, it was a bit harder than we expected, but we were glad to have had the opportunity to walk along the Scenic Rim Trail finally.
It is a little gem for hiking enthusiasts! Tucked away from the touristy trails of the nearby Lamington National Park or Springbrook National Park, the Scenic Rim allowed us to experience some of Queensland’s best rainforest and eucalypt forest environments and take in spectacular views of the region from Mt Mitchell.
Scenic Rim is not a region frequented by international and even domestic tourists, but for us, that was a part of the appeal.
It Was A Way To Get Out Of The City And Experience The Australian Bush Without Giving Up The Comforts Of Good Sleep And A Hot Shower.
It’s an experience that we can recommend to anyone looking to get off the beaten path and experience a genuine Australian bushwalking experience just outside of Brisbane.
Essential Travel Info
How To Get To The Scenic Rim Trail
If you have a car, the easiest way to get to the start of the trail is to drive yourself. You’ll park your car at the first meeting point at 617 Grandchester Mount Mort Road, Grandchester, Queensland, and leave it in a car park until the last day of the hike.
Those without a car can arrange a transfer to the Scenic Rim with Spicers Retreats. The transfer picks up guests at the Spicers Balfour Hotel in New Farm Brisbane or to Brisbane Airport on the morning of Day 1 and returns guests to the same spot midday on the next day after the last day of the hike. You can also stay extra nights at the hotel to explore the area more.
Have You Ever Heard Of The Scenic Rim Or Hiked In This Part Of Queensland?
Disclaimer: Our Scenic Rim Trail experience was hosted and provided to us courtesy of the Spicers Retreats and the Great Walks of Australia. But as always, all opinions expressed in this article are our own.