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 much in terms of outdoor experiences and 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 that has been on our list for many years was the Scenic Rim, an area known for great hiking, great produce and one of the best regions for outdoor lovers on the East Coast of Australia.
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.
What is the Scenic Rim?
The Scenic Rim is one of Australia’s most accessible World Heritage Listed regions located in Brisbane’s backyard, just an hour south of the city.
The area spans 4254sq km (2643sq miles) and consists of mountains, incorporating the Great Dividing Range, the Border Range and Tamborine Mountain and dates back millions of years when the region’s landscape was dominated by volcanoes.
Scenic Rim offers stunning scenery and plenty of hiking, rock climbing and other adventure activities for all levels.
The best way to explore the Scenic Rim is on foot along the Scenic Rim Trail that features world-class hiking trails through the best of what the region has to offer.
Hiking the Scenic Rim Trail
Hiking along the Scenic Rim Trail can be done in many different ways. Many locals opt to explore the region on day hikes, conquering one part of the trail after another, while avid hikers can set out on multi-day hikes, carrying all of their equipment and provisions with them.
The idea of roughing it on the trail no longer sounds appealing to us, so we were pleased to discover a challenging yet comfortable way to experience the Scenic Rim Trail with Spicers Retreats.
Scenic Rim Trail 2 Day Walk
Spicers Scenic Rim Trail is an all-inclusive luxury guided walking experience that includes 2 nights luxury glamping accommodation, all meals & beverages and two days of guided walks through World Heritage Listed National Park, Gondwana Rainforest and Spicers own 20sq km (2,000-hectare) nature refuge.
One of the biggest drawcards of this experience for us was the opportunity to spend a few nights at one of Spicer’s retreats locations and to experience the Spicers hospitality first hand.
Spicers Retreats are particularly renowned for their commitment to sustainability. They have a number of green initiatives in place to reach their goal of zero emissions and zero waste by 2030 and plastic free from 2025.
They are EarthCheck Certified, support their local community by buying local produce and have partnered with a number of 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 started with a morning tea. It was here that we met the rest of our group, parted with our luggage and were provided with day packs stocked with provisions, water, 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 as we hiked 300m (328 yards) up through the Gondwana Rainforest, Eucalypt Forest and up to the lookout at Mt Mitchell.
Along the way, we learned more about the 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 we were rewarded with incredible 360-degree views of the Scenic Rim from the top of Mt Mitchell.
After a relaxing bush lunch, we continued along the trail, on route to Spicers Canopy Lodge.
The afternoon hike was only a couple of hours and the trail was mostly downhill, which offers a bit of a relief after a challenging morning. Shortly after lunch, we found ourselves hiking within Spicers private Nature Reserve, where the trail became mostly flat.
The trail lead us directly into our campsite for the night, the lovely Spicers Canopy, a secluded glamping experience with a touch of Spicer’s luxury. Afternoon tea awaited our arrival. We were really 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 dinner was served 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 – hard
The second day began around 8 am after a delicious breakfast at the Spicers Canopy. Shortly after, we tied up our shoes, grabbed our day packs and set off on another day long hike along the Scenic Rim Trail.
The hike started off gently, as we walked across the Spicers Reserve along Oakey Creek. After about an hour, the trail began to ascend and continued to climb 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 tough part of the hike was over, we had to endure a challenging descend down followed by another steep ascend en route to the Spicers Peak Lodge.
While the majority of the trail was well manicured, parts of the hike on the second day had us scrambling over boulders and using ropes to make our way ahead.
This was definitely a Grade 4 hike, challenging not just because of the elevation change, but due to the strain on our legs along the way.
But all struggles were forgotten as soon as we reached Spicers Peak Lodge, where refreshments, drinks and beautiful views awaited us. From there, we were transferred to Spicers Canopy just in time for sunset and canapes.
Our Scenic Rim Accommodation: Spicers Canopy
Located on top of a grassy hill offering stunning views towards Mount 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 and was equipped 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.
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 to the lodge. It was a great place to exchange stories with fellow hikers, enjoy delicious canapes, drinks and unwind after a long day of hiking.
The Food at Spicers Canopy
All meals and drinks were included in our 2 day Scenic Rim Trail Walk 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!
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 finally hike along the Scenic Rim Trail.
It really 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 offered us an opportunity 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 definitely recommend to anyone looking to get off the beaten path and experience a true 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 and leave it there until the end of the 2 day 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 on the morning of Day 1 and returns guests to the same spot midday on Day 3.
Have you ever heard of the Scenic Rim or hiked in this part of Queensland?
Disclaimer: Our Scenic Rim Trail experience was hosted, 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.