Looking for a short-stay holiday close to Brisbane that won’t fracture the piggy bank? Quentin Long recommends The Scenic Rim, with plenty to do for couples and families.

Queensland has a lot of options, from Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast and beyond, but for something a little different let’s go to the Scenic Rim.

To do

For the family, the Scenic Rim is all about being rural and enjoying the great outdoors.

Great bushwalks in three national parks: Lamington, Tambourine and Springbrook. Lamington is my pick just because it is such a unique place – the ‘mist’ forest.

Horse riding: This is the centre of equine industry in Queensland so there are some great horse riding facilities for families. Try Thunderbird Park And while you are there, how about some going wild in the bush at Thunderbird Park: laser skirmish in the bush (just don’t tell mum) or bird feeding.

The glow worm tunnels and the rainforest walks on Mount Lamington are some of the best, particularly the Rainforest Sky Walk with some spectacular views.

Wander around the main street of Mount Tambourine, which has some twee shops, but there is a great little fudge shop the kids will love. Or visit the German clockshop that just sells Cuckoo Clocks.

For a great lunch with the family take them to the Eagles Nest at Eagle Heights Hotel – legendary.

It is gorgeous country so, again, bushwalks are the highlights or try hot air ballooning (too sexy for our budget though)

Eating and drinking
A real secret is the Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages. Go a little crazy at the Polish Place in Mt Tambourine where they have some authentic cuisine, which means a load of Vodka. Then there are some wineries to drop in on – Cedar Creek has one of the prettiest cellar doors and the Witches Falls is the pick of the actual wines.

You have to go and ‘sample’ some of the Tamborine Mountain Distillery product, Michael is nuts and the spirits out of this world. Plus check out Witches Chase Cheese


Okay so, it’s a little distance from Tambourine Mountain but Moogerah is beautiful and the cabins are cheap. Or Mount Barney Lodge with old forestry huts converted into accommodation or “glamping” trailers

O’Reilly’s Rainforest is an old favourite and its motel rooms fit within the budget. For B&B style accommodation try Wallaby Ridge Retreat in Canungra – a great little place with just three suites or the Wiss House B&B



Is the Scenic Rim Australia’s greatest gourmet secret?