I don’t pretend to be an avid hiker, bushwalker or camping aficionado. I’m none of those things. I love a white sandy beach with beautiful, cool water and a shady spot to sit and relax. This lack of nature-loving/survival skills is why I was a little nervous taking on the Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers.
Reading the brochure, I scrunched my face up when I came across things like, ‘the walk takes in sheer cliff faces,’ and ’13km, 6km and 10km walk through dense rainforest and bush.’ But, the brochure also talked about gourmet food and wine, winding down by the fire at night and luxurious accommodation. It’s these last points that really sealed the deal for me because I love all of those things! I met our group, a total of 14 walkers, 2 guides and 1 chef, at the starting point in Tregony, which is about a 90 min easy drive from Brisbane.
Right from the start, we were made to feel welcome, greeted with big smiles and friendly handshakes by our guides, Rhys and Ben. They answered all of my nervous last-minute questions about whether or not I was physically capable of surviving the trail and put me at ease by making me laugh.
Day one was unexpectedly hard going, a 5km ascent to the twin peaks of Mt Mitchell, an extinct volcano. The walk wound through scrub and bushland, into the rainforest and then back into scrub again. About 1 minute into the walk we spotted our first snake, he would not be our last. Shortly after we spotted a sleepy, lazy koala napping in a gum tree. Down the path a little more, Rhys casually picked up a bearded dragon who was playing dead and showed him to the group.
We reached the top of Mt Mitchell at lunch, sitting on rocks eating our delicious packed meal of DIY gourmet wraps and fruit, in the most beautiful setting imaginable. The view reached all the way to Brisbane city and the sand dunes of Moreton Island in the background. Perfect blue sky, brown and green bush and winding roads snaking through the countryside. I was very happy to reach Spicers Peak Station later that afternoon, especially as the wonder-chef had set out fresh scones with jam and cream and glasses of sparkling wine for us to arrive to.
Spicers Peak Station is a beautiful wooden cabin with an open fireplace surrounded by comfortable and cosy couches. A large shared dining table sits in the middle of the room, a verandah off the front and a fire pit a few metres away. It’s all set among rolling mountains and spacious green paddocks dotted with wallabies and gum trees, so beautiful you couldn’t imagine it or recreate it any more perfectly than it is.
The Spicers Canopy accommodation is a series of large dreamy tents, complete with a huge bed, warm blankets and cloud-like pillows you melt into, especially after a BIG day of walking. The tents also have comfortable chairs to recline in with electricity and wifi access.
There are three shared bathrooms with showers, basins and toilets – an absolute dream come true! After an early night, you’re greeted with a huge, hearty breakfast to fuel you up for the day.
Thankfully, day 2 takes it a lot easier on you, taking you on a 6.5km river loop walk through Millar Vale Creek. Returning to Spicers Peak Station at lunch means you’re treated to wood fire pizzas, wine and beers followed by an afternoon nap or a trip to the bat cave (not that bat cave, a real one).
Dinners at Spicers Canopy are served share-style around the long table, with wine flowing and loads of gourmet treats to replenish your body. The food is delicious, prepared by fun, music-loving chef, Dom. The shared dinner setting is great, even for an introvert like me, as you really bond with and get to know your fellow walkers.
The last day of walking, day 3, is a 10km walk through the dense rainforest and along Spicers Peak, trekking over a ridge with stunning views of the local area including the Great Dividing Range and Spicers Gap. While day 3 is the hardest day of walking, it is also the most rewarding. Your hard work is celebrated with cake and champagne on arrival. Dinner on the last night is an incredible 7-course degustation.
The food is prepared perfectly and is absolutely delicious, it isn’t just a meal, it’s a real dining experience and something you definitely don’t find on a rough and ready camping trip. Your last night is spent in the luxury and beautiful surrounds of Spicers Peak Lodge. The rooms are huge and incredibly comfortable, with their own fireplace, coffee machine and all the comforts you need to soothe those tired legs.
There are so many things to love about Spicers Retreats and each of them carry over into the Scenic Rim Trail. The people who work for Spicers Retreats are always genuine and happy and you can tell they love their jobs.
The accommodation is luxurious and comfortable, with well thought out details like hot water bottles placed in your bed at night to keep you toasty warm. The food and wine are fantastic and, together with the accommodation, make the experience luxurious and special.
As always, Spicers Retreats are always set in stunning locations and allow you to enjoy some of the most beautiful parts of Queensland and get back to nature. What I loved about the Scenic Rim Trail was it pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to try something new and adventurous that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise.
The guides were so knowledgeable, attentive and there was never a moment where you felt you couldn’t ask for something. I loved the mix of getting back to nature while still enjoying relaxation and luxury. Staying in such a beautiful location made it easy to wake up every day and sharing the experience with other walkers made it even more special. Find out more about the Scenic Rim Trail experience here.
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