If you’re dreaming of a relaxing escape but feel you’ve seen and done it all on the Gold and Sunshine Coast, it may be time to explore the Scenic Rim! Located beyond the Gold Coast Hinterland, it’s hard to believe so much natural beauty exists so close to the heart of Brisbane. Here, you’ll feel far away from it all without having to go very far at all. From incredible food, unique local experiences, spectacular views and a multitude of opportunities to unwind, you’ll leave the region feeling rested and recharged. To help get you started, here’s the perfect relaxing 4-night Scenic Rim itinerary! You could also break this one up, turning it into two 2-night itineraries.
12pm Lunch at Canungra Hub
Get packed, jump in the car and make your way to Canungra. Nicknamed the ‘Valley of the Owls,’ the town’s name comes from the Indigenous word for small owls. An hour or so drive from the heart of Brisbane CBD, Canungra is the perfect spot to stop for lunch. Located on the main street, Canungra Hub serves up fresh and delicious bites, with pretty much everything you see made on-site! The food here is really tasty, with plenty of options for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free folk. Tuck into breakfast or lunchtime bites or spoil your sweet tooth with a cake or slice from the cabinet. Find Canungra Hub Cafe & Deli here.
1:30pm Explore Canungra Town
After lunch, take a wander around the town of Canungra. Spend some time perusing the beautifully curated wares at My Country Escape, where you can grab beautiful gifts for someone close to you or just spoil yourself! If you love thrift shopping (ME!) head over to the Canungra Op Shop, this great little spot has a fantastic range of homewares well worth digging through. If you’re serious about coffee, make sure you visit Bean In, for an amazing cup (or two!)
2pm Check-in at Binna Burra Lodge
Positioned 800 metres above sea level, amidst the stunning Lamington National Park, Binna Burra Lodge is the perfect escape from everyday life. Unwind and reconnect with nature in this tranquil location, where you can do as much or as little as your heart desires. The drive from Brisbane CBD is around 1 hour 40 minutes but if you’re coming from Canungra, it’s only 30 minutes.
There are accommodation options to suit every preference and budget! Bring your own kit and get cosy at the campsites, with options for 2 and 4 man tent sites and a number of powered drive-on sites suitable for small campervans. Amenities include full shower and toilet facilities, coin-operated washer and dryers, electric BBQ hotplates, communal fire pits and free parking. Kick things up a notch with a stay in one of the Safari Tents, nestled among the rainforest, with 2 to 6 people options available.
For the ultimate experience, do as we did and relax in one of the incredible Sky Lodges. These award-winning studio and apartment accommodations range from one, two and three-bedrooms with unbelievable views over the Coomera and Numinbah Valleys. Complete with kitchen facilities, BBQ, gas flame fireplace, ensuite with spa bath and so much more, you’ll have nothing else to do but kick back and relax.
Bonus Tip: Join the guided welcome to Binna Burra walk and talk! Learn about the incredible history behind the Scenic Rim and Binna Burra lodge, including the bushfires that devastated the region.
6pm Sunset drinks and dinner
I did say this was going to be a relaxing itinerary, so you can expect sundowners each day! At Binna Burra Lodge, you might want to start off with your first evening spent on the balcony of your Sky Lodge, as we did. Grab your dinner to-go from the Teahouse or cook up a bite to eat in-house then get cosy with a glass of your favourite wine and watch the sky change colours as the day comes to an end.
7:30am Breakfast at Binna Burra Teahouse
Rise bright and early and head up to the Teahouse for breakfast and coffee!
8:30am Guided walk with ParkTours
It’s time to explore the region’s natural beauty and the best way to do this is a guided walk with ParkTours. Journey into the Gondwana World Heritage Listed rainforest of Lamington National Park, led by a local expert. Your guide will have an in-depth knowledge that allows them to take you deeper into the scenery, spotting things you’d definitely have missed otherwise and imparting information on the unique eco-system. There is a range of walks to choose from and you can book yours directly through the Binna Burra Lodge website here or contact them directly for more information and help.
Lunch at Binna Burra Teahouse
Head back to the Teahouse for lunch or, if you prefer, back to your accommodation spot for a bite to eat and to freshen up.
2pm Relaxing trail ride
It wasn’t named the ‘Scenic Rim’ by accident! The rolling hills and seemingly endless views are truly breathtaking and you’ll want to make the most of the moment by experiencing the region in a range of different ways. Head to Scenic Rim Equine Group for a trail ride and an experience you won’t soon forget! Choose from the Ocean or Gorge Ride or combine the two for a memorable afternoon.
6pm Sunset drinks and dinner
Back at your accommodation, freshen up and feast on a delicious dinner! Grab something to-go from the Teahouse, fire up the BBQ at your SkyLodge or campsite kitchen or tuck into a delicious meal from historic Groom’s Cottage. Sit outside in the fresh air, snuggled up beneath a toasty heater if the weather is cool, and enjoy your meal at the cottage before retiring back to your accommodation for the evening.
10am Check-out of Binna Burra Lodge
Take your time waking up this morning, squeezing in another walk through the National Park or joining in one of the relaxing on-site activities, if you’re up for it. Then, get packed up and checked-out, climbing in the car and departing for Boonah, with a drive time of around 1 1/2 hours.
12pm Lunch at Hummingbirds Natural Pantry and Cafe
If you arrive in Boonah with a hunger, make your way directly to Hummingbirds Natural Pantry and Cafe. This beautiful spot serves up the most delicious and nutritious bites with plenty of options for vegan, vegetarian, paleo, dairy and gluten-free folk. We loved the food here! Afterwards, spend some time exploring the pantry, packed with plenty of wonderful things to take with you to your next spot (don’t sleep on the chocolates!)
1:30pm Explore Boonah Town
Spend a while wandering through the town of Boonah, a quaint country spot nestled within the Scenic Rim. There are some fantastic thrift-stores and op-shops if you like, and you can visit The Story Tree, a cosy book nook, gift shop and cafe filled to the brim with delightful local goodies. Be sure to check out Duck Junction for homewares and keep an eye out for the Blumbergville Clock, made by local artist Christopher Trotter and clockmaker David Bland from recycled materials gathered from farms in the region. Be sure to stock up on delicious food for your stay at Baya!
2pm Check-in at Baya Eco Retreat
Located a short, 15-minute drive from Boonah, Baya Eco Retreat is nestled among the hills of the Scenic Rim. From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel like you’re far from the rest of the world, secluded in your own tranquil space. South-East Queensland’s first couples’ luxury glamping private retreat, a stay at Baya is the perfect way to rest and recharge.
The eco-friendly tiny house may look compact but is packed to the brim with everything you could possibly need, including a fully functional ensuite with toilet, shower and basin as well as a very well equipped kitchen, outdoor BBQ and multiple seating areas. Set on 100 acres of private eucalyptus forest, there’s an abundance of wildlife to befriend, the only other souls you’ll see during your stay.
6pm Sunset drinks and dinner
Get the fire pit up and running, throw a rug over your shoulders and open a bottle of your favourite wine as you watch the sunset. Truly, the views here are something to behold. There’s a sense of magic and calm in the air that will see all your worries and stress float away with the breeze. Fire up the BBQ and cook a delicious dinner, hopefully with provisions from the local area, purchased in Boonah town. Then, head up to the loft-style bed and open the moon-roof for a spot for stargazing.
8am Breakfast Hamper
Sleep-in, if you like, or wake early to watch the sunrise. Open the tiny house right up to let the breeze in and enjoy your breakfast on the deck in your undies, with nobody else around to catch you! Take your time this morning, allowing yourself to be present and soak up the peace and quiet. As part of the indulgence package, you’ll be treated to a daily breakfast hamper each morning – the perfect way to start your day!
11:30am The Overflow Estate
When you’re ready, jump in the car and head to The Overflow Estate. Located along the banks of Lake Wyaralong, this spot is truly gorgeous and the ideal addition to this relaxing itinerary. Get stuck into a cheese and antipasto board while sipping on local wines and breathing in the fresh country air. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet Ruby, the beautiful on-site pooch you’ll play with you if you like!
2pm Relax at Baya
Head back to Baya and spend the rest of your afternoon as you please. Read that book you’ve been meaning to get to, catch up on the podcast series you keep putting off, sit and talk while you soak in the joy of having nowhere to be and nothing to do! Take an afternoon nap, cuddle up and watch a movie, stare into the fireplace and see how many constellations you can name after dark. Take time to be still and savour each moment, away from it all. Enjoy your afternoon and evening at Baya before packing up the next day and heading home, refreshed and re-energised.
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