Scenic Rim, Australia

Visitors have long been heading for the hills an hour's drive south of Brisbane, drawn to the natural beauty of this World Heritage-listed rainforest, the first-rate food and, more recently, the award-winning tipples in the up-and-coming Granite Belt wine region. The semi-circlular chain of mountains that wrap around the verdant valley heartland extending from Brisbane to Tamborine Mountain were once active volcanoes. Thankfully, the Scenic Rim is now much more stable and serene, but the rich alluvial soils have left a lasting legacy; fertile conditions for grape-growing, delicious local produce and Australia’s most accessible rainforest.

When to go

Brisbane locals often head for the hills of the Scenic Rim to escape the sticky summer heat in the city during December and January. This is also the time when little 'uns will be on school holidays. To dodge the crowds (and the kids) plan a trip during the milder autumn months of March and April or opt for a spring break in September or October when festivals and regional events ensure there's plenty to see and do.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Touch down at nearby Brisbane Airport (www.bne.com.au) or Gold Coast Airport (www.goldcoastairport.com.au) near Coolangatta. Flights to Brisbane depart daily from a range of Australian state and regional capitals with both national and international carriers including Qantas (www.qantas.com.au), V Australia (www.vaustralia.com.au), Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com), Emirates (www.emirates.com), and cheap-flight providers Jetstar (www.jetstar.com) and Tiger Airways (www.tigerairways.com). Flights to Gold Coast Airport also depart several times a week care of Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.com.au), Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com), Jetstar and Tiger Airways.
  • Trains

    There are no trains operating around the hilly inland Scenic Rim region, so opt for a car instead. Brisbane and other coastal towns are served by inter-state railways, with Country Link (www.countrylink.info) connections from New South Wales and Queensland Rail (www.queenslandrail.com.au) serving trains from the north.
  • Automobiles

    The drive to the Scenic Rim takes about 90 minutes from either airport, both of which are home to a choice of car rental brands. Pick out some wheels and begin your meandering journey inland – as the destinations name promises, the trip is suitably scenic.
  • Taxis

    Boonah Taxis (+61 (0)7 5463 4611) services the Scenic Rim region, however you'll probably need your own wheels to tour off-the-beaten track cellar doors.