SCENIC RIM TRAIL

Spicers Scenic Rim Trail - Queensland

6 Days $3190 ex Grandchester

Accommodation

2 Nights Homestead
3 Nights Eco-Cabins

Transportation

Mostly by foot.
Vehicle transfers

Included Meals

5 Breakfasts,
4 Lunches,
5 Dinners

Trip Grade

Category 2
Balanced Break

It’s no joke when we say this is an experience millions of years in the making.

Geology and geography have gifted Australia the unique position that is its isolation, which, with reasonably late European settlement created conditions where this pocket, albeit much smaller than when the entire continent was blanketed in rainforest, has been able to endure.

We’re privileged to be able to offer this historical landscape to you, and whilst it requires you to do a bit of the legwork (hiking is what we’re talking about here), throughout the day and by evening, allow yourself to be pampered by the team in these most incredible surrounds.

The Scenic Rim is a link to the past, to the days of Gondwanaland, and it is this unique biodiversity and ancient genetic link that has seen these rainforests of Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales earn a UNESCO World Heritage listing.

Gondwanaland
Gondwana/ (ɡɒndˈwɑːnəˌlænd) ~ noun

One of the two ancient supercontinents produced by the first split of the even larger supercontinent Pangaea about 200 million years ago, comprising chiefly what are now Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica, and the Indian subcontinent

Over six days, four of which are spent walking, we’ll hike the rim, scrambling atop rocky ridgelines, and taking advantage, when we can, of the shade the rainforest canopy provides.

Best of all, this beauty and comfort sits a mere hours drive from Brisbane, or an hour and a half from the Gold Coast, making it accessible to Queensland locals and inter-staters alike!

We’ve combined this with some indulgences we truly appreciate.

Sumptuous food, quality wines (and other beverages), all whilst immersed within this incredible setting. 

The Journey

Spicers Hidden Vale is set upon an historic 12,000-acre former cattle station. A number of buildings, including the barn and Chinese cottage are over 100 years old. Learn about the history of the property including the unfortunate burning down (twice) of the homestead exactly 99 years apart.

It’s said that Ian Fleming got his inspiration for James Bond 007 from former British spy and Hidden Vale resident Sidney Cotton (whether truth or fable, we love the idea of this).

After the welcome, we’ll enjoy a short walk over to the Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre, a purpose-built $5m facility designed to rehabilitate and breed endangered animals in partnership with the University of Queensland.

Wildlife we may come across include White Cheeked Wallabies, Australian King Parrots and Wedged Tailed Eagles. Hidden Vale is home to a healthy Koala population so sightings are possible.

As the sun starts to set we’ll join in a market garden tour, learning about the produce & unique methods used by our chefs.

Spicers Hidden Vale is home to the renowned One Hatted restaurant Homage, led by Head Chef Ash Martin. You’ll learn how fire has become integral to his cooking following the burning down of Homage in the 2018 fire.

Tonight will be a dining experience as you taste foods from across the Scenic Rim region and the retreat itself. All of the dishes have been prepared with an element of fire and you’ll be able to watch the chefs cook in their outside coal-fired kitchen. 

After dinner, we can retire at our leisure for a good night’s rest before we embark tomorrow. (D)

10km / 7-8 hours

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll board a purpose-built 4WD to be transferred through a private nature reserve to the Spicers Scenic Rim trailhead. All your luggage will be transported ahead for you.

Over the next five hours, we’ll slowly ascend through the Nature Refuge. As we climb higher through the western part of the Scenic Rim you will learn about the history and ecology of the region. Mount Mistake is part of the ‘Main Range,’ a collection of over 40 mountain peaks, which are the remnants of a volcano that was active some 24 million years ago.

The panoramic views open up as we head towards the ridgeline. The trail weaving its way through open eucalypt forests. Breathe in the fresh mountain air, and listen as the bird calls become louder as your ears tune in to the sounds of the bush.

As we make our way along the ridgeline we enter a unique ecosystem, which protects an endangered species of rock wallaby. We’ll stop for morning tea on top of a rocky outcrop with views as far as the eye can see. Our guide will prepare us a cup of tea while we rest and take in our surroundings, before continuing on.

Throughout the trail, you’ll notice the beautiful xanthorrhoea grass trees with their green spiky bloom and charcoal trunk that feels like dragon scales. Grass trees are long-lived and slow-growing with a lifespan of up to 250 years. You’ll come across trees that are up to 4m tall and hundreds of years old. As you stand below and peer up we always feel a sense of wonder.

The first day of walking is rewards us with the most incredible views along the range. We’ll walk along the ridgeline with plenty of time to pause and take it in.

Lunch will see us take the opportunity to dine while enjoying the views over the Little Liverpool Ranges and the fresh breezes that rise from the valley below.

As we come out of the forest and into the farmland the ground rolls gently towards the Spicers Mount Mistake Farmhouse. A (very) well-earned beverage awaits us on arrival after a hopefully satisfying first day.

With some free time in the afternoon, you might want to relax and enjoy the amazing views, while others might want to take a self-guided stroll to the local waterfall.

Each of the six bedrooms has its own private ensuite and after a hot shower we’ll settle in for the evening around the stone fireplace. Dinner will be served on a communal table as we share stories of the day that’s been. (B,L,D)

18km / 8 hours

Today we pass from Spicers land into the Main Range National Park. As we venture forth, the forest folds in around us.

The area we are exploring is of national significance following the 1994 declaration by the World Heritage Committee that the Gondwana rainforests, including most of the Main Range National Park be a World Heritage Area.

Learn about the fascinating ecology of the rainforest and surrounding ecosystems along your journey.

There is also a contrasting history to the region, having been extensively logged in the 1900’s, a marked difference from the protected lands they are today.

Walking through living history makes you truly appreciate those who fought for national park protection in the region.

The path we take is, in fact, an old logging trail and you will see remnants of the past & learn of its history as we traverse the landscape.

Today’s walk is smooth going and relatively flat, so while its the longest day by distance it’s easily achieved. Today is often for many a day of reflection, as you enjoy the chatter with your fellow walkers, learn from your guide and take solace in the quiet stretches. 

In the final stretch of your day we emerge from the forest and onto the ‘Winder Trail’, where we can see the old iron winder that was once used by timber getters to winch the logs along.

We turn off the open cut trail and through our final stretch of forest before arriving at Spicers Amphitheatre Eco Cabins.

Walking into camp often leaves guests with a sense of awe, the light coloured wooden (treehouse like) cabins set above the forest floor seeming like they truly belong.

The eco-cabins have been built to the highest sustainability standards and we’ll enjoy a tour of the camp after everyone’s had the chance for a hot shower and rested, before congregating in the common pavilion for dinner & well-earned beverage.

You are assured of a good night’s rest in your private cabin with a separate room for sorting your gear and a daybed that can be used as a single bed should you prefer.

Each cabin has a private balcony with an incredible louvre window that opens up to the views of the valley below and the mountain behind.

The camp got its name from its amphitheatre setting, an open, circular area with a central space for the cabins.

After dinner, it’s time to retire to our cabins. As you wind down and drift off you’ll hear birds calling and possibly the throaty ‘ok-ok-ok-ok’ call of the endangered Fleay’s barred frog. (B,L,D)

16km / 8 hours

Setting out after breakfast, today explores a number of ecosystems venturing deep into the national park.

The lookout vantage points early in the day offer a spectacular view of Mount Castle.

As we descend we are again enveloped by the canopy, and this natural cover will provide cool temperatures throughout the day.

The ecosystems of today’s journey are particularly noticeable starting in a wooded forest with beautiful walkways fringed by boulders & contrasting bright green foliage. We cross a dry rocky creek bed and as you look up and down it’s a magical sight.

Enjoy stepping back in time and absorb the forest around you. Large stands of red cedar, white beech and hoop pine once stood proudly in these forests. Search the forest for the subtle reminders of the harvesting that took place here between 1840 until around 1985.

As we journey deeper we enter an unharvested section of the park and the trees get thicker and taller, so don’t forget to look up.

In the towering trees above you’ll see giant staghorn air plants, these beautiful plants grow without soil and will grow just about anywhere so long as they receive filtered light & are protected from winds.

Keep an eye out for Albert’s lyrebird, the endangered eastern bristlebird and the vulnerable black-breasted button-quail

We’ll take lunch at ‘the cathedral’ a zone of giant Crow’s Ash trees (Australian Teak) hundreds of years old. The circumference of some of these beauties is astounding. As you rest quietly it feels as though you are sitting among a village of elders.

As we make our final descent the path crisscrosses the ridge and we take leave of the rainforest, traversing through a forest of ancient eucalypts. As the canopy opens you may encounter kookaburras, pale-headed rosellas or if you are lucky a wedge-tailed eagle.

Upon the valley floor we arrive at the source of Dalrymple creek with mountain spring water flowing & a cool green pool to swim in during the warmer months.

We’ll rest a while and you can refill your water bottle from the waterfall. From here it is a gentle ascent into Spicers Timber Getters Eco Cabins.

Morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea are enjoyed on the trail, arriving into camp in the afternoon. (B,L,D)

16 km / 7-8 hours

After a hopefully restful sleep in your private cabin, we’ll enjoy breakfast before setting out for the day.

Crossing a rocky saddle, we re-enter the rainforest with magnificent tree ferns and the sounds of Albert’s lyrebirds before ending with a brief scramble up to a rocky outcrop.

From here the spectacular views over the northern section of the park are a just reward.

Much of the day will be on an open ridgeline where we’ll appreciate the full extent and vastness of the Scenic Rim.

You’ll be looking out over the Fassifern Valley, a collective of towns known for vegetable farming and in particular carrots, onions, potatoes, pumpkins & melons. The lake you see beyond, Lake Moogerah, was built in 1903 in order to irrigate the valley. It is one of four major vegetable growing regions in South East Queensland & you would have tasted the produce along your journey.

Towards the end of our walk we’ll see a monument credited to Allan Cunningham, who in 1828 was the first European to find and explore the region.

Cunningham’s discovery seemed to solve the problem of finding a shorter route between Moreton Bay Colony and the newly-discovered Darling Downs.

As we complete the descent of Mt Cordeaux, it’s a reasonably fast journey to Spicers Hidden Peaks Cabins, which sit in the shadows of Mt Greville.

Over a special dinner, we’ll celebrate our achievements and fellowship of the past 5 days.

After dinner your rustic cabin, with ensuite, crisp linen, fluffy pillows and fireplace await. (B,L,D)

After breakfast, we bid farewell, until next time.

Journey home, or explore more of this beautiful region!

Includes

  • 5 nights of comfortable accommodation
  • Luggage transfers
  • All meals throughout the trip
  • All beverages including wine, beer, cider, whisky, gin
  • Hiking day backpack 24L
  • Water bottles 1 x 750ml and 1 x 1.5l, if you prefer a Camelbak style drinking device please feel welcome to bring your own
  • Scenic Rim Trail mug for tea & coffee on trail
  • Hiking poles (optional to use)
  • Gaiters for your legs (optional to wear)
  • Sunscreen and aeroguard insect spray
  • First Aid Kits including tick removal spray

Excludes

  • Domestic Flights and connections to Grandchester
  • Travel Insurance

Season

March to November

A matter of taste... (the food)

We truly love when people embrace the “paddock to plate” concept (the concept of sourcing locally, and direct from the producer), and its something you’ll find here in spades.

Whether it be at the hatted ‘Homage’ with its fire themed menu (tipping their hat to the history of the property and its challenging past having twice burned down… we like to think it’s also why the head chef’s name is Ash!), or out on the trail, the theme continues.

Locally sourced, foods (and drinks) that grew within an hour of the campsite, all designed to better connect us, as the visitor, to the land we visit.

To rest your head... (the accommodation)

No two nights are the same, but all are truly wonderful!

The old world charm and history of rooms within old homesteads, to purpose built cabins, one thing never sacrificed, is comfort.

Without a doubt, our favourite are the eco-camps, with private cabins, built to complement the environment, it feels like you’re sleeping in your very own treehouse!

 

“One of my greatest pleasures in the day is taking our guests on an evening tour of our market garden, the smokehouse and fermentation room” 

“it’s such a simple, direct connection to their experience in the restaurant”

Ash Martin, Executive Chef, Homage

“The Scenic Rim region is a thriving rural paradise set in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range and surrounded by World Heritage-listed national parks…

The region covers 4254sq km and is located an hour south of Brisbane and an hour inland from the Gold Coast..”

Scenic Rim Regional Council

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