Hike and bike the Scenic Rim

The Scenic Rim is a stretch of dramatic mountain ranges that circle farmland valleys and country villages. Across this ring is idyllic National Parks and World Heritage-listed rainforests that hide scattered waterfalls and breathtaking lookouts.

This imposing volcanic mountain range dates back millions of years. The Scenic Rim Mountains and the Mt Warning area in northern NSW are known as the Green Cauldron. Once a volcanic hotspot, over time the region has grown into a lush landscape. This early volcanic activity reveals itself in the region’s rich flora and fauna, making the Scenic Rim region a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and distinctive vegetation types.

The mountains preserve living links to Australia’s ancient past, and stories, rituals and traditions of the indigenous inhabitants are woven around the natural environment, highlighting their connection to a living landscape.

Hiking adventures

Hiking in the Scenic Rim. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

If outdoor adventure is what you seek, then the Scenic Rim is the launching pad for your outdoor playground. Home to six National Parks, this haven for bushwalkers, naturalists, birdwatchers and lovers of spectacular views will have you returning for more.

Bush tracks that take in a gentle easy-paced walk all the way up to vertical climbs for experienced hikers and climbers can be found throughout Mt Tamborine, Lamington National Park, Mt Lindesay, Mt Barney and around Lake Moogerah. These natural wonderlands can be experienced not only by foot but by wheels, the air and across the water by hot air ballooning, water skiing, kayaking, cycling, bushwalking or mountaineering.

When you take a wander through the Scenic Rim, you will more often than not end up at a stunning waterfall. In spots like Lamington and Tamborine Mountain National Parks, you can even take a dip in serene swimming holes such as The Gorge, Lower Portals and Burgess Park.

Easy Hikes

Some of the most popular walks for beginners include Tree Top Walkway O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (1.5km/30min), Cunningham’s Gap (Rainforest Circuit 1.6km/30min) and Mee-bor-rum Circuit – Moogerah Peaks National Park, Mt French section (720m/15min) as they are under an hour to complete.

Rainforest Hikes

Venture into the rainforest where you will hear waterfalls and creeks flow on the Palm Grove Circuit – Tamborine National Park, Joalah Section (2.6km/1hour), Morans Falls – Lamington National Park, Green Mountains Section (4.6km/1.5hours), Rainforest Circuit and Mount Cordeaux Track – Main Range National Park, Mt Cordeaux Track 6.8km/2.5hours), Curtis Falls Track – Tamborine National Park, Knoll Section (1.1km/30min) and Witches Falls Circuit – Tamborine National Park, Witches Falls section (3.1km/1hour).

Intermediate Hikes

Intermediate level hikers can take it a little further on the Lower Portals Track – Mt Barney National Park (7.4km/3hours), Mt Edwards Summit – Moogerah Peaks National Park, Mt Edwards section (6km/3.5hours) and Mount Mitchell Track – Main Range National Park, Cunningham’s Gap (10.2km/3hours).

Longer Hikes

Those extreme hikers and climbers will prefer the more challenging multi-day hikes. The Border Track is a 21.4km trek from the gorgeous O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat to Binna Burra Lodge (or vice versa) in Lamington National Park. If climbing is your thing, head to Mount Barney which serves up challenging cliff faces, mountain ascents and pristine creeks. The Stinson Walk out of O’Reilly’s is not for the faint-hearted as this 37km hike takes adventurers through the rugged McPherson Range to the Stinson Aircraft Crash Site. A climb of Mount Maroon, standing at 964m, offers spectacular views of Brisbane, Moreton Island and Mt Barney.

Possibly the most sort after hike however is the Scenic Rim Trail. Stretching some 47km and will take around four days to complete. Traverse through private property and the rugged and remote mountains of Main Range National Park, at the northern tip of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Pair that with the eco-luxury accommodation of Spicers Retreats and you have yourself one spectacular hiking experience.

Mountain Bike Trails

Scenic Rim. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Prefer to hit the trails on wheels? At Hidden Vale Adventure Park (HVAP), there are some 12,000 acres to explore over an amazing variety of terrain. The multi-use property has over 110 kilometres of World Class trail network of mountain biking, running and hiking tracks catering for all ages and abilities. Day visitors can pick up a 1 Day Trail Pass (starting from $10.00AUD) which allows access to the Trail Network during the hours of 7am – 3pm for the day selected. However, with so many trails on offer, you will be wanting to come back time and time again with a 6 Month Trail Pass (starting from $99.00AUD) allowing 182 Days of adventure.

Bring your own equipment or hire a bike, including e-bikes, at a charge. There is a shuttle service to take you to the more remote trail starts and for the ultimate adventure, you can even try heli-biking with a helicopter transfer.

Kate Webster is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself but the world around her. This has inspired Kate to translate those moments and share them through her storytelling. A dedicated David Attenborough and Jane Goodall fan, Kate has delved into the world of wildlife and conservation travel to bring awareness.