Scenic Rim unveils major adventure tourism program to target booming demand
WORDS: Kath Rose PHOTOGRAPHY Luke Marsden
More than one million visitors to the Scenic Rim in 2019 engaged in adventure and nature-based activities
A brand-new nature, eco-and adventure celebration, running from 29 April to 29 May and featuring over 100 nature and adventure-based activities including guided and non-guided hikes, rock climbs, hang-gliding, a mountain bike marathon, eco-masterclasses, hot air ballooning, nature play programs for kids, an adventure race, special guest speakers and … backpacking alpacas, has been unveiled as a result of huge demand.
ESCAPE in the Scenic Rim will be staged in the spectacular World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests, mountains and the lush areas the region is so famous for, in fact, it has been named by global travel authority Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 hottest destinations to visit in 2022
Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Greg Christensen said the event would connect with the growth of adventure and nature-based tourism across the globe.
“An adventure and nature-based festival for the Scenic Rim is a ‘no brainer’. We have six National Parks, ancient UNESCO World Heritage listed Gondwana rainforests, epic waterfalls, scenic mountain ranges, waterways and lakes. It’s nature’s playground at its finest!” he said.
“In 2019 prior to the COVID pandemic, more than one million visitors to our region engaged in adventure and nature-based activities during their visit, bringing in around $27.5 million in visitor expenditure to our local economy. In the five years prior to 2019, we experienced solid growth in adventure and nature-seeking visitors, growing at an average annual rate of over 15%, which is well above the state and national average,” he said.
“One in every two visitors to the Scenic Rim engages in an outdoor nature activity during their visit and since COVID, that trend has only increased, with more and more people seeking the wide open spaces, beautiful natural landscapes and authentic connection with mother nature that our region offers.”
“There are events for all ages and all levels of fitness, and if you’d like to stay and maximise your experience, we have well-known and longstanding nature resorts such as Binna Burra Lodge and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, along with a range of other glamping, ecotourism, farm stay and lodge accommodation for all budgets and tastes.”
“ESCAPE is not a festival where you’ll experience hordes of people and the usual trappings of large events. This is an immersive experience where people can discover and relax in nature and challenge themselves physically if they want to. We want to share this special space to inspire people to get back to the important things in life – spending time with each other, and in nature.”
The event was born of the Gondwana Festival, which was held last year as a range of adventure experiences presented by O’Reilly’s, Binna Burra, Park Tours and Mt Barney Lodge. Scenic Rim Regional Council has taken up the concept and expanded it to encompass the entire region.
Just SOME of the events and experiences on offer include:
- Backpacking Alpacas – Grab your backpack and a picnic lunch and sign up for an alpaca hike from the alpaca farm to a scenic spot along Canungra Creek for lunch. This will take about 2.5hrs total. In a word AMAZING!
- The Iconic Stinson Walk – O’Reilly’s Retreat – Recount Australian history and celebrate the life of Bernard O’Reilly, who heroically saved the lives of two plane crash survivors 85 years ago in Lamington National Park with a hike through Lamington National Park. EPIC.
- Lamington Wild Walks + Forest Immersion – Park Tours – Wild Walks in Lamington National Park across May, in partnership with ParkTours and Binna Burra Lodge. These are challenging adventures off the main walking track system, with guides and BBL park licences. HELLO ADVENTURE.
- Luxury Camping Escape – Scenic Rim Trail – Experience the height of relaxed luxury with this event-special retreat at Spicers Canopy Luxury Tents. First up – a 12km guided hike then the rest of the afternoon relaxing in a glamping tent or enjoy a soak in the outdoor hot tub, perfect for sunset. Awake to bird song and enjoy a Chef-prepared breakfast.
- Cedar Creek Forest Trail – This bush walk through Thunderbird Park takes you on a timeless journey – from high plateaus to tumbling waterfalls, virgin rainforests to natural Australian bush lands, plus see wallabies and platypus in the wild and an endless array of Australian birdlife.
- Border Tracks: Mt Lindesay to Richmond Gap – Horizon Guides – Find solitude and connection, learn about wild treasures and hear timeless stories over three days on the McPherson Range. The Rabbit Board Fence threads through rugged country – lyrebirds are the soundtrack to magnificent forests and superb views, with special guest: Ben Allmon (The Black and White Braid).
- Explore Boonah to Ipswich Trail – This walk takes you from Lillybrook to Boonah, about 20km following the original stock route along Wyaralong Dam, hosted by an experienced Bushwalking Queensland guide.
- Bush Walking Queensland – Hosted walks along the Great Escarpment Trail and other experiences.
- The Lost World Trail Festival – Worendo Cottages – The views on this trail run will stop the most experienced in their tracks! A must-do on the trail calendar, the Lost World Trail Festival provides a great combination of road, smooth trails, rocky terrain, hills, a bridge and creek crossing!
ESCAPE in the Scenic Rim
Grab your hiking boots, dust off your backpack, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready for a smile-making, heart-pumping, cup-filling May 2022.
29 April to 29 May
ABOUT THE SCENIC RIM:
The Scenic Rim has been named by global travel authority Lonely Planet as one of the hottest destinations to visit in 2022! Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 names the top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit, with the Scenic Rim the only Australian inclusion. Just an hour from Brisbane and 30 minutes from the heart of the Gold Coast, the Scenic Rim stretches from Canungra to The Lost World, Beaudesert to Boonah, Tamborine Mountain to Kalbar and is home to the ancient World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests, six historic national parks, charming towns and villages, adventure parks, farm stays, craft breweries, boutique wineries, ecolodges, tantalising gourmet experiences, world class camping and glamping and breathtaking spaces in between. It’s a region of more than 4,200 square kilometres of rich volcanic soil surrounded by ancient mountains and home to thousands of farmers and food creators, more than 30,000ha of parkland, plus three dams – Lake Moogerah, Lake Maroon and Wyaralong Dam.