#There's plenty of places to rest your head in the Scenic Rim
There’s a stack of accommodation in and around the surrounding Scenic Rim region, from charming heritage-listed hotels and secluded rainforest retreats to five-star lodges perched atop primordial mountain ranges.
Here’s just a few places where you can lay your head.
#((1)) Binna Burra Sky Lodges
You’ll find Binna Burra’s Sky Lodges 800 metres above sea level, set amid the lush Gondwana rainforest of Lamington National Park. These beautiful digs feel like they’ve been set down in the middle of nowhere, yet they’re just a 30-minute drive from Canungra and an hour from the Gold Coast.
The handsome modern timber-built accommodation comes in studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom varieties, with all featuring kitchens (or kitchenettes for the studios), gas-flame fireplaces, en suites with spa baths that overlook the mountains, and northern-facing balconies with views of the Coomera and Numinbah Valleys.
There’s a stack of activities available, including archery and guided, spotlight and bushtucker walks, and you can get out and explore a vast network of walking trails yourself. There’s also an onsite restaurant, The Tea House, that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (when you’re not self-catering).
The local area also has plenty to discover by car, including the pretty township of Beechmont and Rosins Lookout Conservation Park.
Binna Burra Sky Lodges
1040 Binna Burra Road, Beechmont
(07) 5533 3622
#((2)) Songbirds Rainforest Retreat
Tamborine Mountain looms above Canungra like an enormous northern buttress. The drive up to this bucolic plateau only takes about 15 minutes, making it a great spot to base yourself for a couple of nights.
Songbirds, at the far end of Tamborine, is nestled among 51 acres of rainforest and is home to seven quaint 60-square-metre two-person rainforest villas, and two 169-square-metre two-bedroom villas. Each comes with a king size bed, spa bath, lounge area with a fireplace, and outdoor deck, with the larger digs also featuring a kitchen, dishwasher, stove and oven.
It’s very much designed as a retreat, with an onsite spa, a terrific restaurant, and a small farm that boasts alpacas, peacocks and chickens, but the buzzy Tamborine village with its shops, galleries, restaurants, boutique breweries, wineries and cafes are all just a short drive away.
Songbirds Rainforest Retreat
232 Geissmann Drive, Tamborine Mountain
0433 983 693
#((3)) Hazelwood Estate
A 75-acre Wagyu and polo farm just south of Beechmont, earlier this year Hazelwood Estate added 17 cabins and three luxury pavilions to its impressive portfolio.
All are fitted out in local timber and feature sumptuous furnishings, a fireplace, an en suite and a spacious deck from which to take in the surrounding landscape. The 80-square-metre pavilions are the larger of the two options, and include a lounge, a kitchenette and a generously sized bathtub in which to wash away the big smoke.
Activities and experiences include an on-site day spa, hiking and horse riding trails, market-garden and beekeeping tours, and you can even join the polo club if you feel up to it.
The beating heart of the campus is the clubhouse-like Paddock Restaurant, where chef Cameron Matthews – formerly of Montville’s The Long Apron – prepares seasonal, paddock-to-plate Scenic Rim produce in an exquisitely appointed dining room. Wash down a three-course a la carte meal with a bottle from an extensive Australian and European wine list and you have the perfect night in.
422 Binna Burra Road, Beechmont
(07) 5602 9710
#((4)) Canungra Hotel
The beautiful old Canungra Hotel lands you right in the guts of town, just a 10-minute walk away from the showgrounds.
This 1937-built edifice has 11 rooms, ranging in size from 30-square-metres to 65-square-metres, and are all fitted out in original VJ-boards, parquetry floors and timber doors and features, but with modern furniture and amenities such as flatscreen televisions, air conditioning and wi-fi. A refurbishment scheduled to be completed in February will mean all rooms now come with their own bathroom.
Downstairs, there’s a beautiful pub with winsome outdoor seating, a classy bistro, and a bottle shop.
Still, it’s really about that location – you’re not only perfectly placed to explore Canungra, but surrounding attractions such as Tamborine Mountain, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat an hour up into the ranges, and the various attractions in the valley's north of town.
18 Kidston Street, Canungra
(07) 5543 5233
#((5)) The Overflow Estate 1895
A new star in the Scenic Rim, The Overflow Estate illustrates just how seriously the region is starting to take its tourism. A boutique winery outside Beaudesert, its killer app is Wander at The Overflow 1895 – five secluded accommodation pods that overlook the Lake Wyaralong reservoir and are named after the peaks that surround the winery.
The immaculate timber and floor-to-ceiling glass pods come in both two-bedroom and one-bedroom varieties, and are decked out with flax-linen bedding, Bose wireless bluetooth speakers, Leif amenities, and Seljak recycled wool blankets and picnic rugs. The views of the lake and the surrounding mountains are spectacular, making the pods the perfect place to retreat and unplug with some wine and food.
But there’s also plenty to do nearby, from wine tastings and lunch at the cellar door, to guided walks around the Scenic Rim, hot-air balloon trips, and farm-gate trails.
The Overflow Estate 1895
1660 Beaudesert Boonah Road, Wyaralong
02 9055 7747
#((6)) Spicers Peak Lodge
The place to stay when building The Long Sunset into an extended Scenic Rim visit.
Spicers Peak Lodge is a 90-minute drive west of Canungra, with almost 20 minutes of that the access road that splits off the highway just through Cunningham’s Gap and wends its way up to the hotel – such is the isolation of the place.
Not that you’ll want for anything during a stay here. Perched atop a grassy plateau 1100 metres above sea level, with a terrific northern outlook towards Main Range National Park, this handsome local cedar and Scottish bluestone sub-alpine lodge was the original Spicers and set the standard for an award-winning five-star portfolio of properties that would follow.
The rooms are fitted out with open fireplaces, luxury furnishings and fabrics, and marble bathrooms. There’s a range of accommodation available, from loft, lodge and spa suites to a couple of self-contained mini-lodges down the bottom of the clearing if you really want to go all out – they boast brilliant views of the Scenic Rim.
For activities, there are hiking tours, bike trails, yoga, and food and drink masterclasses available, but you can also simply take it easy with canapés by the fire, a picnic with a view, or a terrific meal at The Peak restaurant, with chef Dean Alsford presenting on the plate some of best produce from around the country.
Spicers Peak Lodge
1 Wilkinson Road, Maryvale
1300 253 103
Images courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland, Jack Bailey, El Hogan Photography, Binna Burra Lodges, Hazelwood Estate, Spicers Peak Lodge and Songbirds Rainforest Retreat.