It has to be said: we live in a pretty special part of the world here in Southeast Queensland. But as we talk about it, it’s sometimes a little more challenging to translate this to people who may not have visited our sunshine state — even let alone Australia.
However, now it seems the whole world may be in on our little slice of paradise — or to be more precise, the enigmatic Scenic Rim just a short drive away across our hinterland! Recently unveiled across the world, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 names the top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit next year, with our very own Scenic Rim the only Australian inclusion! (We’ll take it!) This edition emphasised the best sustainable travel experiences and named the Scenic Rim 8th in the Top 10 Regions in the entire world.
Each year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet’s vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. Their panel of travel experts then whittles down the nominations to just 10 countries, 10 regions and 10 cities. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices. Amongst this prized list are inclusions such as the Westfjords in Iceland and the Atacama Desert of Chile! It appears our very own backyard is certainly rubbing shoulders with some iconic locations!
Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher had this to say, “after bouncing back from the 2019 Black Summer bushfires with a raft of new attractions and a renewed focus on sustainability, the Scenic Rim in Queensland is primed to become one of Australia’s low impact tourism power players. It’s such an untouched and diverse eco-based Australian destination. From the amazing food and wine to the incredible rainforest and bush walks and memorable places to stay, this is an unexpected pocket of Australia that has it all.”
Just 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, historic national parks, charming towns and villages, adventure parks, farm stays, boutique wineries, ecolodges, tantalising gourmet experiences, world-class camping and glamping and breadth of stunning spaces in between.
But where did the name even come from? Adventurer, naturalist and tourism pioneer Arthur Groom, who went on to found Binna Burra, appears to be the originator of the phrase Scenic Rim. He used it to describe the spectacular semicircle of ancient volcanic mountains that wrap around the vista-full valleys, punctuating the farmlands below.
Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Greg Christensen said being named in the Top 10 Regions globally for 2022 was a major victory but not undeserved.
“This is a region of plenty, of rugged ranges, valleys, winding roads and the most welcoming people in the world. It’s the region of flavour makers, growers, farmers, foodies and taste-chasers, path-makers and forward-thinking people who have worked to create visitor experiences that are unique, authentic, educational and sustainable, and have persisted during even the most tumultuous and challenging times. It’s here in the Scenic Rim, though, that locals and visitors alike feel enriched, and we are thrilled that this has been recognised; we look forward to sharing our beautiful region with visitors of all ages and from all corners of the world – as always, we ask everyone to tread lightly on our earth.”
Why not plan an excursion into the green behind the gold? Our glorious beaches will still be here when you get back!
Words by Alex Mitcheson.