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Scenic Rim trail

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Photo of a place on Scenic Rim trail

The Scenic Rim Regional Council was formed in 2008 through the merger of part of Beaudesert Shire, Boonah Shire and a small part of Ipswich City. The area is surrounded by Tamborine Mountain, Lamington National Park in the Macpherson Ranges, the Mount Barney National Park and the Main Range National Park which together are colloquially known as the Scenic Rim. Arthur Groom, naturalist and founder of Binna Burra Lodge, first used the term Scenic Rim to describe the landscape. Its foundations were laid by three shield volcanoes which erupted around 24 million years ago. Tamborine Mountain was formed from lava flows from the Tweed Caldera, with Mount Warning at its throat.

The region’s pastoral potential was first recognised by Captain Patrick Logan and Allan Cunningham in the 1820s. Graziers came overland from New South Wales in the 1840s, to secure grazing runs around what are now Beaudesert, Boonah and the Fassifern Valley. Cotton was also an early industry at Harrisville, but dairying dominated from the late 19th century. A number of homesteads built by these early grazing families remain in the district; still in private ownership.

Parts of Tamborine Mountain on the east of the Scenic Rim was initially cleared for its timber, but its rainforest, waterfalls and views to the coast led to its development as a tourist resort. Local grazier Robert Martin Collins, and Romeo Lahey, whose family owned sawmills were influential in the establishment of the first National Parks in Queensland. Witches Falls on Tamborine Mountain was the first, declared in 1908, and the larger Lamington National Park was protected from 1915. All Saints Church at Tamrookum was built in honour of RM Collins, while evidence of the Lahey’s sawmilling activities remains at Canungra, including the railway tunnel the family built. Romeo, along with Arthur Groom, is also remembered for his role in establishing Binna Burra guesthouse – now a mountain resort, linked by walking trails to O’Reilly’s rainforest retreat at Green Mountains.

The various townships throughout the district have an amazing variety of historic buildings. The Wongelpong Country Women’s Association Hall in the Canungra Valley, reminds us of the good works of this community organisation. Wiss Brother’s store in Kalbar remains a commercial enterprise selling locally produced goods. The Wiss family home is nearby. Many local schools have been heritage listed including those at Mutdapilly and Maroon, including is war memorial. Beaudesert and Boonah both have listed war memorials and historic hotels and cafes. The idyllic St Patrick’s Church and graveyard at Rosevale near the Bremer River, provide beautiful views of the border ranges, with another opportunity to dine at a historic hotel.


Listing 13 places within this trail.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023