Hiking in Scenic Rim

i live in Canada, and am planning to come to Queensland March 2024. I’ll be joined by my daughter and her fiancee, and we want to hike trails in Scenic Rim. But we also want to visit family in Surfer’s Paradise. Can anyone share ideas for a place - town, small resort, village somewhere kind of equidistant from the trails on the one side and Surfer’s on the other, where we can set up for about a week, and some days drive in and hike the trails; and other days, drive to the coast and see family in Surfer’s? Looking for self-catering arrangement or small resort. So ideas for a scenario like that - is it realistic? And also good trails for day hikes in Scenic Rim.
Thanks and cheers!
Anton Miller
Vancouver BC Canada.

Hi Anton,

I would probably suggest Canungra as the most realistic equidistant location that would be a nice place to stay. It is a small town that sits in between the mountains and is on the main route one would take to pass between the Gold Coast and the Scenic rim. Think of it as the first proper gateway town to the scenic rim rather than just another outlying suburb of the Gold Coast offering more of a small town / mountain town feel. The times to notable locations is as follows: It’s 40 minutes back to surfers paradise. Then for mountain hiking locations its ~17minutes up to Tambourine Mountain National Park, ~45minutes to Springbrook National Park, then to the two major access points to Lamington National Park its 30 minutes to Binna Burra and ~50 minutes to O’Reillys, if you wish to venture further west into the heart of the Scenic Rim its ~1hr 5mins to Mount Barney National Park, ~1hr 10mins to Moogerah Peaks National Park and ~1hr 20mins to Main Range National Park.

We are expected to have a dry hot summer so although March is the first month of our Autumn (fall) it can still be hot so the higher elevation rainforest locations of Springbrook and Lamington are probably the top places to head to with Lamington being the higher and hence cooler of the two. Tambourine Mountain is your cruisiest and easiest location being the closest destination to visit and is the most ‘trendy’ think developed plateau with a big cafe scene with little pockets of rainforest within the different small sections of national park each with their own small walk. Springbrook is more natural and at a higher elevation with one high quality longer day hike the Warrie Circuit and a shorter walk to the large ~100m Purlingbrook waterfalls (best if there’s been some rain). Lamington National Park has the pick of the walks with different trails accessed from each trailhead binna burra vs. O’reillys. The trail system allows you to walk from one to the other via the Border Trail which takes almost all day one way. Instead of aiming to walk the border trail the better experience is taking the scenic walks that loop off this main trail. So Binna Burra has Daves Creek Circuit which is the pick of the half day walks and then the best longer day walk from Binna Burra would be the Coomera River Circuit then followed by the Ship Stern Circuit and then the Illinbah Circuit. From the O’Reillys trailhead the best day hikes organised shortest to longest are West Canungra Creek Circuit, Toolona Creek Circuit and Albert River circuit.

If you venture further out to Mount Barney National Park the must do hikes are Mount Barney and Mount Maroon though they are more challenging mountain hikes as is the pick of the Moogerah Peaks hikes which is Mount Greville these are more challenging. Then if you go out to Main Range it would be Mount Cordeaux and bare rock on one side of Cunninghams gap and the Mount Mitchell hike on the other side of the gap these aren’t as challenging but are the furthest away being on the far West side of the scenic rim.

Hope that helps kind regards,

Thank you very much for the fantastic information and guidance, Liam! I really appreciate it.

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