Lonely Planet takes the scenic route

Enric the Alpaca and Georgia Stekhoven of Mountain View Alpaca farm celebrates the Lonely Planet award. Picture Nigel Hallett.

By Tania Phillips

It has been named one of the hottest destinations in the world by Lonely Planet as part of their Best in Travel 2022 and we don’t even have to leave the state to get there.

It’s the Scenic Rim area in South East Queensland and it’s been a hundreds of millions of years in the making and it’s bouncing back after weathering the ravaging bushfires that made headlines globally.

Thanks to global travel authority Lonely Planet it’s a hotspot again and back in the global headlines but unlike last time it’s in a good way with the region becoming the only Australian destination to be named as one of the top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit in 2020.

This edition places particular emphasis on best sustainable travel experiences and named the Scenic Rim eight in the Top 10 Regions.

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, 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.

“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 of Australia’s low impact tourism power players,” said Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher.

“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.”

“The thing that has struck me about the Scenic Rim are its people. The hospitality you’ll experience is off-the-scale… the community will invite you in and make you feel like a part of the family. It’s a region that’s a shining example of a connected community that’s been forced to innovate in the face of serious adversity such as drought, fire and more recently COVID travel restrictions.”

Highlights of the region noted by Lonely Planet include Binna Burra Mountain Lodge and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Australia’s newest Great Walk in The Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers, ecolodges Nightfall Wilderness Camp and Mt Barney Lodge as well as the six national parks. Summer Land Camels, the Scenic Rim Farm Box and Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm were spotlighted for showcasing local produce, while boutique wineries and craft breweries, farm stays and characters of the region were all championed.

Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Greg Christensen said being named in the Top 10 Regions in the world for 2022 was a major coup, but not undeserved.

“This is a region of plenty, of rugged ranges, valleys, winding roads and the most welcoming people in the world,” he said.

It’s the region of flavour makers, growers, farmers, foodies and taste-chasers, of path-makers and of 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.”

Inclusion in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 Top 10 Regions sees the Scenic Rim surrounded by outstanding company. The number one region for 2022 is the Westfjords in Iceland, followed by West Virginia, USA, Xishuangbanna in China, Kent’s Heritage Coast in the UK, Puerto Rico, Shikoku, Japan, Atacama Desert, Chile, Vancouver Island, Canada and Burgundy in France.

For more information Visitscenicrim.com.au. https://www.visitscenicrim.com.au/10-best-locations-to-throw-out-the-picnic-rug-in-the-scenic-rim/

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