Scenic Rim Trail, Main Range National Park Brisbane | Southern Queensland Country

It can be misty in the mountains, but clear days give stunning views. Photo: Karen Smith © Qld Govt

Frequently asked questions

    What is the Scenic Rim Trail?

    The Scenic Rim Trail is a 47km, long-distance hiking trail along the Mistake and Main ranges in Main Range National Park. It traverses the north-western tip of a spectacular arc of mountains in southeast Queensland known as the Scenic Rim.

    Is there public transport to the Scenic Rim Trail?

    There is no public transport to the Scenic Rim Trail. You must find your own way to the trailhead at Thornton View Nature Refuge (south of Laidley), and then home from the trail exit (Cunninghams Gap).

    Are there any wheelchair-accessible sections on the trail?

    No, the Scenic Rim Trail is not wheelchair-accessible. It is a rough, steep, difficult and mostly-unformed Grade 5 track suitable only for physically fit and experienced long-distance bushwalkers.

    Why must the Scenic Rim Trail be walked from north to south?

    The Scenic Tim Trail is marked from north to south by orange trail markers—there are no markers from the opposite direction.

    This is a new trail developed through a partnership between the Queensland Government and Spicers Retreats, Hotels and Lodges Pty Ltd. The trailhead and first 6km traverse private land, and the agreement with the property owners is for the public to enter, not exit, through their property. The walking experience is also more impressive when you travel from the north.

    The Scenic Rim Trail trailhead is at the very northern tip of the Scenic Rim, and as such is the start for potentially a several week hike all the way to Springbrook National Park and the Gold Coast. For decades enthusiastic bushwalkers have hiked sections of the Scenic Rim. Few have walked the entire Rim from where the new Scenic Rim Trail now begins.

    How did the Scenic Rim Trail come about?

    For thousands of years, Aboriginal People crossed these mountains along well-established pathways from one valley to another.

    Then from the late 1880s, timber-getters, government officials, naturalists and bushwalkers ventured into the ranges for work, for scientific discoveries, and for pleasure.

    In the 1930s, Arthur Groom (naturalist, adventurer, author and one of the founders of the National Parks Association), promoted the concept of inter-linked national parks along what he called ‘The Scenic Rim’. He envisioned walking trails along the entire Scenic Rim, with links to camp sites and lodges where walkers could stay overnight.

    Fast-forward to 2011 and the Queensland Government called for submissions for ecotourism proposals in Queensland. The Turner Family, owners of Spicers Peak Lodge and Thornton View Nature Refuge (situated at either side of Main Range National Park), submitted a proposal for a long-distance, multi-day walking adventure from their properties through the park.  Almost a decade of research, planning, negotiating with stakeholders and construction of trails and facilities linking with existing graded tracks, have led to a private/public partnership where free and independent walkers, and guided tour groups, can enjoy overnight hiking adventures into the World Heritage-listed forests of Main Range.

    Where do I find more information about the geology of this area?

    To find out more about the geology of Main Range and the Scenic Rim visit Geological Society of Australia Queensland Division

    To purchase the booklet ‘Rocks and Landscapes of the National Parks of Southern Queensland’ contact:
    Geological Society of Australia Queensland Division
    GPO Box 1820, Brisbane Qld 4001
    ph (07) 3368 2066
    fax (07) 3367 1011
    email: gsa.qld@gmail.com

    What is Gondwana?

    Gondwana is the name of an ancient super continent that existed in the south of the globe about 120 million years ago. It once included the present-day continents of South America, Africa, Australia and Antarctica, along with India, New Zealand, New Guinea, Madagascar, Arabia and other parts of the present Middle East.

    Gondwana also forms part of the world heritage name for this area—Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. This area protects forests that once covered most of the southern supercontinent Gondwana that contain some of the most ancient plants in Australia. This area protects warm temperate, cool temperate, subtropical and dry rainforests as well as nearly all of the world’s Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest. This World Heritage site provides a home for many rare and threatened plants and animals and ancient life forms—many link back to the original landform of Gondwana.

    What is phytophthora?

    Phytophthora spp. are soil fungus that causes plant diseases such as phytophthora root rot.

    The fungus were probably introduced into Australia through European settlement and have now spread to affect hundreds of thousands of hectares of native vegetation, especially in Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and coastal Queensland.

    Phytophthora fungus grows through the root system (and sometimes the stem) of a plant, destroying it and preventing the plant from absorbing water and nutrients. Once the fungus has spread through the root system of a plant, it releases spores into the surrounding soil, which can then spread. When conditions become favourable for the spores, they will germinate and infect new plants.

    Human activities that may spread phytophthora include road building, timber harvesting, mine exploration, the nursery trade and bushwalking. By cleaning soil from boots and gear before entering a new area, you can help prevent the potential spread of phytophthora.

    What is amphibian chytrid fungus?

    Chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease that affects amphibians (frogs) worldwide. It is caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a fungus capable of causing sporadic deaths in some amphibian populations and 100% mortality in others.

    The disease has been implicated in the mass die-offs and species extinctions of frogs since the 1990s, but its origin and true impact on frog populations remains uncertain and continues to be investigated.

    Humans may be contributing to the spread chytrid fungus when frogs are handled, if transported from one place to another, or when frog habitat is disturbed.