A film & travel writer & editor, currently travelling New Zealand ~
Published July 26th 2015
For one of the best Australian drives
The Scenic Rim is a cluster of dense rainforests - including Main Range, Lamington, Springbrook and Mt Barney National Parks - that are World Heritage Listed. The area is rich in volcanic soil, and is one of the most beautiful parts of South-East Queensland, probably in all of Australia.
Driving one hour from Brisbane or the Gold Coast, you'll find yourself on your way to Killarney. It doesn't mater which way you go, from Boonah or the other way around, each way leads back in one giant circle.
Travelling on a wet day, there was plenty of cloud cover, but instead of putting a damper on the drive, it really is one of the best times to go - the trees glisten in the low fog and cloud, as if there's a mystery to the forests.
First stop is Queen Mary Falls, just by the roadside cafe, where you can get just about any type of snack and coffee (coffee - a 6/10). We stumbled across it on a Bowerbird's bower or avenue - park in the car park to the left, and then walk towards the large tree near the road - just look for all the blue rubbish!
Then take a walk down the Queen Mary Falls track and stand in awe at the beautiful running falls, the pools at the bottom. Don't forget to get the kids involved! Look for all the different types of moss and lichen on the rocks, paving the way to the falls!
Stop in for a coffee and some cake. You can also pick up some local jams and relishes before getting back on the drive. Drive slowly through the winding roads with tunnels of overhanging trees, and get ready to be jealous of the dotted farm houses perched in the mountain sides along the way.
The Falls Drive takes you to the beginning of a rite of passage drive for a lot of Australian 4WD enthusiasts - the Condamine River crossings. All in, there are 14 crossings of this mighty river. If it's been raining hard on the Darling Downs, the Condamine will be flowing - we had a 4WD, but it was nowhere near the type of 4WD we needed to tackle the river crossings. Still, it's a lovely drive down a dirt road to the first crossing, and well worth it - watch out for the cattle, as a lot of the road is without fences.