Escape the city to these mountains and have a great meal
Mt Nebo is so close to Brisbane, it is actually a Brisbane suburb, and just one hill on, you have the fabulous Mt Glorious. These two mountains feature areas of subtropical rainforest, lovely little walks, some rugged hikes and camping, as well as great places to eat. Here are the best.
About Mt Nebo & Mt Glorious
Heading up into the mountains is always relaxing, as is being surrounded by rainforests. Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious are so close that many people seem to forget that they are there. Either drive up Mt Nebo Road via The Gap or directly to Mt Glorious on the Mt Glorious Road via the Samford Valley.
A quick trip can include a short walk in the rainforest, a long walk along forest and fire trails, or just a visit to a café. The experience will leave you refreshed and probably hungry, so below are all the near dining options for the mountains.
The cafe is a favourite for people visiting Mt Nebo - when we visit, we try to sit in the back area overlooking the forest. The service is country friendly and the food can range from your classic basics, like fish and chips, toasted sandwiches and scones, through to your modern café offerings, including Buddha bowls and halloumi burgers.
Cafe in the Mountains is a popular place in Mt Nebo
The décor of this café seems fairly basic compared with others in the area but attracts a loyal following by providing great café staples. But it does those really well. Go here to get your classic Aussie burger and great chips. The best part though is feeding the rainbow lorikeets, parrots and even cockatoos that visit.
Elm Haus Café
Filled with an eclectic arrangement of furniture and furnishings that give the Elm Haus Café a unique charm, when we go there, we always choose to sit outside for the simpler more natural environment. The menu can be very eclectic as well. Personally, I go for the smoothies after a hike but there also do great scones, sandwiches, burgers, desserts and pies, among other things. I have seen a Mexican Bowl on the specials menu.
Elm Haus Cafe definitely goes for the quirky decore
If you were to refer to this café by its official name, people won't be sure which one you are talking about but if you refer to it as the biker café, everyone who has even been to Mt Glorious knows which one you mean. Don't let that put you off, as these are mostly friendly guys over the age of 40 who bought a bike as part of their midlife crisis. Menu items could be lifted off your local RSL club, with Chicken Parma, Schnitzel Burgers, Lasagna and Steak Sandwiches. It is all filling food done well.
Hidden away from the main road, Cloverlea Cottage is a popular Bed & Breakfast and is also a good place for lunch with a great view. The menu includes classics like bangers & mash along with more modern café offerings, such as halloumi salad and honey roasted chicken filos. A bit more pricey than other cafes in the area, but a bit more upmarket than other offerings, and of course, there is the view.
Picnic & Barbecue Spots
There are many places in the mountains for a picnic. Starting from the first one you come to as you drive up Mt Nebo Road, which is Bellbird Grove. This wide expansive picnic area has a couple of walking tracks, but no view. Next along is the often overlooked Camp Mountain, which has a lookout with a bit of a view between the trees and plenty of picnic and barbecue facilities. You can also walk from here down to the Samford Valley and back up again via a circuit.
Camp mountain picnic area is a little old fashioned, but still a great place for a picnic or barbecue
The most popular picnic area on Mt Nebo is Jolly's Lookout. It has a great view and even has picnic tables overlooking the view. It is also the busiest, with many people stopping in to enjoy the scenery and leave. A nearby picnic area, Boombana, is usually ignored but is quieter and has a 12 km return walking track from there to Jolly's Lookout. It is also right next to Café in the Mountains.
Jolly's lookout is a very popular place to visit or enjoy lunch
Of course, if you want to have a picnic, you either have to go shopping, pack up everything, or just order a pre-made picnic hamper from Mt Glorious Picnic Hampers. They do 2 person hampers in regular picnic baskets or 4 person hampers in toolboxes that fold out. The emphasis is on fresh and local, with a few family favourites thrown in, with everything included, such as picnic blankets, disposable cutlery and even takeaway containers for your leftovers.
Grab a picnic hamper or toolbox from Mt Glorious Picnic Hampers
Sometimes it is great to go for a short or long walk and arrive at the perfect quiet picnic spot in the bush, forest or mountains with no one around. There are quite a few places like this in both Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious.
My favourite one is Mt Nebo Lookout at the of the Morelia Track. This short and easy walk is my favourite in the area as it passes through a wide range of vegetation and ends at a little lookout area overlooking the Samford Valley. Oh, and this place has a flat area of rock to sit and enjoy your lunch.
Mt Nebo Lookout at the end of the Morelia Track at Manorina is a nice place for a picnic with a view
You can also hike to a range of different bush campsites, such as Scrub Road, Dundas, Northbrook Mountain and other bush camps. The walks to these locations are not particularly exciting as you follow forest or fire trails, and other than Northbrook Mountain, there isn't much of a view, but there is often a small hut, chairs and tables, and very few people.
Scrub Road Bush Camp is a great place to stop for lunch in the bush