Just off bitumen between Beaudesert and Boonah on Yugambeh Country, the picturesque location is the first to host Wander, an off-grid, sustainably focused collective of eco-luxe “WanderPods” set to pop up across the country. Kangaroo Island, SA, is next, but as one of the first official guests of Wander at the Overflow 1895, I’m like a kid unwrapping a present.
Visually, my pod is effortlessly beautiful. Compact, yet considered without being overdone. Organic linen creates softness in the bedrooms and I can already envisage drowsy sessions watching the light and mist dance across the view. The outside streams in via a glass-fronted living space, while a minimalist kitchen – devoid of the usual microwave, cooker, and clutter – is replaced by a Weber barbecue deck-side and a fire pit nestled somewhere between pod and panorama.
Adorably called Crumpet, which pays homage to the peak I overlook, my cabin is one of five one- and two-bedroom WanderPods, all named after their views across part of the arc-like “rim” in the Scenic Rim.
The region is the only Australian destination to get a nod in Scenic Rim Farm Box, a business that thrives under the direction of Gen Windley, who, with council support, gathered 60 local producers affected by Covid-19 fallout to literally pack up the farm and start delivering themselves to households across greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The Scenic Rim community has shown a remarkable resurgence after a double blow, first from the September 2019 Black Summer bushfires that razed part of historic Binna Burra Eco Lodge, followed closely by the global pandemic. But I learn resilience is part of the Scenic Rim’s DNA after joining ParkTours’ Lisa Groom, the granddaughter of Binna Burra founder Arthur Groom, for a guided bushwalk in Mount Tamborine National Park.
Lisa hosts walks over a tapestry of trails traversing the Scenic Rim’s seven regions and six national parks, including the Mount Barney area. This country is as familiar as a family to her, and while we listen for a call from the endangered Albert’s lyrebird, she points out the melodic track of trickling rain falling on the rainforest canopy, and its crescendo of Curtis Falls in full song, as a reminder that returning to nature is an essential part of all regeneration. And while some may be surprised to learn Binna Burra will launch a via Ferrata (permanently affixed) climbing path this year, business it seems, regenerates also.
Similar stories echo across the region. A few kilometers down the road and sitting amid the emerald fringe of World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, a working Wagyu farm, Hazelwood Estate, triples as a polo playground and luxe country retreat. The property has added three luxury pavilions and 16 eco-friendly cabins to its 30ha of prime fertile farmland.
I arrive in the rain but the wispy drifts of cloud and mist rolling across its verdant hills, dotted with prized Wagyu and polo ponies, give me all the Escape to the Country feels. It’s the kind of place you immediately want to nestle into. The main lodge fronts a breathtaking elevated view, while cabins populate the hillside. Inside, cozy fires flicker, decor invites reclining and a freestanding bath promises languorous soak sessions overlooking a wooded view scampering with wildlife.
Along with Overflow at 1895, Hazelwood Estate is hosting one of the 125 events during Scenic Rim Eat Local Week from June 25 to July 3. As a taster, I meet chef-in-residence Cameron Murphy for an entertaining tour of the market garden, and decide to entrust him with my dinner … it was his last supper after all, as he was passing on the fork to Simon Furley, formerly of Homage Restaurant at Spicers Hidden Vale.
A procession of plates ensues, all singing with spectacular local produce. Cameron winds me through a veritable paddock of animals, plants, and flowers as I taste my way around the Scenic Rim. And while full, I somehow find room for more. Rolling into bed after I’ve polished off the bombe Alaska, a contented smile drifts across my face. I recount the days I’ve been wandering around the Scenic Rim and realize they have all ended in this same indulgent fashion.
The writer was a guest of Tourism and Events Queensland. This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com