A foodie’s ultimate long weekend in Brisbane and surrounds
It might seem unlikely to find a foodie’s paradise on the edge of an ancient volcanic rim, but head south-west of Brisbane for just an hour and you’ll land at the Scenic Rim region – a spectacular landscape packed with culinary surprises.
From speciality seafood to award-winning cheese and world-class fruit, the Scenic Rim is an endless buffet of fresh produce and the ultimate spot for experiential diners. Devour the best it has to offer by digging into this long weekend itinerary.
12PM: Spicers Hidden Vale
On your drive to the Scenic Rim, you’ll discover that Brisbane’s backyard has a best-kept secret. Spicers Hidden Vale is set on 12,000 acres of working farmland in the Lockyer Valley region – and the true hero of the property is the Spicers’ signature restaurant, Homage.
Head chef and Scenic Rim regional food ambassador, Ash Martin, makes paddock to plate look positively perfect, with a menu incorporating products from the local area and herbs from the onsite market garden. By day, sweeping views of the Scenic Rim are complemented by a gourmet picnic of tomato and goats curd quiche or antipasto vegetables with olives, or seasonal two and three-course lunches.
To cap it off, Homage has been awarded one chefs hat in the 2019 Good Food Guide Awards – so you know it’s going to be worth the pitstop.
2PM: Kalfresh Vegetables
If you happen to be in the area during the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, make a beeline for Kalfresh Vegetables, Queensland’s largest supplier of carrots. Their annual Carrot Day is a celebration of all things – yep, you guessed it – carrots! It’s the one day of the year where you can tour the factory at Kalbar, get to know their farmers and pick your own orange goodness.
You’ll get a taste of unusual creations like carrot sausages, while old favourites carrot cake and juice are served up too. Consider it your healthiest stop on the tour.
6PM: Spicers Peak Lodge
The twists and turns your wheels will take to make it to the top of Spicers Peak Lodge are well worth it when you arrive at 10,000 acres overlooking the World Heritage-listed Main Range National Park and Great Dividing Range.
Peak Lodge might be Australia’s highest non-alpine luxury property, but that’s not it’s only claim to fame – the property’s restaurant, The Peak, was also awarded one chefs hat in the 2019 Good Food Guide Awards.
With a focus on ‘The best of Australia’, you’ll be feasting on uniquely Australian goodness with luxury trimmings. The Peak’s menu sates appetites with ingredients such as Fraser Isle spanner crab, Moreton Bay bug and Bowen mangoes.
Rest your head here and all meals and beverages – including the celebrated degustation dinner menu – are included in the price tag.
8AM: Stay right where you are
Whatever you do, don’t skip the first meal of the day at Spicers Peak Lodge. The breakfast game is strong here – especially the dressed-up avocado on toast with goats curd, sumac and dukkah on house-baked sourdough.
Or, you can dig into other delicacies like the “Funghi Feast” served with poached eggs, mushrooms, parmesan custard, marinated grains and soft leaves.
1PM: Kooroomba Vineyard & Lavender Farm
Dig into a scrumptious lunch prepared by the chefs at Kooroomba Vineyard & Lavender Farm. While seasonal vegetables are prominent on the menu it is, of course, lavender that plays a starring role in dishes like lavender confit duck leg and lavender crème brulee.
You’ll also find a cellar door and lavender shop here, all overlooking six acres of vineyards, fields of lavender and the Scenic Rim Mountains.
2PM: Naughty Little Kids
They’ve put their own spin on the traditional gelato recipe by using goat’s milk instead of cow’s, which makes this ice-cream lactose friendly (not lactose-free), and 100% gluten-, egg- and nut-free to boot. Sensitive tums, rejoice!
3PM: Bunjurgen Estate vineyard
Ah, rosé; the lovable grape combination that merges the crispness of a white with the body of a red and goes down as smooth as a bubbly. If you feel the same way about rosé, make tracks to Bunjurgen Estate Vineyard for their award-winning pink drop.
Wine tastings are conducted in either an undercover outdoor cellar door or beneath a jacaranda tree, allowing you to take in the breathtaking Scenic Rim vistas with every sip. The kind folk at Bunjurgen allow BYO picnics too.
5PM: Scenic Rim Brewery & Cafe
Operating out of a heritage-listed old general store, the small family-owned Scenic Rim Brewery & Cafe is dedicated to brewing craft beer with the best ingredients.
There’s a café smack bang in the middle of the brewery’s factory floor, so you can wash down your glass of Digga, Shazza or Fat Man with a tasty treat from their Dutch-inspired menu.
7PM: Ketchups Bank Glamping
You’ve got to love a destination where even the accommodation sounds like something you can eat! Enter Ketchups Bank Glamping and their luxury eco-tents near Boonah, where you’re promised unparalleled mountain views and a relaxing evening in a rugged Australian bush setting.
They offer up BBQ dinner hampers for two, packed with locally-sourced cuts of meat and fresh vegetables ready to toss on your private BBQ or campfire; plus a country breakfast hamper for the AM.
11AM: Towri Sheep Cheeses
Ditch the traditional morning tea and lunch meals and dedicate this day to grazing – on sheep cheese!
Towri Sheep Cheeses, just outside of Beaudesert, won’t just let you devour the cheese, they’ll also teach you how to make it with their ‘art of cheese-making’ class (takes place every second Wednesday. Bookings are required).
With 350 sheep on site, there’s no shortage of supplies to make hard and soft varieties. And you certainly won’t leave hungry with morning tea, light refreshments and lunch all part of the package.
3PM: Witches Falls Winery
Get to know their signature drops with a tasting paddle – a flight of wines will leave you with change from a tenner. If you order in advance, you can pair your tipples with a delicious platter from local deli, The Vintage Pickle.
6PM: Witches Falls Cottages
Stay within arm’s reach of the winery at Witches Falls Cottages – all about location, and offering up a secluded setting for a romantic getaway.
As for food, if there’s still belly room, you can have take-away delivered to your cottage from many of the local restaurants on the mountain or the Witches Falls team can pull together a BBQ dinner hamper complete with dessert.
A day of hunting and gathering
Make today about stocking up on local supplies before leaving the Scenic Rim. While some suppliers don’t have their own farm gate, they use cafes, restaurants and boutique shops to sell their tasty produce.
Look out for these accredited Scenic Rim locavores:
- Scenic Rim Olives: The region even produces its own pesticide-free olives. You’ll find them in brine, olive oil, tapenade and dukkah for a salty fix.
- Pure Country Eggs: Fresh and genuine free-range, you can seek out these eggs at outlets in the region including Beauy Quality Meats or Greener Grocer Beaudesert.
- Scenic Rim 4Real Milk: If you’re enjoying a cup of coffee in this neck of the woods, chances are it’s made with 4Real Milk, a pasteurised, non-homogenised full cream milk.
- The Lime Caviar Company: The Scenic Rim happens to be home to Australia’s premier grower of native finger limes. They pick-to-order and supply local and international fine dining markets.
- Green Lane Coffee Plantation: Smelling coffee-licious on Tamborine Mountain, there’s a cafe on-site to sample their hand-picked beans.
Want more? Scenic Rim Eat Local Week is your backstage pass to the farms, wineries and food stories of the Scenic Rim. Eat your way around the region through a range of experiences from long table lunches to farm tours!