Gourmet food tour: How to do the Scenic Rim Food Trail in one day
A verdant region of volcanic calderas and virgin rainforest, cattle country and cool little country towns, the Scenic Rim is home to a bounty of growers and graziers, brewers and boutique producers. Combined, it makes for the stuff of gourmet food tour dreams.
In fact, if you were dropped, Survivor-style into the middle of the Scenic Rim… well it wouldn’t be much of a show. You’d probably end up putting on weight and refusing to leave.
Pack an appetite, a cold bag and bring some cash for the random roadside food stalls for the foodies’ version of the perfect Sunday drive. Or better yet, stay over for a more languorous weekend of hunting and gathering with this guide to the Scencic Rim Food Trail.
Summer Land Camels, Harrisville
Prepare to be seriously checked out when you arrive at the world’s second-largest camel dairy, Summer Land Camels on your food tour of the Scenic Rim. Curious dromedaries with supermodel lashes will lift their heads from grazing the paddock for a long hard look.
We recommend taking the farm tour, then ducking into the café inside a typical Queensland farm cottage. Order a camel cappuccino, camel milk ice-cream or their range of cheese; from a soft fromage blanc perfect for topping tacos, to a hard cheddar.
Oppy’s Fruit and Veg, Boonah
In a historic old brick butter factory in the little farming town of Boonah, Oppy’s offers the antithesis of supermarket shopping. Owners and farmers Stuart and Sandra Opperman sell their own pumpkins and watermelons as well as lots of other locally grown, chemical-free fruit and veg.
There’s usually something delicious out for tasting – a ripe melon or Kooroomba Gully chutney, one of Di Jackson’s jams, or goat’s cheese from Naughty Little Kids, as well as shelves and fridges packed with local Scenic Rim milk, honey, olives and more.
Arthur Clive’s Bakehouse, Boonah & Aratula
Next on our food tour of the Scenic Rim is a good ol’ country bakery. Arthur Clive’s is owned by the Pennell family who’ve been baking in the Scenic Rim since 1936.
Arthur Clive’s, named for the patriarch of the family, may look like the quintessential ‘lamingtons and custard slice’ bakery, but it has tapped into the food zeitgeist with its range of wild fermented sourdoughs and dark Swiss fruit loaves. Even the brekkie burger’s been given a makeover, served on brioche.
Old school pie appreciators highly rate the pies, with their explosively flaky, buttery pastry. The secret to their tasty pies? They are made from locally farmed meat slow-cooked in a housemade Worcestershire sauce (the recipe handed down from Grandfather Arthur Clive). Shhh!
The Dugandan Hotel, Dugandan
You can’t beat a classic country pub and “the Dugie” outside Boonah ticks all the boxes. Built in 1880, it boasts wide shady verandas, a fireplace for cool Scenic Rim winters and a beer garden known as ‘the chook yard’ with bucolic views (but no chickens!).
The typical pub grub menu is dominated by generously-sized Queensland-bred steaks that come with provenance and tasting notes, while the bar has 13 different beers on pour, plus regular craft guest beers. Cheers!
The Overflow Estate 1895
Part of 1600-hectare working farm, the Morgan and Usher family planted vines in this dreamy location on a small isthmus of land jutting into the Wyaralong Dam in 2010. There’s a smart architect-designed cellar door with tables on a covered deck looking through the trees to the dam.
Take a seat at the café serving cheese and charcuterie platters and simple tasty lunches. Finish off your lunch with a tasting of their wines, made from hand-picked grapes – of course!
The Shed Café, Rathdowney
Continuing on our food tour, drive through the picturesque olive grove in Rathdowney to this little café on the hill where the outside tables are dressed with red and white checked cloths. We recommend ordering owner Lou Cheevers’ fantastically light warm scones with cream and jam and a pot of tea.
The large shed is packed with jars of traditionally-brined olives as well as fruity extra-virgin olive oil and tapenades. Also take time to check out the lovely collection of kitchenware, cookbooks and table linen handpicked by the multi-talented Lou.
Classi di Cucina, Cooking Classes, Rathdowney
Back in the dark days before all pizza restaurants had woodfired ovens Pietro Agnoletto set the bar high at the University of Queensland’s’s Pizza Café with his authentic wood-fired pizza. He retired some years ago to 40 rolling hectares at Rathdowney with wife Desley and a herd of wily alpaca.
On the first Sunday of every month, Pietro fires up the wood oven and does a class in both Neapolitan and Roman-style pizza making, followed by a convivial lunch with beer or wine.
Green Lane Coffee Plantation, Tamborine Mountain
Crop to cup coffee is on pour at this family owned micro-lot coffee shop/plantation at Tamborine Mountain where the beans are handpicked and roasted on site. There are around 650 trees on site, all Arabica and grown chemical-free.
To learn more about the growing and roasting process, book a tour of the plantation on a Sunday. Then back it up with breakfast or lunch in the greenery-shrouded café, including of course precision-made coffee.
Don’t forget to grab a bag or two of their signature Tamborine Blend to take home.
Looking for more food tour ideas in the Scenic Rim?
- If we’ve whet your appetite for a Scenic Rim adventure, check out this four-day foodie itinerary.
- For the perfect couples getaway, here’s our guide to spending 48 hours in the scenic rim.