June 17, 2021
With the 1st anniversary of the 5-day Spicers Scenic Rim Trail now upon us one can’t help but take a moment to reflect on the journey… and what a journey it has been.
The thought first formed in Jude’s mind 21 years ago when she bought Spicers Peak Lodge and then Spicers Hidden Vale. With the Great Dividing Range towering over the land between the two, a spark was ignited, ‘imagine if we could walk between the two’.
In 2019 as the approvals were drawing to an end we (the operating team) took the baton to drive this project to fruition. Who could have predicted that bush fires, floods and a pandemic were yet to come.
In early September 2020 four lightning strikes were reported in the Main Range National Park. The thinking in those initial stages was that the fire would burn itself out or that the rains would come and extinguish them. We kept vigil watching daily if there had been any change, looking to the sky for rain clouds. We were about to open a 60km bush walk, in an area that was now ablaze. Our builders worked furiously to build the two eco camps, racing against time…
We came dangerously close to losing two Spicers properties in the fires. It was a very close call but thankfully they were saved by aerial water bombing. After the fires we continued with the build, then came some late summer rains and with them floods. Many stretches of trail had to be rebuilt and our opening was delayed to April. We were buzzing with excitement, two weeks away from opening, when COVID hit. We locked the doors to the new eco camps and waited.
There has been an incredible silver lining in all of this. The fact that Australian’s weren’t able to travel meant they were enticed to explore their own back yard and by their own backyard we mean 60 kilometres of incredible rainforest, mountains and native bushland.
Since opening 1 year ago we have welcomed 715 walkers on the trail, collectively walking 42,900 kilometres. Take a look at what some of them had to say about their experience.
“When we entered the ancient rainforest on the third day the trees seemed to completely envelope us. It felt like we had stepped into a forbidden forest, it was truly magical. I had no idea this kind of incredible beauty was right on our doorstep.”
“The perfect balance of dreamtime stories, mindfulness exercises and information of local fauna and flora – brought out our inner twitchers! I couldn’t suggest anything to improve. Spicers are doing it right – from their employees to their accommodation, the food, the entire experience. It has truly given me thought about the way I live my life. Thank you!”
“As people who bush walk quite regularly, we were worried the walk was going to be on the easier side. However, on days two and three we especially enjoyed the uneven tracks up and down. This added some challenge to the walk which was great. We really enjoyed the conversations around flora and fauna as well as rainforest conservation. We also enjoyed the moments where we could walk solo, to take in the environment. It seems like such simple things to include in a walk, but they were some of our favourite moments. The accommodation was excellent and in such scenic spots.
As people who don’t spend money on luxury accommodation, we appreciated the following things: – Not having keys for the cabins/rooms – Bags arriving in our rooms – Keeping the same number cabin/room for the whole trip – Towels being in the shared bathrooms, so you didn’t forget to bring it from your room – Games/books in shared areas – Lunches already prepared, so just need to pack them (on other guided walks we have helped to prepare lunches). Again, probably really simple things, but allows you to fully relax as decisions are made for you and you don’t have to remember much, which means more time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounds! The food was excellent and such great variety. Not one meal was the same which kept it interesting. And we loved being greeted each day with hot towels, elderflower water and platters. All staff we encountered throughout the trip were warm, enthusiastic and helpful. We would happily recommend this trip to others as it’s a good mix of nature, exercise, good food and interesting accommodation. Thank you for creating a walk in QLD!”
“Where do I start….. the whole experience was exceptional. Guides were outstanding, food was delicious and all staff attentive and knowledgeable, accommodation was suberb – couldn’t fault the experience. Loved learning all about the flora and fauna from Jack and Kris.”