The Road Ahead : August 1st 2012
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU THE ROAD AHEAD AUG/SEP 2012 40 T R AV E L QUEENSLAND GREAT ESCAPE ESSENTIAL INFO: Join Dean Miller on a hinterland day drive via Beechmont -- Queensland Weekender, Saturday, September 1, 5.30 pm on Channel 7. PLAN: Prepare a trip to these Queensland regions by visiting RACQ's trip planner at www.racq.com.au. MAIN IMAGE: CANUNGRA HOTEL. BEECHMONT GENERAL STORE. HINTERLAND SCENERY. OLD ST JOHN'S CHURCH. STORY | PHOTOS CAROLE HORNE TRAVEL AN HOUR or so from most major centres in Queensland and you encounter everything from coastal hamlets to country idylls, serene rainforest to soaring mountains. A sortie inland from the Gold Coast swaps the glitter strip for soothing hinterland scenery. Turn onto Binna Burra Mountain Drive beyond Nerang and the road ascends steeply through eucalyptus forest that occasionally opens up to distant views of Surfers Paradise and Hinze Dam. The air is noticeably cooler once you reach the elevated village of Lower Beechmont -- good incentive for a coffee stop at Laurel Cottage Garden Cafe. Take a table beneath magnificent camphor laurel trees and choose from a menu that includes man-sized country breakfasts and gourmet pizzas. Keep driving and the scenery takes a decidedly bucolic turn -- contented cows ambling across undulating meadows. Beechmont was once the hub for dairy farming on the coast but thrill- seekers are more likely to be drawn to the emerald short and sweet If you're starved for time, but hungry for adventure, then the short day drive is a satisfying snack-sized alternative to the epic road trip.
June July 2012