My Countrytown: Laura Frank

27 December 2023 | 2:46 pm | Ellie Robinson

We sat down with Queensland favourite Laura Frank to learn all about her own Countrytown, the Scenic Rim.

Laura Frank

Laura Frank (Supplied)

More Laura Frank More Laura Frank

It’s been a pretty stacked year for Queensland singer-songwriter Laura Frank, with four monumental single releases: Days Gone By in February, Leavin’ in June, Hey Cowboy in September and Kiss My in October.

Hyping up the lattermost anthem in a press statement, Frank called it “a song for the underdog” – an ode to those “who wouldn’t usually stand up for themselves”. She expounded: “As a female country artist from regional Queensland, people assume I am a particular type of person. I feel like I can often be underestimated and overlooked.”

All throughout December – and November before it – Frank toured Queensland in support of Kiss My, playing a massive 17 shows across the state alongside Tom Curtain. She’ll add another three gigs to that tally in January, before heading to NSW for another jaw-dropping stretch of 16 shows.

Before she heads back out on the road, we caught up with Frank to learn all about her own personal Countrytown: the Scenic Rim in southeast Queensland.

My Countrytown: Laura Frank

Scenic Rim, QLD

Join our community with our FREE weekly newsletter

I am proud to have been born and raised in the Scenic Rim, even if I didn’t appreciate it growing up. As a lot of us do, I left my small town in the Scenic Rim straight after I finished year 12 in search of a bigger life, but as I neared my 30s, I realised that ‘bigger life’ didn’t come from city living, but in fact from returning to my roots, my hometown and cultivating a full life here – in the Scenic Rim. here’s just a few reasons why I love it so...

The Community

The people in this town are some of the best you’ll meet. I now make sure to add on at least half an hour to my journey to the local store, because it’s almost guaranteed I’ll run into someone I know, or at least someone who knows me – and it’s all too common that we’ll get to chatting about my music career, what’s happening, how busy we are, the weather, their kids, what’s going on around the place, the best new joint to eat in town, how the animals are going...

The community here is what makes the Scenic Rim great, and I’m telling you, we are not your “typical country town” – the locals will be all too happy to tell you the best places to visit or what to see, just give them a smile and the conversation will flow!

The Landscape

The Scenic Rim is vast. You’re looking at a two-hour trip from one side to the other (as the crow flies – don’t quote me on that, I could be wrong, but it’s a lot) and in that two hours you’ll go through farmland, native Australian bush and some of Australia’s most beautiful rainforests. Not to mention, we’re home to a big section of the Great Dividing Range, so if you’re looking for a hike with some great views and cascading waterfalls, there’s no better place to come.

I honestly believe that the Scenic Rim has some of the best views in the world – take for example Mount French Lodge, which is perched almost 600 feet above sea level and overlooks the main range section of the Great Dividing Range. I was privileged enough to hold the first-ever Sunset Sessions – a mini festival of sorts featuring Pat Tierney, Hayley Marsten, paired with a meal by executive chef Richard Ousby – whilst the sun was setting behind Mount Edwards. That’s the community coming together to make this region great. You just can’t beat it.

The Food

We are known for our food! The farm-to-plate options in this region are endless, and you honestly can’t beat it. We don’t need to truck in produce because we can source 90 percent of it in our own region, and we are lucky enough to have a whole host of local pubs, cafés and restaurants that take advantage of that. That’s why we have world-class chefs all jumping at the chance to come out to the region and be a part of it.

We have places like Blume in Boonah, The Roadvale Pub (not your typical country pub), The Bowl in Boonah, Beechmont Estate, Kooroomba Vineyard, Picnic Real Food Bar, Scenic Rim Farm Shop (also home to the most lovely flower field you’ll ever visit, Elderflower Farm) and Lovetts – to name but a few! All of them champion produce sourced directly from the farmers in the Scenic Rim. Not only that, but we have a plethora of micro-breweries, wineries and gin distilleries, most of which have won awards for their creations.

The Culture

You’d think the Scenic Rim might be a sleepy old country town, forgotten by most. But you’d be wrong. There is something happening all the time and it doesn’t matter what you’re into, there will be something you can do. Get involved in Destination Scenic Rim’s Farm Gate Trail – the opportunity to visit over 20 locations and open farms to experience the best of the region. Or Eat Local Month – an entire month of events, long table lunches, workshops and experiences taking place annually in June.

There are also music festivals like The Long Sunset and Sunset Sessions, as well as a whole host of live music and event options on your weekend travels. Or perhaps a country market – there are plenty of those to choose from, and if you love sunflowers, come to the annual Sunflower Festival where you’ll be immersed in a field of over one million sunflowers (yes, you read that correctly). The culture here is thriving and with so many eager locals to make the region great, there’s no stopping us.

The Peace And Quiet

I know it’s hard to believe that with all I listed above, it’s still a quiet town – and on some weekends you wouldn’t believe it was. But trust me, if it’s reconnection and quiet you’re looking for, the Scenic Rim is where you can find it – whether that be nestled amongst the eucalypts or sitting atop a waterfall and watching it cascade. You will find what you need here.

We really do live in the richest place on earth – and I don’t mean financially. There’s a reason the Scenic Rim was named in the Lonely Planet’s top ten places to visit in the world, and there’s a reason it was the only place in Australia that made the cut. I’m so proud of my region and the people in it, and any success that comes my way is as much mine as it is the community’s. To put it bluntly, the Scenic Rim is a must-visit – but be warned, you likely won’t want to leave.