Scenic Rim Regional Council was formed in 2008 by the amalgamation of Boonah Shire, most of Beaudesert Shire (south of Jimboomba) and the Mutdapilly/Harrisville/Peak Crossing area of Ipswich City. Its area is 4256 sq km.
The name originated from the U-shaped range of mountains, from Mount Mistake in the west, passing through Cunningham's Gap, east to Mount Barney, across the New South Wales border and turning north to Lamington National Park and Arthur Groom's Binna Burra Lodge. Groom had started Binna Burra in 1935, and in his One Mountain After Another states that he had pondered over the Scenic Rim for some years before 1936. He submitted a 'Scenic Rim scheme' to the Queensland Government in 1941, in effect a continuous reservation of national parks. In 1994 the Rim became part of the World Heritage Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves.
The Regional Council's western boundary runs approximately along the main range (Mount Mistake) part of the Scenic Rim to the New South Wales border. The eastern boundary runs roughly along the Beachmont Road, taking in most of Lamington National Park. Enclosed on three sides by the U-shaped scenic rim, the regional council's two main towns, Beaudesert and Boonah, lie within the encircling ranges. They are about 60 km and 70 km respectively from central Brisbane, in a south-westerly direction.
European settlement began in the easily farmed parts in the 1840s. Scrub clearance and closer-settlement came in the 1880s-90s. Several villages around Boonah had German settlers. Railways reached Boonah and Beaudesert in 1887 and 1888. Extensions to Kalbar and Canungra came in 1915-16. Trafficable roads to more remote parts such as Binna Burra came in the 1930s.
Cattle grazing is a significant rural industry, and there is irrigated horticulture in the Boonah district. The two main towns, Boonah (2300 people) and Beaudesert (5400 people) have 22% of the Regional Council's population. The Canungra and Tamborine districts have about 6600 people, and are sometimes construed as part of the Gold Coast hinterland.
The towns and villages with over 500 people are listed under the further-reading heading in the entries on Beaudesert and Boonah shires.
Scenic Rim Regional Council's estimated population was 34,659 (2006).
Stuart Olver, The Scenic Rim, Moorooka, Dawn to Dusk Publishing, 2005
Gregory Czechura, Heritage guide to the Scenic Rim, South Brisbane, Queensland Museum, 2010
Beaudesert Shire, Boonah Shire, Harrisville, Mutdapilly Shire and Peak Crossing entries