Maleny is a real find for tourists looking for something different from the usual sights and experiences. It’s located on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, on the slopes of the Blackall Mountains, which has humid, breezy weather all year round. Thanks to its location, Maleny is shielded from the extremes of temperature that Oz can often throw at people, which makes it ideal for all-year-round tourism.
So, you’ve decided to visit the town – what else does it have in store for you apart from scenic mountains and a nice climate?
Well, it’s known as quite the haven for artists, so there are lots of galleries to see. Art on Cairncross, at 3, Panorama Place, is a small but friendly gallery. It’s popular among the many local artists, who often hold exhibitions there and Art on Cairncross strives to represent a broad range of media and styles. Head there for a no-pressure browse in a welcoming environment.
Blessed are the cheesemakers
Sorry to quote Monty Python, but it was irresistible, as are the many cheeses at Maleny Cheese, located at 1, Clifford Street. Arrive at the right time and you’ll get to see the transformation of fresh local milk into countless types of cheese, as well as yoghurts. The smoked and wasabi Cheddars are firm favourites among visitors. There’s also a small café and picnic area, with good coffees and even better wines available.
Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World
Pretty much at the top of everyone’s list is this amazing three hectares of sculpted gardens boasting lakes, waterfalls, ponds and stunning flowerbeds. It’s set against the backdrop of the Glasshouse Mountains and also offers to opportunity for younger visitors to see a selection of animals including alpacas, goats, sheep and donkeys, as well as chickens, ducks and guinea fowl. High teas and private gazebos are up for grabs too.
Chill with nature at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
The Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is 55 hectares of amazing subtropical rainforest with walkways to suit all ages and abilities running through it. There are lots of places for you to stop and picnic, or you can work up an appetite on a trail before satisfying your hunger at the café. There’s an ecological education centre, brush turkeys and giant barred frogs to encounter and enjoy. Some trails are wheelchair and stroller-friendly, which is an added bonus.
A 20-minute drive from Maleny will take you to Australia Zoo, which was founded by Steve Irwin the late Crocodile Hunter’s family. This zoo boasts a full-on animal experience, with lots of educational activities and even a few dinosaurs here and there. Visitors can feed kangaroos and learn all about crocodiles and lots of other Aussie wildlife.