Australia has more than 20,000 km of coastline but only 200km of that vast coastline is on escarpments combining panoramic views of mountains and the sea. 20kms of that special escarpment is in the Blackall Range, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland of Queensland. This special area offers some of Australia’s most stunning and varied scenery.
Temperatures on the range are mild and rarely get above 35 °C in summer or drop below 9 °C in winter and the Maleny area has a special magic that will cast a lingering spell over you.
A perfect time to visit
Imagine being snuggled up in front of a cosy fire or relaxing with your significant other in a hot spa with breath-taking vistas spread out before. What a wonderful way to consider your options.
Lots of delightful walks
The region is famous for its many scenic walks and nature trails. Whatever your level of fitness, there’s an easy trail or next-level hike for you. Breathe in the crisp mountain air while rambling along trails of native forest, waterfalls and scenic lookouts. If you feel like an easy stroll, head to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, in Maleny or Fig Tree Walk at Kenilworth and wander the boardwalk and bush track through the sub-tropical rainforest. Or explore Mapleton Falls National Park, where the walk to the lookout with its panoramic view of the waterfall, rainforest valley and Obi Obi Valley, is just a short walk from the car park. Something more challenging? Lace up your walking boots and turn your wheel towards Kondalilla National Park, celebrated for its stunning waterfall, rock pools and freshwater creeks, Conondale National Park, renowned for its magnificent forests, deep gorges and spectacular scenery.
After a day on the trail, just imagine how good it’ll feel to return to the welcoming fire in one of the modern, luxurious Blue Summit Cottages.
If you’re done walking…
When you’ve completed all the trails, picnics, climbs and rambles you can handle, try an excursion down the range to Australia Zoo. Established by the late Steve Irwin, this zoo is now being run by his family. With crocodiles, otters, elephants, camels, lizards, storks, cheetahs and cassowaries… if you can name it, you can probably watch it being fed.
The cooler weather lends itself to a glass of red, which always goes down a treat when paired with a local cheese. Flame Hill Vineyard in Montville where you can sip and sample the estate-grown Shiraz and other varietals in the tasting lounge, settle in for a paddock-to-plate long lunch in front of a wood-burning fire, or stroll the grounds with a picnic and be warmed by the winter sun. (Flame Hill also does an awesome Sunday brunch). At Maleny Mountain Wines, you can taste and purchase from the inside of an 8 metre high barrel-style showroom. The ‘Big Barrel’ also serves up a selection of hearty winter fare with everything from generous platters of local cheese, chutneys and pickles to big, house-made beef burgers toward off that winter chill. (There are local taxi services that can ferry you around safely).
Galleries, Studios and Specialty Shops
One of the main reasons to visit Maleny and the surrounding towns is the profusion of galleries in the area, which is a long-time magnet for talented artists and crafts people. A wander through the interesting range of local galleries and workshops will reward even the most discriminating art lover. A perfect opportunity to buy quality gifts that are really special.