It’s fair to say that the beach can hog the spotlight when it comes to the Sunshine Coast, but we can say with certainty that the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is worth adding to your itinerary.
If you think you know everything there is to know about the lush hills and quaint country towns, think again. We have compiled 12 things you have to add to your Sunshine Coast Hinterland experience.
Go chasing waterfalls
Our gorgeous hinterland is sprinkled with dazzling waterfalls and sensational swimming holes – so why not chase some!
Gardner’s Falls near Maleny is a favourite among Sunshine Coast locals, so be warned: you’re not going to have this waterfall to yourself.
If you like your waterfall chase to involve working up a sweat, Kondalilla Falls is for you. There’s nothing like seeing a stunning four-metre waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and plunging into a deep waterhole appear before your eyes after a bush walk.
Header deeper into the Hinterland to find Booloumba Falls tucked away in the Conondale National Park. Pull on your shoes for 1.5km walk to the lookout.
Baxter Falls is a hidden gem in the Hinterland. Not only is there a suspension bridge over Baxter Creek - perfect for that ‘weekend adventure’ pic – but the walk to get there isn’t that tough.
Eat all the cheese
Who doesn’t love cheese!? Luckily there is more than one spot in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland where you can sample delicious dairy delights.
From Maleny Cheese to Kenilworth Dairies you will find everything from handcrafted, matured, wax-coated cheeses made using traditional recipes, to a wide range of flavoured gourmet club cheddars and creative feta cheese.
Take in the views
There are a number of lookouts dotted around the Hinterland. Spy everything from the stunning vistas of the Glass House Mountains to sweeping panoramas of the coastline. They will take your breath away.
For our money, the view from Maleny Botanic Gardens is one of the best!
Sample a craft brew… or two
There is nothing like sitting down after a big day exploring to a nice cold craft beer.
Pouring from the sleek wall taps at Brouhaha Brewery in Maleny is an impressive line-up of brews. Their core range is complemented by seasonal beers that use local ingredients to create something a bit different.
The best way to sample a range is to grab a tasting paddle of four brews.
Tackle the Sunshine Coast Great Walk
Lace up your hiking boots for an epic adventure through the Hinterland.
This 58km walk can be done as a multi-day hike with hike-in campsites or just sections of it on a day trip.
In the wetter seasons the Walk traverses across many creeks and past scenic waterfalls; in the dry season you will find good bush walking and peace and quiet.
You’ll discover a pristine environment with refreshing water holes, dense rainforest, an abundance of birdlife, and breathtaking views and scenery.
Indulge in some fine dining
There are few things in life more indulgent than a leisurely meal at a fine restaurant.
With stunning surrounds and exceptional ingredients there are a few fine dining experiences that could compete on the world stage tucked away in the Hinterland.
The Tamarind features an open-air restaurant embraced by the surrounding misty rainforest. A degustation here, tucked away at Spicers Tamarind in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, is like travelling through Asia in one night.
Stroll through lush gardens and imagine you are in France as you approach Spicers Clovelly Estate in Montville. At The Long Apron, set aside some time for an 8-course degustation menu.
Summit a mountain
Their names may be hard to pronounce but the views from the top of the Glass House Mountains will just leave you speechless.
The range is made of molten lava volcanic peaks that rise from the Sunshine Coast’s patchwork of farming plains, home to the Jinibara and Gubbi Gubbi people.
Mt Ngungun is a reasonably easy climb and is especially spectacular at sunrise and sunset. You will be rewarded with views of Mt Tibrogargan to the south and Mt Coonowrin and Mt Beerwah to the west.
Mt Tibrogargan is not for the faint of heart and should only be attempted if you are a confident climber and with the right footwear and plenty of water. This is at times a scary CLIMB – not recommended for those with a fear of heights.
At 280m high, Mt Beerburrum is one of the smaller peaks of the Glass House Mountains. The walk to the summit is 700m, which is not a long walk. Add to this the fact that the path is a 1.5 metre wide concrete one - pretty much all the way to the summit – and you have a relatively easy walk, just a little steep.
Wild Horse Mountain boasts the label of the ‘smallest’ of the Glass House Mountains, but don’t underestimate its scenic value, as it is probably one of the more accessible, natural scenic vantage points on the Sunshine Coast. You will have a 360-degree panoramic view of the Pumicestone Passage, the other Glass House Mountains and the picturesque patchwork of pine plantations, native forest, coastal suburbia and ocean expanse beyond.
Travel along the art trail
Take a trip from Montville to Maleny and discover a wealth of exceptional artists and art along the Hinterland Art Trail.
Artworks you'll discover on this trail include oil and watercolour paintings, and extend into bronze, sandstone and marble sculptures, porcelain, wood, photography as well as hand-blown glass, silk and textiles. There really is something to capture every imagination.
Perk up with a coffee
Coffee can be something of a religion for many and the Sunshine Coast delivers up good quality beans and brews in spades.
Six roasters have formed a Coffee Roasters Guild on the Coast with the aim of making it the coffee capital of Queensland.
Roasted beans from the guild are distributed to cafés all over the Sunshine Coast and beyond meaning you are bound to find a good cuppa no matter where you are exploring on your visit. If you need some help discovering the perfect café, the guild has formed a Coffee Trail.
Road trip along the Blackall Range
This has to be one of the most scenic drives on the Sunshine Coast.
Along the way, not only will you get picturesque views of the hinterland and the coast, there are also gorgeous little towns to stop in along the way, rainforest walks and waterfalls to discover and plenty of lookouts for that perfect snap.
Route 23 is an official tourist drive, so you can follow the brown road signs to get you where you are going.
Pack a picnic and enjoy sunset
Have we mentioned that the hinterland is pretty scenic?
Stock up on supplies from local suppliers – cheese from Kenilworth Dairies or Maleny Cheese and some wine from Flame Hill Vineyard – and settle in to watch the sunset over the Glass House Mountains. Ending your day doesn’t get much better than that!
Experience a quirky festival
A trip to the hinterland wouldn’t be complete without engaging with the locals at a quirky festival.
From the Australian Body Art Festival in Cooroy, to the Ukele Festival in Kenilworth and even the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, there is always something entertaining to experience.