The Sunshine Coast is THE place for soaking up sunshine and, well, coast, but there’s much more to our slice of Queensland paradise than first meets the eye.
Maleny Botanic Gardens, Credit: TEQ
Venture inland and you’ll discover a whole new side of the region - a rolling landscape of lush rainforest and bushland alongside villages packed with charm, organic food, luxury B&Bs and roadside farmgate stalls.
To make sure you get the most out of your visit to the Sunshine Coast’s leafy backyard, we’ve wrapped up some of the region’s highlights in this handy two-day itinerary.
Your Hinterland adventure starts in Maleny, and the best way to kick off your mini-break is with caffeine and a tasty brekkie, so head to Monica’s Cafe. When you feast on their fresh, seasonal menu that manages to accommodate pretty much everyone and anyone (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegans, vegos), you’ll understand why this place is packed. Every day of the week.
Embrace that coffee buzz and make tracks to the tallest waterfall on the Sunshine Coast!
Mapleton Falls drops an incredible 120m from Pencil Creek down into the escarpment below, and you’ll find yourself mesmerised by the sheer force and beauty of mother nature. Even better, the viewing deck is mere metres from the carpark.
If you are feeling energetic, you can take on the 1.3km Wompoo Circuit from here which is named after the Wompoo Fruit Dove and mostly flat, so take the time to marvel at the towering canopy overhead.
You’ll be hungry by now, and set in a vineyard with views over the Glass House Mountains, lunch at the Barrel at Clouds vineyard is next on the agenda.
You can’t miss it – the building is shaped like a giant wine barrel – so take a seat inside or enjoy the fresh air and choose from their menu featuring a of range of delicious and healthy meals, all made with locally sourced produce.
If you are looking for views, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World probably has the best view of the Glass House Mountains you will find. While you’re there, meander through some of the most exquisite gardens in Queensland featuring a panorama of waterfalls, ponds and colourful plantings.
Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World, Maleny
No foodie can leave the Hinterland without a meal at its very own two-hatted restaurant: The Long Apron. Located on the picturesque Spicers Clovelly Estate this French-inspired restaurant will take you on a gastronomic journey. Linger over dinner and soak up the ambience.
At the end of the day rest your head in the lap of luxury at Spicers Clovelly Estate surrounded by jacarandas and groves of magnolias and gardenias, or take the romance up a notch at Narrows Escape Luxury Rainforest Retreat’s new villas that boast their very own pool villa.
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Start the day with breakfast at The Orangery at Mary Cairncross Corner. An eatery famous for its eggs benny, vegan and vegetarian breakfasts, enjoy a slow start to the morning before easing into some more Sunshine Coast Hinterland magic.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is 55 acres of subtropical rainforest overlooking the Glass House Mountains. A remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, the Reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal life.
You will find several tranquil walking tracks, boardwalks and viewing platforms where you can soak up the natural beauty.
Drag yourself away from the views and grab a quick bite of lunch at Maleny Food Co in the main street of Maleny near the roundabout.
Maleny Food Co, Credit: TEQ
These guys have a real-deal fromagerie - that’s a dedicated space for cheese! – and are known for their fresh Maleny artisan gelato, but the café also serves up fresh local food and artisan produce from around the region.
In a place this beautiful, is it any wonder that many a creative soul has found their inspiration here?
Montville may have a reputation as a cute mountain getaway, but it also has the honour of having one of the largest concentrations of Sunshine Coast art galleries, most within walking distance of each other.
Spend some time on the Art Trail and marvel at oil and watercolour paintings; bronze, sandstone and marble sculptures; porcelain and hand-blown glass; silk and textiles; jewellery; wood; photography and much more.
Brouhaha Brewery, Maleny
For dinner, make tracks to Maleny’s Brouhaha Brewery. Settle in with a tasting paddle of their award-winning craft drops. Whilst sipping their sours and ales, fill up on their tasty, seasonal menu full of drool-worthy eats like crispy chicken burgers, braised pork belly and milk stout chocolate brownie.