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Kenilworth Secrets Unlocked at Information Centre

Kenilworth Secrets Unlocked at Information Centre Where do tourists go to prepare to visit the mysterious Strangler Cairn? Or to organise a camping trip in Conondale National Park or in Charlie Moreland forestry? Or to find a rugged but beautiful bushwalk? The answer is the Kenilworth Tourism Information Centre. The busy centre, in the town’s main street, answered to around 17,000 requests for help in2014about all sorts of hinterland tourism issues. It is stocked with scores of brochures, local maps, information about local accommodation, bushwalks (from an hour long through to four days) and, of course, the general corporate knowledge of its dedicated volunteers. “This building has been open for 10 years now and it’s all 100% community operated,” said centre coordinator Pat Yates. “We also have a craft centre and gift shop attached to it. “The number of volunteers we have is 12 and the craft centre has seven.” Kenilworth itself is located in the beautiful upper Mary Valley, near both the Blackall and Conondale ranges. The town, which has a population of not quite 300, is only about 40 km from Maleny, 25 km from Mapleton via Obi Obi Road, and one and a half hours drive north of Brisbane. It maintains a comfortable 1930s charm, and has various attractions including a museum, art gallery, cheese factory, a well-appointed playground and picnic area, and a good range of shops. The surrounding area includes state forest that hosts camping, horse riding and bushwalking. The KIC is an important factor […]

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Breathtaking Kondalilla Falls

Breathtaking Kondalilla Falls A visit to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland would not be complete without visiting the spectacular Kondalilla Falls which is located inside the Kondalilla National Park near Montville. Kondalilla National Park is 327 hectares of land featuring hiking tracks, spectacular mountain views, unspoilt rainforest and the breathtaking waterfall, where Skene Creek plummets 90 meters into a rainforest valley below. Kondalilla is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘rushing waters’ and describes the park’s waterfall during the summer wet season. Kondalilla National Park is a great place to go bushwalking, have a picnic, or cool down in the rock pool near the waterfall. The park and waterfall also offer spectacular photographic opportunities – so don’t forget to bring your camera and appropriate footwear so you can explore the walking tracks which vary in degrees of difficulty. Above the falls, tall open eucalypt forest mingles with rainforest species in wetter areas. A drier forest grows on the western escarpment, featuring casuarinas with a grass tree understorey. This spectacular parcel of land is an important refuge for many animals and plants including the rare pouched frog, Assa darlingtoni and the bopple nut, Macadamia ternifolia, which is vulnerable to extinction. More than 107 species of birds and 70 species of reptiles, plus 32 species of frogs have been seen in the park and recorded from the nearby ranges. Kondolilla National Park is open to the public and provides toilets, barbeque facilities, lookouts and walking tracks. The park is close to a range of accommodation […]

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Security and safety fears raised by Online Booking Changes

The concerns were triggered with changes to the Expedia agency’s information policies. Information like guests’ phone numbers and email addresses are now being kept from accommodation providers, even though they may be of vital importance, for example, in times of bad weather, dangerous road conditions or flooding, the discussion of special dietary needs, contacting overdue guests, and emergencies. Businesses owners also feel they should have the right to know details of people coming to stay in their rooms on their private premises. The local concerns with the changed Expedia system have been raised in writing with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and local tourism marketing organisation Visit SunshineCoast. “We are looking into it and are consulting with other organisations,” Daniel Gschwind, the Chief Executive of the QTIC, told Come On Up newspaper. Regarding bookings made through Expedia, email contact between accommodation providers and their pending guests is instead allowed only via a system that has the booking agent as the “middle man”. Expedia explained that the tighter controls were made “to improve the security of your customers’ information”. Accommodation provider and Hinterland Tourism executive Alan Dryden said it just made sense – in terms of safety and security, service provision and service quality matters – for the accommodation provider to have direct contact details. “In a two minute phone conversation, I can learn their bread and milk preferences, I can know if they want me to book a massage for them, whether they have cultural meal requirements,” he said. “To […]

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Australian plants the inspiration of unique native liqueurs

Australian plants the inspiration of unique native liqueurs – Rainforest Liqueurs website By Richard Bruinsma Words like Gidneywallum, Kitcha-kontoo, Myrtifolia, Midyim and Wujigay might have many readers scratching their heads in confusion as they wonder exactly what they represent. The answer is that they are all native Australian plants– in the vein of their forest mates, the Lily Pily, Wattle, Wild-mint and Wild Raspberry – that have an edible element. But, like all good stories, there’s more. Unique hinterland business Rainforest Liqueurs has utilised these special native food sources to create unique native liqueurs. “I had been teaching myself about the Australian Native foods and cooking with them,” John King, who started the business in 2000 with his wife Mary, said. “I was looking for a way of value adding the native foods and decided that making Liqueurs would be an interesting direction for a business. “I originally come from the Appalachian Mountains in America. It has been traditional in the mountains to use the wild foods so it was an easy step for me to think of ways of using the wild foods in various ways.” Rainforest Liqueurs makes 16 different liqueurs, using wild fruits, leaves and flowers of native bush trees and plants. “Most people are amazed at the flavours that I am able to get from the native foods,” Mr King explained. “They appreciate the fact that we are wild crafting products from our native foods”. Rainforest Liqueurs, is located in the Hinterland, and is included on the […]

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Maleny IGA proud supporter of Local Produce

Maleny IGA proud supporter of Local Produce – Click here to find more on the Maleny IGA Website Maleny IGA is more than the local grocery store; it has become an icon and a destination in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Owners Rob and Sam Outridge have owned the store since 1995 and transformed the oldest commercial building in Maleny into a modern store with good old fashioned service – yes, they still take customers groceries to the car. And in keeping with the modern era they also offer of an online shopping service with home delivery. So what is it that makes Maleny IGA a destination for both tourists and locals? The answer is simple, it is diversity – the variety is both interesting and intriguing. There are the standard grocery lines before a world of discovery opens as you enter the organic and health food section boasting a range of products at your finger tips including numerous gluten free foods. Included across all lines are local and Australian made products and the local products are in very high demand. A ticketing system identifies the local, regional and Australian made items for customer making the conscious decision to support those food producers. Every section has something a little bit special. As part of recent renovations, a custom built Himalayan Salt Dry Aged Beef cabinet was installed, and the friendliest butcher in the world, Caine, is nearly always onhand to explain how the cabinet works. His passion is as tender as the meat. […]

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Cocorico Chocolate – a Tasty Gem off the Tourist Path

Cocorico Chocolate – a Tasty Gem off the Tourist Path Not far off the beaten track (344 Flaxton Drive, Flaxton QLD) is a sweet treat for those with a tastebud for quality, and you will find the unique little boutique chocolatier, Cocorico Chocolate. The business is run by Sebastien Clerc, who, at just 21, already has five years’ experience in creating unique French chocolates and, more recently, traditional hot chocolate drinks. His chocolates are manufactured from imported French chocolate infused with a variety of special flavourings. His hot chocolate drinks are made from the chocolate, but mixed with cream and milk and a variety of flavours including strawberry, raspberry, hazelnut, cardamom and for those with a fixation on spices, there’s the ancient Mayan flavour that includes chilli, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Sebastien’s business started as many others do – he loved eating chocolate, but was dissatisfied with chemicals found in most other chocolate on the market. “The love of chocolate,” is the simple reason he gives for the underlying motivation for launching Cocorico Chocolate. “I love eating chocolate, but I got sick of all the artificial supermarket stuff, so I started making my own,” Sebastien said. “And people said I should start a business… so I did.” That was when he was 16, so he started googling and watching YouTube videos to research and teach himself the process. His research is “ongoing”, although he has well and truly learned skills to earn the title of Australia’s youngest chocolatier. In the ensuing […]

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City folk unwind with fresh food, fresh air at the Glasshouse Mountains

City folk unwind with fresh food, fresh air at the Glasshouse Mountains By Richard Bruinsma Imagine a big spacious cottage set in peaceful farmland at the foot of the rugged and majestic Glasshouse Mountains. When it’s time for dinner, there’s an organic vegie patch waiting just beyond the veranda, with fresh chicken eggs, and freshly baked bread at the ready. This is the scene at Blackwattle Farm, a B&B and farm stay nestled on 20 acres amongst farmland near Beerwah but still just 10 minutes’ drive from Australia Zoo. The farm is a local example of self-sufficiency, with vegetables, meat, eggs, and milk (not for guests due to health regulations) sourced on the property. Any other required produce is sourced from local growers. They also make their own jam. The farm has one self contained rainforest cabins and a mountain view suite and is able to sleep up to six guests at a time, including children, with a farm tour and breakfast included. “It’s great to just see people come here and unwind, a lot come from Brisbane and they feel like they’re miles from anywhere,” Emma Carlos, who runs the farm with her partner Mark Simm, said. “It’s really quiet and private, we’re away from the roads so there’s no traffic noise, and we’re right at the foot of the Glasshouse Mountains.” The property overlooks Mt Beerwah (regarded as the mother of the mountains) and Mt Coonowrin (also known as crookneck, the oldest son). Mt Tobrogargen, the father, sits […]

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Adopt a Beehive promotes vital Pollination

Adopt a Beehive promotes vital Pollination – Click here to see more about Adopt a Beehive A hinterland business is pushing a unique concept of adopting beehives – an idea that helps improve yields on fruit and vegetable plants, as well as increasing bee numbers and encouraging the vital natural process of pollination. Adopt a Beehive also hosts information luncheons that include guided beehive inspections, an opening of a beehive and tastings of honey from five different beehive locations. Paula West, the Queen Bee of Adopt a Beehive, came up with the novel idea when one of her other businesses – a small cropping farm called Kookaburra Organics – kept fielding queries from amateur growers about low yields. “We would find people coming up to us seeking advice on their crops, and they would ask why they had so many flowers on the lemon tree, or Adopt a Beehive promotes vital pollination their zucchini vine, but hardly any fruit,” Ms West explained. “We would ask, ‘How many bees have you seen in your garden?’ and they would answer, ‘a few’ or ‘not many’ or even ‘I haven’t seen any bees in my garden’, which is tragic.” Ms West, also a qualified beekeeper, aware of the absolutely vital role played by bees in pollination, started wondering how she could help boost bee numbers in local gardens and encourage better pollination generally. “And we wondered, ‘how can we do this?’ and we came up with the idea of Adopt-a-beehive.” Adopt a Beehive places […]

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Come On Up, enjoy our Hinterland Hospitality – you will love it.

Come On Up, enjoy our Hinterland Hospitality – you will love it. After experiencing the culinary delights in the Hinterland you will need somewhere to stay and there are plenty of places to choose from. No matter what your budget or your preferred style of accommodation you will be spoiled for choice in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The available holiday rentals range from motels, caravan parks, traditional bed and breakfasts, boutique guest houses, cottages, cabins, tree houses or resorts with full spa facilities. Farm stays are also available for those wanting something a bit more active. You could be nestled in pristine rainforest or have spectacular views of the beautiful natural environment. You can choose to be pampered for your short stay or weekend get away. If you wish, you can hide from the world and not see another soul for the duration of your visit. Some places are situated so that you can walk out to the local shops and restaurants at Montville, Mapleton or Maleny, while others are further away from the hustle and bustle and the only day to day noise is that of the forest. The quality is high, the value exceptional and the service is friendly and welcoming. For a romantic weekend away, a midweek escape or a honeymoon, you can find a range of hinterland accommodation to suit your desires. You may seek a fully self contained cabin in a variety of environments; you might be looking for treehouses hidden in the rainforest, cabins […]

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