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Mapleton Botanist Artist takes Scientific Look at her Creations

It could perhaps be argued that there should be no better person to create intricate and detailed images of Australia’s flora than an artist that also happened to be a qualified botanist – well, that’s what the hinterland region has in Dr Nita Lester of Mapleton. Dr Lester is a practicing Queensland Government botanist, and also consults on all things flora for several other organisations, including a botanic garden and a number of Brigalow and western Queensland offset projects. She has operated out “The Wilde Woode Studio” at her home in Mapleton since moving to the hinterland from Brisbane in 2012. “We moved from Brisbane to a 30-acre piece of land that backs onto the eastern edge of Mapleton Forest,” she said “It has a view to the east to the ocean and the brilliant blues of the ocean and the greens of the forest really inspire me.” While, as an artist, Dr Lester focuses on zoological and botanical subjects, mainly Australian natives in pen and ink, graphite and watercolour, she has many other create outlets. She is a graphic designer, owns a publishing company and publisher of scientific and fictional stories, creates botanical and wildlife drawings for interpretative signage and national park information boards, she hosts botanical art and botany workshops, and is a talented photographer of flora and fauna wildlife and human portraits. Dr Lester is the author of several research articles plus two editions of “Woodland to Weeds”, a text used by universities, mining exploration companies and […]

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Magical landscape home to coast’s “most photographed tree”

By Richard Bruinsma There is an ordinary tree that stands tall and solitary in an open green paddock on Maleny’s southern escarpment, but is most probably the Sunshine Coast’s most photographed tree. And there really is no reason why that honour is any real surprise. The tree itself, in an area colloquially known as “One Tree Hill”, seems to exude quiet majesty, indifference to the world’s goings-on, and a reassuring message to relax and enjoy the many simple beauties of the world. Then, there is the backdrop to the tree that helps underpin these important messages – the Glasshouse Mountains, with their ruggedness, natural beauty, danger, mystery and unwaveringendurance. Together, the tree and its unpredictable mountain backdrop are quite magical. For some 15 years, newlyweds have flocked to the paddock for their wedding photos to create not only beautiful photographic memories, but also to breathe in the positivity for an ideal beginning to their new married lives together. The property has been owned for 99 years (100 years in 2017) by the well-known local Woods family. Florence Woods told Come On Up newspaper that the community’s interest in the tree and its backdrop first started when the friend of her daughter asked to be allowed to be photographed at the site. Mrs Woods and her late husband Frank agreed. And, from there, it has grown to attract scores of couples each year – sometimes up to six couples on one day. On one occasion, she said, a visitor turned up […]

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Basement Bar Builds Nambour’s Niche

Guys, this is huge! Your Mates Brewing Co., one of our fave local craft beer crews, has opened a seriously awesome new beer cave in Nambour! Introducing The Basement. We all already love Your Mates Brewing Co. and now you get to give them a whole lotta love in their new digs, while sipping on their sessionable beer and shooting the breeze. And seriously—the new bar? Epic. Aptly named The Basement, it was once just that. A hotel storage basement held together by panelling and walls that hadn’t been touched in about 50 years. But like everything these guys do, it’s had heart and soul poured into it (along with a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears) and been transformed into a moody, industrial space which will inspire you to meet up with mates, sit back, and appreciate the goodness of craft beer and all it stands for. Matt Hepburn and Christian McGarry are the creators of Your Mates and the pioneers of this underground London-esque space. Their bromance began a mere three years ago when they became housemates; at a time when they were both working their way out of their previous careers as a project manager and teacher. What started as a pipe-dream convo one night over (someone else’s) beer, has organically grown into their reality today: A place where they get to serve their own lovingly-brewed beer, out of their own taps, while sharing their love, knowledge, and passion of what good beer really is. It hasn’t been an easy journey for these guys. With no prior experience in […]

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Australian Opals – Precious, Unique and as Individual as you are

The unique play of colour and extraordinary patterns makes the Australian Opal one of the world’s most beautiful and precious gemstones. Opals Down Under, located in Glenview, has one of the finest selections of Australian Opal you will see anywhere in the country. Down Under is open 9 am to 5 pm every day (excluding listed public holidays), at 11 Ballantyne Court, Glenview, or visit www.opalsdownunder.com.au Started in 1985 by the Stein family (who still own the business), Opals Down Under has become one of the ‘go to’ destinations on the Sunshine Coast for visitors, and a first choice for unique jewellery for locals to select from too. Now celebrating their 30th year, Opals Down Under reflect upon their achievements, from selling outstanding opal jewellery to the Brunei Royal Family, supplying beautiful opal earrings to Meryl Streep, cutting and polishing a rare Queensland Boulder Opal specimen to be used in a world monument in Japan celebrating Toyota’s 70th anniversary, as well as the multiple awards won. The Opals Down Under family takes pride in knowing they’ve helped to push the profile of Australia’s national gemstone. Regarded as one of the finest Opal Cutters in Australia, Manager and Opal Artisan, Scott Coggan has an inspiring and inventive perspective on Opal Jewellery and says, “Gone are the days that we simply cut an opal, with many clients these days opting to widen their imagination and choose incredibly individual, contemporary designs.” “We put a unique spin on opals with very original and contemporary […]

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Mapleton National Park Walk the Lesser-known Track

Mapleton National Park Walk the Lesser-known Track Mapleton National Park provides perhaps one of the most challenging of all the sections of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s Great Walk. However, it also seems to be the lesser known of other walks, perhaps due to its proximity behind the very popular Mapleton Falls National Park. Mapleton National Park should not be confused with Mapleton Falls National Park, although the two are quite near each other. The complete 58km Great Walk utilises both – Mapleton Falls National Park is included in section three of the walk, while Mapleton National Park is section four of the walk. Entry is via Delicia Road, Mapleton, or by following the signs along the walking track within Mapleton Falls National Park. The Mapleton National Park walk includes steeper gradients, a myriad of roots along the path which require vigilance from tripping, several sections where walkers must climb over large trees that lie across the track. It also delivers perhaps the widest variety of landscapes as any of the sections of the Great Walk – thick rainforest, palm forests, thinned treed bushland, grasslands, steep rocky inclines and damp waterfall areas. This walk does provide the most visual reminder of the area’s logging past, with countless tree stumps bearing the signs of the lumberjacks and their axe-work to fell these majestic and lucrative sources of building timber. The 7.3km return walk from the parking area to Gheerulla Falls takes approximately 3.5 hours. Make sure you take the usual water and […]

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Everything “strictly local” at Monty’s of Montville

If you’re looking to buy a Coca Cola in Montville, you’ll be wasting your time by dropping in to Monty’s of Montville. The store sells proudly sells only Queensland-made products, and some98% of those are sourced from producers locally in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Their blued ribbon products include 43 different milkshake and thick shake flavours, using only local Maleny Dairies milk, ice cream from Colin James in Maleny and flavouring syrups all sourced in the Sunshine State, mainly from Crows Nest. The store was recently voted among the best milkshake outlets on the Sunshine Coast, by metropolist.com.au “There was no one out there that sold only local products – they might do one shelf of them – but I wanted to do a whole store that was predominantly locally made,” owner Greg Burnett said of his motivation to open the store. That was five years ago, and so far it’s been a huge success, with some of their jams and chutneys in such demand from one-time English tourists that they’ll pay whatever it costs to get them posted to their home in London. “We’re in Queensland and I just wanted to showcase as much local as possible – if someone comes in from down south, they don’t want a bottle of jam from Victoria if they’re from Victoria themselves.” Monty’s of Montville also sell a musk flavoured soft drink made exclusively for the store, as well as exclusive dukkah’s in flavours like Montville Citrus Twist (nuts, herbs and spices […]

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Mapleton Falls a Walk with Nature

Close your eyes, take a slow deep breath, and stand still on the walking track in Mapleton Falls National Park… then allow your senses to be absolutely soothed by the wonderful variety of bird calls echoing through the trees. Squawks, whistles, quick light chirps, and even a sound very much like joyful bright bell are among the sounds that emanate from the greenery. If you look closely as you walk the 1.3km circuit, you can catch a glimpse of the tiny birds that flitter amongst the undergrowth of this lush green rainforest area, as well as other birds scratching and playing among the leaves and rotting trees on the forest floor. The Mapleton Falls National Park walking track remains one of the hidden and relatively unknown natural gems of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, but well worth a visit. It is also section three of the Hinterland’s Great Walk – four individual hikes that stretch a total 58km from Lake Baroon, through Flaxton, through Mapleton Falls National Park, and then onto the adjacent Mapleton National Park. Mapleton Falls represents some of the best the Sunshine Coast’s inland mountain range has to offer in terms of natural beauty, magnificent views, lush plants and that thriving birdlife, as well as providing a historic glimpse into what the hinterland landscape was like in the years before development. The pathway is not very long compared to some other coast walking tracks; it is well marked, although it has more gradients and steps along the track […]

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