With lush green rainforests and national parks full of wild life, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a nature lovers paradise. The regions forest sand bush land areas are home to a multitude of bird life, koalas, possums, goannas and kangaroos.
The enchanting Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is located a few minutes from Maleny and features endangered species, subtropical plants and remnants of the ancient forests that once covered the Blackall Range. This 55 hectare rainforest overlooks the Glasshouse Mountains and is home to the Mountain Crayfish, Great Barred Frog, Marbled Frogmouth and the Red-necked Pademelon. Mary Caircross is also one of the only few breeding habitats for the southern species of the Pink Underwing Moth.
Conondale National Park forms the heart of an extensive area of unspoilt mountain scenery in the Conondale Range. With magnificent forests, deep gorges and spectacular views, this park and the adjacent State Forest offer scenic drives, picnic areas and a choice of four grassy camp sites near rainforests and mountain streams. Birdwatchers will enjoy Little Yabba Creek, while mountain bike and horse riders can explore the park and forest along vehicle tracks.
The Glass House Mountains National Park was named by Captain Cook as he mapped the Queensland coast in 1770. The “Glass Houses” are distinctive volcanic plugs that rise abruptly out of a patch work of farms and forests. The mountains are spiritually significant to the local Aboriginal people and the park is madeup of several sections that include most of the peaks and forest areas. Within the park there are eight walking tracks ranging from 25 minutes to three hours and catering to all levels of experience.
Kondalilla National Park takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning “rushing waters”. In this cool haven on the Blackall Range, Skene Creek plummets 90 metres over the falls to a rock pool below. The park shelters five rate and threatened frog species as well as the rare bopple nut. The ara is popular with bird watchers and nature photographers due to its stunning views, untouched rainforest and abundant wildlife.