Hinterland Highlights

Archive | Hinterland Highlights

Discover untamed beauty in the Hinterland

If you enjoy breathtaking maintain scenery, clean air and hiking in unspoilt wilderness, your next trip to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland would not be complete without a visit to the Glass House Mountains.  The Glass House Mountains is a group of eleven hills that rise majestically from the coastal plain on the Sunshine Coast.  The highest mountain is Mount Beerwah which is 556 meters above sea level but the most notable peak is Mount Tibrogargan which faces in an easterly direction looking out to sea.   Located about 70km north of Brisbane on the Bruce Highway, take the Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive exit and follow the signs to the Glass House Mountains.  The area was named by Captain James Cook in 1770 whilst sailing north up Australia’s east coast and it’s believed that Cook gave the area the name of Glass House, because the mountains reminded him of glass-making furnaces in England.   The Glass House Mountains area was a special meeting place where local Aboriginal people gathered for ceremonies and trading.   This place is considered spiritually significant with many ceremonial sites still present and protected today.  The area around the mountains produces many tropical fruits such as avocados, pineapples and papaws as well as strawberries, vegetables and nuts but eco tourism is the area’s largest industry.  Whilst planning your journey, you can get all the information you need from the Glass House Mountains Visitor and Interpretive Centre.   This accredited Visitor Information Centre offers a one stop shop for travel information including maps, brochures, and itineraries.   The Centre is staffed by local volunteers who have […]

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The magic of Christmas at Montville’s Fudgyboombah

Who would have thought you can make a fudge that tastes exactly like Christmas pudding?   Well that old son of a gun Mr Fudgyboombah AKA Mr Greg Jones and his talented wife Gail have done exactly that.   In 2010 they made their first batch of Christmas Pudding fudge cakes, a 350 grams fudge cake that looks like a pudding, it even has the thin layer of custard on top.   They made the first batch in 2010 and there was more demand than they imagined and every year since then the orders come in earlier, in fact there are already orders this year!   They say the proof is in the pudding so they gave one to friends, the husband is not a fudge fan, so when his wife saw him enjoying a huge piece she told him it was fudge and he said no this is Christmas pudding, it tastes exactly like that anyway.   The vast array of delicious home-made fudges and nougats on offer at Montville’s Fudgyboombah makes it a wondrous and magical place to visit in the Hinterland.   Greg and Gail have worked tirelessly to create unique fudges, their ‘Scottish Tablet’ has attracted customers from all over the world.   “We didn’t have an old family recipe to fall back on so we had to find our own recipe,” Mr Jones said.  “And it took four years to perfect it before we put it out for sale – now it’s our equal best-seller.”  It’s one if the unique fudges available at Fudgyboombah, which has more than 70 different flavours on sale every day – with recipes […]

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Love of Red Cedar creates beautiful unique carvings

Finding the harmony between a design in the mind of wood carver Jack Wilms and the right piece of unique timber, and a love of Australian Red Cedar, combine to create the intriguing works on display at the Obi Valley Woodworks gallery.  The gallery, in the Obi Valley, just below Mapleton, is home to a stunning array of one-off wood sculptures, furniture pieces, jewellery boxes and even displays of those emerging works midway through creation.  “A combination of creativity, hard work and a deep respect for the timber he loves most results in the beautiful sculptured one off pieces that he creates, ” Jack’s partner Monica McLaren explains.  Jack has been working with the deep red timber as a self-taught carver, full time for the past 27 years.   “Once I have the image completed in my mind, I find the right piece of timber and then complete the artwork,” he says.  “It’s easy once I have it completed in my head.   “I don’t work off drawings or plans, I just start working on the piece and the end result speaks for itself.”  Jack’s gallery, Obi Valley Woodworks, is well worth a visit. To get there, follow Obi Road from central Mapleton for about 17km, then follow the signs at Coolabine Road exit. The gallery is open most weekends between 10am and 4pm.   “Visitors to our gallery, upon seeing the artwork for the first time, are usually amazed by what Jack can do with the timber,” Monica says.  Jack’s skills are also visible in Montville, with […]

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The art of living well

Google “the art of living well” and you will end up with all manner of unhelpful philosophical quotes from the like of Aristotle and Epicurus. The statues of these antiquarians tell a tale of a life without prunes or basic roughage.   For example “The greatest good is to seek modest pleasures in order to obtain a state of tranquillity” which is fine if you are into “modest” and “tranquillity”.   For those of us seeking a bit of immodesty and self-indulgence the answer does not lie with the philosophers of old. Today’s world is all about pressure.   Let’s assume you have a partner and possibly a ‘noise with dirt’ (a boy) and a ‘sulk with an iPhone’ (girl). You have both done the heavy lifting to build a home and raise the family. Painfully you have come to realise you are not an LBGT, green, indigenous, muslin, minority refugee with a stuffed boat now working for the ABC and thus have little standing in Australia today.  For you discretionary time is at a premium. The weekends are an unpaid Uber blur of children’s sporting activities where you are probably paying for them to aspire to the standards of behaviour of a Nick Kyrgios.   If you plan to survive into dotage you need to schedule some down time. I can hear you saying that the family/job/pets would not survive without you. The reality is of course that the sun will continue to set, the moon will rise and Trump’s comb over will still be the biggest cover-up in the Whitehouse since Watergate.   So if you really want to embark on the discovery of “the art of living well” turn your mind to a calculated escape and discover that there is some sanity […]

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Great Walk Flaxton to Mapleton Falls

The Great Walk between Kondalilla Falls at Flaxton and the Mapleton Falls National Park could be described as the most challenging and also the most beautiful of all four sections of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s Great Walk.  This section of the Great Walk extends around 10.6 kilometres in total, which includes around 3.5km along mainly bitumen and concrete roadways and footpaths at the Kondalilla Falls carpark, along  Montville-Mapleton Road at Flaxton and 1.7km walking along Flaxton Mill Road until the track goes bush.  It’s also possible to park at the bottom of Flaxton Mill Road so as to skip the first “urban” section of the walk.  The 4.3km section of the walk from Flaxton Mill Road, down into Baxter Creek Valley and then back up toward Obi Obi Road at Mapleton, is perhaps the toughest physically of all sections of the Great Walk.  It includes a gradual-but-relentless zig-zagging descent as the track makes its way down toward Baxter Creek, before walkers cross a suspension bridge across the creek and then begin the journey back out of the valley and towards Mapleton.  It’s not hard to argue with the signage that suggests experienced walkers only should venture along the walk. While the tracks are very good, in some parts they are narrow, they include quite a number of steps, and can be slippery when wet. It’s a great workout for the lungs and thighs.  Walkers of moderate fitness should allocate around 2.5 hours to complete this 4.3km section, one way.    The walk is perhaps less popular that other more-publicised sections of the Great Walk like the section from Baroon Pocket Dam to Kondalilla Falls, as well as the shortest section that encompasses Mapleton […]

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The Falls Montville

The Falls Montville is having a stellar year!

The Falls Montville Voted Trivago’s number one 4.5 star hotel in Australia 2018. Awarded TripAdvisor’s ‘Best Small Hotel’ in Australia 2018. Winner TripAdvisor ‘Best Service of all Australian Hotels’ 2018. And currently #1 hotel on TripAdvisor’s live Australia rankings! The property, however, is not resting on its laurels. 10 new reverse cycle air conditioners have gone in. As have rainhead and hand held showers in cottage bathrooms. New tapware graces cottage kitchens, spas and bathrooms. New bathrobes, pillows, linen and towels add to cottage plushness. Free WIFI is now available in all cottages and the manor house. Two new manor house bedrooms and an additional bathroom have been brought online. (The Manor House now offers six beautiful bedrooms – all with private, ensuited bathrooms!) Refinements have also been made to the excellent gourmet breakfast offerings. “But”, said owner Aryna Dryden, “some things don’t change! Refreshments on arrival, personal check-in, spotlessly clean accommodation, quality ironbark firewood, luxurious cottage double spas, free dinner transfers, complimentary port and chocolates, complimentary cappuccinos at reception, fun on the croquet lawn…. and the many ‘personal touches’ on which The Falls has built its reputation.” The 6 secluded and private rainforest cottages are designed for couples. And the manor house now takes groups of up to 12. The overall property accommodates up to 24 guests. “We’re ideal for many traveller profiles”, added Alan Dryden. “We adore romantic couples. We offer corporate retreats from 6 to 12 executives. We’re perfect for groups of couples travelling together. Girls’ weekends are ideal. Bridal groups and wedding guests are welcome. As are family reunions. And international travellers too. “Montville is a […]

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A Wonderful Woombye Weekend Walk

Visitors to the hinterland are invited to take a short train trip and walk through the townships of Palmwoods and Woombye, which are located just down the range about 10km drive from Montville.  Walkers are invited to begin the one-hour adventure at the Woombye Railway Station on Barts St, which includes great car parking.   For $5, purchase a single station train trip to Palmwoods, before exiting the station and a short walk to Chevallum Rd and the rainforest walk in Kolora Park (also known colloquially as the Ducks Ponds).  Kolara Park is home to various bird life, a nice rotunda, playground for children and some history boards to read. There’s also a water fountain and toilet blocks.  From here, watch out for traffic to cross over Woombye-Montville Rd to Koorawatha Lane. This is where a well-paved 5km path begins – walkers on this route burn some 500 calories and can get their step count up to about 10,000.  There’s plenty of bird life in the tree canopies, so keen photographers should have their camera handy to capture the colourful array of parrots feasting on the native trees, some more than 100 years old. Check for information plaques mounted on rocks at the foot of some of the huge trees.  Walkers then come to crossings over Holly Green Crescent and Tarong St, as the pathway continues heading up a slight incline. The pathway is ideal for those looking for a brisk walk for fitness, but also for those keen for a quiet leisurely relaxing stroll.   Just on the right is Cittamani Hospice, which provides compassionate palliative care.   Further along the leafy pathway, after crossing Colsak Close, is Brady’s Fruit Stall on the right. It’s a popular spot for buying fruit and vegetables, or a quick drink or a fresh snack.  The next street along the walk is Abbotts Rd, followed by Sir Francis Nicklin Park, a historic park named in honour of a former Queensland Premier. It’s also handy […]

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Getaway from it all at Bellthorpe Stays

Nestled in the rolling green hills at the confluence of the Blackall Range and the Conondale Range is Bellthorpe Stays. Being just over an hour from Brisbane, Bellthorpe Stays is quite accessible yet tucked away from the riff raff of busy day to day life. There is absolutely no traffic at Belthorpe Stays.   Immerse yourself in the peace and quiet, with birds and wildlife nearby, you won’t want to pack your bags for the trip home – yes, linger for a little bit longer. You can easily lose yourself in the tranquillity of the surroundings. Bellthorpe Stays is on 400 acre property with tall eucalyptus woodland and rainforest with buttress trees, strangler figs, fern trees and tangled vines. The property shares a two kilometre boundary with the Bellthorpe National Park with its immense vista of protected habitat.   Offering both a simple farm stay as well as a nature based accommodation experience with four private and well equipped cabins.  These are ideal for singles, couples, friends or family.  Cabins are one or two bedrooms with each one fully self-contained with linen and all that you need for a comfortable stay, all you need to bring is your food and personal belongings.  During the winter months, you can get cosy by the log fire – yes, the wood, kindling and fire starters are supplied and well stocked.  Winter months typically are cool at night, frosty mornings and beaming warm sunshine during the day.   All the cabins are setup to take advantage of the local scenery; birds will visit you regularly and many of […]

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