Introducing the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Head north to explore the winding roads and crisp air of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
The charming towns of Maleny, Montville and Mapleton are perched amid lush green fields and pockets of rainforest on the Blackall Range.
What to do and see
Browse for antiques, handicrafts and gourmet foodstuffs in Maleny and Montville, drop into one of the local boutique wineries to taste an award-winning verdelho or shiraz, see spectacular ocean views from mountain lookouts or go bushwalking in Mapleton Falls National Park, Kondalilla National Park or in Mary Cairncross Park.
Trip Length from Brisbane 3 days
Total distance 216km
Road conditions All sealed roads
Segment distances: Brisbane to Maleny 2hrs; 95km
Maleny to Montville 20mins; 15km
Montville to Brisbane 2hrs 10mins; 106km
Suggested overnight stops: Maleny and Montville
Must-see sights along the route, include:
Glass House Mountains
– Named by Captain Cook during his epic voyage along Australia's east coast, the Glass House Mountains are rhyolite plugs formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. An area of cultural significance for Aboriginal people, the mountains tower over a scenic patchwork of pine plantations, bushland and cultivated fields. Climb to the top and take in the great views.
– Pop into the Landsborough Historical Museum to see a display of more than 4000 items reflecting local pioneering history. Stroll along the emerging heritage trail and stop to admire the quaint railway station building.
– Stroll the charming main street, crowded with a wonderful variety of galleries, gourmet eateries and small shops. Nearby lies the picturesque Mary Cairncross Park: enjoy an easy walk through the 50ha of unspoilt rainforest or share a picnic with the native bush turkeys. The views to the Glasshouse Mountains are spectacular.
– Paddle a canoe, sail or fish this lake, located just north of Maleny village.
Mapleton Falls National Park
– Enjoy a picnic and then a short stroll through the forest to the Mapleton Falls Lookout for spectacular views of the 120m-high waterfall and rainforest valley below.
Look for Australian peregrine falcons, which often soar and roost near the Mapleton Falls cliff edge during August and September. Or stroll the Wompoo Circuit, through rainforest and eucalypt forest, stopping for the excellent views of the Obi Obi Valley from the Peregrine Lookout. Listen closely for the booming ‘wallock-a-woo’ and ‘book-a-roo’ sounds of the wompoo fruit dove, calling from its treetop feeding sites.
– Learn about local history from exhibits in the Gold Mining Museum, Lighthorse Museum and the Andrew Fischer House. The Mary Valley Heritage Railway and Woodworks Forestry and Timber Museum provide outstanding links to the region's railway and timber history.
– Absorb the quaint village atmosphere as you wander along the main street and browse the numerous gift shops, galleries, pottery shops and eateries. Try traditional bush tucker or continental delicacies washed down with fine, locally produced wines.
Kondalilla National Park
– Discover a cool mountain retreat in the scenic Blackall Range, set high above the Sunshine Coast. Choose a walking track and along the way try to spot some of the more than 107 species of birds, 70 species of reptiles and 32 species of frogs that have been seen in the park.
Stroll through tall, open eucalypt forest to the spectacular Kondalilla Falls, where Skene Creek drops 90m into a rainforest valley below. Or take the
Rock Pools walk, a 3.2km track above the waterfall on Skene Creek, and view the rainforest valley below.