Maleny is a comfortable drive from Brisbane and inland from the Sunshine Coast. It is a beautiful destination offering breathtaking views over the Glasshouse Mountains, rainforest walks and picturesque dairy farms. It also has a strong community and a culture of regional food and quality art.
The main road in town, Maple Street, is dotted with cafes serving local milk and ice cream, fruit and vegetables, produce and there’s even dedicated chocolate and cheese shops. Look out for Maple 3; the Maleny Food Co. and the wonderful Maleny Co-Op, which is a treasure to explore.
There are tempting boutiques and no less than three bookshops alongside art and craft galleries. Don’t miss Ginger Lilli boutique, Rosetta Books and Peace of Green, another example of the town’s thriving co-operatives. Even the Op Shops are ‘finds’ and there is so much more to explore. Check out the finest timber furniture, the Sunday market in the RSL Hall, the heady scents of the Soap Bar, or go back to nature and do a bit of platypus spotting in the creek.
Out of town, wind through the green countryside to Maleny Botanic Gardens which also has Bird World or stroll through Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve with its splendid new discovery centre.
The drive along Mountain View Road provides exactly that and can lead to more restaurants (the iconic Terrace Seafood Restaurant), to some pampering at Spa Anise (in the Spicers Tamarind Retreat) or to exquisite art (Art on Cairncross). The gallery there is currently supporting the local community by exhibiting a major Howard William Steer painting being raffled for Zonta. Why not grab a ticket, you might get lucky?
It is no surprise that people often regret not having longer to stay, but there is a great range of accommodation to allow more time to see it all. For more information see www.hinterlandtourism.com.au