Rainforests. Waterfalls. Crystal-clear rockpools for swimming. Local fresh produce. Hmm….sounds good doesn’t it? The Sunshine Coast Hinterland in southern Queensland offers a picturesque break from the endless beaches and water activities of the famous Sunshine Coast. Why not shift your gaze inland for some mountain fresh air and stunning vistas?
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is only a 30-minute drive inland from the coast or 1:30 hours north of Brisbane. So, it’s very easy to do as a daytrip or stay awhile to really explore all the fantastic activities the area offers. A true self-drive destination, the Hinterland is dominated by the many National Parks and the 3 main towns of Maleny, Montville and Mapleton. It’s all about taking time out to enjoy the fantastic array of local produce at the country markets, visiting the dairy & cheese purveyors, admiring the art at the local galleries and craft studios, enjoying some local wines or beers with fantastic views and of course not forgetting plenty of hikes and spotting wildlife in the National Parks.
Blessed with a sub-tropical climate you can expect an average temperature of 28 degrees in summer and 20 degrees in winter. No extreme weather for the Sunshine Coast Hinterland which is perfect for picking a half-day or full-day section of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland great walk route or planning a picnic at Baroon Pocket Dam. If you are looking for a break from the buzz of the Sunshine Coast, then the Hinterland is the perfect peaceful escape. Here are some of the key things to do:
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland has plenty to choose from, but the top 3 would have to be: Kondalilla Falls – Located north of Montville these falls are found in the heart of the Kondalilla Falls National Park. The Kondalilla Falls circuit is a 4.7km walk and to reach them enjoy a bushwalk through rainforest to a picturesque rockpool at the top of the falls. Gardners Falls – One of the prettiest waterways in Australia. There are freshwater rock pools perfect for splashing about, with the largest pool for swimming found underneath the falls. Mapleton Falls – The most impressive of them all as the falls plunge 120m. The Mapleton Falls Lookout is actually above the falls itself.
Glass House Mountains:
The Glass House Mountains National Park is not-to-be missed. Remnants of volcanic activity from many millions of years ago, the mountains stand proud in an awe-inspiring landscape. Start with a stop at the Glass House Mountains visitor centre, a great way to get a good orientation of the area. Make sure to stop at picturesque lookouts, or get your heart pumping with some hiking, rock-climbing or abseiling.
Blackall Range Tourist Drive:
Arguably the most scenic of the Sunshine Coast drives, the Blackall Range Tourist Drive takes you through a number of quiet little townships nestled up in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, enjoying amazing views of the valleys below and the coast off in the distance. Rising up over 500 metres above sea level you will find that the air is cooler, the grass is greener, and the local produce is fresh and tasty. Wander through the many art galleries, sample the local produce at the boutique wineries, cafes & restaurants, do some rainforest walks, meet the locals at the markets and you’ll even find a traditional cheese factory.
Nature Lovers Paradise:
For lush rainforests, pretty waterfalls, crystal-clear rockpools for swimming, plenty of wildlife and picturesque hikes you are spoilt for choice in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Kondalilla National Park is a refuge for native wildlife and plants. For unspoilt mountain scenery visit Conondale National Park. Mapleton Falls National Park has the most impressive waterfall. The Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve has 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest and a great rainforest walk.
Take the time to visit the Sunshine Coast Hinterland when in the area. Make a point to discover what is special about both the Sunshine Coast and the hinterland. It’s always nice to get off the beaten path and immerse yourself in the local community!