Beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland Day Trips
The Sunshine Coast is well known for its popular beaches, but visitors to Coolum Beach should also consider a day driving trip of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, exploring the lush countryside that was once home to the early settlers of the region. Complete your Sunshine Coast vacation with a day trip to The Mary Valley, or visit the townships of Maleny and Montville for their arts and crafts, and explore Gympie, once one of Australia’s richest Gold townships.
The Mary Valley
The Mary Valley is located behind the Blackall Ranges. Just 20Km west of Maleny, you can take a scenic drive up to the Mary Valley through Conondale, where the headwaters of the Mary River begin. This is a gorgeous part of the country on a long winding drive through majestic pine forests, rocky crags and luxurious farming lands.
Montville and Maleny
Dominating the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast are the Blackall Ranges, named after the second Governor of Queensland, Samuel Blackall. And nestled in the hinterlands, just 40 Km south west from Coolum is the historic town of Montville with scenic Maleny a further 20Km south.
Spend your day in Maleny being inspired and awed by the local art galleries and craft stores, wander through the stunning Botanic Gardens, hike up to beautiful Kondalilla Falls, dine in one of their many excellent restaurants, and end the day with a visit to the popular Cheese Factory. In Montville, visit the Clock Shop, an awesome display of hundreds of old clocks or the fabulous Chocolate Country where they make handmade treats. Relax and enjoy a coffee at the Poet’s Cafe, visit the local pottery studios or drive up to Lake Baroon Pocket Dam and enjoy a lovely outdoor picnic.
The scenic driving tour is not complete without a stop in historic Gympie. Be sure to visit the Gold and Mining museum and pan for gold. Dare to ride the Valley Rattler! This great steam train ride reopened in 2014 after an upgrade to the rail system, and is now ready to tour you through the beautiful valley in old fashioned style. Take a refreshing swim in the Mothar Mountain Rock pools along the Old Noosa Road, or visit the Bull Shop, a lush cattle property at Langshaw, just 14 Km south-west of Gympie. Whatever your destination, a visit to the Sunshine Coast is not complete without including a driving tour.