The Sunshine Coast Hinterland - Holiday Destination
Escape to the crisp air, stunning views and fascinating towns of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. There's another side to the surf and sun of the Sunshine Coast - every bit as relaxing and just a short and picturesque drive from the beach. It's the hinterland - the lusher, cooler, fertile lands and fascinating little towns that lie just behind the busy throng of the coast. Art galleries, craft shops, country markets, excellent restaurants and comfortable bed and breakfast guesthouses await.
A word of advice: rent a convertible so you can best see, smell and feel what's around you. You'll know you're alive with the wind in your face, the sun beaming down and picture postcard scenery rushing past. Just remember to wear sunscreen - the sunny Queensland climate can quickly turn you pink!
Sunshine Coast Hinterland Accommodation
With such an amazing array of accommodation affording coastal or mountain views, the Sunshine Coast hinterland is the perfect place for a peaceful holiday. There are plenty of beautiful bed 'n' breakfasts, cottages and holiday homes to stay in with amazing views of the country side and coast, so check lodging availability and book Sunshine Coast hinterland accommodation online.
The Blackall Ranges
Making the steep and windy climb to the mountain villages of Montville and Maleny is work enough without having to stop to let the local farmer's cows cross the road, but this is the way of things in the majestic Blackall Ranges.
The Ranges, in the heart of the lush Sunshine Coast hinterland offer the ideal short break from Brisbane. The trip is a breeze - an hour and a half leisurely motoring through pine tree plantations, fertile farmlands, past classic weatherboard Queenslander houses, and colourful roadside fruit stalls. Be sure to stop and select a few local gems - sweet pineapples, freshly picked lychees, macadamia nuts, ruby red strawberries, and home made preserves - the gooseberry and rosella jam didn't last a week!
Drink in the views. To the east rolling green hills giveway to cow studded pastures, crops and then clusters of houses and apartments along the coastline from Caloundra to Coolum. To the west are the Connondale Ranges and Lake Baroon - perched like a mirror in the velvety green undulations of the Obi Obi Valley and to the southwest the imposing Glass House Mountains.
You can visit the main villages of Montville and Maleny as a day trip, but excellent bed and breakfast guesthouses and self contained cottages, fine restaurants, art and antique galleries and craft studios as well as graded rainforest walking tracks, swimming holes and waterfalls in the Kondalilla National Park make a few days very easy to fill.
Things to Do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Gowinta Farms is the Sunshine Coast’s largest strawberry farm - pick your own strawberries between the months of May and November, jump aboard the Gowinta Express and tour the farm to learn more about strawberries and a vareity of other crops.
The Gowinta Farms Café and Caravan Park are open 7 days a week and is a great stop for freshly made scones, home cooked meals and great coffee. Gowinta Farms is ideal for families, bus tours and car clubs.
Find out more about Gowinta Farms on our Tourist Attractions page.
Taking a wander down the main street of Montville could take a whole day if you stop at every art gallery, explore each arts & gift shop and have a coffee and homemade cake at some of the local cafes. This quaint little town on the Blackall Range has a beautiful village feel to it, with the beautiful gardens, walkways and colonial buildings. Browse and taste locally produced sauces, jams and preserves as you make your way to the Kenilworth Country Foods for their traditional cheeses and yoghurts. You can plan your own day here or make the most of one of the organised day tours so you don’t miss out on anything.
The views from the top of Blackall Range are spectacular, looking out over the Sunshine Coast beaches and Pacific Ocean or west to the Great Dividing Range. You’ll also find plenty of scenic bushwalking tracks nearby, a number of which visit stunning waterfalls which are in abundance around Montville.
If Montville seems too good to leave straight away, there are a number of accommodation options where you can turn a wonderful day trip into a romantic weekend getaway. Enjoy the hospitality of one of these B&Bs so you can appreciate the views, bask in a hot spa, dine at some beautiful restaurants and have breakfast brought to your door.
Maleny is far less touristy and is a small rural community perched high above the coastline of the Sunny Coast, in the heart of the hinterland. Stand on top of any hill and enjoy views of rolling hills, green pastures with happy cows and rainforest pockets.
The beauty and the sub-tropical climate helps cultivate the artists which are drawn to the area. Maleny has several interesting antique and bric-a-brac stores and a country market on Sundays.
Fisherman also flock here due to the amazing fishing at Baroon Pocket Dam in Lake Baroon. There's no combustion engines allowed on Lake Baroon so it's quite a relaxing and quiet time out on the water with only electric motored dinghies buzzing about.
Throw a line in and you might be lucky enough to pull in a Bass or Golden Perch. The dam is one of the only remaining places where wild Mary River Cod live so you must throw these beauties back.
If it's fresh air you crave make a beeline for the walking tracks of Kondalilla National Park and waterfalls. The pick of picnic spots is Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, with its panoramic views to the Glasshouse Mountains.
And remember a fix of sun and surf is only 30 minutes drive away!
Book Sunshine Coast Hinterland Tours and Experiences Online Now
Big Kart Track
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Sunshine Coast Hinterland Restaurants
The Terrace of Maleny is renowned for it's fresh prawns, crabs and fish and its views to the Coast, where the seafood comes from!
For fine country pub meals the cosy Hotel Maleny serves hearty steaks - in summer on the deck and in winter in front of a roaring fire.
The verandah of the Mapleton Hotel is a great place to watch the world go by while tackling a Ploughman's lunch you can't jump over! Find more Sunshine Coast hinterland restaurants to satisfy your pallate.
Weather & Climate
Residents and visitors can enjoy a sub-tropical climate tempered by the ocean - therefore, it is never blazingly hot and rarely freezingly cold. Tropical lightning storms are common in the summer months.
The temperature ranges from 21°C to 28°C in the height of summer and 10°C to 20°C in winter. Visit the Weather page for more information about the Sunshine Coast climate and current weather conditions.
Getting to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland comprising of Maleny, Montville and Mapleton is located on the mountain range (Blackall Ranges) about 35 minutes drive from Maroochydore west up into the mountains (to Montville). Maleny is about 15 minutes further south of Montville, and Mapleton is about 15 minutes north of Montville. If you're coming directly from Brisbane, these mountain townships are about is 1.5 hours drive north of Brisbane, or around 100 kilometres via the Bruce Highway into Steve Irwin Way into Maleny-Montville Road. Visit our Getting to the Sunshine Coast and Getting Around the Sunshine Coast pages for transport options.
More Sunshine Coast Hinterland information
- Hinterland Tourism Sunshine Coast
- Maleny Queensland
- The Hinterland Times - free local magazine
- Montville Guide - your guide to Montville, Queensland
- Montville Chamber of Commerce