Head inland from the famous beaches of the Sunshine Coast and into the hinterland where you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery forms a stunning backdrop to the beaches.
This is an area where you can discover the ancient volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains, walk through the lush rainforests.
Even the drive through the countryside is an experience in itself, and one of the best ways to take in the view. Pack a lunch, strap on those hiking shoes and make a day trip out to discover picturesque waterfalls and scenic lookouts from Flaxton, Mapleton, Maleny and Montville, through to the Glass House Mountains and Kenilworth.
Experiences to be had
Whether you’re looking for nature, attractions, animal encounters, art, food, shopping and more, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland has it all.
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a nature lover’s paradise with its diversity of flora and fauna. Pristine, sub-tropical rainforests, are easily accessible, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy towering trees and sparkling waterfalls, along with an abundance of native plants and wildlife on one of the many well maintained nature trails and walks. Some of the best hikes include:
- THE MALENY TRAIL
- BAROON LOOKOUT
- BERGANNS WALK
- THE FIG TREE WALK
- GARDNERS FALLS
- KONDALILLA FALLS WALKS
- LINDA GARRETT RESERVE CIRCUIT
- MAPLETON FALLS & WOMPOO CIRCUIT
- MARY CAIRNCROSS RESERVE & RAINFOREST DISCOVERY CENTRE
- SUNSHINE COAST HINTERLAND GREAT WALK
Arts & Crafts
There is a strong history of art in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Inspired by the outstanding natural beauty, many professional artists have chosen to live in the area and so there is a wealth of art and galleries to be found in the region.
First established in 1972, Montville Art Gallery has a long reputation for exhibiting a wide range of established and emerging Australian artists. Over 40 artists are on permanent display with a different featured artist each month.
Maleny Botanic Gardens is a unique, privately owned garden, consisting of nearly 18 acres of gardens, set on a 110 acre property. Overlooking a backdrop of the iconic Glass House Mountains and surrounded by magnificent rainforest.
Stay a little longer
A day trip is not enough to see the beauty of this area, so why not extend your visit and stay a few nights. There is plenty of accommodation choices, ranging from luxury to eco-lodge and even a few unique stays.
Nestled in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland town of Maleny is Spicers Tamarind Retreat. Here you can enjoy the very best of winter in the Hinterland, escaping the chill by the fireplace in your luxury villa as you look out over the rainforest, enjoy a day of pampering at their Spa Anise or indulge at their hatted in-house restaurant – The Tamarind. Spicers Tamarind is welcoming visitors back with a number of special deals, including their ‘Birthversary’ special, inviting visitors to celebrate life’s momentous occasions with them, or simply rejoice at the end of isolation. Prices start from $1198 for two nights and includes luxury accommodation in a forest villa, daily a la carte breakfast and a three-course dinner at The Tamarind or in-house barbecue pack.
Glass House Mountains Eco Lodge offers a truly unique experience. Their accommodation offerings include a resorted 125-year-old Queensland timber church, a Victorian Train Carriage built between 1882 and 1886 and resorted 60-year-old Queensland train carriage. Offering spectacular views over the Glasshouse Mountains, it’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature. For those who book direct, you can use the code GHMECO to receive complimentary tropical style breakfasts mid-week.
Stay in your own secluded treehouse at Secrets on the Lake in Montville! Located in the rainforest on tranquil Lake Baroon, there is limited one-night stays from $450 or you can book-in for a special dining experience. Secrets Dining on the Deck offer patrons panoramic views of the water, mountains and rainforest, has a fully licensed bar and is open 6 days a week serving breakfast from 8:30am, delicious lunches from 11am, and until 4pm for an indulgent champers, coffee or cake. They also offer a range of takeaway picnics for you to book and then collect to enjoy on the shores of magnificent Lake Baroon in the northern recreation area.
Set in amongst 20 acres of magnificent Sunshine Coast Hinterland rainforest, only 1.5 hours drive north of Brisbane city and right next to Kondalilla National Park, a large natural rainforest reserve hosting the famous Kondalilla Falls, this authentic retreat away from city life allows you time to experience nature in a setting abundant with natural bush lands and wildlife.
Narrows Escape is a boutique 5-star luxury rainforest retreat designed for relaxation and romance, nestled in pristine rainforest on the edge of Kondalilla National Park. The six fully self-contained pavilions feature contemporary luxury, including fully appointed kitchens, deep double whirlpool spa baths, a log fireplace, luxurious furnishings, exquisite rainforest views as well as all conveniences such as free Wi-Fi, flat screen TV and Nespresso coffee machine.