Summer’s Golden Gleam
Enjoy an adventure on the road less travelled during a picturesque drive through the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Sample light-as-a- feather scones at Montville or visit a boutique cheese factory or family-run vineyard at Maleny.
Maleny Dairies is a family-owned business situation in its picturesque hills, one of the few that own the distinctly brown spotted Guernsey cows rather than the more commonly-seen black-and-white Holsteins – their milk is much sweeter and creamier than usual, resulting in a higher quality product. You can opt for a tour of the facility that includes a hand-feeding experience of the calves (and the resident pigs and chickens) and a sampling session of its award-winning milks, yogurts, and creams.
Surrounded by magnificent rainforests with spectacular views of the Glass House Mountains, the Maleny Botanic Gardens is a passion project that was first started a few years ago by a botany enthusiast who emigrated from South Africa. Today, it currently boasts four kilometres of walking paths that meander through various themed gardens and water features (many a couple have said their vows here), where you can catch a glimpse of some of the rarest cycads and orchids in the world.
On your way inland from the coast, be sure to make a stop at Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter (the late Steve Irwin, whose 10-year death anniversary falls this year). Watch a show, get your photo taken with something wild or become a keeper for a day – Queensland is the only state in Australia where you are allowed to hold a koala, so be sure to do so!
There is also an enclosure of free-ranging red and grey kangaroos whom you can feed and pet; we recommend visiting in the early mornings before they get their daily feedings so these critters will be extra excited to see you. Pioneered by Steve Irwin himself, the Australia Zoo also houses one of the busiest and most well-equipped wildlife hospitals in the world. The facility rehabilitates and releases over 7,000 wild animals a year, including marine life and reptiles! Be sure to make a donation if you can and become a Wildlife Warrior – Justin Timberlake has.