Driving Day Trips on the Sunshine Coast
If your idea of heaven is going on driving day trips, then Coolum at the Beach is a really great spot to base yourself while you explore this beautiful area of the Sunshine Coast. To give you some ideas of the drives you can take from Coolum beach and inspire you to find more - here are two fabulous driving destinations in the hinterland to add to your list:
Montville and Maleny
Dominating the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast are the Blackall Ranges, named after the second Governor of Queensland, Samual 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 pottering around the local art galleries or craft stores, wander around 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 100’s of old clocks, the fabulous Chocolate Country where they make handmade treats, savour a coffee at the Poets Café, visit the local pottery studios or drive on up to Lake Baroon Pocket Dam and have a lazy picnic.
The Mary Valley
The Mary Valley is tucked in behind the Blackall Ranges. Just 20Km west of Maleny, you can drive up from your Coolum accommodation to the Mary Valley through Conondale, where the headwaters of the Mary River start. This is a beautiful part of the country with a long winding drive through scenic pine forests, rocky crags and rich farming lands. Then cruise on up through Kenilworth and on to Gympie – a pleasant 70 Km drive through some of the most Stunning country in the south-east.
Kenilworth is a small country town with a population of around 300. So take a break here and taste the locally made and award winning cheese and yogurts, pop into the historical museum or take a bush walk through the forest reserve with its deep gorges, mountain streams and waterfalls.
And if you are in Kenilworth during Easter then celebrate the Cheese, Wine and Food Festival with the locals or do something really different and go to the Kenilworth Show and Rodeo in September.
Once at Gympie, visit the Gold and Mining museum and pan for gold, ride the Valley Rattler – a tourism icon (this great steam train ride will be reopening in 2014 after an upgrade to the rail system), swim in the Mothar Mountain Rock pools (along the Old Noosa Rd) or visit the Bull Shop – a cattle property at Langshaw, just 14 Km south-west of Gympie.
These are just some of the scenic drives you can do on your Coolum beach holiday.