Last week was a doozy. Poor Leighton battled a double ear infection and we spent lots of time at home. When Saturday came around we were all ready to get out of the house. So at 8am when Travis suggested getting out of town and heading to the country, we were packed and on the road within an hour.
Ever since I visited the Granite Belt region back in 2015 with some girlfriends, it’s been one of my favourite places to escape to for the weekend. While we were on the way we called up the Peter Allen Motor Inn where we had stayed the last two visits and luckily they had a room available for the night. As we always do with car trips we made sure Leighton was in the car at nap time, and luckily she didn’t make a peep the entire three hour drive.
It is no secret that Travis and I love a good weekend adventure. Since having Leighton our international (and even domestic) trips have reduced drastically, so we love to take advantage of what is around us in Queensland.
One area that had been on our list to check our forever was the Sunshine Coast hinterland (hinterland = remote area away from the coast), more specifically the towns of Maleny and Montville. I had always heard that they were adorable little mountain towns with stunning views. For some reason it took us almost three years to visit, but a few weeks ago we finally made it.
We left the house early so that Leighton could take her nap during the hour and a half drive. The town of Mapleton was first on our destination list and checking out Mapleton Falls was the goal. Luckily, we got to Mapleton Falls National Park just in time to snag a parking spot before it quickly filled up.
It was a short circuit, so Travis carried Leighton. She really liked looking at all the leaves and the seriously tall trees.
At the end of the circuit we stopped at a viewing deck to check out the stunning mountain vista. Leighton mostly just wanted to stand on her own and look at everything.
We stopped at the viewing deck for the waterfall, but since we haven’t had much rain lately it wasn’t very exciting. I would love to go back when it is really flowing because it is quite large.
Photo from here. I couldn’t get nearly as good of a shot.
The circuit wasn’t long (1.2K), but perfect for kids or anyone just wanting to take a short but scenic walk.
After our walk, we drove to the town of Montville. One my favorite places to take visitors to Mount Tamborine because it is really scenic and has lots of cute shops. Montville reminded me a lot of the main strip there only I thought it was way cuter and less touristy. There were so many cute cafes and restaurants, along with antique and gift shops.
My favorite shop (of course) was Chocolate Country. It was hard to choose which chocolates to try because everything was so yummy looking.
We picked up a few truffles and a chocolate frog (Travis’ only request) and headed to find a spot for lunch.
There were quite a few places to choose from, but we decided on wild rocket @ Misty’s. The sign advertised a tapas menu and a micro brewery, which coincidentally are two of our favorite things. They also had live music in the courtyard which Leighton enjoyed as well. The atmosphere and food were both great. It was the perfect way to unwind after our busy morning.
We saw that there was a winery nearby so we decided to check it out. Flame Hill was pretty busy when we got there and so we waited a bit before trying a few wines. There was a fee for trying even a few wines, which is uncommon around here. Leighton was beginning to get tired, so we quickly did a short tasting and bought a bottle. Flame Hill also has accommodation and a restaurant, which was very busy. My favorite part was this cute porch off of the tasting room.
Leighton quickly fell asleep in the car, but I had one more stop I wanted to make- Maleny Cheese.
Cheese is my favorite, so I knew I had to check out the cheese shop in Maleny. I had to run in quickly since Travis was waiting in the car with a sleeping baby (and sleeping babies don’t like to be stationary long), so I didn’t take any pictures. A gouda and a port flavored cheddar made their way home with me (and were divine). I would love to go back and enjoy one of their cheese platters, like the ones I stalked on instagram.
After my purchase we headed back home to Brisbane. Hiking, shopping, wine, chocolate and cheese make for a day well spent. We always knew we loved the beaches on the Sunshine Coast, but now we have a whole new appreciation for our northern neighbor. We can’t wait to show it off to some of our upcoming visitors (all 7 of them!!).
We’re really spoiled living in Brisbane with the abundance of gorgeous national parks within a short drive. One such park we have known about for a while but hadn’t made it to was Springbrook. Last Saturday morning at breakfast we were deciding what to do with our day and decided it was finally time to cross it off our list.
We packed up lunch (and some snacks for a certain pregnant person that gets hangry easily) and hit the road.
It was just over an hour and a half before we got to the Natural Bridge section of the park. Parking was super easy and it was a short walk down to the natural bridge. Continue reading →
Last week I told you all about our mini getaway to the Granite Belt, but I only touched on our hike at Bald Rock National Park.
Just a thirty minute drive from our hotel in Tenterfield, I knew we had to check out this hike. Bald Rock National Park is just across the Queensland border, in New South Wales. On the Queensland side the park is called Girraween National Park. Both parks seemed to have awesome views and massive granite boulders, but we chose to just check out Bald Rock on this trip. Girraween, we will be coming for you next!
After our drive through the hilly countryside, we arrived at the campground and picnic area. Given it was a holiday weekend, there were quite a few families posted up shop, as well as others going to hike the trails. Continue reading →
I’m alive! Sorry for being so quiet lately, we just finally got internet in the new place this morning. Hopefully I will be back to blogging regularly now.
A few weeks ago, we had a long weekend with no plans. Friday morning Travis suggested we look up hotels or cabins in the nearby Granite Belt for Saturday night. I had visited the area with my girl friends last year and had been dying to go back with Travis. The granite belt is a few hours from Brisbane on the southern border of Queensland. Continue reading →