Road Trip City to Surf to Hinterland


Brisbane To Sunshine Coast, Blackall Ranges to Brisbane.

Armed with a loose itinerary, old-school tunes and the freedom to stop and start whenever we please, we grabbed the dog and jumped in the Ute for a Road Trip north. Yes, we all know Brisbane is the best place on Earth, but it’s nice to share the love by taking a short trip north to the Sunshine Coast every now and again. We just have to share this with you.


Our first stop often referred to as the beating heart of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, is where you can enjoy an ocean dip during the day and a cocktail at night. If you're having a shopping frenzy at Maroochydore and feel you need time out, just pop, literally around the corner to the Sunshine Plaza where, you'll find The Nines Emporium. The Nines Emporium has been voted one of the six Sunshine Coast's favourite breakfast outlets by Sunshine Coast Daily. With generous overflowing breakfast plates, towering burgers, exotic fruit bowls and seriously loaded shakes, this venue will have you feeling like you have stepped into a wonderland of fantasy food. Kick back with a locally sourced Vintage Black coffee and order one of their many fantastical dishes, here there’s no such thing as over the top.

 I shared Big Breakfast Club of thick toast, potato gems, cheese kransky, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, tomato, wilted spinach & 2 fried eggs with Shari (pup), while Kim went with Mars Bar Waffles, made up of waffle covered with chocolate ganache and thick caramel sauce, topped with vanilla ice cream and garnished with mars bar treats.


From breakfast we headed to laid-back Coolum Beach for our pup to have a run on the beach. A patch of four-paw paradise that incorporates surf, sand and a saltwater creek for dog paddling, Coolum offers an expansive off leash zone that extends north of the Coolum Beach caravan park to one kilometre north of Stumers Creek.


How to get there: From David Low Way, turn into Stumers Creek Road

(beach access 67 to 72).


Parking: Closest parking located at the very end of Stumers Creek Road.


Need to know: Toilets, picnic tables, a playground, doggie bags and taps are located at the car park at the end.


Handy tip: A smaller car park is located halfway down the street if you’d prefer a quiet stroll through the bush to access the beach.

From the beach we escape to the beautiful upper Mary Valley Country, behind the Blackall Range to the town of Kenilworth. Arriving from Little Yabba Park direction, we entered the southern end of the main street where Kenilworth Cheese Factory sits. The Cheese Factory has free cheese tastings daily and gourmet produce.  Everything happens in Kenilworth’s main street on the weekend.  For a peek into the past stop into the Kenilworth Museum or modern-day highlights at the Kenilworth Dairy. We parked at the Kenilworth Park and walked back up the main street checking out the café’s, shops and Kenilworth Hotel which opened 1939. 

But a business that has really put Kenilworth on the map is the Kenilworth Country Bakery, made famous for its 1kg donut challenge and coffee served in a donut. The heritage-listed county bakery building has survived for 97 years and is the oldest building in Kenilworth, complete with the original, unusable ovens still installed. 

Local air brushing artist Ryan Cribbons aka Daus von Roe  painted the first 15-meter mural of musicians like Led Zeppelin, Beyonce, David Bowie, John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, the Doors and Salt ‘n’ Pepa. Music lovers need to walk to the rear exterior of the bakery to appreciate this work. In 2020  Daus Von Roe revisit the Kenilworth Bakery to paint on the side wall of the adjoining building which lines the bakery’s driveway, another mural which contains images of some 30 well known musicians from across the world.


From Kenilworth we headed south turning at Little Yabba Park to Mapleton on the Blackall Range. We passed by the fabulous red/brown barn-like structure that is Obi Obi Community Hall. Continuing on, the road climbs through the Blackall Ranges. It is steep but bitumen from this direction. The road is divided at the range with a steep gravel section from the Mapleton side. The Blackall Range dominates the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast in South East Queensland. The main settlements on the range include the quaint villages of Maleny, Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton. Mapleton Falls National Park is one of several national parks located on the Blackall Range.

We stopped at Flaxton Barn, which is an unusual little place located on winding Flaxton Drive. Flaxton Barn is a treasure trove, with walls lined with attention-grabbing antiques and collectables; vintage telephones, soap holders and gramophones; and gorgeous gift wares; scrumptious-smelling soaps, wooden bookends, animal statuettes, mirrors, charming teapots, teacups and kitchenware.

From Flaxton, it’s only a short drive to Montville. Along the way, you can catch glimpses of the coast, or even veer off at Kondalilla Falls Road for a picnic at Kondalilla Falls National Park. 

Montville boasts glorious views of the Sunshine Coast & Hinterland while providing visitors with a unique shopping and dining experience. History and architecture buffs will marvel at the fine buildings which run along and around Main Street, Montville and across the range. From Montiville we bypassed Maleny and headed down the range to Landsborough then home.

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