A Canberran’s Guide to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

A Canberran's Guide to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Written by Publishing Team

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There’s a lot to love in sunny Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, but if you head inland to the hills of the nearby Outback instead, there’s a whole new world of delight to discover – at a slightly slower pace.

Beginning just 90 minutes north of Brisbane with the Glass House Mountains and beyond, the Outback covers a lot of ground.

With hills, forests, and waterfalls galore to explore and gorgeous villages to discover, it’s up to you how you travel, but from burgers to decadence and mountain climbing to sipping on cocktails, there’s plenty of things for everyone.

Now with direct flights between Canberra and Maroochydore, it’s even easier to get to the Sunshine Coast, regardless of pesky border restrictions. And the Outback turns out to be a foodie haven just like its bigger cousin in Noosa with a wealth of farmers and producers serving quality food with some of the best restaurants on the Sunshine Coast.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s on offer.

eat and drink

The rich volcanic soil of the hinterland is a delight for food producers, evidenced by the range of high-quality cuisine on offer and the rich history of dairy farming in the region.

Explore on your own or join one of the many food discovery tours on offer, featuring cheeses from local dairies, chocolates, distilleries, wineries, and more.

Look out for great breweries like award-winning Brouhaha in Maleny or Copperhead Brewery in Cooroy that take local brews to a whole new level with good food on the side or the new boutique Eumundi Distillers (Gin anyone?) that joins Eumundi Brewery at the Grand Imperial Hotel the old.

Wild Missile in Misty

Wild Rocket. Ownership of the author of the images.

The quaint historic building that houses Montville’s Wild Rocket, the artisan’s heart of the Outback, tempts locals and visitors alike for hearty meals and fun times.

Once the village general store, it is now the home of chef/owner Peter Brittel and his wife Belinda who have roamed the area for 10 years sourcing the best local produce and organic meat to turn them into goodies of all descriptions.

The large, traditional menu offers generous dishes from around the world – from glazed duck to scented curry – with an occasional nod to Peter’s English roots, such as sausage and mash.

Beer lovers can sample small batches of brews from the on-site microbrewery and stay in the beer garden on sunny days – most of which are found in Queensland.

142 Main Street, Montville |

long apron

Located on the picture-perfect Clovelly Estate, the double-hat Long Apron, part of the Spicers Collection of luxury resorts across Australia, has been providing an unforgettable fine dining experience for a long time.

Polished yet relaxing, it takes inspiration from French classics to create a feast for the senses: crab with hibiscus; Serve organic beef with dark chocolate, macadamia granita with citrus salad.

New chef Andy Birch’s menu reflects the resort’s commitment to sustainability with an emphasis on local produce, complemented by the property’s private garden and bees.

Wine lovers will be delighted with the wine list that crosses France and Australia recognizing the old and the new, with champagne of course.

Choose lunch or dinner but don’t second-guess yourself – just go for a dusting adventure. There is no time limit here: this is an experience to be enjoyed.

Spicers Clovilly Estate, 38-68 Balmoral Rd Montville |

Spirit House Restaurant & Cooking School

The small village of Yandina is home to the culinary icon of the Sunshine Coast. Overlooking a tranquil lake in a garden wonderland of greenery and bamboo, Spirit House (featured photo) has been delighting guests with modern Asian flavors since 1997.

Now in the hands of the able sons of the founders, it continues to serve up signature dishes such as the famous coconut chowder with lemongrass and smoked salmon or the crunchy whole fish with tamarind sauce that has been on the menu since today.

To discover some of their culinary secrets, join one of the popular four-hour cooking classes seven days a week. Book early to secure a seat at the restaurant, but if you miss, the communal dishes and cocktails at the on-site Hong Sa Bar are a good alternative.

20 Nendre Road, Yandina |

Rick’s Garage

For a bit of vintage fun and plenty of car memorabilia, head to Rick’s Garage, past mechanical repairs, and now dinner, at Palmwoods for a mouthwatering service of American dinner culture.

We’re talking wings, burgers, and fries (fairly excellent French fries) with some iced buns thrown in for good measure. As evidenced by the range of motorbikes in the foreground, this pumping restaurant is a favorite among cyclists who explore the surrounding hills on wheels and is constantly buzzing with people and live entertainment.

There are ample types of beer, including local brews and a whiskey bar to boot. Tip for younger players: Consider choosing a child size milkshake as the adult group is a meal in itself.

14-16 Margaret Street, Palmwoods |


pottery studio

Explore the mysteries of pottery and unleash your inner artist with a fun class at The Pottery Studio in Nambour.

With expert education, this small studio on the outskirts of town offers a range of workshops: try a wheel-throwing class or explore hand-crafting, or there’s the option of clay and wine (or coffee) for some extra laughs.

Even if you haven’t created a masterpiece, it’s a chance to let go of your stress and enjoy the moment. Don’t wear your good equipment and beware the teachers are finished ghost The references and some of them have not even seen the movie.

There is another studio in Maroochydore that also offers lessons for children. It may whet your appetite for more.

4/20 Brooks Street, Nampur |

High tea at Flaxton Gardens

In the small village of Flaxton, one of the most beautiful settlements in the mountains, the fairly large Flaxton Gardens are located on top of a hill.

Starting as a vineyard and pottery vineyard, it has evolved into a gourmet venue for weddings and events and home to the finest teas for special occasions. Boasting colonial splendor, manicured gardens, and sandstone for days, it’s the perfect spot for a spot of sumptuous nibbles and fine china.

Choices abound: Maybe there’s a relationship of tapas from zucchini tempura and grilled chicken brioche to macaroons and lemon myrtle panna cotta, or seafood spreads (High C!) or a smoky pile of barbecue delights—not a bun in sight!

Morning or evening sessions are available from Wednesday to Sunday. Leave time to wander the grounds and take in the scenic views across the hinterland along the way to the coast.

313 Flaxton Drive, Flaxton |

Eumundi . Markets

No trip to the Sunshine Coast is really complete without a visit to the famous Eumundi Markets, which are over 40 years old and ever-evolving. It is Australia’s largest arts and crafts market but still manages to have a village vibe with live music and entertainment on the side.

There is an amazing array of household items – all made, baked, crafted, grown or sewn – and the chance to meet their makers. Markets are held every Wednesday (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and Saturday morning (from 7 a.m.), whether it’s rain, hail, or shine.

Go with an empty belly and arrive early to pick up a good street park or dump $6 at the ECCO car park on Napier Street if you missed it. Don’t you dare buy something.

80 Memorial Doctor, Omondi |

Bond Spa

It’s the little things that make a day spa special, like iced pomegranate tea on arrival or a cup of bubbles, or maybe the big things, like hectares of surrounding tropical gardens – or maybe both.

Located in a quiet area of ​​Doonan, 10 minutes from Noosa, Ikatan Spa is a slice of Balinese paradise full of pampering. For maximum privacy, wood treatment villas are spread along winding stone paths or you can take a foot or head treatment in the common garden room for a dip in the greenery.

Ikatan offers a menu of treatments that is out of the norm, and also allows guests to linger longer with tasting dishes or nibbles before or after the treatment.

Don’t miss the Asian Head Massage, which owner Katrina Thorpe created by blending techniques from five cultures.

46 Grays Road, Dunant,


Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat

This secluded getaway tucked away from Montville may just have earned the best Tripadvisor romantic getaway in the world (yes, the world!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t get away there with your best friend or all three.

With only six private villas nestled among subtropical rainforests, it’s all about relaxing in nature with an abundance of luxury. The resident owners Ali and Zucchi have thought of everything to make your stay special: a porch hammock, a Brickey basket overflowing with fresh croissants, a heavenly bed, tables, local organic toiletries, and their own nature wandering around a starter table.

There is even a firewood because it can get a little chilly in the hills. Minutes from Lake Boreen and Kondalilla National Park, it is ideally located for further exploration. You will wake up to the sounds of birdsong and leave refreshed.

78 Narrows Road, Montville |

The country house in Hunchy

The country house in Hunchy. The property of the author of the image.

Along a quiet winding lane in a secluded valley, some true rustic hospitality and a bit of luxury await at this modern Queenslander home in Hunchy, a small town in the foothills of the Blackall Range.

Hosted by tree-changers Paul and Karin Orwin, this light-filled B&B offers two spacious suites, an expansive tropical garden, walks and waterfalls at your doorstep.

Bring your rubber pants for breakfast, a sweet three-course affair that showcases Karen’s passion for cooking and home-baked pastries.

Just minutes from Montville, you can dine in the city or stay at home with an extensive menu on display that caters to everyone. Leave your curtains open for a chance at a gorgeous sunrise in the Outback without leaving your bed.

813 Hunchy Road, Hunchy |

Novotel Sunshine Beach Resort

Novotel Sunshine Beach Resort. Ownership of the author of the images.

If you like to explore the hinterland but can’t tear yourself from the coast, this just-renovated resort of 36 hectares (which means really huge) of gardens and bushland offers the best of both worlds.

It is located in Twin Waters, just a stroll to the beach and only 20 minutes from the hills. The expansive private lagoon with its sandy beach is the star of the show, where you can take part in the included watersports like kayaking and boating, or relax around sipping cocktails instead.

Choose from studio rooms, apartments or cottages that float on top of the water. Wake up early and you might meet some frozen kangaroos feeding on the meadows.

270 Ocean Drive, Twin Waters |

The writer was a guest on Visit Sunshine Coast. Main image: Author’s own.

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