5 Reasons to Enjoy a Couple’s Retreat to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Looking for a romantic getaway in Queensland that does not involve crowds of people, scorching temperatures, and sand following you back to your cosy cabin?
Just an hour north of Brisbane sits the dream escape amongst rolling green farmlands, pockets of rainforests, and views out to the ocean and over some of the most majestic mountain peak vistas you’ve ever seen.
The Sunshine Coast’s most prominent feature are the Glass House Mountains, a total of 14 solidified molten rock spires, named by Lieutenant James Cook after the shape of the glass kilns back in the north of England. They have this ancient, spiritual energy that draws you in.
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is the perfect place to escape to with your loved one under their protective eye. It can get hot here, but it’s cooler than sea level, yet the breeze often rises up the peaks, and there are plenty of cool shady forests to sneak into for a spot of relief.
Here’s why we think it’s a perfect retreat for couples:
Plenty of Walking Trails
Some couples might not see walking trails as a feature of the ultimate couple’s getaway, but for my husband and I, it’s one of the first things we incorporate into a holiday that’s just for us. It’s where we connect as a team in nature – treating our bodies and our relationship at the same time.
The hinterland is full of easy forest trails and slightly more challenging ones up. Our pick is the Mt Ngungun walk in the Glass House Mountains National Park. It’s an easy 2.4km return walk up to the peak of Mt Ngungun where you’ll find the most spectacular views of all four major peaks of the Glass House Mountains.
Kondalilla Falls is also another stunning walk through ancient lush rainforests near Montville. Take your swimmers for a refreshing dip in rock pools on the way. The walk is 4.4km in total and can be a steep climb out if you go all the way to the bottom of the falls.
A relaxing afternoon can be spent exploring the charming villages of Maleny and Montville. They’re famous for their thriving arts community and have many artisan shops, boutique clothes, crafts and galleries for you to peruse. Drain the wallet or aimlessly wander.
There is plenty of history in the streets and architectural styles of the buildings ranging from Tudor to Irish, Bavarian and Swiss.
Maleny Botanic Gardens
I’m not one to get excited about visiting Botanical Gardens, but these drew me in and made me not want to leave. I’m claiming Maleny Botanic Gardens as one of the best in the world. The gardens sit on the escarpment with the most divine panoramic views of the Glass House Mountains.
There are ponds, waterfalls, colourful pants, layered gardens and an aviary tour where you can chat with a few rainbow coloured macaws. Rest awhile with those views and some Devonshire tea before dragging yourself home.
Incredible Food (and Wine) Experiences
This area is rich farmland, which means an abundance of fresh local produce. You might be a little shocked, but a visit to Flame Hill Winery will prove to you that Queensland has good wine!
Many of your lunchtime options provide you with incredible views over the hinterland and out to the ocean. Try Poets Café, Lookout Café and The Edge. For the evening, we recommend The Long Apron for fine dining and The Montville Bar and Grill in Montville town for something more casual, but with equally delicious food.
One of the best things about the Hinterland is you can easily enjoy a beach swim if you feel it pulling you down from the mountains. Sunshine Coast beaches are only a short 30-minute drive away.
Our favourite is Mooloolaba, a place we lived for 18 months. There are plenty of dining options, and if you take the boardwalk south to Point Cartwright, you’ll find a quieter calmer beach for swimming.
There are plenty of places in the hinterland designed with couples in mind. We stayed at the Narrows Rainforest Retreat, tucked into a small rainforest area near Lake Baroon.
Our Pavilion came with a hammock on the deck, King Parrots and Rosellas stopping by to say hi, and a delicious breakfast hamper with fresh, warm croissants delivered each morning.
Enjoy a short walk through the rainforest around the property and then call the mobile massage therapist for relaxation.
There’s only one thing left to do: grab a glass of champagne and slink into the spa with rainforest views.
Caz Makepeace stayed as guests of Sunshine Coast Tourism