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Maleny - A Lovers Paradise
maleny qldMaleny encompasses everything that a great romantic holiday destination should. This unique rural community is nestled in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast and truly is its hidden treasure. Characterised by rolling green hills, hidden pockets of rainforest and idyllic views of the Glass House Mountains, Maleny is the perfect place to escape to for a relaxing weekend of just sitting back and absorbing the wonder and beauty of nature. Although it is a great place for any kind of holiday, the best way to discover it is on a romantic getaway, for just the two of you.

Maleny is positioned in the mountains, around 100 kilometres north of beautiful Brisbane, and just 30 kilometres south-west of the coastal hub of the Sunshine Coast, Caloundra. This positioning means that it is simple to head up on a Friday afternoon after the long day at the office. A scenic drive through the Blackall Range will prepare you for the majestic scenery that awaits you in Maleny, with breathtaking countryside and idyllic views capturing your attention for the entirety of the drive.

From the minute you drive into Maleny, you will instantly feel a rush of fresh air come over you, bringing with it, an immediate sense of relaxation. The crisp mountains air and laid back mentality of the town assist with this, and the locals will welcome you with a warmth and friendliness that this area is now accustomed to. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from once you arrive and the Rosebrook Cottages are perfect for a couple seeking romance, offering luxurious and private cottages and services.

After settling into your home away from home, head to the town centre and check out some of the great local restaurants that are waiting to serve dinner to you. King Ludwig's offers authentic German cuisine, or if you want something a little cheaper, while still enjoying the cozy, laid back atmosphere, check out the every popular Mapleton Tavern.

After spending your first night simply relaxing and getting the feel of the place, you may wish to discover some of the unique and enjoyable activities Maleny has to offer. Take the short drive into the town centre and enjoy a late breakfast at one of the many sidewalk cafes in the centre of town. Then, once your tummies are content, walk it off as you stroll down Main Street and check out the local shops, craft stores and art galleries. Maleny's magnificent views and stunning surroundings make it an idyllic home for many of Australia's painters, potters and sculptors, and the local galleries take advantage of this and put their work on display. The town is also highly regarded for its award winning local cheese, ice-cream, dairy and other produce, so make sure you support the local trade and sample some of this fantastic food.

Begin an adventure of nature when you head out to the lovely Lake Baroon. Enjoy a romantic picnic lunch as you absorb the peaceful calmness of the glistening water and the pleasant breeze. After lunch, possibilities include sailing, canoeing or fishing, or hiring a bicycle and taking a pleasant bike ride along the scenic roads surrounding Maleny. All of these activities give you the chance to further soak up the fresh air, feel the wind through your hair and forget about normal everyday hassles.

All this exercise and fresh, country air is sure to make you hungry again, so head back to your cottage to freshen up before heading out for a romantic dinner for two at another of Maleny's fine restaurants. The Terrace of Maleny is an award winning restaurant and offers an unbeatable dining experience. However, this place tends to draw the crowds so if you are after something a little quieter, try Capriccios, a restaurant that offers gourmet Italian food that is sure to please.

After tea, take a short drive down to the Maleny Community Centre, the home of the Maleny Film Society. You may be lucky to catch a diverse and quality new film, which may not even be screened in the city. This unique experience is sure to make this weekend a memorable one.

As the last day of your weekend getaway creeps up, your adventurous side may once again come calling. The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is an eco-friendly track, spanning 58 kilometres of the Blackall Range. You have the option of hiking the track for a half day adventure, or simply taking a stroll on specific parts thats capture your attention. The Maleny Forest Reserve, Kondalilla National Park and Mapleton Falls National Park all have fantastic lookout spots and picnic hideaways and are also perfect for a little bushwalking.

As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately this will be the case with your weekend getaway to Maleny. Take the journey back down to reality, driving through the mountainous terrain, while once again soaking up the scenery and beauty that encapsulates this area. The essence of Maleny remains for the entire car trip home, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and relaxed, ready for the week to come. Maleny truly does have a peaceful and calming atmosphere that makes you keep coming back for more.

Christine Barton

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