We find a local to give us a taste of what makes their home town special.

More than 10 years ago, Mark Skinner and his wife, Joanne, were on the hunt for a tree-change to escape the corporate world.

They found salvation in the sister towns of Maleny and Montville and, before they knew it, they were the proud owners of Narrow Escape Rainforest Retreat.

Today, Mark is still in love with his friendly, rainforest encircled home. Here, he takes us on a tour of the perfect day.

Mark’s hit list

6am: Rise and shine

Start the day bright and early on the Maleny Trail, and catch a glimpse of a platypus at sunrise, if you’re lucky.

8am: Breakfast with the locals

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Maple 3 Cafe for great coffee. You can’t go past their classic BLT.

10am: Books and brew

The third Thursday of each month is market day at the local IGA, where local producers showcase their products.

Take a stroll along Maple Street and check out the boutique shops.

Rosetta Books is one of my favourites with a coffee shop to boot.

Also on Maple Street is Colin James Fine Foods, renowned for the best ice-cream in Queensland.

Make sure you try some of the more exotic flavours, such as pistachio and rosewater.

The fromagerie is a must-do if you’re a cheese lover.

12pm: Enjoy a paddle

Wander to Coral Street and visit the Brouhaha Brewery, our newest craft brewery. Sample a small selection of beers on tap with a beer paddle and grab lunch while you’re there.

I recommend the salt and pepper mushrooms with wasabi yuzu dressing.

2pm: Treat yourself

After lunch, wander next door to Mukti Organics and discover Australia’s premium range of eco-luxe, certified organic skincare products.

2:30pm: Garden views

Take a drive to the Maleny Botanic Gardens to see exotic flora with the awe-inspiring Glass House Mountains as the backdrop.

4pm: Discover Montville

No trip to the hinterland is complete without a visit to Montville, a 15-minute drive from Maleny along Balmoral Ridge with breathtaking views.

Take your time wandering the village, until dinner, when there’s no shortage of options.

7pm: Dine at Altitude

Altitude on Montville has a superb menu created by local chef Matt Golinski.

The taro chips with coconut and turmeric yoghurt are moreish, and the goat’s cheese and chard tortellini highly recommended.

8pm: Make your escape

Spend the night at our place, the five-star Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, for some well-deserved tranquillity in the rainforest.

The nitty gritty:

Where exactly? A one-and-a-half hour drive from Brisbane.

Population: Roughly 3400 people live here.

What’s it all about? Set in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, it’s a cool retreat in the shade of the Glass House Mountains.

Why go? Lush and tropical, Maleny and its nearby town Montville have a calming, relaxed vibe.


See Affordable Summer Holidays for more on Maleny and things to do in around the town.

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