Half-an-hour inland from the buzz and beaches of Noosa, this subtropical countryside soaks up an average seven hours’ daily sunshine, 300 days a year. Visitors aren’t the only ones liking these odds – so do the local cows, who produce all manner of delicious dairy delights.
Everyone knows you should…
Spend Saturday at the Eumundi Markets Bring an empty belly and full purse as you’re bound to find all kinds of tasty gems here from laksa to paella, coffee to old-fashioned lemonade and fresh bread. There’s also an array of artworks, homewares, skincare and jewellery by local designers. eumundimarkets.com.au
Tour Maleny Dairies Fridges-full of dairy staples including milks, yoghurts, custards and creams are produced here, and you can see it all for yourself on the behind-the-scenes tour of sustainable milk production… or just head to the baby animal pen. malenydairies.com
Visit The Ginger Factory Much more than locally-made ginger snacks, the factory is packed with rides, tours, honey hives, and some serious taste-testing. There’s even a heritage-style village called Ginger Town… of course.
But locals say you need to…
Come for the ‘real’ foodie fest It’s often in the shadow of nearby Noosa’s International Food and Wine Festival, but the Real Food Festival in Maleny from 7-8 September is nothing to scoff at (scoffing down tasty treats, however, is a different story). With stalls, demonstrations, discussions and hands-on activities throughout the weekend, it promises to be equal parts filling and fun.
Book and cook The hinterland is home to a smorgasbord of distinguished cooking schools, whatever your culinary preferences. From Thai dishes at Spirit House Cooking School or Spicers Tamarind Retreat, to European creations at The Long Apron Cooking School at Spicers Clovelly Estate or Freestyle Escape. The hardest part is choosing which one. spicersgroup.com.au; spirithouse.com.au.
Bargain degustation Set amongst leather high-backed chairs, timber pillars and candlelight, lunch-goers at the ever-popular Reserve Restaurant in Maleny can lap up a four-course feast for $50.
Where to stay
Artisans Spa Views B&B: This little hideaway promises front-row views over Maleny’s mountainous surroundings, king-sized beds, spa baths and the option for massages, antipasto platters and any requested extras for an idyllic getaway for couples. From $250 a night. spaviews.com
Glass House Mountains Ecolodge: Nestled in the Glass House Mountains, 80 kilometres south-west of Noosa, there are several room configurations here but the two-bedroom Mt Tibro Family Suite is especially good value for travelling families. Complete with polished timber floors, air-conditioning and large deck, there’s also a fully-equipped communal kitchen area. From $175 a night.
Wittacork Dairy Cottages: Set on a 300-acre dairy farm in Maleny, the property also contains 100 acres of pristine rainforest adjoining Lake Baroon. Each cottage comes with a sprawling deck and plentiful creature comforts for a self-contained stay. Cow milking, animal feedings and rainforest walks are also on your doorstep. From $440 for two nights.