Maleny

The delightful Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Maleny lies in picture-postcard dairy country, interspersed with rainforests. Located high in the Blackall Range, about 30 kilometres south-west of Caloundra, the area is renowned for its environment and numerous scenic spots.

All around Maleny arts and craft galleries abound. There is a wide choice of cafes and restaurants in Maple Street (main street) Maleny as well as at Cairncross Corner and along Mountain View Drive. Most eateries feature local and organic produce in a picturesque setting which is just a 90 kilometre drive north from Brisbane, but 1,000 kilometres from the cares and pressures of the big smoke.

There's a myriad of sightseeing opportunities in the area, including panoramic views of the Glass House Mountains. Bushwalking and bird-spotting are popular pastimes in this area. You can also explore the walking trails through the lush rainforests of the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is a fulfilling eco-friendly journey into the beauty of nature. The 58 kilometre walk winds through the Blackall Range and traverses some of the most scenic areas of the hinterland including Maleny Forest Reserve, Kondalilla National Park and Mapleton Falls National Park. Experience a half-day stroll, a full day hike or an overnight quest. Maps are available from the Visitor Information Centre.

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Mount Cook National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
This park features the rugged Mount Cook, which provides a scenic backdrop to the town of Cooktown. Rainforest and tropical woodlands with a heath understorey cover the upper slopes and sheltered gullies.
Free Entry
In this park, an imposing mountain range of massive granite boulders is home to unique wildlife and rich in Aboriginal culture. Located near Cooktown at the northern end of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Black Mountain is imposing mountain range of black granite boulders, some the size of houses, stacked seemingly precariously on one another.

Lizard Island Group National Park

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Free Entry
Set in a turquoise sea, the six high islands and islets of this park are surrounded by coral reefs, fringed by mangroves and sandy beaches, and cloaked in grasslands, woodlands and wind-sheared heaths.

Cobia Hole Dive Site

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Free Entry
Located just off the shore of Lizard Island north of Cairns, Cobia Hole features a jumble of rocks, no bigger than a tennis court, decorated with marine life. With a maximum depth of 18 metres, this rocky outcrop is home to hovering sweetlips, emperors, cobia, estuary cod and more.
Free Entry
Nature's Powerhouse Visitor Information Centre at the Cooktown Botanic Gardens provides all the information you need to explore this site. Established in 1878 as the Gallop Botanic Reserve, it comprises a formal botanic garden, and a substantial natural forest and ocean frontage.

Cooktown

Cooktown, Cook Area
With bitumen all the way along the 330 kilometre inland Mulligan Highway from Cairns, Cooktown is easy to get to. If you want a more adventurous route, go four wheel-driving along the coastal Bloomfield Track crossing rivers and creeks through World Heritage-listed rainforest and join the highway at the mysterious pile of rocks known as Black Mountain.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef.
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