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Conondale

Conondale, like many rural towns in South East Queensland, is pretty. The town might be a great spot for a chance to catch your breath during what is a very scenic drive but there is something about Conondale that is as subtle as it is magic. When travelling from Maleny, Conondale is the first opportunity to take a close-up and easy look at the river that gives its name to the valley through which it passes - the Mary River.

Just near where the Maleny-Kenilworth Road crosses the Mary River, Fritz Park offers the chance for a picnic and time to contemplate exactly why this little village is so special.

Conondale is distinctive because of its proximity to the rugged beauty of the range to its west called the Conondale Range. Within the Range a national park called Conondale National Park is an unspoilt and undeveloped park of harsh beauty. Conondale National Park protects important remnants of grassy open Eucalypt forest, tall wet sclerophyll forest and subtropical rainforest that once covered large areas of the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The park is the central undisturbed core of an extensive area of forest reserves in the Conondale Range and an important refuge for many rare and threatened animals, including the Mary River Turtle, which, until recently, had not been discovered.

It is important to remember that this park is suited to very experienced walkers only. The turn off to the national park is about 15 kilometres north of Conondale at Sunday Creek Road. The turn is marked by a pretty park called Keith and Ivy Boon Memorial Park.

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Bli Bli

Bli Bli, Sunshine Coast Area
The name Bli Bli means 'many swamp oak trees'. While in Bli Bli be sure to take a cruise through the Maroochy Wet Lands Sanctuary, or walk the boardwalks through swamps and mangroves. Wheelchair access is provided via the boardwalk for part of the way.

Conondale National Park

Conondale, Noosa Area
Free Entry
Conondale National Park forms the heart of an extensive area of unspoilt mountain scenery in the Conondale Range. With magnificent forests, deep gorges and spectacular views, this park and the adjacent State forest offer scenic drives, picnic areas and a choice of four grassy camp sites near rainforests and mountain streams.

Baroon Pocket Dam

North Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Baroon Pocket Dam is a picturesque lake tucked away between Montville and Maleny. The dam offers a range of fantastic recreational facilities and you could easily spend the whole day exploring the shores and waterways.

Mapleton Falls National Park

Mapleton, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Mapleton Falls National Park marks the point just west of Mapleton where Pencil Creek cascades 120 metres over an escarpment. This small, day-use-only park shelters many bird species, including the peregrine falcon, eastern whipbird and wompoo fruit-dove.

Amamoor State Forest

Amamoor, Gympie Area
Free Entry
Amamoor State Forest produces some of the finest hoop pine in Queensland. More than 120 bird species have been sighted in its riverine rainforests and plantations of hoop and bunya pines. Enjoy a drive through the forested valley to walk through the forest along trickling creeks and streams.

Mapleton

Mapleton, Sunshine Coast Area
Surround yourself with green rolling hills and breathtaking coastal views by taking a short drive up the range to the gorgeous village of Mapleton. Grab a bite to eat at the local tavern or a cup of coffee at one of the quaint cafes along the hilltop.

Imbil

Imbil, Gympie Area
In Mary Valley country behind the Sunshine Coast, Imbil is a 48 kilometre drive south-west from Gympie. A steep haul to the Imbil Lookout presents incomparable, near 360-degree views to Kenilworth, the mountains, and the Sunshine Coast.

Nambour

Nambour, Sunshine Coast Area
Nambour was settled in the 1860s by miners disappointed after the poor returns from the goldfields at Gympie, just north. Today it is a thriving rural community a short distance west of the Sunshine Coast, and features many government offices and public facilities such as the Nambour Hospital.

Cooroy

Cooroy, Noosa Area
Cooroy is an historic country town known for its quality woodwork. This busy and creative centre has won acclaim and prizes for its streetscapes and community artwork. Settled in the late 1800s as a camp for sawmill workers, the town prospered when the railway arrived and the region's timber and dairy industries boomed.

Kandanga

Kandanga, Gympie Area
Arriving in Kandanga, it is easy to imagine the roar of sawmills, the rattle of cream carriers or the chug of trucks carrying pineapples to the station. However, imagination is essential, as these noises echoed through Kandanga in the 1940s and 1950s.
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