Cooran

About three kilometres from the Bruce Highway, Cooran is one of those country towns that offers more than you might think. Close to the Sunshine Coast towns of Pomona, Nambour, Cooroy and popular surfing beaches at Noosa, Cooran is a pretty hamlet in a lush valley. However, for those touring the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane, which is less than two and a half hours drive away, there is much more to discover about Cooran than just its beauty.

Overlooking Cooran are the Cooran Tablelands and Mothar Mountain State Forest areas that have walking tracks and swimming holes. Take care, as access to these often requires a four-wheel drive. From the Cooran Tablelands Lookout, the scenic view along the Sunshine Coast is magnificent.

In addition, for lovers of the bush, the Noosa Trail Network includes trails around Cooran. For example, Trail two of The Scenic Trail is 26 kilometres one way and starts at Tablelands Road, Cooran and moves along to the Cootharaba Views Lookout. This trail takes approximately five hours to complete on horseback and two days to walk one way. There are four lookouts along the trail, providing fantastic views of the hinterland and coastal areas. Be warned, the steep hill climbs along the trail require courage and a high level of fitness. Locals say it is worth camping overnight at either Middle Lookout or Cootharaba Views Lookout and leave a car at each end of the trail.

If curiosities get the blood flowing, then look at Cooran Lagoon, not far from the train bridge on James Street. When it was full, local Aboriginals used the lagoon as a source of Water-lily bulbs and mussels for food and called it Guran. In 1870, the lagoon was also the site of the Half Way Hotel, on the original Tewantin-Gympie Coach route. Sadly, only a faded plaque marks the site now.

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Montville

Montville, Sunshine Coast Area
It would be hard to find a town on the Sunshine Coast that is more charming than Montville. Perched on the Blackall Range, this quaint village is home to art galleries, cosy coffee shops and boutique stores where you'll find everything from handmade beanies to one-off sculptures made by local artists.

Kondalilla National Park

Montville, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Kondalilla National Park is a cool mountain retreat in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Kondalilla, an Aboriginal word meaning 'rushing waters', describes this park's waterfall during the summer wet season, where Skene Creek drops 90m into a rainforest valley.

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.

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve comprises 55 hectares of National Estate listed subtropical rainforest overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains. A remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, the Reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal life which promises to delight with its tranquility and beauty.

Witta

Witta, Sunshine Coast Area
Fresh air, peace and tranquillity. That's what is on offer in the small hamlet of Witta. Witta, once known as Teutoburgh in the 1880s, was first settled by German immigrants. The name Teutoburgh came from a nearby German mission.

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.

Woombye

Woombye, Sunshine Coast Area
Woombye used to be called Cobb’s Camp due to the fact that it was a staging post for the Cobb & Co coaches. The local pub celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2000, and is certainly worth a visit. Woombye is home to luscious sub-tropical fruits, and the popular Macadamia nut.

Yandina

Yandina, Sunshine Coast Area
This is the famous 'Ginger Town' of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, which boasts some of the most beautiful country in Queensland. Yandina lies just to the north of Nambour, the centrally-located retail and service town for the central Sunshine Coast hinterland.

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.

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.
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