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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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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.

Doonan

Doonan, Sunshine Coast Area
Nestled in the scenic Noosa Valley, Doonan is known for its charming bed-and-breakfasts, luxury villas and country retreats. These home-away-from-homes offer privacy, well-appointed rooms, rainforest settings, tennis, day spas, superb dining and a raft of activities.

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.

Cooran

Cooran, Noosa Area
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.

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.

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.

Conondale

Conondale, Noosa Area
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.

Palmwoods

Palmwoods, Sunshine Coast Area
Set in the heart of an arts and craft hub which typifies Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland, the small rural town of Palmwoods is at the crossroads of the region’s tourist network. Set in a mosaic of avocado, custard apples and pawpaw orchards, orange groves, and banana plantations, Palmwoods is only a few kilometres south of Nambour.

Kondalilla National Park

Montville, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
A refuge for many species of native animals and plants, Kondalilla National Park is a popular place for birdwatchers and nature photographers as well as bushwalkers. With a magnificent waterfall, rock pools and freshwater creeks - is it any wonder the park gets its name from an Aboriginal word meaning 'rushing waters'?

Flaxton

Flaxton, Sunshine Coast Area
Flaxton is a tiny village where you will find lovely arts and crafts and excellent Devonshire teas and lunches. Surrounding the many avocado orchards is a town of restaurants, guesthouses, art and craft galleries and private dwellings.
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