• Lyndell Daniel

Three magnificent nights at Kondalilla, Montville, Noosa and Mooloolaba

Updated: Feb 7

Whilst it would be fantastic to be able to take an extended overseas holiday, Covid 19 had certainly curtailed our travel plans for 2020. Instead we decided on a short break at Kondalilla, which is famous for its ability to rejuvenate and stimulate the mind and body. Those who follow my blogs would be laughing right now, knowing all too well, those words are not in our vocabulary and words like adventure, hiking, scrambling up mountains and spending time in the most remote parts of the world are more our style. Montville however, is the perfect place to relax and unwind and for a little romance.

We based ourselves at Kondalilla Eco Resort. The resort is nestled amongst 20 acres of abundant Sunshine Coast Hinterland rainforest and is a short walk to the Kondalilla Falls Circuit.

The cabins are amazing - secluded, self contained and have a spa to relax in, after a day of hiking and cycling.

Our cabin had a lovely deck nestled amongst the trees, where we shared our breakfast with the birds every morning. Has anyone heard of the catbird, well I hadn't. Whilst we never got to see a catbird, we heard this same sound on all of our hikes and every morning and evening. A quick google search and yes, there is a catbird, which makes a cat like sound. I made sure I recorded the sound of the catbird and the other birds to upload to the blog, but unfortunately at this time, my website doesn't support audio. I will definitely upload these wonderful audios once this option is available.

Kondalilla Eco Resort has it's own restaurant, where you can sit and watch the sunset, whilst sipping on some of the most delicious cocktails.

The food is vegetarian based (with some dishes that include salmon). Being a vegetarian myself, I can say I have never had such delicious food anywhere else in the world.

Another excellent restaurant is the Italian restaurant in Mapleton (Bella Vista Pizza & Pasta); owned and run by a Indian born lady who cooks delicious Italian food. She makes you feel extremely welcome and can tell some amazing stories.

Whilst most people sit inside the restaurant, we love the outdoors, so chose to sit and watch the full moon.

Our friendly Kookaburras that joined us for breakfast every morning and would peer through the window when we were relaxing in the spa.

On our second day, we decided to cycle to Mooloolaba.

The Coastal Pathway stretches from Pelican Waters Bell's Creek in the south to Tewantin in the north. Council market this pathway as a world class scenic route connecting the coast. The scenery is stunning and you can explore the beautiful coastline by walking, jogging or cycling. The pathway runs beside beaches, parks and there were many leisure areas to stop at also.

We also cycled along the Mooloolaba Foreshore boardwalk. Make sure you stop for a refreshing dip in the beautiful blue waters.

We had several beautiful Australian King Parrots join us.

Our third day commenced with a hike along the Kondalilla Falls Circuit.

This walking track leads from Kondalilla Falls down the escarpment into a lush rain-forested valley and then climbs up the ridge again to return to where you start.

You start from the car park, walk about 100 metres downhill (with steps) to a large grassed picnic area with barbecues, picnic tables and toilets. Your walk will take you to two rock pools, where you can enjoy the cool water.

You follow the circuit, walking through rain-forest and open forest until you reach the bottom. What goes down must come back up.

After reaching the bottom, your upward journey begins and takes you back to where you started. As you climb the ridge, look for emergent bunya pines with their distinctive symmetrical dome shapes, dense stands of piccabeen palms and intriguing shapes of pink ash. There are over 300 stairs on the Kondalilla Falls circuit so you need to be reasonably fit and allow enough time to enjoy this steep walk. Listen to all of the different bird calls as you walk through this magnificent rain-forest. Don't forget to look down for any of the wildlife that may be on the path.

You cannot stay at Kondalilla without a leisurely stroll through Montville, stopping in at the art galleries, unique little stores and A MUST STOP at the Chocolate Country shop. Make sure to try the Belgium milkshake (delicious), and choose some of the finest chocolates, obviously for later, if you can resist for that long.

There is certainly lots to see in the Clock Shop, with beautiful clocks literally dripping off the walls. Every space is crammed with unique artifacts, some expensive, some far from; but there is something to catch your eye at every turn.

This little fellow decided he wanted to share our Belgium Milkshake.

We then took a short drive to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, Maleny. I found this place amazing, as it is a 55 hectare reserve of subtropical rain-forest overlooking the Glass House Mountains. On either side of the reserve are standard residential houses, but you get to enter this magnificent little sanctuary, home to animals and beautiful rain-forest nestled amongst a community. There is a coin donation on entry.

Walk the circuit and encounter the Paddy Melons, who pay no particular attention to you and continue in the search for food.

See some of the magnificent trees.

Encounter some of the smaller wildlife.

Scan for the sleeping Carpet Snakes and an occasional black snake.

Finish off with lunch at the Restaurant. They have a great variety of food, including some delicious vegetarian meals. Enjoy sitting outside overlooking the Glasshouse mountains - pictures below.

A must hike through the Glasshouse Mountains, which we will do next time.

Another attraction is Lake Baroon, however a storm prevented us from even leaving the car (I caught this on my iphone).

Instead of heading directly back to the Gold Coast from Montville, we took a slight detour to Noosa. The day was glorious, the beaches superb and the weather hot and humid.

Take a stroll from Noosa beach along the boardwalk which runs into the Noosa National Park where there are many tracks to explore. The Noosa Heads Coastal Walk which will take you from Noosa Main Beach to Sunshine Beach is 5.4km and passes some of the most stunning beaches.

Great waves for beginners and just to have fun on.

The walk continues along the headland.

Time to head back to the Gold Coast.

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