I spent a weekend at The Castle and really did ‘feel the serenity’ (with apologies to anyone who has never seen the Australian movie).
I stayed with Fairy and the Duke from Organised Castle blog who are also B&B (Bed and Breakfast) hosts. Their home, “The Castle” is a small rural acreage near Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. If you click on the link to the blog you can find details about their accommodation. I received a warm welcome and they made me very comfortable. If you decide to take the breakfast/dinner package you will enjoy lovely home cooking with a lot of the produce taken fresh from their own garden and eggs from their chickens. I’ll be back!
Maleny is situated in the heart of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland of Queensland. Approximately 100 kilometres north of Brisbane. Rolling green hills and sub-tropical climate help make this an area that attracts tourists from all over the world.
My first stop in Maleny was a gem of a bookshop. Rosetta Books.
It was a cold day, it is the middle of winter after all, and as I walked in the door I was greeted with lovely warm air and the tantalising smell of freshly brewed coffee. This is their beautiful brass coffee machine. I could go no further without a cappuccino.
I sat at the big rustic community table and sipped my coffee before checking out the rest of this beautiful bookshop. The array of books was SO tempting and the seated areas around the shop encouraged one to linger. They had a lovely children’s area at the back of the shop – makes you want to be a kid again.
Then it was time to take a stroll up the main road and discover what else Maleny had to offer. What I like about Maleny is the fact that as well as being a tourist town it’s a thriving rural community. Walk down the high street and there is a mixture of interesting boutique shops that will draw you in; their IGA is the best I’ve ever been in with some lovely rustic dark wood shop fittings; there’s a fabulous ice cream and cheese shop where you can also get a coffee or a bite to eat and plenty of places to buy your organic produce.
After lunch over a bowl of hot soup I took the car on a scenic drive along the Blackall Ranges via the pretty town of Montville, through Flaxton which is a tiny village where you will find lovely arts and crafts and excellent devonshire teas and on to Mapleton where I stopped for a nice cup of tea and views over the beautiful rolling hills as far as the Sunshine coast.
From Mapleton I took the Obi Obi road as far as Mapleton Falls National Park and this is where I gave the camera a bit of a workout. It was so beautiful standing there on the lookout. I cannot really capture the peace and serenity of the place, but I’ll have a go.
I had a lovely weekend, and on the drive back to Brisbane on Monday morning I visited the strawberry farms and stalls selling local produce. I topped the boot up with pineapples, strawberries, local honey and a great big cabbage I’ll be turning into sauerkraut.
Today it’s back to the allotment as my daughter-in-law has given me some seed potatoes. They are called Royal Blue and have purple skin and golden yellow flesh. Sounds exotic enough for my little allotment!