WHAT the tiny Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Mapleton lacks in size it makes up for in the majestic views stretching across the coastal plains to the ocean and subtropical rainforests.
A hikers’ paradise, Mapleton is where you can walk among piccabeen palm groves, blackbutt forests and bunya pines. It is one of a handful of charming villages within the hinterland region.
From the quaint laneways of Montville, where you can browse fashion boutiques and galleries, to the hiking trails through the forests of Maleny and across the Mary Valley to the Conondale Ranges, there are plenty of opportunities to rejuvenate in the great outdoors.
In Maleny you’ll find healing therapies, organic cafes and a mind-boggling collection of art galleries and home studios. Open country spaces beckon at Witta and Kenilworth, while the Glass House Mountains is where you’ll discover the ancient Aboriginal legend of Mount Beerwah, Mount Tibrogargan and Mount Coonowrin.
For something completely different, visit the Chenrezig Institute for Buddhist Studies at Eudlo – the Sunshine Coast’s slice of Tibet.
The hinterland is one of five fantastic regions of the Sunshine Coast; the others are Noosa-Coolum, Mooloolaba-Marcoola, Caloundra-Kawana and Gympie-Cooloola.
Highlights include panning for gold in Gympie’s Deep Creek, scuba diving at Wolf Rock off Rainbow Beach, feeding wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay, or staying in a bush camp at Amamoor State Forest or Cedar Grove in Mary Valley.