Book this bestselling Sunshine Coast Hinterland private day tour to explore the delights of an amazing botanic garden overlooking the stunning Glasshouse Mountains, to wander through enchanting rainforest, and to enjoy a lakeside gourmet lunch with panoramic views.
Choose your Sunshine Coast pick-up spot and we’ll collect you and your group in our comfortable COVID-safe air-conditioned minibus. We’ll drive you in luxury through the spectacular scenery of the Sunshine Coast to the hinterland town of Maleny, high in the iconic Blackall Range.
You’re free to roam through the tranquil beauty of the Maleny Botanic Gardens, 18 acres of waterfalls, lakes, and gardens planted with a heady mix of native and exotic flora.
When you’ve refreshed yourself with a Devonshire tea at the Garden’s friendly cafe, it’s time to head over to the awe-inspiring Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. Lose yourself in the sights and sounds of this subtropical rainforest; spot some of the 141 species of birds that flit through the canopy; discover the breathtaking range of bugs, beetles, and butterflies that are the hardest workers of the rainforest. It’s an unforgettable experience for bird and bug enthusiasts and for normal people alike.
Then it’s just a short drive up to the north of Lake Baroon for a delicious lunch at the Dining On The Decks restaurant, winner of the 2019 AGFG People’s Choice Award. You’ll enjoy incredible locally-produced food with panoramic views of the water, mountains, and rainforest around you. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Don’t forget to bring comfortable footwear as the Rainforest Trail can be uneven, and a jumper as the Rainforest can be cooler than the coast because it’s higher up. It’s just science.
Pick-up & drop-off location as requested
Pick-up time 9.00 am Drop-off 5 pm
Your private tour starts at a very civilised time at your chosen pick-up point. If you’ve not had time to have breakfast, don’t worry as there’ll be tea and scones soon. Our experienced driver will welcome you aboard our comfy, COVID-safe minibus. Buckle up, settle back and relax on the pretty 30-minute drive up to quirky Maleny, nestled in the green hills of the Blackhall Range and overlooking the awesome Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Maleny is the centre of a thriving alternative scene, a community town packed with art galleries, organic farms and cafes but our first stop is the Maleny Botanic Gardens, a jewel of Maleny, perched on an escarpment with panoramic views to the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains across the rolling landscapes below.
You don’t have to be a gardening enthusiast to enjoy this diamond of a botanic garden. The Gardens have been expertly designed to show off a range of spectacular planting from around the world as well as native flora. The gently meandering walking paths will draw you through you a stunning variety of thousands of different plants within themed gardens, awash with colour, texture and heady scents.
You’re free to explore the tranquillity of the Oriental Garden, climb the Treehouse, stroll beneath the Arched Walk, gaze at the incredible mountain views from the look-out points scattered through the gardens, and enjoy the peace and calm of the numerous lakes and waterfalls that greet you at every turn. The gardens, views, and plants are picture-perfect for photography.
After an hour or so of wandering through the delights of the Gardens, it’s time to refuel with a late morning Devonshire tea – the traditional pot of tea and scone – at the friendly cafe before we hop back into the minibus for the short drive to Maleny’s other jewel – the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, one of the last native remnants of subtropical rainforest that used to clothe the entire Blackall Range.
When you enter the Reserve, you’re stepping back in time. You’ll enter a living world that was Australia before the loggers and you’ll realise straightaway just how magical it is. It’s a rare opportunity to experience living, breathing subtropical rainforest.
Be awed at the sheer aliveness of the place. As you walk the trail, you’ll hear the calls of the 141 species of birds flitting above and around you. Listen out for the distinctive loud call of the Wompoo Fruit-Dove, the wailing-baby cries of the Green Catbird high up in the canopy, and the loud call of the almost-invisible Paradise Riflebird. Don’t feed the Brush Turkey or you’ll have a friend for life! And it’s not just birds – the entire ecosystem of bugs, frogs, and dragons (yes, dragons – the Southern Angle-Headed Dragon!), as well as mammals such as the Red-Legged Pademelon, related to the kangaroo, squirrel glider and flying fox, are busy doing their thing all around you.
We’ll round you up at 1 pm for the scenic 25-minute drive to Secrets Dining On The Deck, an award-winning restaurant perched high up in the rainforest canopy with views through the trees of magnificent Lake Baroon a stone’s throw away. The restaurant itself is unique, not just for its award-winning menu, but for its decor which is hand-carved reclaimed timber.
Relax, soak up the surroundings and enjoy a tasty two-course lunch, prepared in house by top chef Mat Law and his talented team. After lunch, we’ll pop you all back into the minibus where you can relax (with a full tummy and lots of lovely memories) and enjoy the scenic, air-conditioned drive back to your chosen drop-off location.