I am an extremely fortunate person. Not only do I live in one of the most liveable cities in the world, but whenever I wish I can escape for a quiet weekend away to Maleny, a beautiful town in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland where my parents live. I’ve spent weekends and family holidays in Maleny for a decade and though I may not be a local, I’ve watched the place change and I think I know a few good places to get coffee if you’re visiting for a relaxing weekend.
What makes Maleny so enjoyable is that it still operates and feels like a small town. You should enjoy it as such. Slow down, relax and enjoy the quiet pace.
This is my ‘adopted semi-local’ guide to Maleny.
Places to eat and drink
All of these places are on or close to the Maleny High Street.
- Shotgun Espresso – good for coffee and breakfast, especially if you like corn fritters.
- Lumbini – a brand new Nepalese restaurant with delicious food
- Pallet Life cafe – good coffee and tasty light breakfasts and lunches. Can be hard to resist buying something though.
- The UpFront Club – good coffee, good Aussie pub type food. They also have live entertainment on at night.
- Old Bank Cafe – coffee not as good as other spots but good food and they have great daily specials for lunch and dinner. A little bit more special without being over-the-top
- Daawat Indian– Good and affordable Indian food, eat-in our take away, BYO.
- Captain Merv’s – delicious fish and chips but order early, they close at a family-friendly time of night.
- Pomodoros – a space to dine and stay in you wish, in Maleny town centre. Delicious food.
- Colin James Fine Foods – if you’re staying around Maleny, drop in to Colin James to pick up some cheese from the Colin James cheese room and sample some of their award-winning ice cream while you’re at it. In fact, Colin James ice-cream is a must for any visit.
Eat and drink outside Maleny
- Secrets on the Lake – Secrets is primarily accommodation but the cafe there is a lovely place to drop in for the view either before or after a local walk.
- Geordie Lane Tea Rooms – an antique shop with a small deck overlooking the sea. They serve incredible scones which you can wash down with pots of tea.
- Flametree Winery – do a very swanky Sunday brunch, if you’re after a little indulgence.
- Le Relais Bressan, Flaxton – classic French fare.
Things to do
Really the best thing to do in Maleny is chill out, wander around slowly and enjoy yourself.
If you want additional advice on what to do in Maleny and what will be on when you are visiting, go in to the Maleny Visitors Centre on Maple Street. Staffed by locals, they will be able to tell you places to go, things to see and if there is anything special happening. There is also a Maleny Travellers App, if you’re going to be around the town for a few days.
Maleny has a full compliment of community events and a weekend doesn’t go by without a festival, film, concert, exhibition, wood show, garden show or art show. If you’re in the mood, there is plenty to do.
- Mary Cairncross Park. A very popular tourist destination, people drive up from Brisbane to walk and picnic here for the day. There is an easy walk through the rainforest but it is best to go first thing in the morning before it becomes crowded. If you go early enough you may see Paddymelons. The Park is open from 7am every day.
- Bushwalk. There are dozens of excellent walk around Maleny – most of them very accessible. See the Department of National Parks and Recreation for more information about where to go and alerts.
- Enjoy a swim at Gardener’s Falls. Formerly a locals-only waterhole, people now come up from the coast and stop in at Gardener’s as part of their visit. There are signs to the track from the Maleny-Landsborough Road. Beware it gets very busy.
- Tour Maleny Dairies – they offer daily tours on weekends. They have the happiest, healthiest looking cows you may ever see and they produce delicious milk and dairy products!
- Visit Australia Zoo – it’s only a 15 minute drive down the range.
- Take a swim and enjoy fish and chips at Caloundra – a 30 minute drive to the coast. Or Mooloolaba is just a short drive away too.
- Take a day trip to Kenilworth. It’s a small town down on the other side of the range that is lovely in it’s own right but also has an almost excessive number of art galleries as well as a cheese factory.
- On a Wednesday or Saturday morning, you can get up early and drive to the Eumundi markets. It’s about a 45 minute drive but if you like small towns and markets, it’s an enjoyable trip and you can take the scenic route home through the ranges.
- If you’re in need of pampering, treat yourself to some spa-day treatments at Spicers Tamarind.
- Travel the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery Trail.
- Go the long way back to Brisbane through Mt Mee and Dayboro. It’s worth the extra half hour travel time. More if you stop in Dayboro for lunch.