Oct 12, 2012

Quintessential Queensland: The scenic drive

(Daddy recounts)

If you have been following our Queensland Adventures so far, you would know that we have been fabulously hosted by the kind people at Glass House Mountains Ecolodge where the entire accommodation is a charm. And so being our second day at the Ecolodge, we decided to take things easy by embarking on a leisurely scenic drive and explore the outlying areas.

Well, the 'leisure drive' bit didn't exactly go according to plan when we drove past this place.

The Big Kart Track is the largest commercial go-kart track in Australia, and the boys clamoured for a taste of the action once they set their sights on it.

The track certainly looked to the stuff adrenaline is made of. Only problem was the boys didn't exactly meet the height requirement, so they had to settle for the Kids Track.

Even then, both of them couldn't exactly reach the accelerator pedal so the wifey and I had to each take a monkie in the Double-seater for a few laps around the kids track. If you ask me, the ride got pretty boring after the second lap as the track was just a monotonous track.

But the answer would be completely different if you ask the boys.

Well, at least they enjoyed the 10 minutes worth of laps - it cost A$25 each - but I guess I would only be bringing them back if they meet the height requirement for the main Kart Track.

As for Ale, she had to be contented with this.

Once we got that detour over and done with, it was time to get back on track and head towards the scenice driveway of Blackall Range.

Filled with beautiful scenery, waterfalls, nationals parks and lakes, the Blackall Range is a mountain range in South East Queensland and dominates the hinterland area of the Sunshine Coast. Maleny, Mapleton and Montville are main settlements located on the range and these are the towns that most tourists head to as well.

We didn't have a fixed itinerary of places to visit along the Blackall Range as we just wanted to take things easy and make impromptu stops along our drive. And our first impromptu stop came in the form of Gardners Falls in Maleny.

All we gathered from the information pamphlet we had was that it houses a waterfall and is a popular picnic spot. And I can see why.

As we made our 300m trek to the end of the falls, the sound of running water provided a melodious soundtrack to the awesome scenery.

Of course, the running water provided a different proposition for the monkies. Water play, to be precise.

But it seemed like someone else had a totally different definition of water play.

Yup, that was the sight that greeted us when we reached the end of the waterfall. Loads of young people waiting to have a go at plunging into the depths of the deep pool. And mind you, the water is icy cold. We should know, because we could barely last 5 minutes standing barefoot in the freezing water!

But I hear it's good for blood circulation, no?

What I do know is that all those walking had made everyone hungry, so it was apt that Montville was our next stop.

Montville truly has an old village charm air around it. There were a nostalgic blend of Tudor, Irish and English cottages made of log or stone and Swiss and Bavarian chalets lining the street.

The town is a popular tourist destination for the people of Brisbane and is famous for its parks and walks as well as shops such as art galleries, restaurants, wineries and cheese factories.

Enough of sightseeing, the boys protested as food was what they demanded. I saw no reason to argue with that.

Although Ale did insist on having a tea break with some new-found friends of hers.

We then made the journey to Mapleton, our final checkpoint of the day. Predictably, all monkies were soon in a deep slumber. So I took the opportunity to head down to Mapleton Falls, where the wifey and I enjoyed some personal time as we soaked in the panoramic view of the 120-metre waterfall and Obi Obi Valley.

And as we made our U-turn to head back to our Ecolodge, we just had to make another stop at Montville again. And we had this cafe to thank.

The last time when we were at Montville in 2009, we had stopped here for a tea break. See how cute and puny the boys were back then?

Taken in 2009

We had the plain scones back then and since that fateful day, the wifey and I had not been able to find a scone of equal standard. So yes, we have been yearning for those scones ever since and were we glad to be able to finally sink our teeth into them once again!

Along our way back, we made a short stop at Mary Cairncross Reserve which is a conservation park at Maleny.

Mary Cairncross Reserve comprises 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains and is a living museum of diverse plant and animal life. Between 7am to 6pm daily, one can take a Rainforest walk tour by making a small donation to the Rainforest fund.

But since we were there during evening, the boys were content just to wreck havoc at the playground.

Ditto for the Diva.

And that marked yet another chapter of our Queensland Adventures. But for the boys, the excitement of the trip would only reach its climatic conclusion for the remainder of the trip. When we throng the -what else - theme parks!

This post is part of our Queensland Holiday series of posts. Do click the label "Queensland" to view all posts related to our vacation. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Tourism Queensland and the respective hospitality operators for their amazing support!

See MORE photos of our Queensland Adventures in our photo album on our Cheekiemonkies' Facebook page HERE

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