Monday, September 9, 2013

A visit to the Glasshouse Mountains

We have visited South East Queensland a number of times over the years but one place we have never taken the opportunity to visit is the Glasshouse Mountains which are near the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane.  So a visit was high on our agenda and on the first week-end we were staying at The Gap we headed north.  It was about an hours drive from The Gap.

We passed Australia Zoo on our way - another place we have not been too but will not visit this year as perhaps the grandchildren might meet us in Queensland one year and it will be one of the places they will definitely want to visit.  A visit would be much more interesting with children in tow!

As it was Sunday there were quite a few other visitors heading to the Glasshouse Mountains - many more organised that us with a picnic lunch.  Instead we planned on visiting a cafe but were surprised there were not many actually on the roads surrounding the scenic mountains.  The picnic areas were plentiful and well planned.

The term Glasshouse Mountains are a series of fourteen volcanic mounds which seem to stick up out of the surrounding flat plains.  They range in height from 123 metres to 556 metres so although not huge they certainly stand out.

Mountain Views

The lookout and picnic area has many walks leading off and rock climbing and abseiling are available but we were certainly not beginners.  The other major activity in the area was obviously motor biking with the hum of the motor bikes very clear.  There are a lot of bush tracks and it was good to see many young and sometimes older people out enjoying their bikes.  We could imagine our grandsons enjoying such pleasures as although only young they already have their motorbikes for riding on the farm tracks.

The surrounding hinterland seems to be populated with lifestyle blocks with many large and beautiful homes.  In the distance the Sunshine Coast with the high rises could easily be seen.

There are a number of small towns within the Glasshouse Mountains with the largest being Beerwah with a population of about two thousand.  After spending time at the lookout we then made our way via the Blackall Ranges scenic route to Maleny which is one of the small scenic towns.  It was originally a timber cutting and dairy town but with the many day trippers to the area tourism is now the biggest attraction.  The small main street is made up of galleries and cafes.  We had lunch here and then decided not to follow the full length of the scenic road and took a four wheel drive track across the range "just because we could".  It was very pretty with the huge trees and the rain forest but unfortunately we didn't take a photo to share.  You will just have to believe us!

The roads in the area are quite steep and windy and we passed through the village of Montville which is another tourism hub with lots of cafes, galleries and bed and breakfast establishments.  This area is certainly a lovely place to visit and would be a great escape from the city.  The views from Montville to the Sunshine Coast are spectacular.  The area has a sub-tropical climate so a very popular place to visit and certainly to live.

From Montville there is a steep descent down the mountain range and before too long we were back on the freeway heading back to Brisbane along with a steady stream of traffic.

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