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Highlights of Maleny on the Sunshine Coast

Home > Queensland > Day Trips | Escape the City | Fun Things To Do | Unusual Things to do | Walks | Lists
by Elaine (subscribe)
Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published February 7th 2019
Come for the day and stay for the weekend
Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Discover the magic of Maleny - Image: www. malenycommerce.org.au


Have you ever explored Maleny? It's one of those charming little rustic towns, positioned up high in the Blackall Mountain Range and nestled within picture-postcard-perfect dairy country landscapes. Maleny is famous for its array of panoramic scenic spots; fresher than fresh local produce and an arts and culture scene, that might just produce the next Michelangelo or Beethoven.

Maleny is a picturesque hinterland town that has something to offer everybody. The fact that it's only about thirty kilometres south-west of Caloundra and ninety kilometres north of Brisbane, gives readers the perfect excuse to put Maleny on their 'to-do' list of weekend escapes and discover a world of spectacular natural wonders and fabulous food.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Maleny is picture-postcard-perfect dairy country - Image: Landscape Australia


From walks to tractor rides, to nature reserves to restaurants, these are my highlights of Maleny and I hope will soon become yours. If I have inadvertently missed out on your best location to visit, please add it to the 'comments' below the article, thereby giving me another reason to visit magical Maleny.

✵ Gardners Falls
Obi Lane, Maleny


On the banks of the Obi Obi Creek in the Maleny area, a short eight hundred metre level walk from the car park downstream, you will find the Gardners Falls oasis - a spectacular pool surrounded by rock ledges. With the natural Australian bush all around the waterhole, one could be forgiven for thinking you've discovered a little slice of heaven, smack bang in the middle of the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Feeling dare-devilish? Image: www.visitsunshinecoast.com


Feeling dare-devilish or keen to give Tarzan a run for his money? Then the rope swing is sure to give you an adrenaline rush of note. If you're not into swimming in the rock pools, Gardner's Falls is still perfect to spend a lazy day - walking, picnicking or immersing yourself in the sounds of nature.

✵ Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World
233 Maleny-Stanley River Road, corner Mountain View Road, Maleny
07) 5408-4110


Known as the 'jewel' of Maleny, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World offers the visitor a truly unique experience. Positioned high on the escarpment with spectacular waterfalls, ponds and exotically-coloured plants on three hectares of privately owned gardens, Maleny Botanic Gardens has the bragging rights to a backdrop of the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
The 'jewel' of Maleny - Image: Maleny Botanic Gardens FB


The Bird World section of Maleny Botanic Gardens offers a rich diversity of gorgeously plumed birds from all around the world. Visitors can enjoy daily guided tours through the bird aviaries, with very up close and personal interactions with our winged friends. Keep a watchful eye on personal colourful baubles i.e. sunglasses or beaded shoes, as visitors can expect extra special attention from the squawking macaws.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Gorgeously plumed birds at Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World - Image: Maleny Botanic Gardens FB


Enjoy a scrumptious Devonshire tea at Maleny Botanic Gardens, served throughout the day or bring a picnic to enjoy in the tranquil gardens, whilst enjoying stunning views and listening to cascading water. Our leashed furry pals are also welcomed at Maleny Botanic Gardens.

✵ Maleny Cheese Factory
1 Clifford Street, Balmoral Ridge, Maleny
(07) 5494-2207


Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Image: Maleny Cheese Factory FB


Maleny has been home to dairy farming for more than one hundred and fifteen years and Maleny Cheese is the food destination go-to spot, showcasing and selling gourmet delicacies, all created on site. Visiting Maleny Cheese is an educational food tourism experience, allowing visitors the opportunity to taste-test before purchasing. Visit Maleny Cheese on a weekday for the opportunity to view first hand how Maleny Cheese products are created. Look out for the iconic giant milk can in the entrance to Maleny Cheese and you will know that you have arrived.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Iconic giant milk can


Sadly, Maleny Cheese was recently in the news, due to a fire and the cafe is temporarily closed until the renovations are completed. Don't allow this setback to stop you visiting. I just know that it will come back bigger and better and still be a fabulous tourist location to visit, even if you are a local yokel … like me!

✵ Tractor Rides at Maleny Dairies
70 McCarthy Road, Maleny
(07) 5494-2392


The Hopper family have been on this farm since 1948 and are now in their fourth generation of farmers. Maleny Dairies offer tours of the farm where visitors learn the process of where milk comes from and how it ends up in a bottle. The Farm Tour is an excellent educational tour for children, who then get to feed the animals and watch the tour cow being milked. After the Farm Tour, visitors will enjoy complimentary taste-testing and discover firsthand why Maleny Dairies have won so many awards.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Get a different perspective of farm life on the tractor rides


Some tips before you book your tour

If you are keen to see the springers (pregnant cows) being fed, the 10.00am tour is the one to book;
Book the 2.30pm tour to see the herd being milked in the dairy.
Please click here to book a Farm Tour.

The farmers at Maleny Dairies are now also offering tractor rides and this is the one we opted for. My grandson was in absolute awe, enjoying the animals in the paddocks and experiencing the spectacular Maleny landscape. The tractor rides are approximately thirty minutes long and classified for all ages, allowing visitors to get a different perspective of farm life. The tractor rides are subject to weather conditions. Please call Maleny Dairies in advance to confirm that they are running.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Spectacular Maleny landscape


Tractor Ride Times: 11.30am and 1.00pm. During QLD school holidays an extra time slot at 2.30pm is added to the tractor times.

The cost for tractor rides is $10 per person and FREE for children under two years of age.

✵ Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
148 Mountain View Road Maleny
(07) 5429-6122


Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Rainforest Discovery Centre at Mary Cairncross


Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve's fifty-five hectares is a remnant of the subtropical rainforest that used to envelop the Blackall Range and today is a National Estate listed, living museum of diverse plant and animal life.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
For a gold coin donation, there are some fantastic walks at Mary Cairncross


Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is one of the Sunshine Coast Region's natural wonders. This scenic jewel offers visitors - for a gold coin donation - fascinating nature walks along boardwalks, interspersed with viewing platforms and seating, allowing nature lovers to relax and bask in the myriad of bird calls. Look out for the Red-Legged Pademelons, gingerly peeking out through the bushes in the early morning sunlight.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains


Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, overlooking the stunning Glasshouse Mountains, is a fabulous location to head to on a weekend for a nature walk, a picnic or barbecue or to relax in the newly refurbished cafe.

✵ Obi Obi Boardwalk
Coral Street, opposite Bicentenary Lane, Maleny


Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Our leashed furry family members are also welcome on this walk


The Obi Obi Boardwalk is an easy, level 1800 metre return walk, offering a variety of timber boardwalks, concrete and gravel paths. The evenness of this very pleasant walk makes it perfect for wheelchair and pram/stroller users and is absolutely ideal for toddlers too, with handrails in most areas. Outdoor benches have been placed in locations of beauty, encouraging walkers to take time out to relax and enjoy their surrounds. Take a breath and listen to the sounds of the gurgling creek, or the splash-splash of the cascading miniature waterfall or just to enjoy a bit of tranquillity away from the busy-ness of everyday life.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Take a breath to enjoy the tranquillity


I would think that the main attraction of the Obi Obi Boardwalk are the platypus - plural: platypuses or platypi (my preference). In order to view these elusive monotremes - the platypus lays eggs, making them different to other mammals - walkers need to be at the Obi Obi Boardwalk, either early in the morning or at dusk to catch them frolicking in the creek.

Our furry family members, on a leash, are very welcome too! Bonus!

✵ The Orangery Maleny
10 Mountain View Road, Corner of Cairncross, Maleny
(07) 5435-2545


If Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is on your radar for a day out, why not begin your day with the meal intended for 'kings and queens' - a fabulous breakfast - at The Orangery Maleny.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
A Maleny gem for all occasions


The Orangery Maleny is open for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea (including High Teas) six days a week, with breakfasts being served over weekends. The Orangery specialises in totally decadent gluten-free cakes and wholesome home-made meals. The fluffy mini cakes and savouries used on The Orangery's High Tea menus are all made in-house by an excellent team of chefs.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Preparation for a High Tea celebration


Built in the traditional Queenslander style, with breezy verandahs and spectacular views towards the distant ocean, The Orangery Maleny is the perfect venue for birthday parties; book launches; social club get-togethers, hen's celebrations and weddings, with ample room to cater for any special event.

Spring, summer, autumn or winter, no matter the season, The Orangery Maleny is a hinterland gem for all occasions.

✵ The Terrace Seafood Restaurant
Corner of Landsborough-Maleny Road and Mountain View Road, Maleny
(07) 5494-3700


The Terrace Seafood Restaurant definitely does not disappoint! From the minute you enter this elegant restaurant with its welcoming ambience and unparalleled views over the green valleys of Maleny, guests immediately feel at home. The exquisite seafood menu, excellent wines and fabulous attention to detail by the restaurant's staff only add to the unrivalled dining experience.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
A seafood restaurant to leave home for


From the crisp white table linen to the very attentive wait staff, this award-winning restaurant is absolutely worth a visit. If you're planning a special birthday, an anniversary, a hen's, or even a baby shower, let the vigilant staff at The Terrace Seafood know at the time of booking, and they will very happily decorate your table/s with ribbons, sprinkles and even a card, worthy of your special 'date'.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Fine dining The Terrace Seafood Restaurant


The Terrace Seafood Restaurant are open for lunch and dinner six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday.
My experience and verdict: you are guaranteed a first-rate experience with ambience, exceptional food, fine wine and superior customer service. And don't forget the views!

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Exceptional views to the ocean


Locals talk about 'the rolling green hills, deep pockets of rain forest and spectacular views in all directions, casting a spell over Maleny.' But that's only part of the story. Come and unravel the mystery for yourself and experience the magic that is Maleny.

Maleny, hinterland, Blackall Mountain Range, dairy country, walks, tractor rides, nature reserves, restaurants, Gardners Falls, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Maleny Cheese Factory, Maleny Dairies, Farm Tour, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, National Estate listed, Glasshouse Mountains, Obi Obi Boardwalk, platypus, The Orangery in Maleny, The Terrace Seafood Restaurant, magical Maleny
Come and experience the magic of Maleny - Image: www.visitsunshinecoast.com


Come for the day and stay for the weekend!

All images courtesy of author unless otherwise indicated
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Why? To experience the magic of Maleny
When: An adventure for every day of the week
Where: Hinterland town of Maleny and its surrounds
Cost: Sometimes free, sometimes not!
Your Comment
Love Maleny Dairy! Congrats on the gold.
by Michael Genrich (score: 3|1555) 255 days ago
Well worth visiting. I never get tired of spending quality time in Maleny
by Barry (score: 3|1311) 255 days ago
Cheese and high teas. Great story Elaine
by Gillian Ching (score: 2|462) 252 days ago
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