Freelance writer with a BA double majoring in Literature and Australian History who loves finding random places of social or historical treasure whilst travelling around visiting festivals, markets and quaint cafes with my husband and baby
Get cheesy with wine tasting and markets in the hinterland
The Kenilworth Cheese Wine and Food Festival is on Easter Saturday, 26 March 2016.
Held at the Kenilworth Park and Cheese Factory, it runs from 7am to 4pm. Entry is free.
The whole town turns out for this festival; it's a wonderful country day. Getting to Kenilworth is an easy drive through the Sunshine Coast hinterland. It is located in the Mary Valley, approximately 50km from the coast. The area is well known for its cheese factory, living history museum and art galleries. The Kenilworth State Forest offers bush walking, four wheel driving and camping. Nearby Kenilworth Homestead is heritage listed. Over Easter, with the weather cooler and the days sunny, it makes for a wonderful long weekend away.
The festival offers a full day of entertainment. Start your day with breakfast in Kenilworth Park - bring your own or taste the delights of one of the food stalls serving up hot tasty meals. Stalls open from 7am and I'm guessing the coffee stall will be high on visitor's agendas. There is nothing better than a hot cup of aromatic coffee on a crisp Autumn morning in the country.
At 8.30am the Great Cheese Rolling Contest starts. You can continue to enter this as many times as you like - the contest runs all day. It's just $2 to enter and is open to all ages.
Families should ensure you arrive by 10am to participate in the Cheester Egg Hunt and the Easter Hat Parade (make your own Easter hat and bring it along). Entry to the egg hunt is $2 and it's open to children aged 4 to 7 years. A favourite pass time of the retired but young at heart is to sit on the sidelines and listen to the laughter of the children as they run around discovering eggs.
The kids entertainment continues with Old MacDonald's Animal farm and camel rides all day as well as Art in the Park children's activities.
For the gourmet cook in you, there are regular cooking demonstrations on fusing native bushfood flavours with Asian and European cuisines and separate Paleo cooking demonstrations.
Throughout the day there are wine and cheese tastings, as well as market stalls to keep visitors engaged. Fresh seafood, bushfoods, wood fired pizza, exotic herbs and spices and home made sourdough bread.
The whole festival is through the main street and accompanying park area and is a very popular day out. People come from miles around and the festival streets do get crowded so get in early. If the crowd gets too much for you, sit down and enjoy some of the delicious food on offer while listening to the live music rubatuba.
There are plenty of accommodation and camping options in the surrounding areas to make this a full weekend in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. We teamed this festival last year with a stay in nearby Maleny the evening before and spend the whole weekend exploring the hidden beauty of the hinterland. Gorgeous flowers bloom in the area, Maleny Dairy is down the road for a visit and there are some wonderful restaurants tucked away in the hills.
Kenilworth is on the bank of the lower Mary River and is access via Maleny-Kenilworth Road. If you're coming from Brisbane take the Landsborough turn off. But the region really does have so many quaint little coffee shops, art galleries, second hand stores and hidden gems that you could spend the entire weekend traversing the countryside and still want more.