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 September 7th 2016
Experience life from a-high
It wasn't one of our usual sunny days on the Sunshine Coast to venture out, but as it was just cloudy and very windy, we thought 'what a great day to explore'!
Welcome to Mapleton Falls - Image: Elaine de Wet
The quaint little town of Mapleton and specifically Mapleton Falls National Park was our aimed destination. Have you ever been to Mapleton? It's a quirky little town, the last hinterland town along the Northern end of the Blackall Range, positioned between Flaxton and Nambour. This very cute little village is a beautifully serene place to relax and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings, breathe in the cool mountain air before going down to the Coast (I can attest to the coolness, it was at least two or three degrees cooler than down the mountain). On a clear night, according to the locals, Mapleton is an expansive viewing deck for star-watching, so one can either throw down a blanket, lie back and enjoy the galaxy awning or trot off down to the local Observatory at the Mapleton School Grounds.
Overlooking the Escarpment, not for the faint-hearted - Image: Elaine de Wet
I, personally, think that Mapleton Falls National Park tends to fall under the radar as who knows where Mapleton is? But, what a sensational location, approximately 105km north of Brisbane on the Blackall Range in the Sunshine Coast hinterland you'll come across this small but significant remnant forest, with outstanding views over the Obi Obi Valley and a flourishing rainforest canopy.
Views of the Falls - Image: Elaine de Wet
A short fifty metre walk (accessible by wheelchairs too) from the car park culminates in the Mapleton Falls viewing platform, which extends out over the escarpment high above the Obi Obi Valley, treating visitors to a bird eye's view of the magnificent surrounds and an opportunity to view the Mapleton Falls, where Pencil Creek cascades one hundred and twenty metres over the escarpment. This small day-use-only Park has many bird species, including the Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Whipbird and the Wompoo Fruit-Dove. The Peregrine Falcon roosts on the edges of the Falls in early Spring and you might be fortunate enough to see it as it soars and swoops in the thermals that rise from the cliff edges.
On a clear day, you would see forever - Views of the Obi Obi Valley - Image: Elaine de Wet
The main walk on offer for day trippers is the Wompoo Circuit - named after the Wompoo Fruit-Dove. This walk is only 1.3km, an easy Class 2 track, and should only take about 45 minutes return - if you're like me, add an additional fifteen to thirty minutes for all those photo opportunities. The circuit track commences at the open, grassy picnic area and meanders through Rainforest, Piccabeen Palm and Eucalypt forests; an early morning walk is the recommended time for bird watching.
Serene and cool, that's Mapleton - Image: Elaine de Wet
After all, this exploring, the next stop for lunch was definitely very high on my agenda and so back to the little town of Mapleton. As you can imagine, this is not a very high traffic area, and we came across numerous delightful little spots to dine at, so after an easy park, meandered around, admiring the quaint little buildings, we decided on Renata's on Mapleton, right across the road from the Mapleton Tavern.
Renata's on Mapleton - Image: Elaine de Wet
Renata's on Mapleton didn't have the views to boast about, but instead offered a warm, welcoming ambience (and with so many locals enjoying this little Cafe, one just knew this HAD to be one of their favourites). An extensive Menu of light meals, club sandwiches, an open grill and everything made fresh to order, Renata's was definitely worth the visit. My choice was a boiled egg Toastie on wholegrain and my usual latte. This had to have been the best toastie I have ever had:- fresh, crispy and decidedly tasty. The heavens decided to open at this point, which gave us the opportunity to listen to the local chit-chat and just enjoy the warmth of Renata's.
'Live every moment, Laugh every day, Love beyond words' - Image: Elaine de Wet
Mapleton is only 27km from Buderim, via the Mapleton Road, about half an hour's drive and well worth the experience of a quaint little town with its very own Falls National Park.