A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published January 8th 2013
A stunning waterfall surrounded by remnant bushland
Away from the Sunshine Coast's famous beaches, there's a whole lot more natural scenery that's well worth exploring. The Sunshine Coast Hinterland has a quiet, relaxing beauty and is littered with some wonderful little spots.
Roughly half an hour's drive from Maroochydore and near the sleepy village of Mapleton, Mapleton Falls National Park is home to a remnant of the bushland which once blanketed the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Though nearby Kondalilla Falls National Park, with its beautiful rock pools for swimming, draws in plenty of tourists, Mapleton Falls are definitely worth a visit as well.
Formed by Pencil Creek, the Falls themselves plunge an impressive 120 metres into the valley below. On the day I visited, thanks to a lack of recent rainfall the Falls were unfortunately down to something more like a trickle. Despite that disappointment, the expansive views over the Obi Obi Valley alone are worth the drive. You can also keep an eye out for the Australian peregrine falcon, which apparently roosts near the waterfall.
After taking in the views, slip on some shoes to explore one of the park's short walking tracks. The 1.2km Wompoo Circuit, named after the Wompoo fruit-dove which feed among the treetops, meanders its way through rainforest and eucalypt forest. The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, a 58-kilometre track that takes in overnight campsites, also passes through the park.