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Day Tripping Through The Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Home > Sunshine Coast > Adventure | Craft Beer | Day Trips | Unusual Things to do | Wineries | 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 December 21st 2017
Touristy Stuff
Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Ad-hoc adventuring is the name of the game! Image: Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons


Hubby and I have been so busy this year, that we totally haven't had time to do some of my favourite ad-hoc adventuring in and around the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Our one son is visiting from overseas, so this gave us the perfect excuse to do some 'touristy stuff'!

Flame Hill Vineyard
Cellar Door and Restaurant, 249 Western Avenue, Montville
07 5478-5920


Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Flame Hill Vineyard, home to some excellent wines! Image: Elaine de Wet


First up, was wine tasting! One cannot go past Flame Hill Vineyard in Montville without stopping in, having a tipple or two (I'm not advocating drink and driving, people!) and of course, stocking up on some very desirable wines for the silly season. Flame Hill Vineyard open at 10.00am for wine tasting, but it's never too early for a tasting…is it? - it has to be wine-o'-clock somewhere in the world! Luckily for us, we were the first to arrive - with a very large bus-driven contingent arriving right on our heels - but having arrived first we had the advantage of first come, first served!

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Wine Tasting and Sales area at Flame Hill Vineyard - Image: Elaine de Wet


Flame Hill Vineyard is in the enviable position of being the highest point in Montville on the Blackall Range. This charming vineyard produces 100% estate-grown wines, that are hand-harvested and sourced from plantings that are up to eighty years old, ensuring a diverse selection of 'whites', 'reds', 'fortifieds and sparkling'. Join the Flame Hill Wine Club to qualify for twelve months' Wine Club Membership and receive ten percent discount on wine purchases for a year. Contact vineyard@flamehill.com.au for more information.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Flame Hill Vineyard has stunning views - Image: Elaine de Wet


The wine tasting experience is free for the first three tasters or $6 for six tastings. I have two Flame Hill favourites, one is a 'white', 'Decadence' and the other is a 'rosé' appropriately named 'Wild Child', so without thought or preamble, these were added to our silly season wine rack.

Writer's Verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Secrets on the Lake Café
207 Narrows Road, Montville
07 5478-5888


Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Intricate and realistic carvings at the entrance to Secrets - Image: Elaine de Wet


Next on our Sherlock Holms'ing was Secrets on the Lake Café - perfectly positioned in a rainforest with panoramic views of Lake Baroon, beckoning us with promises of a cool haven, with what was turning out to be a scorcher of a day in the Hinterland.

Secrets Cafe's unique position in the tree-tops is only intensified with its intimate connection with nature - a trait embraced by Secrets' top chef, Mathew Law, who incorporates this singularity into the incredible food that he prepares. As it wasn't quite lunchtime yet, we chose to have coffee and muffins and to sit back to enjoy the very relaxing ambience of this wonderful Hinterland 'Secret'.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Secrets Cafe has an intimate connection with nature - Image: Elaine de Wet


Secrets Café and Deck has a fully licensed bar that is stocked with an excellent selection of spirits, wines, beers and cocktails. The Café is open six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30am to 4.00pm. Bookings are highly recommended as the Secrets' Café tends to be a very popular venue for early morning breakfasts and high teas; whether celebrating a birthday, a catch up with wedding guests for breakfast the morning after or just because. Click here for the delightful breakfast menu offerings.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Delightfully cool and secretive haven - Image: Elaine de Wet


Secrets Café is beautifully adorned with exquisite carvings and even boasts its very own Art Gallery - perfect for a browse or to buy that extra-special gift!

Writer's Verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery
142 Main Street, Montville
07 5478-5560


Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
One of the most historic buildings in Montville - Image: Elaine de Wet


Next stop was Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery and it wasn't even lunch time yet! We truly are blessed on the Sunshine Coast to have so many quirky attractions in close proximity to one another. Wild Rocket at Misty's is in Main Street and is housed in one of the most historic buildings in Montville (it used to be the 'Fancy Goods and Lolly Shop') and boasts lots of zany nooks and crannies. It also now houses a micro brewery which brews a range of craft beers on tap.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Craft beers brewed on site - Image: Elaine de Wet


I'm not a beer drinker, so this stop was designed to satisfy the liquid amber lovers, giving me an opportunity to browse this very quaint restaurant. The owners of Misty's are UK chef Peter Brettell and his wife Belinda and they opened Wild Rocket at the start of December 2010, after spending many months sourcing the best local produce and free range organic meats. Beef sausages, breads, stock, sauces and even the jams and chutneys that are served with the scones, are made on site.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
House brews and tapas - Image: Elaine de Wet


The lunch-time crowd was still filtering into Misty's, which meant we had ample choice of seating and could enjoy the live entertainment provided by Andrea Kirwin, a delightful Sunshine Coast singer-songwriter. Andrea's music is an earthy blend of Folk, Roots, hip hop, funk, reggae and soul, with a laid-back vocal tone that gives listeners goosebumps.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Andrea Kirwin live - Image: Elaine de Wet


If you're looking for a fabulous lunchtime or evening dinner venue or perhaps wanting to try something locally brewed, Wild Rocket at Misty's is the place to bookmark - I highly recommend a visit.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Tasters? Image: Elaine de Wet


Writer's Verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Rick's Garage Diner
14 - 16 Margaret Street, Palmwoods
07 5445-0933

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Welcome to Rick's Garage Diner, where you will find the best burgers and milkshakes on the Sunny Coast - Images: Elaine de Wet


Well, we had now reached the magic hour for lunch and you've guessed it, I was ravenous! You can't go through Palmwoods in the Hinterland without a stopover at Rick's Garage Diner!

Rick's Garage Diner was initially a petrol station and workshop and has now been converted into an absolutely awesome retro diner (and still functioning workshop). We, of course, were not interested in the workshop, we were there for the food - hubby knows me well and has no desire for me to reach my 'hangry' stage. Rick's Garage Diner is renowned for having the best burgers and old-school milkshakes throughout the entire Sunshine Coast Region.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Sangria sans wine and chopped fruit, but divine nonetheless - Image: Elaine de Wet


Hubby and I absolutely love Rick's venue - there is always an energetic vibe; the staff are super-friendly; the food never disappoints and the top-notch service is always in record-breaking time.

As mentioned earlier, our ad-hoc adventuring day had turned out to be a real scorcher, so something ice-cold was definitely mandatory. And, along came my Sangria! Ok, granted, a Sangria is an alcoholic beverage, traditionally consisting of red wine and chopped fruit - mine was sans the red wine and I only had a slice of decorative orange, but…it was the best-tasting Sangria I have ever had!

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Rick's Side Salad and Peri-Peri Spicy Chicken Wings - Images: Elaine de Wet


For lunch, I ordered a Rick's Side Salad: lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, capsicum, grated carrot, sun-dried tomato (yum), feta and balsamic dressing. My add-on to my very delectable salad was avocado - one cannot have lunch without avo! My salad arrived, beautifully fresh and crisp. My only complaint (if one can call it that) is that the avo wasn't freshly sliced or diced (either/or), but instead arrived as an avo paste. Hubby ordered the Spicy Chicken Wings: Crispy chicken wings served with your choice of peri-peri sauce or blue cheese sauce - or treat yourself and have them both ways!

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
If you love vintage and retro, Rick's Garage Diner is your go-to venue - Image: Rick's Garage Diner FB


One cannot visit Rick's Diner without somebody having a burger, so it was up to our son to be totally indulgent and have a Rick's Beef Burger: homemade prime Australian beef patty (medium), cheese, lettuce, tomato, beetroot relish, pickles, red onion, onion relish, tomato relish and aioli. The Rick's Beef Burger is small 'fry' in comparison to most of the burgers at Rick's. How's this one for a man-sized appetite?

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
How's this for a man-sized burger? Image: Rick's Garage Diner FB


For readers' convenience, see Rick's Garage Diner's Christmas opening hours below.

Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
Christmas opening hours - Image: Rick's Garage Diner FB


If you've never been to Rick's Garage Diner, I can guarantee one visit will turn into multiple visits - the food, the service, the memorabilia, the entertainment and the ambience ensure Rick's devotees keep going back for more!

Writer's Verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Day Tripping, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Flame Hill Vineyard, wine tasting, Montville, Blackall Range, whites, reds, fortified, sparkling, Wine Club, Secrets on the Lake Cafe, Lake Baroon, tree-tops, licensed bar, breakfasts, high teas, Art Gallery, Wild Rocket at Misty's Micro Brewery, Andrea Kirwin, Rick's Garage Diner, Palmwoods, best burgers, old-school milkshakes
A sneak peek at the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade - Image: Elaine de Wet


And, last, but not least, we ended our very energetic day at Mooloolaba Wharf to enjoy the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade. Watch this space for a fabulous new dining venue on the Sunshine Coast.
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Why? To enjoy some ad-hoc adventuring in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
When: Any time you're looking for an adventure!
Where: Sunshine Coast Hinterland, QLD
Cost: Varies
Your Comment
Another fabulous article Elaine and a well deserved gold medal.
by May Cross (score: 3|3548) 360 days ago
Wow, that burger is huge. Nice article.
by Irenke Forsyth (score: 3|1685) 360 days ago
Great article Elaine!
by Chloe Doyle (score: 3|1359) 360 days ago
lol Too much grog for me but the Montville Cafe and Ricks sound good .... well done Elaine. Enjoy your seasonal celebrations.
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1289) 360 days ago
Congratulations Elaine. Very interesting article
by Roz Glazebrook (score: 2|511) 359 days ago
Very enjoyable tour of the Sunshine Coast hinterland
by Barry (score: 2|919) 354 days ago
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