Well, I was the lucky writer to have the absolute privilege of spending a whole day, touring the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, as a passenger on a Sports Tourer Trike with Col, of Touroz Trikes. What an awesome way to spend a day - breathtaking, mind-blowing, sensational - okay, guys, I'm running out of adjectives here. The point is, there are not enough words to describe the best way to see the Sunshine Coast and all its hidden gems, but on one of Touroz Trikes' splendidly luxurious trikes.
Col picked me up, as arranged, at 10.30 in the morning and after a quick lesson on how to put on my helmet, without losing my earrings and how to adjust my visor, off we set on an adventure of a lifetime. Col is so well organised, the helmets are fitted out with microphones, so that we could have a conversation as we meandered through the hills, and weren't dependant on yelling at each other, having our words taken away with the wind.
Rick's Garage Diner with Col of Touroz Trikes - Image: Elaine de Wet
First stop was Palmwoods, specifically Rick's Garage Diner! You can't own a bike or trike or vintage car, without stopping at Ricks Diner for the obligatory photo - just to say, 'yep, we were here!'Rick's Garage Diner is an old refurbished garage and the perfect spot for a bit of retro-chic reminiscing with the decor sporting fabulous memorabilia from yesteryear. Listen to live music, while you enjoy an amber fluid outdoors in the beer garden and get yourself one of the yummiest super-sized hamburgers on the planet.
Entering Montville, the quaint little village on the Blackall Range - Image: Elaine de Wet
The next destination on our adventurous tour was to Montville. You know the quaint little village on the Blackall Range? This thriving little shopping village was first settled in 1887 and has grown into a major tourist attraction in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. A stunning diversity of quality art galleries, stylish cafes and restaurants, including The Edge Cafe, gift shops and fashion stores, all set in the picturesque surroundings of a shady tree-lined street, with breath-taking views all the way to the coast. If Montville is your destination for a stay, why not venture down to the Kondadilla National Park, there are some fantastic walks available, culminating in waterfalls and swimming holes.
Flame Hill Vineyard is worth a visit - Image: Elaine de Wet
Just outside Montville, one can visit the Flame Hill Vineyard and Restaurant for a spot of wine tasting or a relaxed lunch, with views all the way to the coastline.
Gliding elegance of a paraglider - Image: Elaine de Wet
We had a small pit stop at the Balmoral Lookout, just outside Maleny, a picnic area on the Blackall Range and were rewarded with the gliding elegance of a para glider, soaring through the skies, like a bird on wing. What an enviable vision!
The newly opened Rainforest Discovery Centre - Image: Elaine de Wet
On to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, with stunning views of the Glasshouse Mountains and, of course, their very newly opened Rainforest Discovery Centre. Join the many visitors to this stunning area for a relaxing stroll along the cool, shaded tracks in the forest or have some fun with the interactive educational information throughout the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
Woodford or Maleny? Maleny, it is! - Image: Elaine de Wet
The little, scenic town of Maleny, on the Blackall Range, beckoned. Do a spot of shopping at one of the quaint little boutique shops in the main street or visit the Maleny Village Artisan Food Market. The Artisan Food Market is a rustic little foodie hub, smack bang in the centre of the main street of Maleny - a place where you will find awesome food, great music and good vibes.
Maleny Village Artisan Food Market - Image: Elaine de Wet
Exploring is definitely for the anytime adventurer. Somewhere between Maleny and Kenilworth, is the picturesque little hamlet of Witta. Visit the General Store - the only store in town - boasting the best views of the head of the Mary Valley that give rise to the Mary River.
Witta's General Store, a great spot to stop for lunch - Image: Elaine de Wet
The people of Witta have two gems that they are very proud of - the views and their very historical Witta Cemetery. If you're lucky enough to be touring on one of Touroz Trikes on a Saturday, and it's the third Saturday of the month, a visit to the Growers' Market would be a 'must do'. This market showcases the best in small producers on the Blackall Range with seasonal fruit and vegetables, various fresh meats, herbs and plants.
Conondale has to be one of my all-time favourite places to visit. The little town of Conondale is located on the banks of the upper Mary River, which, due to the lack of rain in our region, was barely a stream, but being the Sunshine Coast, we know the 'big' rains will soon be on their way.
The Mary River looking forward to some big rains - Image: Elaine de Wet
Conondale's General Store has the only petrol pumps in the whole of Conondale. Col, from Touroz, told me that due to safety regulations etc, the Council were keen to have the fuel pumps removed. Apparently, the locals were in an uproar as this was the only place within forty kilometres, that they could obtain their household fuel, which is used for heating, cooking and general household needs. Suffice it to say, the locals won, and it appears the fuel pumps are here to stay.
Scenic Booloumba Falls - Image: Elaine de Wet
If your ultimate aim with your Touroz Trike tour is to have a fantastic walk, culminating in a waterfall, let Touroz Trike drop you off at the entrance to Conondale National Park for the two hour, three kilometre walk to the magnificent Booloumba Falls. This walk will take slightly longer from the entrance gate.
The morning flew by (literally and figuratively) and before we knew it, it was lunch time. Kenilworth was our next stop and the all-time favourite for locals and tourists appears to be Nanna McGinns. With all the excitement of the morning, I wasn't overly hungry, but decided that one of Nanna McGinns sweet home-baked delights and a coffee, would definitely go down a treat. This short respite gave Col and I time to catch our breath and have a chat about all his wonderful plans for Touroz Trikes.
With three-seater trikes about to be offloaded at the harbour, Touroz Trikes will imminently be able to take couples on a personalised grand tour of the Sunshine Coast - this is promising to be a real coup! Nothing like a romantic trip for two through the beautiful valleys and mountains of the Hinterland. Orů.a beach sunrise tour, which are available too - imagine, sitting back and relaxing while taking in a spectacular sunrise anywhere from Noosa to Caloundra.
Book a romantic sunrise tour - Image: Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons
Kenilworth marked our homeward journey - much to my disappointment. After having started my morning, somewhat nervously, I, at this stage, was so relaxed, I was ready for a nap. Believe me, people, I think it IS possible to have a nap, on the back of one of these sturdy trikes.
A quick visit to Kenilworth Country Foods to stock up on some cheese or yoghurt in Kenilworth would definitely not go amiss.
Superb pub lunches are available at Mapleton Tavern - Image: Elaine de Wet
Obi Obi Road stretched panoramically traffic-free ahead of us - taking us the twenty kilometres or so to Mapleton. Mapleton is a picturesque little town, the last town along the Northern end of the Blackall Range, positioned between Flaxton and Nambour. Should your tour get you to Mapleton at lunch time, why not try the Mapleton Tavern for a scrumptious, very affordable, pub lunch and do sit outdoors to capture the magnificent view of the ranges. Or why not, add the Mapleton National Falls to your 'to do' tour and visit the Mapleton Falls viewing platform. This platform extends out over the escarpment, high above the Obi Obi Valley, treating visitors to a bird's eye view of the magnificent surrounds and the opportunity to view the Mapleton Falls.
Views from the Mapleton Falls viewing platform - Image: Elaine de Wet
Sadly my day trip was coming to an end and Col of Touroz Trike was delivering me back to my front door.
Touroz Trikes are available for personalised trike tours throughout the Sunshine Coast, from Noosa to Caloundra and everywhere in-between. The sensation of freedom that you experience as the wind rushes past you and the delightful aromas of budding flowers and shrubbery as you take in the panoramic views, is an experience second to none.
In the capable hands of Touroz Trike - Image: Elaine de Wet
Personalised tours with Touroz Trikes are available for one or two passengers with prices starting at $120 for one passenger or $140 per person for two passengers for a one hour tour; or $115 for one passenger and $130 per person for two passengers, for a two hour tour. Longer tours are available and gift certificates can be purchased for that once-in-a-lifetime unique gift for that somebody special in your life.
On a Trike Tour, you get to appreciate the 'small' things in life - Image: Elaine de Wet
Touroz Trikes are available seven days a week for tours and can be booked online here. Pick-up points for your personalised tour are between Noosa and Mooloolaba. So, whether you're a local, looking for an adventure or a visitor from interstate, keen to take in the surrounds of the Sunshine Coast in the best way possible, then Touroz Trikes is definitely your one-stop shop for a thrilling, awesome fun day out. I promise 'you will never look back'.
Spectacular Sunshine Coast Hinterland - Image: Elaine de Wet