Narrows Escape – Sunshine Coast

Off to the Sunshine Coast we head this month to show our support to the local tourism industry in the Hinterland. What a glorious place indeed, a mere 2 hours north of the Gold Coast the Sunshine Coast Hinterland has everything from rainforests, a local foodie delight with award winning restaurants, cafes, picturesque waterfalls, and lux accommodation. Actually, a whole suite of different accommodation to suit every budget is available but, on this visit, we were paying particular attention to luxury accommodation and we were not disappointed.

To break our journey, we stopped in at Landsborough, highly recommend Bucks Bakery for a coffee and a slice. Taking the scenic route, we then stopped at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. Let me tell you my last visit here was over 15 years ago and what a huge transformation! A wonderful Rainforest Discovery Centre, Rainforest & Butterfly walk, a Café, Children’s playground, Toilets and great viewing deck of the Glass House Mountains. Following this the obligatory photo of One Tree Hill before heading to Kenilworth Dairy to buy my favourite Cheeses.

I know a lot of stores on the Sunshine Coast stock Kenilworth Cheese but why not go directly to the source and I am glad we did. What an attractive town, loved the curiosity store, the high street where you can find small cafes, art gallery and historical museum again also a nice way to support these local businesses. The Cochrane family are sixth generation farmers and cheese has been made in Kenilworth for the past sixty years, quite an achievement.

My favourites, the Truffle Triple Cream Brie, the Tuscany Romano, and the Malling Roma. You will also find a great variety of gourmet products like various quince & fruit pastes, yummy jams, condiments, oils, crackers and biscuits. Due to covid, no tastings are available, but Poppa’s café is open and of course the handmade ice creams are a must do. Marvellous country scenery and cows by the roadside aplenty.

Our home for the next two nights, Narrows Escape Luxury Rainforest Retreat. Located in the quaint region of Montville and nestled on the edge of the Kondalilla National Park. Six opulent cottages all offering privacy for each in house guest, charming wooden deck verandahs, sweeping views of the rainforest, fireplace, spa bath, kitchenette and wonderful locally sourced produce for breakfast as well as local organic bath products. It is the little touches that the team at Narrows bring into each cabin that make you feel pampered, relaxed, and not to mention welcomed by the amazing hosts.

Each villa offers a different view, and the room layouts vary. The King size bed was so comfortable and excellent quality linen and pillows made for a great night’s sleep. Wake up to hear the rainforest coming alive with birds calling each other, these residents also like to swing by onto your verandah and enjoy a morning feed of the special bird seed the staff put out for them. Speaking of swings, enjoy the hammock – read a book, enjoy a cuppa and let the gentle breeze lull you off to sleep for a mid-morning nap, highly recommended!

This beautiful family owned business really caters to each guests’ requirements whether like me dietary or ensuring a celebration is not overlooked and the wonderful team on site are more than happy to ensure your special occasion is made memorable. I really love their philosophy of still offering luxury accommodation but combining this with sustainable tourism practices and helping to reduce their carbon footprint. The accommodation itself is the destination!

We also enjoyed dinner at The Tamarind, modern Asian cuisine which forms part of Spicers Tamarind Retreat in Maleny. The Australian Good Food Guide awarded this little gem a Chef-Hat in 2019. I had a whole crispy fried fish with three flavour sauce, pickled ginger, toasted rice and crisp basil. Pretty sure my entrée was the Dubu-jorim Baked Tofu, both truly melt in your mouth food paired with some wonderful wine and very good service, this restaurant was a definite winner.

Head down Narrows Road and check out Lake Baroon, ample walking tracks, BBQs and picnic areas. Stop in at Secrets on the Lake and stroll through their Art Gallery or enjoy the panoramic views overlooking Lake Baroon whilst indulging in a Secrets Classic or Secrets Ultimate High Tea.

Hire a golf cart and drive through Maleny Botantic Gardens, this privately owned garden sits on 18 acres of rolling landscapes offering scenic lookouts of the Glass House Mountains as well. After such a fun filled morning, you will need to relax with a beverage, so we were off to check out Brouhaha Brewery to find out for ourselves what the Brouhaha was all about. This craft brewery offers great food, beer infused or not and beers to try. A weird location, beside the local medical centre but once inside you are greeted by friendly staff, nice outlook from the timber deck and a big selection of craft beers on tap to try.

A great weekend away and already dreaming of when we can come back to Narrows Escape, two nights was definitely not long enough.

For great local tourism information;