It was going to be a short travel day today so we stopped along the way to visit the Big Pineapple. Seems it may have seen better days but we still enjoyed our visit. With an ice cream and ride on the little train that takes you through some forest, orchard, and a zoo the kids thought it was great.
Our next stay was at Lansborough Pines Caravan Park. A beautiful setting and well maintained park nestle amoungst trees on a little man made lake it had a lovely rural feel. With goats just along the fence line chickens and a wide variety of water birds there was always something to observe and many distractions for the girls. The goats were a big hit and nicely fattened up after our visit.
Landsborough itself is at the base of the Blackall Ranges. It came to being as a “port of call” for the Cobb and Co coaches stopping for refreshment but became a larger town supporting the early logging industry. Once gold was discovered further north in Gympie it grew even more as the rush for Gold brought larger numbers of people through the region. It was durning this period it was renamed Landsborough after William Landsborough (born in Scotland) the first European explorer to cross Australia north to south.
Our first day was a quiet one around the caravan park, schooling, washing, cleaning, working and playing. The next day we packed a picnic lunch and where making our way to Kondalilla Falls National Park for a picnic and walk. Fortuitously we stopped at Gerrard’s Lookout to take in the views and grab a coffee and it turns out Mr Gerrard not only ownes the property but makes coffee and offers great tourist advice. He whipped out a map and showed us a fabulous circuit to drive and spots to stop. The coffee was good, as was the map and we ended up having a cracker of a day.
We did a beautiful walk to the rock pools in the national park. The trees were stunning, views vast and rock pools freezing. You could only dip a toe in briefly before it was burning with cold. It was only 4 km’s with about 150 stairs and there was much complaining from the peanut gallery but they loved it in the end
We decided we had earned afternoon tea so stopped at the Flaxton Barn and had a best lemon meringue pie and Devonshire tea you could hope for. Completely worth the calories!
The rest of the drive was gorgeous. Lush rural landscapes, rolling hills and climbing peaks, bathed in the light of late afternoon.
A stop at Kenilworth treated us to a fun and creative playground. We have come across a number of playgrounds with equipment we’ve never seen before. It’s with great delight that the girls try it out and Ken and I have been known to get in on the action.
It was getting late and the setting sun was casting a lovely light but we weren’t going to make it home before dark so we opted to pop into a German restauant in Maleny for dinner. What a Fantastic place! A family run business only opening two nights a week, with spectacular views of the Glasshouse Mountains. The hostess/owner was so good, making us welcome and really caring for all her customers, it was old fashioned service. The food didn’t disappoint either.
All in all, the day was one that nourished all the senses.
The following day we only ventured out in the afternoon to visit Montville and views of the Glasshouse Mountains, in daylight this time. Beautiful but chilli, the weather has really become cold with a bitterness to it. Mental note, really must press on to the north!
That night we stayed in a cabin in the caravan park so that Ken could get an early start and hitch up the van to get it down to Brisbane to have the suspension serviced. Us girls just hung around Landsboroughs cafe’s, playgrounds and the caravan park, on the look our for any cats but none to be found. Folks in the park were very kind offering us shelter and water as the day went on. We must have looked a little strange sitting on our empty camp site with no van and we put on a fabulous show with a massive meltdown over school work. Argh, same shit, different scenery. Still the scenery was lovely and school outdoors beats the alternative, even if it was bitterly cold.
Our last day here was one we had all been anticipating with excitement, a visit to Australia Zoo. And it didn’t disappoint. It really is a wonderful zoo, the animal enclosures are really fabulous for the animals and all day you see animals out and about walking or being walked around the zoo giving you an opportunity to get up close and speak to the keepers.
The girls both did an animal experience, Charlotte and Ken with dingos and Georgia and I with a couple of wombats. They loved this and it was a great educational experience. Turns out wombats are very stubborn and can be unfriendly so while we learnt a lot there wasn’t the cuddles Georgia was hoping for. The show at the crocoseum was terrific and again educational for us especially as we are heading for croc country in the next few weeks.
We had a full day but didn’t get to do all we would have liked to, the option to do it over two days may have been best, but as always, so grateful to be able to share these experiences at all. The lovely thing is the girls have both been inspired by the message of wildlife conservation which is what Steve and the Irwin family are so passionate about.
The added little bonus was the introduction to Bindi’s series of books, well written, engaging and always have a great message. After three months of reading the same things over and over this is been a breath of fresh air for us all.
There is much more we would have liked to explore around the Sunshine Coast. Striking a balance between work, maintenance and repairs have meant we may just have to visit here again. I’m already looking forward to it. 😉 For now, north to a bit more warmth.