Montville: Rainforest Walks and Romantic Escapes
You wouldn’t expect a town of under 1000 residents to harbour the variety of shops and activities it does, but Montville is home to award-winning candy and fudge stores, sustainable wineries and even a cheese factory. Montville is a quiet mountain retreat in the Sunshine Coast hinterland’s Blackall Range, only 1.5 hours from Brisbane, with plenty of rural treats in a scenic rainforest setting. While Montville is a thriving community, it is entirely possible to leave civilisation behind for the day and wander the tracks of Kondalilla National Park. Montville plays host to a wide range of accommodation options, from tucked away cottages to self-contained flats in the town centre.
Walking Trails and Waterfalls near Montville
One of the main reasons travellers visit Montville is to enjoy the multitude of nature walks that surround the town. Immerse yourself in the rainforest at Kondalilla National Park, only 4km north of Montville. This reserve is home to Kondalilla Falls, a 90ft waterfall that cascades into a forest-laden valley. Several walking trails depart from the main picnic area.
The Picnic Creek Circuit is an easy 1.7km stroll in the rainforest. If you really want to build up an appetite, head for the Kondalilla Falls Circuit, which is 4.6km in length and provides prime views over the waterfall. This walk is steep and goes up approximately 100 steps. Unfortunately, it is not wheelchair accessible.
More ambitious walkers can hop onto a segment of the 58km Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, which runs through the park from the Kondalilla Falls Picnic Area to the Baroon Pocket Dam Picnic Area- a healthy 12km wander in one direction. Of course, if you prefer to relax amidst natural surrounds, simply organise a picnic near the falls or try to spot some of the park’s endangered inhabitants, including frog, bird and plant species.
Montville Treats - Worth the Calories
If you’ve been on a bushwalking adventure, you may wish to rest in town the next day. Montville’s main street and business centre has plenty to do, especially when it comes to indulging your sweet tooth. One of the most popular shops in town is the family-owned Candy Addictions, where you can watch sweet-making demonstrations before purchasing some old-fashioned hard candy. If you’re more of a chocolate person, just cross the street to discover Fudgyboombahs, a shop selling Montville-made fudge. Take your treats to go and stroll down the street as you peruse the town centre’s many quaint shops and art galleries.
Perhaps you’d prefer a savoury treat? A short drive from Montville will take you to Malena Cheese factory, a family-run, multi-generational business where you can taste locally-made cheese and dairy products. The factory’s cafe is open seven days a week. Tasting tours, either by a guide or self-guided, are available to visitors.
Don’t Forget the Wine!
There are two wineries in Montville which are listed in the Australian Good Food and Wine Guide. Settlers Rise Vineyard produces wine from locally sourced grapes and has employed 2nd Master of Wine Peter Scudamore Smith for the last two decades. Bottles are available for purchase at Settlers Rise’s satellite cellar door, Flaxton Barn, only a three-minute drive from Montville. This shop also sells antiques, home ware and gourmet food, which you can sample at the onsite cafe or take home.
The second winery to grace Montville is Flame Hill Vineyard and Restaurant. In addition to sampling some Cabernet or Chardonnay, visitors can try local, sustainably produced food on the terrace or deck. For a romantic outing or a memorable family experience, you can even organise a picnic amidst the vines, comprised of some of the vineyard’s best produce.
Beyond Montville: Australia Zoo
Wildlife lovers both young and old can spend the day at Australia Zoo, only a 20-minute drive from Montville. This world-class zoo, heavily focused on conservation efforts, is widely considered the best in Australia. The zoo runs numerous animal shows each day and offers the opportunity to pet and hold Aussie favourites like koalas or parrots- and for the brave, even a baby alligator. With twenty different Animal Encounters available to visitors, you can learn a lot about native and foreign wildlife while picking up on the latest conservation news. If you prefer to cover more ground, take part in a private guided tour onboard a golf cart, where you can greet many different animals at arm’s length.
Getting to Montville
Montville may be in the mountains, but the popular hideaway is far from secluded. Drive to the Blackall Range from Brisbane in approximately an hour-and-a-half. Public transport is also available but due to stops and transits, accessing Montville could take up to double the time. If you have a car, all the better for local exploration once you’re onsite!