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Published: July 20th 2014
Coffee and Strudel with a Special View
This was the amazing view we had from the balcony of Mayfield Patisseries and Chocolates, Montville. We could see right down to the Sunshine Coast. It was hard to tear ourselves away.
A really strong wind came up in the night and we kept getting such fierce gusts that they shook the van. It did drop a little during the morning, though, and the sun was lovely and warm so it turned into a quite pleasant day, out of the chilly wind.
We went into Montville along a road that constantly revealed wonderful scenery glimpses through the trees or around corners, especially from the tops of the many hills. The town, itself, is very picturesque and has lots of fascinating shops and galleries all the way up (literally) the main road, specifically designed to part you from your money. We succumbed to the first almost immediately. The Mayfield Patisseries and Chocolates shop also sold coffee, which you could have while seated on a balcony with the most spectacular view of the valleys and mountains right through to the Sunshine coastline with its townships and tall buildings gleaming in the sun far in the distance.
They also had a picture window next to where we were seated, that looked into the bakery where the cakes were being made. They had just taken some delicious looking apple strudels out of the oven and
set them to cool. I couldn’t resist them so I went back into the shop and ordered one to share between us ($9 each – hence the sharing) which came with a sauce and some ice cream. It was even tastier than it looked. Heaven!
Once we’d finished we reluctantly tore ourselves away from the view and set off to explore the rest of the town and galleries. The first was right next door – “Illume Creations” which was full of the most amazing and colourful glass work you could see anywhere. The highlights were the vases by glassblower Tina Cooper, with their superb fish and seaweeds sculpted onto the outside of each one. They also had some lovely glass fountain pens and a good range of dichroic jewellery. I found some earrings for $20, as well as a hairclip (unfortunately only one), that were my favourite colours of green and purple and would beautifully match a couple of my pendants.
Further down the road we discovered the Montville Woods Gallery, full of lovely wood turned and carved items, many in camphorwood or red gum. I was very taken by some cute possums that sat perched partly over
This is just what was in the window of "Illume Creations" in Montville. I couldn't take photos inside, where it was even better.
the edge of the shelf, looking down towards the ground ($55 - so I just admired and left them there). Nearby was the “Nature Image Photography” shop with some lovely photos from all around Australia but especially featuring the local area. They, luckily for me, also sold them as cards and postcards for the very affordable price of $1 or $2 each (don’t know how they even print in colour for that price).
Another highlight was hiding in the “Latitude Gallery” which sold mainly jewellery but also had a whole wall dedicated to the fabulously colourful sculptured rainforest scenes of Lindsay Muir. He set pretty lizards, snakes and tree frogs amongst brightly coloured rainforest plants, branches, fungi and flowers. Some were just small, a tiny frog peaking out of a curled leaf, while others were larger, like my favourite which was a complete environment set into a recessed frame. It would be like having a piece of the tropics in your own home. I couldn’t get a photo but I found a brochure with some of his work in it. (You can see his work at www.lindsaymuir.com).
Scattered all the way along the footpath of the main street
Endangered Species Plaques
There were a series of these plaques dotted along the main street of Montville. They were nice works of art and subtly reminded us about a few of the endangered species in the area.
were a series of stainless steel and rock plaques showing plants and animals of the forest and each drawing attention to a different one of the endangered species of the area. It was a very artistic way to make people think about a dreadful problem. One they named was the Southern Gastric-brooding Frog, which I read about later on the information board for the Mapleton Falls National Park. It was discovered in 1972 living only in the area and is notable for rearing its tadpoles inside its stomach. The board said it hadn’t been seen since 1981 and may be extinct. It was only known about for 9 years before we’ve managed to wipe it out.
We decided to move on or we would run out of daylight for the Mapleton Falls. We drove through Flaxton and Mapleton, itself, and into the Mapleton Falls National Park. There was a lookout over another wonderful valley so we found a bench nearby and ate our rather late lunch there. We then set off for the 1.3km Wompoo Circuit Walk through the rainforest, which we thought would take us to the falls. The walk was a bit up and down but was
Mapleton Falls National Park, Montville
Barry is standing amongst the very tall Piccabeen Palms on the Wompoo Circuit Walk in the National Park. The base of the leaf is so big and thick the local Aboriginals used to use them as water carriers.
OK when taken steadily. It took us through some dense rainforest down in the valley, similar to the one in Maleny, and then up into more open woodland with ferns and grass below the tall trees. We also saw more tall timbers and Piccabeen Palms. What we didn’t see was the waterfall.
We made it back to the car park and had another look at the information board. It said you could see the falls from a lookout. We’d only come across the one next to the car park so we went back for another look. Then I heard a faint trickle of water and sure enough, if you looked really hard, you could just make out a couple of spots where a little trickle appeared on the cliff face to the right. Most of it was obscured by rocks and trees, it was so small. Very underwhelming and disappointing. Another victim of the lack of rain this year up here.
After that we drove to Kenilworth to check out our possible next stop at the Showgrounds, which were fine. What wasn’t fine for towing our van on were the VERY steep hills full of non-stop twists and
The Bull that Nearly Got Away
This bull has just fallen back onto the tray of the ute and is still unbalanced from almost leaping over the wire fence and getting his hooves stuck. The driver realised and braked quickly which shook him back down. The farmer is moving the bull between paddocks or farms.
turns all the way up and down. We’ll have to rethink our next leg. I found one section of the road quite terrifying as it was so steep and close to a massive drop on my side. I don’t want to do that again!
Once we were on flatter ground we had a farm vehicle pull out in front of us with a bull on the back tray that had a wire mesh around it. All seemed OK until something spooked the bull and it suddenly started to rear up and try to jump out of the vehicle. It got its hooves caught in the fence at one point and was panicking. The driver swerved over and slammed his brakes on but before he’d stopped the bull managed to stumble back onto the tray again. The farmer just continued on down the road. He pulled off into a side road a few kilometres further along. It seems he was just taking the bull to another farm, or field but it could have been a disaster. I’m sure the poor animal was glad that journey was over!
A bit further along we also saw a bird of prey swoop down and land on something at the side of the road. We were travelling too fast to see what it had caught but it was tucking into whatever it was. We also had to slow down for a wallaby that was sitting bolt upright in the middle of the road looking at us coming. It finally decided to move off, just as I pulled out my camera, and went into the scrub followed by another wallaby. It’s amazing what you can see at dusk.
We finished the good but tiring day with some food shopping and a look at Wikicamps for our next stopover.
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