Food and 4WD on the Sunshine Coast

Sep 17 2012 0 Comments Tags: food, travel

Pete and I don't get to take many holidays, we just have too many animals to organise!  Knowing that Bella was due to calve in mid-September, we had decided to take a week off work in August as there would be no trips away after the milk started flowing again.  We were planning to travel "out west" to see central QLD, but then we bought all those Braford cows the week before, so we didn't want to be too far away from home in case they misbehaved.  We spent most of the week doing odd-jobs at home and in the end we had two days and one night on the Sunshine Coast, which is about 2 hours drive from Nanango.

When we do get to go on a holiday, it usually centres around food, our favourites being cheese, smoked sausages and beer (yes, Germany is on the wish-list!).  See our travels in NZ for another example.  This time we left early in the morning and started off at Maleny Cheese Factory.  Its just a small operation, which specialises in cheddar, feta, soft washed rind cheeses and yoghurt.  They don't run a tour, but you can taste the cheese and look down on the factory.  We bought some of the aged cheddar (I was disappointed to find that the smoked cheddar was only smoke flavoured) and double-cream brie.

Next we went down the road to the Maleny Dairies for the 10:30am tour.  Much of it was a bit wasted on us (the time spent milking the house cow and looking at the chickens reminded us of home), but we found it very interesting to check out the milking shed and the onsite processing plant.  The tour guide then told us about the evils of raw milk (in case you missed it, I'm a big fan of raw milk).  We left early, as the tour finishes with tasting of the "custom blended flavoured milks", mmm sugar and flavour ruining good milk.

Back to Maleny town for lunch, we enjoyed lamb burgers at the Upfront Club (a co-op restaurant/club), popped into the Co-op Organic Shop for some health food supplies and then got ourselves some delicious ice-creams at the Colin James deli.  We also stopped at the butcher and got some free-range bacon and pork chops for later, yum!  We should have got more cheese from Colin James, but we didn't want to go too crazy so early in the day.





We then drove to Palmwoods via Montville to pick up some mushroom compost to start my mushroom growing experiments (one giant bag was only $1, it stunk out the campervan, but SO cheap!!!).  From there we went down the highway to Palmview (I actually had these mixed up, PalmWOODS and PalmVIEW, but fortunately they aren't far apart) to pick strawberries at Strawberry Fields.  This turned out to be a little bit of a gimmick, as we paid $12/kg for what we picked, the same as their premium strawberries.  It was quite fun to pick them ourselves though, and it didn't take long to fill a punnet.  Pete picked off all the tops as well, so we didn't have to pay for them..... (we ate those ones first!).


Then back up to Maroochydore to our accommodation at the Cotton Tree Caravan Park.  Our campervan has solar panels, so we don't need a powered site and we get to stay in some nice spots, this time we were right on the beach front.  For dinner we walked into town and had some locally-brewed beers at the Sunshine Coast Brewery Bar and stopped for a gourmet pizza at a restaurant on the way home.




The next day we stopped in at Yandina to pick up a few items from Nutra-Tech Solutions, and then back to Mapleton via Cooloolabin Dam and Mapleton Forest Reserve.  This was the first 4WD adventure of the day, the road wasn't too bad, but it does get narrow!  From Mapleton we continued west to Kenilworth, and more dirt roads as we headed down the George Wyer Scenic Drive.  In Keniworth we visited Kenilworth Country Foods and tried yet more cheese, this time I came home with a blue cheese, and herbed gouda and swiss cheese.  They also make desserts and yoghurt.  Unfortunately none of the food producers we visited on the Sunshine coast were organic and many were highly processed, but it was still interesting to see what was out there.  Kenilworth also has an excellent op-shop and is a lovely small town.

Pete decided he really wanted to take the "short-cut" through Conondale National Park and back to the South Burnett.  This was another very narrow road, with lots of river crossings and steep descents and climbs in and out of valleys, it was beautiful, lots of huge trees, and we'd like to go back and do some of the bush walks another time.  When we popped out the other side at Jimna, we decided to keep going through the forestry roads and ended up back on the Burnett Highway a few kms out of Nanango.  This was actually quicker than driving home the long way, even though we had to go quite slowly in some spots, and was much nicer than the highway that we have driven so many times before.

river crossings

the dogs spent a night at home alone, Cheryl was not impressed

Chime was more relaxed
It was a lovely holiday, even if it was only two days.  When we got home all the animals were ok and we had free-range pork chops for dinner :)  and we have LOTS of cheese to eat....

Free-range pork chop - YUM!  Can't wait to grow these ourselves!

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