The Road Ahead : February March 2015
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 53 QLD GREAT ESCAPE | TRAVEL FEB/MAR 2015 THE ROAD AHEAD IMAGES: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) OFFERINGS AT LIVE FOOD CAFE; COASTAL PATHWAY; ENJOYING THE SURROUNDS AT NARROWS ESCAPE RAINFOREST RETREAT; SPICERS CLOVELLY ESTATE: NARROW'S ESCAPE; MALENY BOTANIC GARDENS & BIRDWORLD; OAKS OASIS RESORT. Lift and the neighbouring Live Food Café are worth a visit. Lift specialises in energy art and sound therapy, while the café features vegan cuisine in its rawest form, including amazingly colourful salads and decadent desserts. After refuelling, we stop in at Maleny Botanic Gardens and Birdworld. This unique attraction, offering stunning views across the Glass House Mountains, is the vision of owner Frank Schipp. He began transforming a sprawling patch of rugged farm land into a spectacular botanic garden in 2007. The aviary is one of the largest in Australia and is home to more than 400 native and RACQ CAN HELP: PLAN YOUR TRIP TO THE SUNSHINE COAST USING RACQ'S ONLINE TRIP PLANNER AND PRE-PURCHASE TICKETS TO SUNSHINE COAST ATTRACTIONS, INCLUDING AUSTRALIA ZOO, UNDERWATER WORLD SEA LIFE, AND THE GINGER FACTORY AT RACQ.COM. exotic birds. The walk-through tours are an up-close and informative experience, complete with feathered friends who aren't afraid to make a nest of your hair or a perch of your shoulder. If it's a couple's escape you're looking for, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat in Montville fits the bill perfectly. Any residual stress just melts away as you walk into one of the six fully self- contained secluded pavilions nestled within the rainforest. While it's hard to leave these surrounds, more rainforest awaits within the neighbouring Kondalilla National Park. Walking tracks traversing the Blackall Range are part of the 58 kilometre Great Walk, with a number of shorter walks available. Local company OffBeat Eco Tours offers a Luxe Trekking package from Lake Baroon to Kondalilla Falls, which takes five hours, including a healthy morning tea and lunch. Our expert guides shared their knowledge of the local flora and fauna while we relished the tranquillity of the rainforest. OffBeat Eco Tours also offers a half-day 4WD tour exploring the Conondale Great Walk to Andy Goldsworthy's Strangler Cairn, for those favouring a shorter walk. Those who prefer their explorations to be of the culinary variety are also spoilt for choice in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. A short drive from Narrows Escape is one of Queensland's finest dining establishments -- The Long Apron at Spicers Clovelly Estate. Specialising in European- inspired menus using the finest local ingredients, the opulent surroundings belie the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that makes you feel you're dining in a beautiful home, rather than one of Australia's Top 100 restaurants. Another must-visit for the foodies is Flame Hill Winery. Its cellar door offers a chance to taste a number of local wines, while its restaurant is open for lunch, served with spectacular views across the hills of Montville.
April 1st 2015