Inhaling the crisp, fresh air, I take in a stunning view of the Glasshouse Mountains at one of Maleny’s many hill top lookouts. Raised in Queensland and having spent the majority of my time travelling the world, it surprised everyone that I had never been to Maleny. Driving around this Sunshine Coast Hinterland town is a treat with plenty of stops to admire pristinely manicured stud farms and picture perfect houses perched high on the hills or to meander through the Botanical Gardens. When I first received an invitation to a Maleny wedding the idea of setting aside an entire weekend for a destination wedding did not initially appeal, but after spending the weekend in Maleny I discovered so much on offer in this beautiful area.
This quaint, beautiful village gets quite busy on weekends and I was delighted to find a variety of coffee shops to choose from and immediately satisfied my caffeine craving at Monicas café. The village offers plenty of antique and thrift shops to browse for preloved goodies as well as a plethora of art and craft studios to browse. A stop at Ben Messina’s gallery is absolute must. Ben’s photos are like magic capturing breathtaking imagery from his travels around Australia and as he described to me the amount of effort and time he put into each photo to ensure the perfect shot, I was truly impressed.
The Artisan Food Market in the centre of town was also an exciting find. This outdoor food market has a vibrant, fun atmosphere with furniture made out of recycled pallets. It is a small, intimate hub with around 20 vendors selling everything from coffee, sweets, asian food and tacos. Try a gourmet pie from the Maleny Pie Guy and then balance it out with some locally baked sweets. While driving around the hills, make sure you stop at the Geordie Lane Antique Tearoom for one of their famous scones and browse its collection of antique trinkets.
As a wedding location, Maleny is becoming increasingly popular and with 360 degree views, fresh country air, scenery and beautiful accommodation, it is clear see why. Maleny Manor is a stunning venue for a wedding and has won best ceremony venue in Australia for the past four years. The secluded private estate offers stunning hinterland and ocean views and the manor house offers a reception room as well as boutique accommodation for the wedding party or your guests. B&B’s are everywhere in this charming country town so finding a place to stay shouldn’t be too difficult however, accommodation onsite is a definite plus. If you have to attend a friends wedding but want to make it a romantic weekend for yourself, Spicers Tamarind is an asian influenced refuge that is a real treat for couples.
By Rachael Sechtig