THERE is something about the little towns hiding behind the Sunshine Coast that I have always loved. Montville and Maleny are a scenic ten minute drive apart and it is impossible to resist visiting the both. The hills between the towns are dotted with lovely old cottages and the paddocks are home to grazing cows and amazing old trees; the kind you only ever see in the country.

While the towns are very different, they both take pride in the local produce. Sewn along the main street of Maleny are art galleries with pieces by local artists, busy organic produce stores, library-like bookstores and thriving cafes where canine companions always seem more than welcome. Make sure you head into Colin James Fine Foods to check out local products, cured meats and an array of delicious ice-creams and gelato. 

On the drive to Montville you'll pass Maleny Cheese where you must stop in to watch cheese being made and then sample just about every kind they have. I can definitely recommend the Herb & Garlic Feta - perfect by itself on some crusty bread.

It's also worth making a stop just down the road at the lookout. Take in the fresh country air as you peer over the mountains and right out to the coast. Continue on to Montville and you'll find the dining to be a little more upmarket and, while the shops are still small and locally owned, they don't have that country cuteness… they're a little more 'hippy chic'. The town is always bustling and you can be assured Fudgyboombas will always be overflowing with sweet-toothed locals and visitors. (I can never hold myself back.)

We continued on through Montville to stay in a beautiful treehouse down around Kondalilla Falls where a creek trickled outside our window, beautiful tropical plants entrenched our house and the fire kept us warm.