Friday, November 20, 2015


What a pretty place!  Honestly, I'd never heard of Montville.  Before travelling, I spent some time searching pins related to Queensland, hunting out the best spots to visit.  I stumbled across this cute Montville pin, and couldn't quite believe this storybook town was in such close proximity to where we were staying (Mooloolaba).

Arriving in the mountain village felt like we'd entered a completely different universe from the surfer towns below.  Eleanor thought we'd were in a fairytale, and I gotta admit, I kinda felt the same.  The steep, windy road through the mountains.  The trees and flowers and storybook buildings.  Everything had a slowed down, dreamy, old-timey feel. 

This trip offered the perfect respite from the glaring Queensland sun, with pretty shops and great cafes and an amazing view of Sunshine Coast.  I found the perfect vintage goods store, and could've spent hours in the Christmas shop (though a little put off by the extremely hostile shop owner).  I'm really glad we made the time for this side-trip, even though it meant missing out on other locations.  We had such a relaxing, happy day in Montville and I'm definitely eager to return.  

Highlights: Rare - retro collectibles store.  So many beautiful items! Also, lunch at Poet's Cafe (more on that soon).
Lowlights: Christmas shop lady - please don't ruin my window shopping experience!
Expectation vs. Reality:  Just as pretty as I hoped.  The road in was a little daunting, but I think that adds to the magic.
Worth repeating: Oh yeah, we'll def be back.
What we'd do differently:  My holiday refrain -> spend more time here!  We tried to see everything (no regrets because everything was amazing) and I was loathe to leave some spots.  Montville was definitely a family fave.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A day in Noosa

I would return to Noosa in a heartbeat.  We spent less than a day there, and I really didn't want to leave!  From the minute we drove into Cooroy, I was smitten.  All the pretty trees, ample sunshine, cute houses and summer action.  We didn't time our visit too well, arriving in Noosa on Labour day, but even the hoards of people couldn't put me off.

After lunching on the most expensive fish and chips everrrr (but they were good!) we took a little walk along Noosa River in Noosaville.  There were plenty of touristy water activities luring us off the boardwalk, though we didn't venture out.  The river was very, very pretty, and if we make it back to Noosa again, I really think we do have to jump in one of those boats.  

As it turned out, the crowds were too much for us and we had to skip Noosa Main Beach.  We glimpsed it from the road though, and I was well assured that we weren't missing out.  It was 
c r o w d e d and by the looks of things, there was little to no shelter from the blazing sun.  So we snuck into Noosa National Park instead, lucking out on a car park and hitting one of the prettiest tracks I've ever walked.

All along the way we were treated with ocean vistas, and when our eyes weren't peeled for koalas, they were hunting out surfers (in comparative abundance to the k-bears).  Eleanor, who is usually amped to walk for miles on end (really!), was unfortunately sporting two grazed knees and wasn't gelling with the heat.  Dragging reluctant kids through a National Park can't be anyone's fave, but it was worth it!  We were rewarded with a real-life-in-the-wild-koala for our efforts! #holidayhighlight.

There it is!  That fuzzy little critter, resting against the trunk

We barely scratched the very surface of Noosa, and I would love to spend more time there.  Rent a holiday home and stay for a week or two.  I wasn't all that fussed about the commercial side of things, but it wasn't as tacky as GC, and the whole area is sooooo pretty!  We had a Noosa Sample and it wasn't enough....  

Highlights: That koala!  Can't beat it!
Lowlights: Pricey fish and chips :-(
Expectation vs. Reality:  It was visually much greener than I expected, especially after the monotone Hervey Bay. Very pretty!
Worth repeating: Definitely!  I would probably want to stay in one of the smaller towns outside Noosa, and make day trips in and around the centre...
What we'd do differently:  Bring a picnic lunch and arrive earlier in the day.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Big Pineapple

I really just wanted a photo of us under the Big Pineapple.  Turns out, the Big Pineapple is not only a big pineapple!  We stopped for a photo and stayed for an hour, finishing off with some pineapple Weis' bars to really OD on the pineapple thing.

There was a definite 'time-has-forgottten-this-place' vibe, which I LOVED!  Like slipping into a lost world...  All palm trees and vintage displays and 'plantation' signposts.  The pineapple itself is a mini museum, describing (in mini detail) pineapple production - from plantation to can.  It was cute and surprisingly interesting, and the exhibit ended at the top of the pineapple, where we found ourselves on a little viewing platform, looking down on the plantation itself.

We thought that was it, but turning to leave we bumped into a sign advertising a train tour.   Garland was sleeping in Zan's arms, and was overjoyed to wake up on a train.  Super cute. The tour took us through an orchard, planted with exotic fruit trees, and past a little zoo that we didn't stop in on.  The driver/guide was great!  Again I found myself surprised at my interest in pineapple production.  Lol.

Hopefully we'll catch the markets next time, and score some of that exotic fruit they kept telling us about!  As it was, we rushed directly from the Big Pineapple to a fruit store and bought everything in sight, gorging on a gigantic fruit platter for dinner.  That might be one of my favourite holiday memories, and our kiddos couldn't believe their luck!

 Cost: Free!  The train costs $5 tho.
Highlights: The train ride was great, worth the fiver!   
Lowlights: There was a closed restaurant and a bit of an air of neglect.  I loved this, actually, but I hope they get enough business to keep going.  This was a really holiday highlight, and I hope we can visit again.
Expectation vs. Reality:  Way better!  Like I said, I expected a big pineapple, period.
Worth repeating: I could probably pass on repeat train tours, but we would definitely stop in again!
What we'd do differently: Nothing.  This was the perfect side excursion!