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Blackall Range Tourist Drive QLD

The Blackall Range Tourist Drive is a popular tourist drive in Queensland, Australia and rightfully so.  This route is the perfect introduction to food, wine, culture and nature for anyone new to Australia or even for locals visiting from elsewhere in the country.  Some of the main towns and villages along this route include Maleny, Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton to name just a few.  Some of the best stops, however, are at the lookouts and national parks along the way.  To truly make the most of this drive without the restrictions of check in and check out times of a hotel, renting a motorhome hire, campervan or RV rental from Brisbane or Cairns is the best option.

"Sunshine Coast, Queensland - Kondalilla falls" by Damien Dempsey from Melbourne, Australia - Kondalilla falls. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Starting in the south, driving up the Bruce Highway from Brisbane will lead you to the Landsborough-Maleny Road.  The main natural sight along this portion of the drive is the Mary Cairncross Reserve.  These 52 hectares are all that remain of the once great rainforest that covered the Blackall range.  From here you can enjoy the mountain views and a short 1.7km walk through this subtropical rainforest.

Next you will make your way to Kenilworth which, if you are here at just the right time, you will get to enjoy the annual Kenilworth Scarecrow and Limerick Festival held in September or October.

The Obi Obi Road leads to Mapleton which is the Blackall Ranges’ second highest town.  Here you will find plenty of arts and crafts galleries, potteries, museums and antique dealers.  The Mapleton National Park is in this area and it is a popular picnic spot.  Make sure that you head for the waterfall viewing platform for the best views of the Mary River Valley and the drop down into the 120m Pencil Creek waterfall.

The next portion of your drive will take you to Flaxton where the arts and crafts are paralleled only by the amazing teas and lunches served at the local restaurants.  Montville is not a long way from Flaxton and here you will find even more lovely works of art.

Inside the Kondalilla National Park, grows 327 hectares of subtropical rainforest as well as the 90 meter high Kondalilla Falls.  For shoppers, the many fashion boutiques, gift shops and craft shops along this drive will prove to be the main attraction.

Once you reach Montville, you can choose to continue along Flaxton Drive and turn to Palmwoods and then on to Nambour.  Alternatively, you can return to Flaxton, take a right after the township and take Dulong Road to Nambour.  The second route is particularly popular as it takes you past the Dulong Lookout.  From here you can take in the amazing views of the Bli Bli Valley and your next destination, Nambour.  For your drive back to your starting point, you need only follow Bruce Highway back to Calcoundra.  This trip back is just 30km and the route as a whole can be done at your own pace.  It can be a simple day trip or you can make a weekend of it.  It is this flexibility that makes it such a fantastic drive.  Although you don’t cover a long distance, you most certainly have plenty to see and experience.

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