So much for grand plans to post regularly, afraid last week got away from me a bit and then on the weekend we decided to do a quick overnight camp to the gorgeous village of Maleny in the Sunshine coast hinterland. Maleny is one of our regular back yard haunts and a fantastic option for a quick weekend escape. A tiny country town on the edge of the Blackall range, Maleny is a little piece of green heaven. And in an age when bookshops are disappearing from the landscape at a disturbing rate, Maleny, manages to support THREE! Paradise indeed for committed book worms.
Maleny ticks all my boxes; quiet, green, on a mountain, cheap camping, lots of walks, including a gorgeous stroll along the creek into the village from the show grounds where we access a cheap camp site. After a blissful night camped overlooking Obi Obi creek, we take a leisurely stroll along the Maleny trail into the village where we are spoilt for choice for a coffee and breakfast. Bookshops, cafes with excellent coffee, and fantastic food with a big emphasis on local organic produce, this really is heaven. And it is all dog friendly which is even better.
The Maleny showgrounds which are located on Obi Obi creek are a green oasis, for $25 night you get access to excellent clean toilets and hot showers. Showers are $1 for 2 minutes but you can shower for as long as you like, just keep the $1 coins going. You have access to onsite power if you need it. We generally don’t, especially on short trips but even for longer trips the solar panel is enough. The only thing we can’t generally do is recharge laptops in the pod, the 12 volt connection is not adequate for the lap tops. If you do need power, you do need to be aware that you might need a long cable as the show grounds are not set up like a caravan park with power boxes on every site, but rather regularly spaced power hubs.
The showgrounds are a fantastic short stop option, you can camp directly overlooking the creek, shade is abundant and the green ovals that make up the showgrounds and surrounds are dog off leash areas, Ada had a ball with all the freedom. It is important to keep canines under control though due to the abundant wildlife. Scrub turkeys, like scrub turkeys everywhere, are abundant and cocky, happily strolling through campsites regardless of the presence of dogs. The creek and its surrounds also supports other wildlife, platypus and bandicoots are common in the area. We took Ada for a post dinner romp on one of the ovals and came back to find a bandicoot happily poking about in the organic detritus under the trees at our camp.
We were being careful not to disturb our visitor so no photo unfortunately but I did find a creative commons image to use.
Like a bandicoot Ada likes to use her nose to shovel leaf litter and dirt about to cover up snacks or bones she would like to save for later. Although the bandicoot uses the nose to uncover snacks rather than hide them. Ada is a bit of a squirrel in this, in that she is not a particularly food motivated dog but will squirrel things away for latter. She had covered a bone with leaf litter in the area where we discovered the bandicoot, and despite the fact I am pretty sure she would have liked to give the bandicoot marching orders she was beautifully restrained, obediently standing quietly by G’s side and silently watching. I am not naive enough to think that if she was off her lead and not under orders at the time she would not have chased our visitor or worse. She has gotten used to our hushed orders on walks and looks at us, then looks at what ever we are watching and then back at us with a look that says; “seriously, what is wrong with you two”, but she always remains still and silent as requested. There are times when her grasp of obedience seems tenuous and she struggles to contain her exuberance but she has yet to disappoint me when it matters.
I should mention that G did find a tick on his leg at one stage, so it pays to be aware and make sure your dog’s tick preventative is up to date and it pays to do a check of the dog just in case. No one wants to have to deal with tick paralysis.
Maleny is beautifully situated on the Sunshine coast hinterland. If you are looking for retail therapy, the next village along, only five minutes away is the more touristy Montville, with a main street filled with quaint buildings, arts and crafts, galleries and gift shops. If you prefer nature therapy the Kondalilla falls National Park is just on the edge of Montville. The falls walk is an excellent sub tropical rainforest walk but the steep walk down to the swimming hole does not make for an easy return trip. We have walked Kondalialla before but with Ada in tow it is not an option unless I organise a dog sitter, the Maleny trail is a nice easy option if you want a dog friendly walk and you may get lucky and see a platypus on Obi Obi creek. No platypus for us on this trip just a bandicoot and an azure kingfisher but any wildlife always feels like a gift.
On Sunday before coming home we drove down the range to Mudjimba which has a fantastic dog beach. Ada still swims like a brick but is slowly becoming more confident in deeper water and waves and is tolerant of my need to immerse myself in water. I really wanted to get her into some salt water as she seems to be prone to skin irritation and swimming in the salt water seems to help. The beach is paradise to Ada, more for the joy of running along the sand, digging and just generally throwing herself around in pure joy at being alive.
I think the weekend was really a bit of a therapeutic escape for me and Ada. Earlier in the week I had been hit with bad migraine which left me feeling totally wiped out, G decided I really needed some green time and the dog needed a salt water swim hence the quick trip. We did get home late on Sunday and I completely missed my regular BookSnapSunday post, after not posting all week but I needed the break.
I have been feeling a bit like a bird with clipped wings this year and now our summer months are almost upon us. We might try and squeeze in the odd overnighter before December but extended camping is largely over for the year. Summer is the time for hibernation for me and the retreat to a cool dark bedroom, reading the only viable activity, although we are hoping to get in some local kayaking and the garden will get some attention, otherwise summer is the season for minimal activity.
After last years apocalyptic summer which saw more than 3 million animals killed or displaced and the incineration of 186,000 square kilometres, (Australian bush fire season Wikipedia) of Australian bush and farm land I approach summer with a sense of dread. The trip home was slowed briefly by control burning on the Esk Hampton Rd, no one wants a repeat of last year. I fear that control burning alone will not be enough to prevent further deadly fire seasons and the fundamental issue of climate change must be addressed!