Just over an hour's drive from here, up into the Blackall Ranges, is a growing hinterland town called Maleny. This bustling, eclectic village, set amid a countryside of rolling green hills and spectacular views of a not-too-distant coastline, is a beautiful place to spend time away from the city. We visited recently, on a very cold Wintery day, to see a dear friend. Rather than venture into the busy town, we spent the day breathing in the blues and the greens around the local lake.
On our drive down to the lake, formed by the Baroon Pocket Dam, we passed lush paddocks, edged with fencing and dotted with old and beautiful trees that cast deep shade underneath. Cows and horses grazed on abundant grass against the backdrop of wide blue sky.
An old and shady tree.
We stopped at the Platypus Viewing Platform, along the Obi Obi Creek, and waited quietly for the telltale ripples of the shy platypuses that make their homes along the creek's banks. Our glimpse of these unusual creatures was fleeting, and gone too soon for photos, but there are images over on National Park Odyssey's blog, of this elusive Australian animal in this local creek, if you'd like to spot one too.
After the morning outdoors, rugged up against the Hinterland's cold, somewhere warm was most welcome. Out on the deck of Secrets Cafe, located in a stunning timber building on the edge of the rainforest, we enjoyed a delicious lunch that came complete with a beautiful view through the trees and across the water of the lake.
A bright yellow orchid growing on rocks outside the restaurant.
After a lunch that included a souffle made with local cheeses, salad and a lemon myrtle creme brulee sprinkled with macadamia nuts, we walked along a well-used track around more of the lake although I could easily have curled up beside the warm fire and read all afternoon!
The warm and welcoming fire.
My delicious dessert.
It was quiet along the path we walked, that for a time hugged the edge of the lake before winding its way back to its beginning. We passed tall trees, a few with possum boxes up high, and were accompanied by bird song, including that of the distinctive whip bird, along the way.
A view across the lake.
The afternoon was casting long shadows as we made our way home from the hinterland. We could have spent this day, strolling the streets of Maleny's town centre, but I am glad that we soaked up the blues and the greens of nature on its outskirts instead.