If the cabin fever is starting to set in and you’re dreaming of getting out of the house and heading for the hills, come with us on a ‘virtual Sunday drive’ to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It’s the perfect chance to take some time out and get away from it all without even giving up your spot on the couch.
Today, we’re winding our way up the Blackall Range to Flaxton, a lush little village between the larger townships of Montville and Mapleton.
“Why Flaxton?” we hear you ask. Apart from it being a stunningly beautiful part of the world that is more than worthy of a Sunday drive, it is also where you’ll find Endeavour Foundation’s Anniversary Prize Home. This $1.16 million Queenslander homestead comes with a dray load of old-world charm, all the mod cons and spectacular views all the way to the coast. We’ll drop by when we’re in town a little later.
So, if you’re heading up to Flaxton from Brisbane, the easiest way is to cruise up the M1 until you peel off onto Steve Irwin Way to Landsborough.
For many (particularly those with a weak bladder), Landsborough is the perfect place for a mid-journey rest stop and vanilla slice from the local bakery. Then it’s a scenic 20-minute drive up the range, winding your way past idyllic rural properties, fields of grazing dairy cattle and pockets of sub-tropical rainforest. Just as you reach the top, you literally come to a fork in the road. Choose left and you’ll head to Maleny, the ‘capital’ of the Hinterland, so to speak. But if you choose the right one (see what we did there) you’ll be on the road to Flaxton.
Now if Flaxton isn’t fully registering on your radar (i.e. you’ve kind of heard of it but don’t exactly know where it is) there’s a good chance that you may be acquainted with its neighbouring cousin, Montville. A popular Sunday drive destination in its own right, the cute village of Montville is typically the end of the road for many weekend trailblazers up from Brisvegas. With a tree-lined main street filled with charming cafés, handicraft stores, chocolate shops and, most importantly, fudge-makers, Montville is definitely an essential stop on a Hinterland Road trip.
But if you’re willing to drive just five more minutes up the road, you’ll find yourself in a lovely neck of the woods known as Flaxton.
Just before you reach the edge of town, you’ll see the turn to Kondalilla Falls National Park to the left. This is where the other half of the weekend trailblazers typically end up. The 4.7km Kondalilla Falls Circuit is one of the most popular National Park circuits in the region. With more than 300 steps, the circuit isn’t for the faint-hearted, but the thigh burn is well worth the effort. The walk takes you to the base of the falls where Skene Creek spectacularly drops 90m into the rainforest valley.
The easier 2.4km walk to the rock pools at the top of the falls is even more popular and a Summer weekend will see it packed with day-trippers looking for a place to cool off and the perfect Insta-worthy backdrop.
Back out on the main road and straight away you’ll see the black and white Flaxton town sign. Miss that and there’s a chance you could miss the town altogether. Well, not entirely, but almost. Without the typical main street and strip of shops, the only real indication that you’re arriving in town is that the homes start getting a little closer together.
Set on the top of the ridge amidst rolling green hills, you could say that this mostly residential village is the real Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Once covered with rainforest – the neighbouring Kondalilla National Park offers a clue as to what the landscape was like – the area was selected as ideal for farming in the late 1800s and a settlement was established.
Flaxton was named in 1890 when a postal ‘Receiving Office’ was set up at the home of J.C Wyer. He called the settlement Flaxton after his birthplace in Norfolk, England.
With a population of just 931 at the last Census, Flaxton still has the feel of a rural settlement and has largely avoided the trappings that come with modern day life.
Those lucky enough to call this special place home get to enjoy the relaxed hinterland lifestyle after the Sunday drivers head home.
And if you’re one of the enviable few who’ve managed to shank a shack with a view, you get to enjoy that ‘on top of the world’ feeling 365 days a year.
One of those ‘shacks’ is Endeavour Foundation’s Anniversary Prize Home. Tucked back off the main road on the appropriately named Kingsview Drive, this grand two-storey Queenslander sits on the high side of the street with stunning views to the north east all the way to the ocean.
At first glance, you would think that it’s an immaculately restored heritage home. But truth be told, it’s actually a brand-new build. And that means behind that beautiful front door is the absolute best of both worlds. Classic heritage features combined with all the mod cons you’d expect in a luxury new-build.
If you’re keen to have a sticky beak inside, you can take a virtual tour of the home and also check out its magnificent views while you’re there.
With a prize value of $1.16 million this spectacular property sits toward the up
One of the most outstanding pieces of real estate in the village is the iconic Flaxton Gardens. A renowned wedding venue, winery, restaurant and function centre, the Gardens offers incredible coastal views stretching from Noosa to Moreton Island. It’s hard to imagine a better place to begin a new chapter of life. But don’t worry – you don’t have to get married or renew your vows to go there. It’s also the perfect place to go for a special celebration or… just because. High tea on the verandah is something special that you will truly be able to look forward to.
Hopefully it won’t be too long before you can explore this beautiful area in person. And when you do, there will be many wonderful local producers and artisan businesses that will be very happy to greet you.
Flaxton is on the Blackall Range that runs behind the Sunshine Coast. It’s approximately a 90-minute drive from Brisbane and just a 35-minute trip down the range to the beach. If you like catching the train when you can, Yandina Station is just a short drive away where you’ll find rail access to Brisbane. There are shops, restaurants and cafes at the neighbouring towns of Montville and Mapleton, both about a five-minute drive from Flaxton. And when you need to stock up on supplies, both Maleny and Nambour are less than twenty minutes away.
Each year, Endeavour Foundation builds a Queenslander-style Prize Home to celebrate our humble beginnings on the verandahs of a grand old Queenslander in the suburbs Brisbane. It was here that a group of children with an intellectual disability were given the opportunity to imagine what’s possible.
Their parents believed that children with an intellectual disability deserved to live a fulfilling life and have the same right to education as everyone else.
Their work toward creating more educational opportunities for children with intellectual disability was the beginnings of what would become the Endeavour Foundation.
This year with our Anniversary Prize Home at Flaxton, we celebrate 69 years of the Endeavour Foundation. That’s almost seven decades of helping some of the most vulnerable in our community discover what’s possible.
Tickets are now available to purchase online with just a couple of clicks. For just $10 you could be in the draw to win this very special Queenslander Home. Every ticket you buy goes toward helping people with intellectual disability you are extremely vulnerable during this difficult time.