Discover the walking trails and waterfalls of the Sunshine Coast hinterlands in this breezy mountain retreat just outside the charming country town of Montville.
After lazing on the golden beaches of the Sunshine Coast, find a cool reprieve in Kondalilla National Park in the Blackall Range. During the wet season, come here to see the mighty Kondalilla Falls.
The western escarpment of Kondalilla National Park is quite dry with eucalypts, grass trees, macadamia nut trees and casuarinas, but on the forest floor you can find a subtropical rainforest with ferns, vines and piccabeen palms.
This is the traditional land of the Gubbi Gubbi Aboriginal people and “Kondalilla” means “rushing waters.” If you are reasonably fit, follow the Kondalilla Falls circuit from the rock pool near the car park to reach a picnic area below. Watch how Skene Creek drops nearly 300 feet (90 meters) into a lush rainforest valley. Allow at least 2 hours to complete the full loop, which has 300 steps to help you get up and down the escarpment. You could also easily spend half a day if you take in a swim and a picnic. Note that by the end of winter, the stream may have been reduced to a trickle.
Bring your binoculars to spot some of the 107 species of birds that find a safe haven here. Look for the Australian peregrine falcons and the ever-busy brush-turkeys. The park is home to some 32 species of frogs as well, including the pouched frog named Assa darlingtoni.
The forest around Kondalilla was heavily logged by lumberjacks in the early days of settlement. See their ring-barked trees along the Picnic Creek circuit, an easy trail that takes about an hour to complete.
Kondalilla National Park is free to access year-round. The journey from Brisbane along the Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive takes about 2 hours and passes through Montville. Follow the Kondalilla Falls Road for about half a mile (700 meters) to the park entrance with free car park. You can also take a bus to Kondalilla Falls Road stop near Montville from the Nambour train station and walk into the park. There are basic toilets, picnic tables and barbecues in the picnic area but you have to bring your own drinking water.