MARY VALLEY COUNTRY DRIVES

Take a Mary Valley Scenic Drive

Heading north out of Brisbane or Sunshine Coast take Exit 244 off the Bruce Highway (also Mary Valley Tourist Drive 42 exit) before turning left onto Kenilworth Skyring Creek Road.  Follow the Mary Valley signs and enjoy the scenery as it changes from light forest to grazing pastures.  Turn left and head towards Imbil, one of the main centres in the Mary Valley, nestled on the banks of the Yabba Creek and on the route to Borumba Dam.

Imbil  is surrounded by one of the few remaining Hoop Forests in Australia and is a very popular playground for Horse Riding, Hiking, Cycling and Bike Riding.  A Rail Trail links Imbil and Brooloo and is a leisurely walk or ride. Timberman’s walk through the centre of town under the Jacaranda Trees shares some of the timber history of the region. 

Just 15 minutes away, through rich pastures and forests is Borumba Dam, the perfect spot for fishing, water skiing or a family picnic. There is also a camping ground below the dam if you feel like staying close to the water. Get your fishing licence here before you head up to Borumba if fishing is on your ‘to do’ list.

Returning to Imbil, you can travel north to Kandanga, just 10 minutes from Imbil and sample some local produce or have a country pub lunch. Soak up the history of the double Railway Bridges or pop down to the weir and Kandanga Canoe Trail entry point for a dip. There are lots of accommodation choices if you feel like staying the night, from RV Parks, cosy B&Bs to modern country cottages which can cater for groups, events or weddings.

Back on the road again, Amamoor is the next stop, the destination of the Mary Valley Rattler steam train on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Stop at the delightful town park at the Railway station and have a coffee and tasty nibbles at the local Coffee shops.

Take a detour east of Amamoor and you head towards Amamoor State Forest, the home of the Gympie Music Muster.  Cedar Grove and Amama Park are beautiful and are well worth the drive. Swim in the cool watersat Cedar Grove, take a walk along Rainforest Walk or the longer Cedar Grove hiking trail. Take a picnic lunch or maybe even camp the night.

Heading back towards Amamoor, you can detour on the back road to Dagun where the beautifully restored railway station hosts the Mary Valley Rattler on its travels. If you are there on a Saturday you can visit the popular Dagun Growers Markets from 3pm to dusk at the station and take home a basket of fresh produce straight from the paddock to your plate.

To return south, you can travel through Gympie or through the Mary Valley link road which joins the Bruce Highway.

If you didn’t fit everything in, you can always come back again. See you soon…

Take a Mary Valley Taste Drive

Find the Mary Valley by taking Exit 253 off the Bruce Highway.   Just 2 hours North of Brisbane and 45 minutes North of the Sunshine Coast. If you are heading South from Gympie you can follow the Mary Valley Road to Amamoor or follow the Bruce Highway and use Exit 253. Now you can begin your TASTE journey.

We suggest taking a right where the Link Rd intersects with the Mary Valley Road and head towards Amamoor. Here you will find the most amazing little coffee shops and… if you time it right you can watch the Mary Valley Rattler as it arrives in town and does the amazing ‘turn around’  before heading back to Gympie.

Leaving Amamoor, take the back road to Kandanga where you will pass farms and orchards on the way to Kandanga Farm Store Cafe where they specialise in a locally grown menu offering. For a great country pub meal, pop into the Kandanga Hotel or if you are staying overnight, visit the Kandanga Country Club for an evening meal or one of the regular speciality dining events. 

Leaving Kandanga, just 10 minutes drive away is Imbil where again you have a choice of a Country pub meal at the Imbil Railway Hotel or dine at the Rattler Cafe. Don’t pass by the Imbil Town & Country Bakery without tasting their delicious doughnuts and tasty meat pies which they are fast becoming famous for. If you are travelling through on a Sunday – don’t forget the Imbil Markets and their fabulous variety of foodie stalls and fresh produce.

Continuing on your scenic taste travels, you now head south, over the range, to Kenilworth just 20 minutes away. Here there are lots of taste tests to be found, from  Kenilworth Dairies and their famous wide range of products, Kenilworth Country Bakery and their renown doughnut challenge, Nanna McGinns is a time tested favourite as well, and true to form, the Kenilworth Hotel is another fabulous example of country pub charm and food.

If you need a couple of days to taste ALL of the Mary Valley, there are lots of accommodation options and some that specialise in delicious dining experiences such as Amamoor Lodge.

Take a Mary Valley Motorcycle Touring Drive

Come out to play on your beloved motorcycle amongst Mary Valley’s graceful sweeping curves and stunning mountain twisties. Lean into the corners between the foodie villages of Maleny, Montville and Mapleton. Feel the wind in your face as you cruise past lush paddocks dotted with placid dairy cows around Kenilworth, Imbil, Kandanga and Amamoor. When it’s time for a sustenance, kick your stand down at one of the many cafes or country pubs offering delicious coffee and hearty meals. If you’re craving a two-wheeled getaway, pack your panniers and pitch your tent in a stunning national park under a million stars or kick off your boots and relax in luxury accommodation – the choice is yours. The Mary Valley welcomes you. You will want to cruise the tempting roads of the Mary Valley again and again.

Maleny is a great place to fuel up your bike and yourself. Sweep down the range to Conondale, taking care on the single lane bridges and narrow roads (inexperienced tourists venture out to them thar parts) and tight hairpin bends as you approach Kenilworth. Climb the rugged mountains of the Imbil Range and sweep down into the lush, picture-perfect Mary Valley.  Keep an eye out for all the amazing sights, from Scarecrow motorcyclists to wild deer and incredible rock formations.

Touring information generously provided by Throw Your Leg Over Motorcycle Touring Guide Books‘  CLICK HERE  for the details of the ride from Maleny to the Mary Valley.

Here are just some of the sights you will see along the way.

Noosa Country Drive

Situated just a 30-minute drive from Noosa the Mary Valley is a true hinterland country experience. Taking its name from the Mary River, which is fed by 19 tributaries throughout the valley, the Mary Valley is a perfect place to rediscover nature and yourself.

You will find local markets, food producers, little cafes with local produce and picturesque winding roads that will take you along the Mary Valley tourist drive. Sprinkled with B and B’s and a number of tracks, trails and waterways, the Mary Valley is a perfect getaway drive destination.

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Design Your Own Drive

The Mary Valley is made up of 8 villages and communities, each with their own charm and hidden secrets, just waiting for you to explore. Take a drive, call in to a shop and chat to a local -they will love sharing interesting things to do with you.

Borumba Dam, the Mary River and all her tributaries are essentials to include in your itineraries for any drive.

Take 1 day – take 2 days – take your time…

There is so much to experience –  you will be back.

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