Craig Tansley, for The Traveller, syndicated in Fairfax Newspapers Novermber 2020
Queensland opens to Sydney and Victoria from December 1. The rush to the sunshine state will be hectic – and Queensland’s most famous destinations will likely be overrun. But some of these popular places have secret spots next door.
Can’t Get A Bed In… Noosa: Consider Mary Valley
You won’t find anywhere to stay in Noosa this Christmas – and there’s slim pickings for the rest of the school holidays. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was somewhere close by that no-one knows about… but where you can still drive to Noosa in 45 minutes?
Oh… there is. Mary Valley, Queensland’s second best kept secret (behind the recipe for XXXX, should you want to know it). This is Queensland’s food bowl – so there’s great food all over the valley (and even a winery, check out Dingo Creek Vineyard). The whole place was nearly dammed 11 years ago, before Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett stepped in. Just as well too. There’s historic country towns across the region, with great heritage pubs to eat at ((Kenilworth Hotel). The best produce is served up at Kandanga Kitchen though if cheese is your thing, lactose-up at Kenilworth Dairies. Just because you’re not in Noosa doesn’t mean you can’t find water; spot a platypus on a dawn kayak with Ride On Mary. Everything in Mary Valley is bordered by state forest, so take a hike, or a horse ride (adventuretrails.com.au).
Best of all, you’ll find a bed out here, and a nice one at that. Stay on 10 hectares with views over the valley at Amamoor Lodge