Montville is the perfect place from which to base yourself for some excellent short walks. These walks will be no problem for those with an average level of fitness. They suite the young and old, mums, dads and the kids plus there are a couple of great options that are wheelchair friendly. We have listed a short summary below but do suggest that you get further detail from the Montville Information Centre at the southern end of Main Street.
The Russell Family Park
This beautiful park is located in the centre of iconic Montville. You can enter via the Main Street public carpark behind the Information Centre. You will find open green spaces with a spring fed lagoon, easy walking paths, gas BBQ’s, picnic shelters, a children’s playground and toilet facilities. This is a top spot in the heart of Montville to relax and take a break. If you fancy a picnic this is the place for you!
Mapleton Falls and the Wampoo Circuit.
The circuit is 1.3km and is an easy Class 2 track which will take about 45 minutes return. There is picnic area at the entry to the walk and toilets next to the car park.
Mapleton Falls and the Wompoo Circuit are located in the Mapleton Falls National Park. It is a place of intense beauty and natural treasures.
The highlight is the Mapleton Falls viewing platform with its easy access situated only 50m from the car park. This certainly ranks amongst the best views on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
This brilliant platform extends out over the escarpment high above the Obi Obi valley. You will be rewarded with a wonderful view of the luxuriant green rainforest and the Piccabeen palm groves far below.
To your right you can glimpse the top of the Mapleton Falls as it plunges 120m to the valley. It truly is an awe inspiring sight. Looking out from the platform you may sight the raptors that climb and soar in the thermals that rise from the cliff edges.
The walk itself winds through Rainforest, Piccabeen Palm and Eucalypt forests. These progressive vegetation changes are quite apparent as you walk the circuit. They add another level of interest to the experience. Wayside signs provide information about the features of this small but significant remnant of the forests that once covered the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Take the short diversion on your way to the Peregrine Lookout with its excellent views over the Obi Valley and if you are lucky spot a Peregrine Falcon as it soars above the rainforest far below. This Falcon is remarkable for its legendary speed and is said to exceed 250km per hour when swooping on its prey.
On a gentler note the Wompoo Fruit Dove, after which the circuit is named, may greet your passing with its unique “book-a-rook” or “wallack-a-woo” call from high in the canopy above. It is a soft and gentle sound that so perfectly reflects the charm and serenity of this special place.
At the southern end of the Montville Main Street just past the Information Centre you will find the turn into Western Avenue. Follow this road for about 4km and turn left down the hill into the spectacular Narrows road. This road is very steep and will take you down to the Lake Baroon dam.
The site of Lake Baroon was a very important gathering place for the traditional owners, the Jinibara People, who came together between December and March to enjoy the harvest of the Bunya nuts that only grew on the Blackall Range and in the Bunya Mountains. Hundreds would attend meetings at this great social and cultural event. These seasonal gatherings would take place at what we know today as Lake Baroon.
The dam was finished in 1988 as a primary water storage area for the Sunshine Coast. On the banks of the lake you will find picnic areas, shelters, BBQ’s and toilet facilities. You can drive out along the 370m dam wall during daylight hours to the spillway. This makes a spectacular sight when the dam overflows after heavy rain. There is a short walk to a viewing platform at the foot of the spillway. Canoeing and sailing are allowed on the dam but only electric power boats are permitted. No fishing permit is required but lead sinkers are prohibited.
Whilst you are down at the lake and if you fancy a bite to eat or a cuppa call into Secrets on the Lake. They have a unique café, gallery and wonderful wood carving which makes Secrets certainly worth a visit.
Mary Cairncross Park.
This park is about 15 minutes drive south of Montville and is well worth a visit. It has two circuits of 1.2km and 1.75km of which both are wheelchair friendly.
Mary Cairncross Park covers some 55 hectares and has one of the best remnants of subtropical rainforest in Australia. Also the views across to the distant Glass House Mountains are simply magnificent.
With its own micro climate Mary Cairncross Park is a truly refreshing escape in the heat of mid summer.
The park has some very large trees which attract a rich variety of birds. Many rare tree species flourish here. A large hollow Strangler Fig is 400 to 500 years old and you will see two Rose Gums aged between 350 to 400 years old. You may come across the rare, diminutive and delightful Rainforest Wallaby (Pademelon) and the rare and endangered Richmond Birdwing Butterfly.
Currently work is near completion of an upgrade to the facilities of the park which include the Thynne Natural History education centre which is staffed by well-informed volunteers. The visitor will find picnic tables, barbecues, a children’s playground. The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm. A gold coin donation is appreciated and guided walks can be arranged.