30 June 2014

Winter on the Sunshine Coast | Sunshine Wine Tours

Playing tourist in your own 'hood is pretty darn cool {figuratively, and yesterday, very literally}.

Yesterday, Katy and I joined a small group of people on board with the lovely Nev of Sunshine Wine Tours for a tour around the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

We met Nev at Maroochydore and proceeded on to pick up a couple at Moolooaba wearing short sleeves, shorts and thongs but realised quite quickly that the freezing temperature was actually quite balmy compared to their Wellington, New Zealand home.

A glass of bubbles got the party started {as did Pink's tune 'Get the party started'} and we were on our way. Nev had quite the array of tunes on the bus, and also quite the plethora of information. I was surprised to learn that after attempting to cart massive tree trunks down from the range back in the day that the pioneers figured out they could push them down. I'm still puzzled as to the logistics of that but hey, if something works right?!

First stop was the gorgeous Mary Cairncross park with stunning views of the Glasshouse mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Nev told us a little bit about the mountains and the associated stories/legends of the traditional owners - the Gubbi Gubbi people. Let's just say I won't be climbing Mount Beerwah anytime soon. It was seriously icy up there so if you ever head up to this beautiful Maleny lookout and scenic reserve, remember your woolies!

We then headed to Maleny Mountain Wines for our first official drinks of the day where we soaked up some sunshine, sampled some sparkling, whites, reds and dessert wines and learned the art of drinking according to the french. I picked up a bottle of mountain dream for dad - a drink much like baileys but with a coconut and hazelnut finish.

Next stop was Maleny Cheese. I've been there before and will go there again. Lots and lots of cheeses {and yoghurt} to sample. My favourite was the Gorgonzola - I didn't take any home with me though, knowing that I am the only one in the house that eats it and I would feel extremely guilty {and more than likely sick} if I ate the whole lot! Oh, and once we got back on the bus Shakira's 'My hips don't lie' song started playing and I knew I'd made the right decision not to purchase anything. Ironic, no?

The trip from Maleny to Montville is beautiful. Ocean views to the right and stunning views to the left - including a glimpse of the beautiful Baron Pocket dam. I've had a picnic down here before and lusted after spending a night at one of the few accommodation options down there like this one.

Probably the highlight of the day was meeting with Don of Mason Wines. Such a straight shooting character who knows his stuff and doesn't speak any BS. I was devastated to hear though that Sauvignon Blanc is going out of 'fashion' and is being replaced by {SHOCK HORROR} chardonnay. We tried the unwooded chardonnay and although it doesn't have that super-dry traditional chardonnay taste I'm happy to be out-of-fashion and stick with my sauv.  This tour is worth booking even just to experience some time with Don.

A three course lunch at Montville Bar & Grill is included in the Sunday tour and picking the main meal was very tricky. Although my seafood linguine was amazing, I did have a bit of food envy with Helen's chicken and Katy's duck. The heater which the staff quite kindly turned on for us, and the entertainment {as well as the company} made for a fantastic lunch. I'll definitely be headed back here for another meal.

Final stop on the official itinerary was Chocolate Country who supplied us with a very generous selection of chocs to try. One word. YUM!

Nev let us wander around Montville for a further 45 minutes and then we enjoyed a hot chocolate, some coldplay and some gorgeous views back down the mountain as our tour concluded.

It was a fabulous day out and was great to play tourist for a few hours. If you're visiting the coast or even a local looking for something a bit different to do, definitely check out Sunshine Wine Tours. If you're not so keen on wine but enthusiastic about beer, contact Nev for some info about wine & beer tours.

Thanks for having us Nev.

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