21 April 2015

Superb Sunshine Coast - Maleny Botanic Gardens

On a whim after lunch on Saturday we decided to head Sunshine Coast hinterland way and visit the Maleny Botanic Gardens.
You see we'd heard about the gardens and the bird aviary  a month or so ago when a guy was walking around Mooloolaba with a beautiful bird named Rocky {the same name as our dog}. As Ned loves birds {or duckies as they are all called}, we stopped to have a chat and the handler bent down to reach into his backpack to give us a brochure. The next minute the macaw was high up in a pine tree overlooking Mooloolaba beach. Initially we thought it was a bit of an act/show and the bird would fly back to the handler on command. But no, it was a complete accident! We later found out that eventually Rocky was retrieved after quite the morning saga investigating different holiday apartment options.

Before leaving home I checked the website and was a little sceptical about going given the admission cost but those doubts were completely nullified when we arrived and were greeted by the amazing staff, Lucy the cockatoo and the spectacular grounds. And then we had the bird aviary experience.

Beyond Words.

Thirty plus minutes in the 1000 sq m aviary where we were free to roam, to hold, to pat, to become a pirate or to be completely overwhelmed/freaked out by the countless varieties and personalities of the many birds who call Maleny Botanic Gardens home.
Or if you're game, you can feed a macaw with a VERY large beak an almond from your mouth.

Ned was interested in the tiny little birds mostly walking on the ground - we were kind of freaked out that we might squash/step on them. He wasn't too keen on the larger birds who like to just fly up and sit on your shoulder or your head. Birds of all sizes all seem to live in harmony and the keeper obviously absolutely adored them. Ned was a little champion but it all got a little bit much for him towards the end of the 'tour'.

Seriously, to have an experience like that somewhere else would have cost way more than the $26.00 we paid {total cost including entry} and we will definitely be back - this time with mum and dad, and a picnic in tow.

There is also a petting zoo for the little ones where chickens, goats, alpacas, sheep and ducks roam free. They get along most of the time.

The staff are amazing, the grounds are immaculate, the view is spectacular and the bird experience is priceless. It's definitely a place I'd recommend to both visitors and locals. Not only do you get the Maleny Botanic Garden experience, it's a great spot to admire the beauty of the stunning Glasshouse mountains. And if you're especially lucky, the trip home will be nice and peaceful.

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