Montville is worth the rollercoaster drive inland from Noosa, writes Jennifer Chapman.
I stand still, breathing in the clean mountain air as I ponder where to begin.
Coffee and cake at one of the bustling cafes, a walk through the boutiques that fill this town to the edges of the valleys below?
I compromise and make my way down the jacaranda and maple tree-lined street, stopping at every art and craft stall until a tasty menu stops me in my tracks.
Anyone who has been to Montville will understand the dilemma; I didn't want to miss a thing in this surprisingly tranquil mountain village.
Montville is the jewel of the Sunshine Coast hinterland; about 40 minutes' drive west of Noosa and one hour north of Brisbane. Perched high in the Blackall Range, it is a sharp contradiction to a typical country town.
After a rollercoaster hill drive, the car turns on to the main street of Montville, with its cobblestone and paved paths.
The walkways run up and down little stairs and into hidden alleyways, which lead to country-themed stores. There are luxurious art galleries with oil paintings, blown glass sculptures, jewellery and also imported African wares.
There are woodwork galleries with their polished furniture, jewellery boxes, and chopping boards; along with leather goods dealers with handbags, purses and belts so soft they feel like they could melt.
There are also handmade soap and lotion boutiques, with potpourri, incense, remedial oils and herbal tea. Then there are antique collectibles with leadlight lamps and marble and brass world globes.
Also appealing are the delicate and expensive lingerie stores; while others specialise in lace and bed linen, quirky garden and homeware oddities, some with proud Scottish patch and kilt collectibles, cuckoo and grandfather clocks, hand-carved and painted children's toys, which look like they come straight from Santa's workshop.
The best stores are those selling handmade chocolates, fudges and lollies.
After exploring, I have bags containing sweets, lavender, patchouli and lemon soaps, a wooden-cased notebook, a handmade wooden trinket and a teapot-shaped cookie cutter. It's time to rest.
My partner and I choose a little cafe and indulge in smoothies, parmesan, sundried tomato and rocket focaccias, and then Dutch poffertjes; tiny bubble-like pancakes, sprinkled with icing sugar, doused deliciously in maple syrup.
Before dozing off in the warmth, we decide it is time to bid quaint Montville goodbye, before we spontaneously book a romantic B&B, to repeat our over-indulgences tomorrow.
Montville is about 60km north of Brisbane. If you travel to Montville from the south, take the Glasshouse Mountains exit off the Bruce Highway.
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