Cows and Co-ops in Maleny
Maleny is an old-time country town that has been transformed into a hub of herbal-hippy artsy-craftyness, its main street full of organic outlets, upmarket bakeries, fancy cafes and home-made soap shops.
Loose drapey clothes, vintage knee-high boots and dreadlocks are now more common than farmers wearing RM Williams boots and check shirts.
Maleny is still surrounded by lush green farmland. But there’s now more bed and breakfast owners than farmers in the region. It’s one of the main towns in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, high above the sunny surfy saltyness of the bronze-bodied beach towns.
The place is a fantastic daytrip from Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast.
Get your cow fix at Maleny Dairies, a family-run farm that dipped its hoof into the tourism market after Australia’s dairy industry was deregulated in 2000.
Farm tours take a bit over an hour and include a hand-milking demonstration, a peek inside the Hilton Henhouse, a poke around the milk shed, a short video and a taste of the farm’s milk, yoghurt and custard.
For a farm buff like me, it’s pure heaven. Emerald green grass (it’s been a wet summer on the Sunshine Coast, after several years of drought), caramel-brown Gurnsey cows, chooks, barbed wire, fence posts, rusty dingo traps, gum boots and trucks. I’m frustrated with my little camera’s inability to capture it all.
After our farm tour, we motor into town for lunch. We choose a local co-op, The Upfront Club.
A knitting club is having a meeting at one of the tables outside the restaurant.
The tiny glass-fronted front room is also full. Another section beside the kitchen is full. We head further back, down the stairs and stake a claim on a long wooden table beside the veggie patch.
Miss M runs over to the doll’s house. Darling Man is entranced by the garden. My Mum finds her slice of heaven in a speedily-delivered latte.
Lunch arrives. The Tuscan chicken salad seems to be the dish of the day, even though the fritatta looks spectacular.
We head home through the drizzle, our heads full of farmyard images.
Here’s my photographic ode to Malaney’s cows and co-ops.
The Upfront Club
31 Maple St, Maleny
Ph: +61 7 5494 2592
Open from 7.30am to late, with music events most nights.
6 years ago