There is a charming little hilltop town called Maleny, about 90 kms north of Brisbane, which was buzzing on the long weekend. It is set among the Blackall Range on an escarpment with some wonderful views of the valley below as well as the Glass house mountains. It is full of quaint little shops and some shopping arcades and people linger and window shop to their heart's content. I think my favourite is the wood shop in the middle of the village with the most exquisite carved and polished woods and the second hand bookshop.
It used to be populated by the Nalbo and Dallambara people of the Gubbi Gubbi nation who used to hold Bunya Festivals there. Theses are enormous pines which produce the biggest cones ever.This is a picture of one I took from Wikipedia.
They were called pines by the settlers but in fact they are of the araucaria family, like the monkey puzzle tree. These trees were sacred but also a source of food and celebrations. Sadly the Bunyas have been cut down and the area is now known more for its dairy industry. We travelled there along beautiful rolling country side, and farms tucked away in the hills. The roads were empty - or at least that is how they felt to us- and the countryside ours for the taking.