Each month I will publish a post on a place or route I have explored. I began with a series called Exploring the Blackall Range, and the first post in this series, published last month, was on Mapleton. This month is all about the next village along Route 23, Montville.
The village of Montville is a popular tourist destination, and as it is an easy drive from Brisbane it has become an ideal escape from the city for a day or for a weekend. In addition to the unique dining and shopping experiences it offers, it is has an informative history trail through the village plus interesting street art. It is also a sought after location for weddings due to its scenic location.
Montville is proud of its unique history, and the buildings, landscapes and streetscapes of sculptures, lamp posts, seats, paving, and railings all serve to integrate the unique cultural and natural history of Montville.
Some of the Montville shops:
In the early years Montville was a popular gathering site for Aboriginal people who arrived from miles away to celebrate the dropping of Bunya Nuts. The Bunya pine, Araucaria bidwillii, native to South East Queensland, is a large coniferous tree with a distinctive rounded top. The large cones, each weighing a couple of kilograms, fall to the ground when mature. There are approximately 100 nuts (seeds) in each cone. These seeds are highly nutritious, and can be eaten raw, roasted, or crushed and combined into a variety of dishes, or made into pesto. The Russel Family Park in Montville, located behind the strip of shops, has been set aside to serve as a reminder of these important food gatherings.
The historical buildings of Montville, still in use today, reflect Montville’s development from a logging station on the Hinterland to being the popular shopping, food and art hub that it is today. In Memorial Close you can discover St Mary’s Anglican Church (c. 1914), the Memorial Gates (c.1921) and Montville Village Hall (c.1903). The unique Memorial Gates acknowledge local residents who served in WW1 as well as those locals who volunteered and who were not accepted into service. Six Ficus benjamina trees stand in the Village Green opposite the Memorial Gates to commemorate those lives lost during the First World War. The Village Green also serves as a gathering place for community events such as the popular community Christmas Tree lighting event each December.
At the end of Memorial Close is a short path leading to the Century Bridge (c.1986). This pedestrian bridge crosses over the Razorback Road, which skirts between the Village Green and the State School and leads down the Range to the little village of Palmwoods. The bridge leads to a Senses Garden (CWA initiative), George Carpenter Place, Razorback House and the State School with its wooden bell tower and school bell.
As you meander down the footpath from the school you will see the Milestone, a sculpture depicting the interwoven layers of history, geology and human activity. Behind the sculpture and near the school fence is an old logging stump with distinct springboard notches. These notches were used by broad-axe men for inserting a springboard into the notch to elevate them and assist with the felling of large trees. Further along the footpath adjacent to the school are ceramic tile inlays created by the school students to reflect the development of the school.
The footpath on the opposite side of Main Street has inlay tiles depicting rare fauna, memorials to pioneers, and the fruit of the area. Historical photos showing life during the early days in Montville are on the post office windows, and sculptures of the Pitsaw and the Ballustrade form part of the art trail. The Montrose building with its large and working waterwheel dominates the scenery, and further up the the incline is the Boomerang Seat and the iconic three storey Misty’s Building. Misty’s started life as a single storey residence and shop, before the second storey and observation deck were added in 1927.
Near the top of the incline is the more modern Mayfield Centre, a smaller complex at the northern end of the shopping area. Here you can find some specialist shops and restaurants with the most amazing views out over the coastal plain.
Attractions close to Montville
There are a number of popular attractions near Montville that are well worth a visit. The Visitor Information Centre, near the Clock Shop at the southern end of the shopping strip provides brochures and information on all local attractions. The Centre is run by local volunteers who have a wealth of knowledge of the area.
To the north of Montville Village is the popular Kondalilla Falls and National Park which is part of the Great Walk and a very popular weekend and holiday destination. To the south of Montville Village is Western Avenue, which leads to a local vineyard and winery, and Baroon Pocket Dam. The road to the dam, Narrows Road, is a very steep and scenic descent. At the bottom of this road is a car park for visitors who want to do some walking trails, or start the Great Walk. Further along and off to the left is a pleasant shaded picnic site with beautiful tranquil views of the dam. The Secrets on the Lake restaurant and accommodation is hidden amongst the trees and offers stunning views out over the lake in a tranquil environment.
For further information on Montville, have a look at the Montville Chamber of Commerce website.
Continuing along out of Montville takes you past this little community book exchange on the side of the road and on towards Maleny.