Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has long been a favourite destination of mine – stretches of sand perfect for beach-side camping, the aroma of coffee wafting from cafe-filled esplanades, and some of the most amazing views to be seen from your hinterland perch – thus, the Easter weekend provided the perfect opportunity to head there again. Our short getaway had us travelling to explore the much talked-about Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny.
One of several Spicers properties, Tamarind certainly lived up to its online description “an intimately unique retreat where Thai style meets the tranquility of the Australian bush.” This truly is a place to unwind, shrug on a fluffy robe, and escape the daily grind. Our one-bedroom villa surpassed the usual inclusions with the presence of a wood burning fireplace, super comfy king-sized bed, heated towel racks, and the best part – an outdoor cedar hot tub. Did I mention this would be a perfect honeymoon destination?!
The next morning, breakfast was delivered to the villa at our chosen time, and I can validate the goodness of the coconut bread smothered with passionfruit butter. Executive Chef, Daniel Jarrett, says of his menu “Embracing flavours, philosophies and the unique culinary cultures of Asia, while using locally raised ingredients whenever possible and supporting sustainability here in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.” Kudos!
Onsite restaurant, The Tamarind, is an infusion of everything amazing! Being somewhat foodies, we indulged in a three-course dinner menu including a Saigon chicken salad entree with flavours that blew my mind; a tender beef rendang main which had been slow cooked in coconut milk and practically fell apart in your mouth; and my favourite, caramelised banana bavarois for dessert with tapioca, palm sugar syrup, and honey-sesame ice cream. I only wish I had time to take in a class at The Tamarind Cooking School.
If you can drag yourself out of the hot tub, then head to Tamarind’s purpose built day spa, Spa Anise, which offers luxurious treatments, a hydrotherapy room, and each guest is welcomed with complimentary refreshments and a signature foot ritual. Couples treatments are available but it is advisable to book in early so you don’t miss out.
Literally only a few minutes’ walk through the Spicers property is Gardeners Falls complete with the sounds of small wings fluttering and the cascading rush of water. Jump off the suspended rope swing, or take a picnic with you and simply enjoy the beauty of nature. Kondalilla Falls National Park is also nearby for the more adventurous, as are an array of boutique shops, arts and crafts, in neighbouring quaint villages.
A trip to the Sunshine Coast hinterland isn’t complete without stopping in on the way home at Sweets on Maple – this time the salted caramel and macadamia fudge beckoned! And, who was I to say no to one last treat?