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Travel guide Maleny

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Editor's Choice - The African Cottage and The Rondawel
  • The Rondawel
  • Welcoming and relaxing
  • Striking African themes
  • Wisteria blossom adorns the gardens

Often when we think of holidays, we think of sparkling sands and pristine waters. However by thinking only of beach holidays, we are missing many of the glorious treasures that nestle in the hinterland behind the beaches. They offer a different type of holiday, but one still within close proximity to beaches, if that is what you are looking for. The hinterland behind the Sunshine Coast hides many treasures, such as The African Cottage and The Rondawel.

These African-inspired cottages are the brainchild of Matilda, who came to Australia from South Africa over 20 years ago. She spent many years running a restaurant that served traditional South African food as well as developing a range of sauces, chutneys, marinades and spices. These Gourmet Afrika products are still available, however Matilda decided to retire and closed the restaurant.

Fortunately for us, she didn’t stay retired and the restaurant was re-invented and became The African Cottage and The Rondawel.

The African Cottage is a spacious and well-appointed self-contained cottage set in lovely gardens in the hinterland village of Maleny. The two large bedrooms, both with queen-size beds, are upstairs, as is the bathroom. Just imagine soaking away the cares of everyday life as you lie in the bath, overlooking the lush gardens and 500 year-old fig tree.  There is a smaller bedroom with a double bed downstairs, along with the spacious lounge/dining room, complete with a sofa bed and a log fire, and the country-style kitchen. This is a magical place… the fig tree stands as centrepiece and wisteria drapes the outdoor area.

Your other option is The Rondawel, a striking timber and glass hexagonal cottage, which is built on stumps and has the feel of a treehouse, with all the African accents of its big brother. The Rondawel has two bedrooms with queen-size beds, a sofa bed in the lounge room and can sleep up to six people, and once again the bathroom features a view of the wonderful fig tree. Enjoy a winter escape and cuddle up before the log fire, or stay in warmer weather and enjoy a BBQ on the deck, while you enjoy the tranquillity of the gardens.

Both cottages are beautifully furnished and you will feel that you are on safari, with all the touches of Africa.  A hearty breakfast, snacks and a traditional South African dinner can be ordered. Why not treat yourself to a massage, without having to leave the cottage? Combined with the champagne on arrival, all this makes it hard to tear yourself away from this South African sanctuary.

However you will be rewarded, as Maleny, Montville and the other hinterland villages offer an array of galleries, shops, restaurants, local markets and providores that are not to be missed. And for those who cannot holiday without the beach, it really is just a short drive away.
There are many state forests and national parks in the area, and the ancient Glasshouse Mountains are a must-see, as are the Boolumba Creek Falls and Gorge.  Don’t miss out on the local wineries either – they are well worth a visit. Take one of the wonderful bush walks that lead through remnant rainforest that is alive with the sounds of nature.

Then return to the sanctuary of The African Cottage and The Rondawel, open a bottle of wine as you listen to the birds singing in the garden and imagine that this is the way we could all live, all the time.

About the Author
Lisa Monk is a marketing communications writer with a diverse background that includes experience in travel, hotel, finance, public relations and advertising. She has worked with Club Med, the Holiday Inn group and on a number of other travel projects on a freelance basis.  Lisa has travelled throughout Asia Pacific, North America and England.

Lisa now works with TakeABreak.com.au as editor of the Holiday Inspirations newsletter and other publications.  She lives in Sydney with her husband Andy, and sons Joseph and Nicholas.


Make an enquiry for your holiday at The African Cottage through TakeABreak and the property operator will get back to you directly to confirm pricing and availability. Visit their listing for more pictures, further information on rates, the availability calendar and guest reviews.


About the author
Lisa is a professional editor for Holiday Inspirations.

More accomodation in Sunshine Coast & Hinterlands
Maleny | Glass House Mountains | Noosa | Coolum Beach | Mooloolaba | Buderim | Caloundra | Alexandra Headland | Cotton Tree | Marcoola | Maroochydore | Minyama | Mudjimba Beach | Noosaville | Peregian Beach | Yandina | Castaways Beach | Moffat Beach | Mooloolah Valley | Noosa Hinterlands | Gympie | Sunshine Beach | Tin Can Bay | Point Arkwright | Montville | Doonan | Amamoor | Imbil | Mary Valley | Traveston | Buddina Beach | Wamuran | Mapleton | Peachester | Kenilworth | Rainbow Beach | Kenilworth | Yaroomba | Tewantin | Noosa Heads | yaroomba | Beerwah | Eumundi | Kawana Waters | Landsborough | Moffatdale | Nambour | Palmview | Pomona | Eudlo | Nambour QLD | Red Hill QLD | Woodford QLD | Woombye | Golden Beach | Conondale | Woodford | Currimundi | Sunrise Beach | Little Cove | Marcus Beach | Sunshine Coast | Mt. Mee | Kings Beach | Bli Bli | Flaxton | Twin Waters | Banksia Beach | Bellara | Bokarina | Cooroy Mountain | Forest Glen | Little Mountain | Mango Hill | Mount Coolum | Mountain Creek | Pacific Paradise | Parrearra | Pumpkin Island | Rainbow Shores | Samsonvale | Shelly Beach | Warana | Warana Beach | Witta | Woorim | Wurtulla | Munna Point | Bongaree | Chevallum | Dulong | Ringtail Creek | Bulcock Beach | Pinbarren |

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  This really looks like a little piece of Africa in Australia. The sauces, chutneys and marinades defintiely sound like they are worth going to Queensland for.
Posted on Oct 07 2009 at 11:19

  I have stayed at the African Cottages and Rondawel a number of times and have always thoroughly enjoyed myself everytime. The atmosphere is exactly what you want when you're looking for a country weekend getaway. It is in the perfect location in the Hinterland so there's always plenty to see and do. I highly recommend it!
Posted on Oct 07 2009 at 13:32

  Its a lovely cottage, but unfortunately it has not been maintained well. Windows are dirty, the interior is dusty and the linen is somewhat worn.
Posted on Mar 15 2010 at 19:45

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