Maleny is one of the most picturesque spots you can have a day trip to, an easy one hour drive from Brisbane's northside in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. On my most recent trip to Maleny, I took my four year old to the Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World. It was an amazing day out.
The Botanic Gardens are absolutely lush with rolling hills, tons of flowers and perfectly manicured gardens. They feature rose gardens, a rainforest walk, ponds brimming with wildlife and wide open green spaces.
For children, they have a magical fairy garden to explore, a giant chair to climb, and a train, boat and tree house to play in. The open ended imagination play options are incredible.
My favourite part about the gardens is the numerous places to stop and have a picnic. They have so many gazebos and spots that have views of the hinterland.
You can bring your own picnic, or purchase something from the cafe on site. The cafe offers a Devonshire tea, coffee, lunch options and plenty of drinks.
The other great part of the Botanic Gardens is of course, Bird World. Bird World is a giant Avery full of incredible and exotic birds from all over the world. You must visit the Avery as part of a tour group, you can book tickets ahead of time for the time you want.
We had such a lovely and friendly guide who was very knowledgeable about the birds. When you go in, there is different sections, with different types of birds. You start where the smaller birds are, then lead into the native birds and end with the huge macaws and parrots.
The birds will land on you and you can have photos and interact with them as much as you want. They are really gentle and my four year old absolutely loved having the parrots sit on his head and shoulders.
If you are a little bit nervous about the birds, they give you a feather duster to gently shoo them away, and the guide is always there to assist you.
The Avery is open to all ages, but if you have a very rambunctious toddler, be prepared that they need to be careful not to trod on any birds and they must be gentle. The tour takes about an hour.
Getting to the Botanic Gardens is easy, about an hour and 10 minute drive with lots of beautiful views after the Steve Irwin Way turn off. There is plenty of parking and facilities including toilets and a gift shop.
The walking paths are suitable for prams, but there is a lot of hills so make sure you wear comfortable shoes and bring something for the kids to go in if they are little. You can also hire a buggy to drive around if you choose.
Oh and we also spotted some snakes! So keep an eye out for those.
Location: Located at 233 Maleny-Stanley River Road Maleny, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World is just over an hour’s drive north of Brisbane, exit Steve Irwin Way off the Bruce Highway.
Opening Hours: 9am to 4:30pm daily, 364 days a year. Daily Aviary Tour Times 10:30AM, 11:30AM, 12:30PM, 02:00PM & 03:30PM
Cost: Entry to Gardens and Avery from $37. Children under 2 are free.