Landsborough is an intriguing town that lies within the southern zone of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. It lies approximately eighty kilometres north of Brisbane, and twenty kilometres inland from the coastal city of Caloundra. Currently, it’s home to almost three thousand people and is served by the Brisbane to Cairns railway, as well as Steve Irwin Way. Though considered to be one of the towns associated with the famous Glasshouse Mountains, Landsborough closest elevated tourist attraction is the Blackall Range, a few kilometres to the south-west.
However, like its hinterland brethren of Beerburrum, Glasshouse and Beerwah, Landsborough enjoys a relatively sub-tropical climate, with generous precipitation falling predominantly during the summer months. Annual temperatures rarely deviate from the norm, being around 20 degrees Celsius in winter, to about 30 degrees in summer. As with the other hinterland towns on the Sunshine Coast, Landsborough’s economy is largely generated through agriculture, such as dairying, small crops, strawberries and those ubiquitous pineapples!
One fact about Landsborough many people find hard to believe is that the town was once one of the largest towns on the Sunshine Coast, much larger than Caloundra. It was once boasted a burgeoning logging industry. That was at the turn of the 20th Century. Landsborough, like all towns in this area, had humble beginnings. Settlement commenced in 1871, though, in those days, the tiny village was known as Mellum Creek. Curiously, ‘Mellum’ is an aboriginal word for volcano. Like its smaller sibling, the town of Glasshouse Mountains, Mellum Creek was a stop off for the Cobb & Co. Coaches, where horses and people could be fed and watered. Though a slab hut with a bark roof wasn’t exactly luxurious, nevertheless, Mellum Creek grew. It was renamed Landsborough in 1990, after the famous Scottish explorer, William Landsborough, who found a serviceable route from the Gulf of Carpentaria right down to Melbourne.
Landsborough, though not the metropolis of logging it once was, is still a bustling centre of commerce, with banking facilities, landscaping services, professional builders, motel proprietors, IT services, a newsagent, professional printer, a supermarket, arts and crafts shops, restaurants, taverns (of course) solicitors, newspaper publishing, art galleries, farming equipment and supplies, a chemist, a primary school and caravan parks, just to name a few. Even though Caloundra and Caboolture are only a short distance away, most of what the residents need can be supplied by the local businesses, which, in turn, buoys the local economy.
Agriculture and its companion industry and business may be the largest employer in town, but what attracts people to Landsborough is the plethora of attractions, both natural and man made.
Foremost, is the Big Kart Track with the newly added Bungy Bullet. Apart from Australia Zoo, the Big Kart Track is the Sunshine Coast’s premier tourist attraction. It boasts the largest commercial go-kart track in Australia, as well as the Sunshine Coast’s only torsion catapult ride.
Not to be outdone, though, is the beautiful natural attraction of the Ewen Maddock Dam. It maybe one of the smaller dams in the area, but is one of the few where people are free to swim, go fishing, bushwalking, camping and even tie the knot if they so desire.
Back in the town of Landsborough itself, you will notice many heritage buildings, many more than any other Sunshine Coast town. This is no accident, as the residents of Landsborough have strived to preserve as much of their fascinating history as possible. The Landsborough Museum is the place to immerse yourself fully. The collection includes old still and movie cameras, wirelesses, dairying equipment, dental tools and furniture, aboriginal tools and physical culture, printing press and, finally, remnants, photographs and models of 19th and early 20th Century ships. There’s also a fabulous bookshop if you wish to satisfy your curiosity further.
Finally, and something that the kids would truly enjoy (and parents for that matter, because it costs no money for entry), Pioneer Park. A fairly recent arrival, the park is one of the best in all of the Sunshine Coast. It features a “old” style play cottage, including a kitchen, verandah and a ramp the kids can play with, a hammock, climbing ropes, flying fox, shaking rock, swings, sand and water tables, sling carousel and weird devices that make noises when anybody comes near. It really has to be seen to be believed.
There are also beautiful gardens and national parks around Landsborough to be enjoyed, and much more to see and do. Landsborough, at first glance from the highway, doesn’t seem like much at first. But upon closer inspection, it reveals surprises at every turn and is well worth the trip. It’s even a more valuable experience to stay.
Written by Matthew Chappell – Copyright Beerwah.com
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