Mary Cairncross Kiosk, Maleny

"Don't make too much noise, you'll scare the fairies away" were the words my mother always used to settle down excited children during a rain forest walk.

She told us that fairies lived in the mysteriously thick, verdant green moss that grew around the path on crusty damp trees and rocks, and they didn't like noise.

We used to stare intently at the moss waiting for movement, holding our breath so as not to make any noise but never saw the fairies.  Mum said that was because we were too noisy at the beginning and to remember next time. 

Many of these walks took place at Mary Cairncross Park about 40 years ago and boy has it changed since then.

There was no children's playground, no smart toilet block and definitely no kiosk.

Now, instead of taking a picnic like we used to do, you can simplify things and enjoy your lunch or breakfast in the Mary Cairncross Kiosk. Here you can have an organic, fair trade coffee, home made cake and a range of daily specials with breakfast available until 11.30am. Check out their menu here. 

The table beside the fireplace was taken so we moved into the sun and sat for a glorious hour in front of view with warm backs which we drank coffee and ate.

Our choices were a BLAT - a BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato combo) with avocado, $11.50, and a Works Burger which really had the works including beetroot and pineapple for $12.50.  Both were filling, well cooked burgers without a lot of fuss.

Located on Mountain View Road at Maleny, the kiosk offers one of the best views of the Sunshine Coast with a spectacular panorama of the Glass House Mountains and the perfect perspective to ponder the Aboriginal legend for the mountains. 

It goes like this -
Tibrogargan was the father of all the tribes and Beerwah was his wife, and they had many children.

Coonowrin, the eldest; the twins, Tunbubudla; Miketeebumulgrai; Elimbah whose shoulders were bent because she carried many cares; the little one called Round because she was so fat and small; and the one called Wild Horse since he always strayed away from the others to paddle out to sea. (Ngungun, Beerburrum and Coochin do not seem to be mentioned in the legend).

One day when Tibrogargan was gazing out to sea, he perceived a great rising of the waters. He knew then that there was to be a very great flood and he became worried for Beerwah, who had borne him many children and was again pregnant and would not be able to reach the safety of the mountains in the west without assistance.

So he called to his eldest son, Coonowrin, and told him of the flood which was coming and said, "Take your mother, Beerwah, to the safety of the mountains while I gather your brothers and sisters who are at play and I will bring them along."

When Tibrogargan looked back to see how Coonowrin was tending to his mother he was dismayed to see him running off alone. Now this was a spiritless thing for Coonowrin to do, and as he had shown himself to be a coward he was to be despised.

Tibrogargan became very angry and he picked up his nulla nulla and chased Coonowrin and cracked him over the head with a mighty blow with such force that it dislocated Coonowrin's neck, and he has never been able to straighten it since.

By and by, the floods subsided and, when the plains dried out the family was able to return to the place where they lived before. Then, when the other children saw Coonowrin they teased him and called "How did you get your wry neck - How did you get your wry neck?" and this made Coonowrin feel ashamed.

So Coonowrin went to Tibrogargan and asked for forgiveness, but the law of the tribe would not permit this. And he wept, for his son had disgraced him. Now the shame of this was very great and Tibrogargan's tears were many and, as they trickled down they formed a stream which wended its way to the sea.

So Coonowrin went then to his mother, Beerwah, but she also cried, and her tears became a stream and flowed away to the sea. Then, one by one, he went to his brothers and sisters, but they all cried at their brother's shame.

Then Tibrogargan called to Coonowrin and asked why he had deserted his mother and Coonowrin replied, "She is the biggest of us all and should be able to take care of herself." But Coonowrin did not know that his mother was again with child, which was the reason for her grossness. Then Tibrogargan put his son behind him and vowed he would never look at him again.

Even to this day Tibrogargan gazes far, far out to sea and never looks at Coonowrin. Coonowrin hangs his head in shame and cries, and his tears run off to the sea, and his mother, Beerwah, is still pregnant, for, you see, it takes many years to give birth to a mountain." -

I was tempted to go for a short walk after lunch but walking and motorcycling gear are not a good fit, beside those rain clouds were a worry.  We headed home down the range through the glorious greenness of Mount Mee.

Bottom line:  The views alone make this a great destination. Add in that it's very close to Brisbane and the coffee is pretty good and burgers are very reasonably priced and you've got a winner in my books!

Mary Cairncross Kiosk
148 Mountain View Road, Maleny, Qld+61 7 5494 2287.
Open from 8.30am to 4.30pm (4pm in winter) seven days a week.