Sunshine Coast Heritage Treasure

150 years ago – before cars and highways – the Cobb & Co Coach was the fastest way to get from Brisbane to the Gympie goldfields… a bone-rattling ride with few stops to break the long journey.

Bankfoot House at the Glasshouse Mountains was one of them. In fact, it was the very first opportunity for weary passengers to stretch their legs and take a meal – after travelling 8 hours from Brisbane! The house itself was built in 1865, just in time to greet the very first Cobb & Co service from the city.

Today, Bankfoot House is a heritage treasure of the Sunshine Coast – the oldest surviving residence in the Glasshouse Mountains region and a fascinating window into days gone by.

The sprawling low-set timber house was home to 3 generations of the one family over 134 years – the Grigors, Burgess and Ferris families. What’s truly remarkable is that the house also features an intact collection of the very furniture and day-to-day items used by the family generations over more than a century. 

Take a free guided tour and you’ll explore every room – including the back verandah where you’ll find the very red cedar table that welcomed Cobb & Co travellers for lunch.

“The coach driver would sound the bugle down the road there near the bridge” explains guide Ann Podobnik. “Mary Grigor would then know it’d be time to pull the meat off the stove and the root veggies she had on boil. Whether it was 40 degrees in summer or not, it was the same meal.”

Entertaining came naturally to the family, right across the generations. An old pianola in the sitting room was frequently used by the Burgess family, whose daughters were paid to play at local recitals. Other items –  including a squeeze-box and homemade fife are testimony to the family’s musical talent.

A cherished item in the collection is the old dresser that resides in the kitchen. Made from local timber, it bears a worn edge – the mark of many hands over the generations as they’ve passed through this heart of the home.

Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct is open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm.  Take a tour and stay on in the beautiful grounds for a BYO picnic in the shadow of Mount Tibrogargan.  You can also check the website for special community events, workshops and talks.

If Bankfoot House is the Grand Dame of residences, then Scandi at Maleny has to be the cool new kid on the block.

If you love the light-filled, minimalist lines of Scandinavian interior design, then you will adore this 2 bedroom guest cabin overlooking – not fjords! – but the gorgeous green hills of the Blackall Range.

There’s a well-appointed kitchen – featuring a generously pre-stocked pantry of basic staples and unexpected delights. Guests also receive a welcoming cocktail-making kit upon arrival.

Love a good night’s sleep?  The owners of Scandi at Maleny have done their research – checking with a major mattress company and the General Managers of big hotels to ensure the cabin’s beds are fully kitted out with the ‘best of the best’ to ensure a restful 8 (or more) hours.  There are quality, locally-designed linens on the beds plus a choice of 3 different pillow styles.

You can book one – or both – bedrooms at Scandi at Maleny, making it a great option for romantic couples or a girlfriends’ weekend away.

For more inspiration on your next Sunshine Coast escape, go online to


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