Arriving in Kandanga, it is easy to imagine the roar of sawmills, the rattle of cream carriers or the chug of trucks carrying pineapples to the station. However, imagination is essential, as these noises echoed through Kandanga in the 1940s and 1950s. Now this quiet township standing on placid hills in the Mary Valley is much different.
For the record, Kandanga is about a 20 minute drive from Gympie just off the Mary Valley Highway. Kandanga is one of a string of small towns or villages running through Sunshine Coast hinterland state forests south of Gympie. Although the hustle and bustle of yesteryear might be gone, the town boasts rich pastures, fertile orchids, and spectacular views of the Mary Valley. As you come into Kandanga from the south, there is a little park that offers a tease of what is to come with an old dray, a relic of its historical past, a picnic area and a great view from the park. Picnic spots, swimming holes and scenic lookouts punctuate the forest areas all along the route south from Gympie.
For something different, The Bunya Art and Bush Tucker Centre on the Kandanga-Imbil Road lets you discover something about local Aboriginal culture and food. The breathtaking 360-degree views of the Mary Valley are a pleasant bonus when visiting the centre. For wine lovers, there is a nearby vineyard.
The Kandanga Heritage Railway is a also must see. Here’s a bright and colourful station with a shady green park. This colourful spot has something for bargain hunters looking for home-made jams and chutneys or local produce, with markets on Wednesday and Sunday between 10am and noon.