Divided from Mapleton and the Blackall Range by the Obi Valley, Kenilworth is the tiny Sunshine Coast hinterland town that roared in 1990 when multinational giant Kraft closed the local cheese factory. Six of the sacked workers mortgaged their homes to launch Kenilworth Country Foods and keep the dairy-dependent town alive.
Today, the specialist cheese firm employs 20 people and is turning over more than $2.5 million a year - and the town keeps ticking over. So, too, does the Art Gallery and the Historical Association’s working lifestyle museum of old agricultural and mining equipment. The museum also runs the one-off Roxy Cinema which screens vintage documentaries and news reels.
The stunning scenery round the town is typical of the Mary Valley and embraces a number of tranquil picnic areas where the silence is broken only by the song of bellbirds and the gurgle of mountain streams. Set in the beautiful rainforest of the Conondale Range, the Kenilworth State Forest boasts deep gorges, spectacular views and forest walks.