When booking the accommodation online, I couldn’t have imagined we’d be sharing the B & B guesthouse with Irish citizens from Dublin and Belfast who had flown half way around the world to attend a wedding, timed to fit neatly between two British & Irish Lions rugby tests in Australia.
Succumbing to the Wallabies in the second test failed to dampen the spirits of the Irish group, who partied into the wee hours of the morning.
Earlier in the night, we were kindly invited to join them for dinner. The conversations were many and included the sharing of information about local hair, beauty and transport services that we will need when we visit again for a wedding in September.
The group also generously invited us to join their after-dinner party but we didn’t want to intrude on their family celebration and politely retired to our room.
I was tempted to join them later, however, when renditions of Oh Danny Boy, Don McLean’s American Pie and many other favourite songs could be heard in the distance as I drifted to and from the land of nod.
Their wonderful music reminded me of my own Irish ancestry, the Lowry family from Ballybogey near Belfast in Northern Ireland. A fond memory from the Titanic Memorial Cruise in April 2012 also entered my thoughts.
The first stop after leaving Southampton was the Irish town of Cobe (pronounced Cove and known in 1910 as Queenstown). Almost the entire county turned out to welcome our cruise ship, Balmoral. We felt as though we were celebrities with thousands of people waving and cheering as the ship docked.
Because rough weather had delayed our arrival, a previously arranged tour was cancelled. Instead, we enjoyed an impromptu evening, singing and dancing in Kelly’s Bar with the locals. That evening became a significant highlight of the entire trip.
Returning to the present, I drifted off for a relaxing night’s slumber.
In the morning, B & B owners Kerrie and Grant greeted everyone with a generous country-style breakfast, over which we again enjoyed the company of our new Irish friends.
We enjoyed our stay at Maleny Hideaway so much that a return visit is planned for our son’s wedding in September. With any luck we might get to meet more Irish visitors.
The Maleny Hideaway country bed and breakfast retreat is located just outside Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and set in 20 acres of the beautiful Blackall Range.
For more details, click on Maleny Hideaway.– Story and photos by JOCELYN WATTS.