Reesville is a delightful farming area to the north west of Maleny. If you take the Maleny-Kenilworth road on a sweeping bend just a couple of K’s out of town you will find the left hand turnoff which is Reesville road. This road winds through the glorious Reesville countryside until it joins the Stanley River road that can either take you back into Maleny or to the right, down the range, to the Beerwah-Kilcoy road.
In just a kilometre from the turnoff on your left hand side Howell’s Knob looms into view. There is a left turn into Howell’s Knob road and then up the 370m of sealed road to arrive at the lookout.
For anyone moving to the Maleny, Witta, Reesville or indeed anywhere in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland a visit to the Howell’s Knob lookout is a “must do” to better understand the layout and beauty of the area.
Surprisingly if you stand on the picnic table under the lookout’s cupola (actually we don’t encourage you to do this) but if you did you would be about 10m higher than the highest Glasshouse Mountain. You would be tottering at 566m above sea level metaphorically looking down on Mt Beerwah at 556m. The Glasshouse Mountains are not extinct volcanoes as many think. They are in fact Magna Intrusions that pushed up below the earth’s surface only to be exposed over millions of years as the softer rock formations around and over them were eroded away. If you stand in the township of Glasshouse Mountains you would be some 200 m underground at that time and also we suspect it would be uncomfortably hot!
The joy of this lookout is the view. To the east you will get a stunning view of the Glasshouse Mountains with Mt Beerwah, Coonowrin and Tibrogargan all instantly recognisable. Lieut. James Cook so named them the Glass House Mountains in May 1770 after the conical brick kilns used for glass making in his native Yorkshire in England.
Looking further north you will be able to make out Moreton Island and its sand dunes on the horizon and Moreton Bay. Cook and his ship HM Bark Endeavour, which was a rather unglamorous small merchant collier of shallow draft which was handy for explorers who tended to hit things, sailed north through the bay. He never made landfall in Moreton bay as from his log he reported that he had a good wind at the time and the dear old Endeavour would only gallop along at about 7 to 8 knots (13/15 mph) and he had a lot of coast to cover.
Look further north again and you will pick up the telecommunication masts on Bald Knob between which the Landsborough/ Maleny road winds up from the coastal plain below. Closer to you is the unmistakeable water tower adjacent to the excellent Maleny Hospital and this of course pinpoints the township of Maleny .Closer again you will pick up the antlike cars on the Maleny/ Kenilworth road, possibly going in search of the famous Kenilworth cheese. You are rewarded with a wonderful view across to Witta and in the valley below and to the west lie the pristine headwaters of the Mary River.
Howell’s Knob also bears testimony to a quarry in earlier days which fortunately ceased before Howell’s Knob could be reduced to a potential “Howell’s mound”! Today do make the effort to soak up the view. It is a wonderful visual explanation of how the geography of the area relates.
Reesville was initially called Howells Knob. It was so named after Robert Howell and his brother who were early settlers in the area. In 1883 Henry Oliver Rees arrived from Pantyreos, Lower Llanvrechva, Monmouthshire in Wales. (One has to note that the Welsh have a history of unpronounceable place names. It was a defence mechanism as it was of little use to a conqueror to go home and be unable to boast about the lands one had taken if you could not pronounce their names! They were thus generally avoided.)
In 1898 Henry Rees put in an application to purchase 160 acres of land for the eye watering sum of 3 pounds 16 shillings. He became a very successful farmer known for his nursery, fruit growing and dairy farming. His property was called “Caerleon” where he lived until he passed away in 1923. It was so named after a Welsh village and Roman fortress near Newport. Caerleon means “fortress of the legion” in Welsh. We can confirm that it is highly unlikely that the Roman Legions tramped the hills of the Hinterland!
Henry had four children and was an awarded botanist. The Landsborough Shire Council changed the name of the district from Howells Knob to Reesville in 1923 in honour of Henry Oliver Rees who obviously had contributed substantially to the district. How the Howells felt about this name change is not recorded but to have the best view in the district retain the Howell name must be some compensation.
Driving on from Howells Knob you shortly come to the magnificent wetlands, spring water and damn at the headwaters of Clark Creek. This delightful privately owned lake frequently hosts a flotilla of water birds both local and migrating drop-ins. Clark Creek flows on into the Obi Obi creek and on through Maleny, into Lake Baroon to ultimately join the magnificent Mary River. The countryside is lush dairy farming pastureland dotted with some outstanding rural property homes many on small, manageable acreage.
Hidden amongst this captivating countryside are a number of outstanding accommodation properties from wonderful self-contained cottages, quality self-catering homes for all the family, to hosted accommodation. The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is well known for its much awarded accommodation and some very special properties can be found in the Reesville district.
The drive through the Reesville countryside is visually rewarding and a place to be explored. So many wonderful properties here lie just off the beaten track. It is an outstanding place to live in that it delivers the best of many worlds. There is the tranquillity, peace and privacy of a country estate together with one of the most vibrant and exciting towns to shop, dine and enjoy just ten minutes away in Maleny. An arts, crafts and food culture at your doorstep, with surf beaches and the Sunshine Coast just 35 minutes away.
Add to this the facilities on hand at places like the new state of the art Sunshine Coast University Hospital and schools within good striking distance from primary to secondary, from state to private to alternative. The University of the Sunshine Coast delivers the higher education component.
It is hardly surprising that so many people come for a day-then come to stay!