Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Sunshine Coast’ Category

Backtracking slightly from Noosa we went to Coolum. There is not much at Coolum apart from a string of shops, surf beach and a mountain/ hill. The campsite was next to the beach and we could still hear the waves as we went to sleep. The council have recently developed a board walk and lookout over the cliff. We took a stroll and the view was stunning looking over the clear waters with the sets coming in.

Coolum is where Jo’s surf board first got wet. It was lovingly waxed at the campsite and then taken out on the beach break one minute from our campsite. The waves were small and unpredictable but apparently “she was lovely” and rode nicely. This was the first of many surfs to come.

Mt Coolum View

Mt Coolum View

Mount Coolum is a hill overlooking the town which is accessible on foot. It took us about 2.5hrs to complete the round trip. You ascend from a small national park car park along a purpose built track. The track is a grade 2 track which means shoes (not thongs) are required. After a short distance through a rainforest area the track becomes steep and more of a scramble. The scramble was fun and a little tiring in places but the views were magnificent when you stopped to catch your breath.Once at the top the track eases up again to a gentle climb. You could see all the way up and down the sunshine coast, beautiful and well worth it. We stopped here for lunch before descending the track with screaming teenage girls and tourists taking lots of photos!

Read Full Post »

Noosa

Noosa is a lovely little chilled spot, although for some reason it seems to contain all of the roundabouts in Australia!  It has a nice (although slightly upmarket) town by the beach which leads onto the headland.  We spent a really nice afternoon relaxing on the beach which I topped off with a swim.  The water was odd as the first foot was quite warm, but any deeper and it suddenly got really cold – no matter how far you swam out (all of the water was a little cold for Ruth who stayed on the beach).

Noosa Heads - Alexandria Bay

Noosa Heads - Alexandria Bay

The headland is a National Park has some nice walks around it which take you to lovely beaches and stunning views. It was on one of those walks we spotted another fuzzy bum (our second one in the wild).  We even got to enjoy a beautiful sunset from one of the lookouts.  Seeing the rich colours of the sunset reflect in the sea and Noosa River was a great end to the day.

Unfortunately for Ruth, Noosa ended up costing me a lot of money.  The first expense was a lovely new guitar.  I’d planned on picking up a cheapo one to get me by but they were all overpriced or too beat up to play.  When passing a music shop (on Gibson Street!) I dropped in, tried a few cheap guitars and then discovered a beautiful little travel guitar and that was it!  It’s a really nice guitar but is about half the size of a normal acoustic and comes with its own case – spot on for our roadtrip and coming back home.  The second expense was my surfboard.  Shaped in Burleigh Heads (where we had been to the factory a few weeks before) on the Gold Coast the board is a lovely 7’6″ mini mal shaped more like a shortboard so it can be ridden at most breaks in Oz, NZ and back home.  Ideal.  I just better not spend any money for a while!

The only downside with Noosa was that all the campsites were quite a way out of town.  Our one in Noosaville was the closest and was on the banks of the river which was great.  Unfortunately the council had put the rates up stupidly high and were cramming people in.  It was still cheaper than hostels but was over budget and so we finished up Noosa as quick as we could and moved on.

Read Full Post »

Big Pineapple

Big Pineapple

Big Pineapple

Once again we come to one of those strange, tacky big things that the Aussies seem to like.  This time it’s a pineapple!

Just inland on the Sunshine coast is one of the major places to grow pineapples.  They obviously thought that this wasn’t exciting enough on it’s own and so erected a 10 metre high, hollow plastic pineapple which has a display on pineapple growing inside. 

It is pretty much as exciting as it sounds so after pausing to take a look and take pictures, we left!

Read Full Post »

On arriving at the Sunshine Coast the views were spectacular with the pristine beaches and ocean on one side and a mountain range on the other. We were soon to learn that the mountain range is called the Glass House Mountain range which consists of about 6 different peaks. Most of the mountains are inaccessible on foot and you are not allowed to attempt to climb them. You are however allowed to drive around them and take in the views. We drove on the scenic route up to the lookout which enables you to look out over the valley they are in and take them in. It was well worth it they were stunning.

Glass House Mountains

Glass House Mountains

After leaving the lookout we drove along another scenic route (stopping every now and then to just take it in) to a different mountain range up the coast. This was called the Black Hall range and is a much gentler range with small rounded peaks. Here we took the advice of the tourist information office and headed to Kondalila falls. This is a large waterfall which cascades down the rainforest valley. Again the views were breathtaking. The rainforest consisted of big red trees and lots of palms. There was a strange lack of bird noise and minimal wildlife around the falls. You could sit near the top of the falls and look out into the valley below and the sheer drop of the waterfall. It was a very scenic day out.

Read Full Post »

The next stop after Caloundra was another small coastal town called Maroochydore. Maroochydore consists of three parts all with equally difficult names to pronounce. We were staying at a campsite next to the beach (again). Each morning we were able to get up and walk down a short path with our cereal to sit and watch the surfers as we ate. It was great and a fab start to the day. Every night we would then go to sleep with the sound of the waves crashing and the bats fighting.

Breakfast at Maroochydore

Breakfast at Maroochydore

Whilst in Maroochydore we celebrated our Anniversary. Traditionally we don’t get each other presents etc but we do treat ourselves to a night out. This year we decided to stick to tradition. All along our trip we have seen and heard about a restaurant chain that is only in Oz and specialises in steak called the Hogs Breath Cafe. Jo had been itching to try it since he had first seen it in Byron Bay and it appeared to be a very normal Australian thing to do, the sort of place that we would go to if we lived and worked here. So we decided that this would be the perfect night out for our anniversary followed by a film night.

On a rainy winters night we set of in search of the Hogs Breath on the marina and were looking forward to sampling their famous (slow cooked for 18 hours!) steak and curly fries. We were not disappointed, it was scrummy. We also shared our first bottle of Australian wine (I am slowly converting Jo) and finished it off with a very rich and chocolaty pudding. It was a great evening.

As is tradition we then followed up the meal with a film however we did this on the next night in order to spread the cost of the entertainment. Transformers had just come out so we booked ourselves in. The cinema was in a large shopping centre and was very modern. We managed to smuggle the obligatory drink and sweets in. It was another good night out and a welcome break from nights at the campsite.

All in all it was a great anniversary and we enjoyed being able to celebrate in Australia.

Read Full Post »

The time had come for the second State of Origin rugby game. This is the annual three match battle between NSW and QLD which we had first watched in Yamba, NSW and much the disappointment of the NSW locals, QLD had won.

QLD were now tipped to win this second leg and if they did, history would be made. QLD had beaten NSW for the previous three years and neither side had won for four years consecutively for over 70 years. If QLD beat NSW again this match they would have won four years running.

This was not a game we wanted to miss especially as we were now in QLD. We wandered up the RSL (Services) club. The club was decorated in balloons of blue and maroon, very sporting of them, and there were supporters for both sides in the club. The atmosphere was very exciting and people were definitely on a buzz. By half time QLD were in the lead but NSW were putting up a fight. In the end QLD won and there was a quite cheer around the club. There was not as much celebrating as expected for such a momentous occasion but it was clear that the Queenslanders were happy. There is still one more game to be played this year in the series but it will not change the outcome. Hopefully we will be able to see that one too.

QLD Winning a Historic Victory

QLD Winning a Historic Victory

Read Full Post »

Whilst we were on the Sunshine Coast we took a visit to one of the recommended Aussie tourist attractions: Australia Zoo.  Usually we enjoy zoos but always feel a little sorry for the animals, but this place was just awesome!  All the animals here have great enclosures and are all really well looked after.  The people running the zoo have just as much enthusiasm for the animals as the late Steve Irwin.  Walking around his family’s zoo we really started to realise just what a legend this man was and why he is such a hero in Australia.  He is certainly missed here and the family atmosphere does make you realise what a sad loss it was.

Due to the size of the zoo we packed a lot into the day but there were quite a few highlights.  One of the first things you do as you walk in is get greeted by some of the staff who are holding various lizards for you to look at and touch if you wish.  We were introduced to some skinks and the amazing blue tongued lizard.  The next fella we met was Slater the Koala, who kindly had his picture taken with us.  Being up close to a Koala was fantastic but they bloody stink! He was very soft and fluffy.

Us & Slater

Us & Slater

When we had to give Slater back we saw the Tasmanian devils which were living up to their feisty reputation by running around and fighting with each other very noisily.  Then we were onto the crocs!  They had both freshies and salties and although both were great, the sheer size and look of the salties made them the winner.

Twice a day there is a show in the “crocoseum” where staff and keepers introduce you to the animals and put on a display.  The staff were very entertaining and you could see that this show was designed around Steve Irwin’s personality.  The highlight of the show was the croc.  They brought out a salt water crocodile and showed off exactly what he could do to catch his prey.  It was a very humbling experience and you definitely do not want to meet one of these fellas in the wild.

After the show we wandered into the kangaroo area.  The animals are not really in cages, they are left to roam around with forest areas that the public are not allowed in so they can get a break. 

Us & Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Us & Eastern Grey Kangaroo

You are allowed to purchase some special food and feed the kangaroos.  This was brilliant.  They hop over to you and get down low and lazily eat out of your hand.  They let you pet them and when they have had enough they hop off.  It was fantastic and an experience we will never forget.  They had wallabies (lots of different kinds), eastern grey kangaroos, red kangaroos and even a mum with a Joey.

One of our favourite animals was the strange but fascinating Echidna. Like hedgehogs on steroids these little critters were awesome.  They waddled quickly about their enclosure and looked like they could fall over at any moment. I also got my first chance to feed an Elephant which I loved and went back a second time for.  We also saw wombats.  They were funny!

The zoo was a great display of unique Aussie animals and was a very passionate place. It was definitely worth it and a truly unforgettable experience.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »