We loved the beaches on the Sunshine Coast better than the Gold Coast when I was growing up because they were not as built out but now, just like anything else, they are becoming touristy. Nevertheless, if you travel north you'll come to some lovely places. We loved to camp at Tin Can Bay and even further on, Fraser Island still feels like a holiday away from it all.
Noosaville is located along the Noosa River. It is a great spot for watersports, and has boat hire readily available. The forshore features extensive recreational grounds, and some excellent BBQ facilites, so is a great spot to stop off and refuel, or spend a bit longer.
You have to go to Noosa Beach if you are in Noosa Heads. The beach is quite large and the sand is quite fine, just the water is a bit too wavy. It's a nice place for getting tanned or surfing but perhaps not for swimming. Ah... it's also a good idea to just laze on the beach and enjoy people watching, like I did! haha!
There are several tracks that you can walk along, from easy to difficult. I picked the most spectacular one - the Coastal Track - on which I could see the beautiful coast all the time. There are several lookouts along the track, which ends at Hell's Gate, from where you can see the beautiful Alexandria Bay.
The day I hiked was a bit rainy and windy. I couldn't see other hikers in the beginning and I was a bit worried. When I was thinking about forward or back, a group of four old people walked pass so I joined them. They were from New Zealand and the most amazing thing was that one of them was a Professor in Hydraulics! I was so impressed by his observation of waves.... I really should learn from him!
The whole trip took me around 3 hours, including stops for photo taking.
Exploring markets is one of my habits when I travel.
Eumundi Market is the most famous one near Noosa Heads so how could I miss it? There were stalls selling clothing, paintings, ornaments, food and fresh fruit. Some stalls sold Thai/Asian products at unbelievably high prices which were quite a trap!!!
The food stalls were quite good. I bought a box of home-made coffee cream cookies, 1 kg of strawberries and a huge baked potatoes with cheese for lunch.
It's NOT necessary to join any tour. I met a girl from the YHA and she paid about AUD12 for a tour which only covered the transportation and the most unbelievable thing was that's RECOMMENDED by the YHA staff!!!
Ah, don't we just love Steve Irwin. Not since Crocodile Dundee has the land downunder had so much publicity. Wonder what they have in common. Ah, that's right, those things they make handbags out of!
We irreverent Smiths call the place "Crikey World" and, when you go there, you'll probably think you're seeing double, quadruple and worse. The reason being that all staff have to wear the uniform khaki shorts and shirt that Steve Irwin has made a trademark of his enterprise.
Lots to see and genuine experiences to have her for all the family. Anything slimy, repulsive, primaeval, deadly is liable to be encountered here but, hey, that's entertainment!
Open 9.00 to 4.30 daily except Xmas Day,
it's $27 for adults so it is not cheap but good value for money nonetheless. Kiddies can slip in for $17 and, remember, Steve puts his money and profits back into saving wildlife. Say what you like about the man, he is genuine. Me, I love the guy!
Crikey - don't miss a chance to visit the home of the croc and Steve Irwin.
The zoo is much more than just crocs, it is home to some of Australias most famous animals as well as tigers, elephants, otters and other exotics. The staff are all mad and full of stories just like Steve, so don't be disappointed if you visit and he isn't there. The fact is, you will be lucky to see him as he is often away rescuing animals or running around the world on some other adventure.
We spent a whole day at the zoo and were really impressed with the whole setup. The great thing about it is that you can really get up close to the animals. You can pat koalas and sit amongst kangaroos and walk through a huge bird aviary. There are also many reptiles..... and not to forget the croc shows.
There is a good selection of food in the 1500 seat, two-storey, open-air foodcourt or you can picnic in the grounds.
It's somewhere I would visit again and again.
In the land of things big, this is one of the most famous, right up there with the original Big Banana at Coffs Harbour.
One advantage of this location is that they have land to expand and add attractions to.
Today you can ride the Plantation Train Tour (on a sugar cane train), go on a Harvest Boat Ride, see nightime animals in the Nocturnal House, join the Nutmobile for a macadamia and rainforest tour, indulge in the Sweetland Chocolate Factory and then relieve yourself in the shops at the main complex.
It used to be on the main highway and touted as being at Nambour but these days it's off the main route and its location is actually at Woombye, a few kilometres south........but try finding that on your map!
It goes without saying that it's a great place for families, just bring your money.
I was intrigued by the water wheel. Wanted to know why it was there and what was behind it. Just as an eyecatcher and more tourist shops are the two answers.
So, it worked for me!
A couple were walking past when we were deciding whose turn it was to get their picture taken. They offered to get us both in the picture and we happily accepted.
Then, I recalled my previous experiences with people taking my picture.
"Don't forget to get our legs in" I belatedly cried.
Sure enough, it happened again. Sigh.
Caloundra is the Coolongatta of the Sunshine Coast. Located at the southern end and sort of downmarket from Noosa, it has that same sort of air as Coolongatta has compared to Surfers Paradise. With an area population of around 70,000 you can't escape the crowds here.
For families wishing to get the kiddies near a safe beach, Caloundra has a lot to offer as there are several spots with mild waves and one surf lifesaving club is actually on the estuary (just around the corner from where this pic was taken) that separates the town from Bribie Island.
The string of single story shops in the streets behind the beaches have that 50's and 60's look and some could use an upgrade but, in some way, that adds to the charm.
Matthew Flinders, famous early Australian explorer, entered the channel which lies between modern day Caloundra and Bribie Island in 1799, staying in the area for just over a fortnight. He named it Pumicestone River because there was pumice on the shore, and later it became known as Pumicestone Passage. Flinders ventured ashore and climbed Mount Beerburrum on 26 July, 1799.
The first European settlers in the Caloundra area didn't arrive until 1862 though when the big land grab was on.
There is heaps of accommodation of all sorts available.
Shown here is the excellent boardwalk around the beach front though, as is also apparent from this pic, half the people choose to walk around on the sand and rocks.
This is the Poet's Corner Restaurant with gallery downstairs mentioned in my "Off the beaten path" pages.
The paved area continues on to the right, past more and more shops designed to remove your hard-earned from you pocket. Of course, I didn't succumb. No, really. No, that wasn't me buying those delicious made-on-the-premises lollies. Someone who looked like me perhaps! I wish.
The lovely tree lined streets and sheer variety of items available make this a shoppers paradise.
The clock shop is one of the must-see's at Montville.
Swiss and grandfather clocks abound, the walls are packed with them, some so close to each other that the counterweights can't operate properly....................and don't come in here to find out the time - they're all set on different times!
The effect is such that there is a continual cacophony of noise of chimes, cuckoos or bells echoing around the display room. When you learn not to turn your head at every sound you can then admire the many items for sale, all hand carved wonders.
Even if you're not in the market for same (like us for instance) it's still worth a look.
This house, a little on the grandiose side of normal, is built in a style called "Queenslander". This entails having your house above ground level to some degree to allow for airflow beneath the house and a verandah, not only to sit on but also to shield the house from much of the sun's burning rays, both traits beneficial in a noted sunny state such as Queensland.
This one is located next door to the Tree Frog Gallery shown in the previous picture
Use the letter M and it seems you'll cover half the notable towns on the Sunshine Coast. Maleny is famous for one thing that led to others. That one thing is Mary Cairncross Park and the splendid views over the Glasshouse Mountains obtained from that park.
The park is just outside of Maleny actually but, because it encouraged tourists, some other things have sprung up, most of them in more recent times.
This modernistic art gallery with a variety of items is probably the best of them.
WIth spacious surrounds and lots of light it presents most of the objects on display in a favourable manner.
Flaxton is barely a village, more a location. It does have one or two businesses and the main one is definitely Flaxton Barn, a mish-mash of arts and crafts, local food items and a small cafe with splendid views.
Though Flaxton is only 3 kilometres north from the busy Montville, it never gets crowded as, speaking frankly, there's not a lot of reason to go there.
It does have a lot of B&B's, mostly situated near the rainforest area.