For the energetic and not so energetic, you simply must visit this national park. There are a network of peaceful walking tracks suitable for all levels of fitness. Pack a picnic lunch and your swimsuit, pick your track from the track signs posted by the entrance at the Noosa Heads end, and off you go. (The park is also accessible at the southern end from Sunshine Beach).
The park features breathtaking coastline, rainforest, wildlife and sealife (including koalas, dolphins and the very inquisitive bush turkeys), wildflowers and secluded beaches and coves.
Safety signs at track entrances are in German and Japanese as well as English.
Learn more about the park or purchase drinks and guides at the information centre near the park entrance at Noosa Heads. The centre is open 9am to 3pm, seven days a week.
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!
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 name of the STEAM TRAIN, that runs on heritage tours every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Tours depart from the Gympie Railway Station.
Starting from Gympie, you pass through the town, to Monkland, across the Mary river into the scenic Mary river valley.
Pineapples, Macadamia plantations, Dairy farms, cattle are along the way.
The Train stops at Stations of little towns along the way, Dagan, (on the way back for wine & cheese tasting ) Amamoor, Kandanga (markets and stalls on Sundays) and finally Imbil, the turn around point.
There was a market here, and we had time to enjoy lunch and wander around the town before heading back to Gympie.
The trip length is 80ks. You may see Kangaroos, we did.
On every 3rd Sunday of the month, BUSHRANGERS HOLD UP THE TRAIN!.
There are also themed Train trips, look up the website for more information on the Train.
A full day Steam tour on a Sunday is $47, departing at 10am and returning at 4pm (2010)
You don't have to be a Train Buff to enjoy this journey.
BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL
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.
If there's one place I recommend you see on the Sunshine Coast, it's Montville.
The raised hinterland range, though relatively small in height, offers sublime views over the resorts, highways and farmland that make up the Sunshine Coast.
There are many villages perched atop the ridgeline road that skirts the eastern edge of the high ground but Montville is the one that most people aim for initially.
Its main street is lined with shops and, in places, lovely trees, some of which come into bloom in spring.
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.
Right in Tin Can Bay, Queensland, you can feed the Indo Pacific Humpback Dolphins. When we were there last, it was free, but now it has changed. At least it is free to watch!
Remember to wear shorts or trousers that can be rolled up as you need to get in the water.
Feeding commences at 8am with a small group of people in the water at one time, food is available on site at $5 per person.
The dolphins Mystique, a male dolphin and a a juvenile from his pod, Harmony, usually arive some time between 7 and 8am.
It is 94kms from Noosa Heads, and takes approx 1.45hours, a one-way drive.
Just five minutes before this picture was taken, Jason and I had been watching the whales pass offshore, one of them flaying its flukes with gay abandon at regular intervals.
Others had noticed and were watching from various viewpoints along the route.
Migrating from Hervey Bay on their way to the Antarctic for their annual krill fill, they have become a great advertisement for the anti-whale hunting lobby.
Couple this experience with the sublime sunset shown here and you can readily understand why Noosa still retains much of its magic.