QUEENSLAND's SUNSHINE COAST
One of Australia's most popular holiday destinations is the area known asthe Sunshine Coast, an hour or so's drive or bus ride north of Brisbane.Apart from the superb beaches, the laid back and friendly atmosphere in the townshipsand the glorious weather all year round, there are so many touristattractions to be seen and enjoyed that even the most hyperactive will neverget bored. As might be expected, there is the widest range ofaccommodation available, from caravan sites and cabins in the caravan parks(now called holiday resorts) to motels, backpacker hostels and familyapartments, all of which can be found in most of the towns, such asCaloundra, Maroochydore, Noosa Heads and Gympie.
Coloured Sands - Tewantin - Qld
Mt Beerwah - Mt Coonowrin - Glass House Mountains
Noosa National Park
Bunya Park - Buderim
Behind the fine beaches at Caloundra, the majestic GLASSHOUSEMOUNTAINS form a spectacular backdrop and here one can take aleisurely drive around the Hinterland Discovery tour along the top of the BLACKALLRANGE, which is an area of sub-tropical rainforests and picturesquewaterfalls. This is an region where you will often come across farmsselling fresh produce, little arts and crafts galleries and a number ofcountry tea rooms specialising in hearty Devonshire teas. Thesemountains are quite unusual, because of the plugs of rhyolite sticking upfrom the tops of several peaks. Also, just south of Caloundra is BRIBIEISLAND, which is another very popular seaside resort.
Maroochy means black swan in one of the Aboriginal languages and itssuperb beaches and crystal clear waters are a Mecca for surfers. Thisis a rich fruit growing area and here you can feast on ripe avocadoes, juicypineapples and other delicious fruit, in season. Nearby are some ofAustralia's most beautiful national parks, where you may see a platypus ortwo swimming in the quiet creeks, or hear the entrancing peal of a bellbird.At MOOLOOLABA there are good shops andrestaurants, but the best known attraction there is UNDERWATERWORLD. There you can get up close and personal with giantsharks, stingrays and other denizens of the deep without getting wet.It is a fascinating place, loved by all members of the family. You cancharter a boat and fish for marlin and other big game from the harbour too.If you prefer something a little less dramatic, there's always canoeing andscuba diving. Then there are kangaroos on the golf course and wineries allover the place if you are still feeling energetic.
TIN CAN BAY
Tin Can Bay is renown for its friendly dolphins and at TEEWANTIN& RAINBOW BEACH you can see strata's of gloriously colored sands.The rusting hulk of the old 'CHERRY VENTURE'can still be seen marooned on the beach and is popular with cameraenthusiasts. It's a good area for four wheel driving the beach and thehinterland.
Noosa is the most sophisticated of the Sunshine Coast towns and it iswhere thousands of professional people now have holiday apartments, facingthe ocean. There are spectacular beaches, a great shopping centre andrestaurants galore. There is also Noosa National Park, cradling MainBeach and Laguna Lookout in the park offers sweeping panoramas to Laguna Bayand beyond.
Gympie came into being when gold was discovered there in 1867.The ensuing Gympie goldrush injected a major boost into the State's economyat that time and enabled the colony to survive. There are gold miningand a timber museums and an old Valley Rattler steam train ride to beenjoyed. Take the heritage walk around town, if you enjoy Australianhistory.
In the Nambour area are a number of excellent and very populartourist attractions. Probably the best known is THEBIG PINEAPPLE, set in a pineapple plantation. Here one can takea cane train trip around the paddocks and learn about pineapple farming.There is also a restaurant, with all manner of dishes featuring pineapple insome form or another and a souvenir shops where the same criteria applies.Alongside is the MACADAMIA PLANTATION and hereone can learn about macadamia farming and buy the produce in a variety offorms. The there is the GINGER FACTORY atYANDINA, where you can watch ginger beingprocessed and buy ginger products.
The DEER SANCTUARY at Forest Glen islesser known, but still worth a visit. You can drive through the park sevendays a week and feed the free roaming deer from your vehicle. You canalso see wombats and visit the nocturnal house, or picnic with the tamekangaroos. Here too you can have a photo taken cuddling a koala andvisit the snack bar if you are feeling peckish. Then there'sSUPER BEE. Just follow the walkways through seven acres oftropical gardens past Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Three Bearscottage and the House that Jack Built. There's mini golf, mini carsand much more fun for the young fry. You can watch beekeepingdemonstrations too, which are held hourly and buy delicious honey produceafterwards. And talking of fairy tales, at nearby BLIBLI there's the spectacular FAIRY TALE CASTLE,where every room tells a different story and there are suits of medievalarmour, more than 2,500 dolls, model railways and much more.
During the cooler months of the year Southern Right Whales and their calvescan usually be seen making their way up this stretch of coast and that iswhen the boat charters are at their busiest. So much to see and do - it's nowonder the Sunshine Coast is such a magnet to holidaymakers and retireesalike
Other Sunshine Coast Sites to Visit
Australian State Information