First Stop: Maroochydore [Coast] Southern Region
We arrived on the Sunshine Coast just before Easter, the school holidays were in full swing and it was busy, but we really wanted to make sure we didn’t hit Fraser Island during this time and it meant there was lots going on in the area. The weather also put on a show for us, it was sunny on the Sunshine Coast (SC).
We stayed in three different areas both on the coast and Hinterland using the brilliant Journey Guide for the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland National Parks as our bible for planning trips. Download it or pick up a copy at the tourist Information Centre. Most days unless we had a monster cardio day, we hit the Jets gym’s in the area too.
Stay: Cotton Tree Holiday Park
Top tip: Ask for a site right on the beach front (They are a little extra but beautiful) school holidays are a super busy time so book in advance and remember NSW and QLD often have different holiday periods.
It’s always nice to take it easy the first day you arrive, set up and do the basics: for us that’s find a lovely local butchers and then having a wander around. We found this amazing butchers in cotton tree called Cotton Tree meats, They have some beautiful age dried meat, pulled pork and their sausage are amazing.
After our workout we hit the local shops and cafes for a mooch about. We love the Tea House Silva Spoon, voted QLD’s best tea shop and you can see why. The added bonus is that if you’re on the Telstra network, it right opposite the Telstra Air Free Hotspot. The tourist information is also a good place to pop into and we found the girls there very knowledgeable. We then walked to the beach, out along the spit and down to the Surf Club, before watching the sunset over dinner 🙂
Bike/Hike/Bike (17.2km / 1.7 / 19.1km)
The cycle tracks along the coast in Australia are amazing and the Sunshine Coast is no exception, with a track that hugs the coast across this region, giving you so many options to explore.
We cycled straight out of Cotton Tree Holiday park and up along the river, passing all the lovely cafes and restaurants this area has to offer. It’s a little tricky to navigate the first time and we did miss a few junctions until we made our way up to Mt Coolum National Park to hike the short, steep, beautifully created path to the top of the hill, 207m above sea level offering amazing views. As we arrived at the top, there was a military plane flyby which was cool to see from that height The mozzies were shocking on the walk and we hadn’t brought bug spray, so we descended quickly and jumped back on the bikes, this time getting the route spot on. It’s a gorgeous easy cycle along the coast through bush and then by the river.
We got the Kayak out on the Payenter river today straight from our tent and spent 90 minutes paddling. We headed up under all the bridges alongside the shops and back again before heading further up-stream avoiding all the sand banks. Lots of fun was had splashing around and a beautiful day and sunset
Day 5 (Good Friday)
We explored south of Cotton Tree today along another section of coastal path and then as it was good Friday we had fish and chips at the Boatshed. They do an awesome grilled barramundi and its right next to the campsite.
After having the last few days on the coast,we headed back up into the Hinterland and met our friends Geoffrey and Bridgette that we stayed with in Brisbane to return the hospitality. We met for breakfast at this amazing holistic health complex at Kunara. It was also great to catch up with another friend Leanne at Kunara, who is lucky enough to live on the SC. We spent the afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Montville, having lunch at Wild Rocket at Misty’s micro brewery and drank local beers while listening to the band. We stopped for a quick look in Malany before heading back down the hill for sunset drinks and dinner on the beach. Even found a shop called Sarah!
Day 7 (Easter Sunday)
After a traditional Easter breakfast of past eggs on hot cross buns, we explored the Ocean St World Festival and then had a greek style lunch at the Piano Bar before a lazy day on the beach.
Day 8 (Easter Monday)
We explored the stunning Mooloolaba spit and coastal path
What’s great about this area is the way you can quickly switch between the coast and the Hinterland. We headed back up into the hills to do the 5km Kondalilia Falls walk, followed by one of the best places we have done cheese tasting at the Malany cheese farm and came away with a few blocks of cheese. We finished the day at Gardner’s Falls.
Another beautiful day and another section of the coastal track from Bulcock beach to Moffat head, with an Acai bowl at Bounce. There is an incredible outdoor pool and the sandy beaches are beautiful.
Glass House Mountains. I was so excited to visit this mountain range having seen so many beautiful Instagram posts and they didn’t disappoint. We hiked the easy summit of Mt Ngungun which provides spectacular views from the top, then tackled the first part of the rock climb on Mt Beerwah to view the organ pipes. As time was tight headed to the lookout followed by coffee with stunning vista views just down the road. The summit track around Mt Tibrogargan rounded off the day.
Sadly last night we were broken into with kitchen supplies, kit bags and food taken. While I sorted this, Rich took the Landrover in for a mini service and so that night we went to BA Vigo for a treat and would really recommend this little wine and tapas bar.