Beautiful Noosa is a world famous destination that could claim to be the unofficial capital of the Sunshine Coast. It’s a stunning beach haven for wealthy international tourists, backpacking travellers and escapees from the colder climes of the southern states of Australia. The kilometres of pristine beach, Noosa National Park and the shopping and fine dining of Hastings Street draw the crowds to this breathtaking part of the world. But revelling in the natural wonders and urban hustle and bustle of this popular resort is just one experience you can take away from a visit to the Sunshine Coast; this region has a lot more to offer than the delights of Noosa.
Like Noosa, this place needs no introduction. A World Heritage Site, Fraser Island is also the world’s largest sand island and a visit here will show you a wonderland of startlingly white sand dunes, soaring rainforests and freshwater lakes. A vast array of Australian wildlife, (over 350 species of animals and birds have been recorded on the island), are there to be spotted on one of many walking trails or along the 4WD circuits.
Glass House Mountains National Park
The sight of distinctly gorilla-shaped Mount Tibrogargan, just one of many mystical peaks in the Glass House Mountains National Park, can be glimpsed from far and wide on the Sunshine Coast. The mountains are central to local Aboriginal legend and the national park offers wonderful panoramic views and a wealth of opportunities for walking, climbing, BBQ’s and camping adventures.
Winding through the Blackall Ranges is an easy day trip to remember. The Hinterland region is a place of great natural beauty in the form of rugged mountains, waterfalls and diverse flora and fauna. There are a number of lookouts to stop at along the tourist trail and the quaint historic townships of Maleny, Montville and Mapleton, amongst others, are also dotted along the way so you can visit the cafes, book stores, art & craft galleries and boutiques.
Aussie World & Ettamogah Pub
Once you find a 1927 Chevy parked just off the Bruce Highway you know you’re close to Aussie World, a fun park where you’ll find Oz-themed rides and games for all the family. For a classic taste of Australiana at lunch time you can’t go past the iconic and much-photographed Ettamogah Pub.
In the heart of Mooloolaba you can come face to face with sharks at Underwater World. At this world-class marine life park you can partake of the Shark Dive Xtreme experience: for only $175.50, (if you are a certified SCUBA diver), you can experience the heart-stopping thrill of swimming with up to 8 species of sharks, stingrays and fish.
Chilling out doesn’t get much better than having lunch and a few cold beers on the balcony of Caloundra’s Surf Life Saving Club. Kicking back and watching the surf rolling onto the broad, clean sands of Kings Beach is a fantastic way to break up a day of sun and surf. You can experience the quaint practice of signing-in to gain entrance to the club and if you turn up with a member you’ll benefit from a discount on all food and drinks.
There’s a lot of art and craft going on in this part of the world and the Original Eumundi Markets, Australia’s premier artisan market, is just the place to check out the results. The organisers’ ethos of “we make it, bake it, grow it, sew it” bears great fruit on Wednesday and Saturday mornings when you can stroll amongst over 300 stalls filled with a wide array of locally produced food, fashion and handicraft.
That’s just a selection of what you can see and do on the diverse and beautiful Sunshine Coast, so there’s every reason to go out and experience more than the fabulous tourist mecca of Noosa alone.
For those looking to visit this part of the world from the UK, you'll need your travel money.
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