We arrive at Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, and its raining. I am told this place has something like 360 days of sunshine. I guess we lucked out on those few days where the sun has its own holiday.
Determind not to be bummed out by this, we set off to explore this stretch of Australia’s coastline. Boasting 13 beaches stretching over 100 kilometres of pristine sand, this playground offers something for everyone, young and old alike.
With enjoying the sunshine and beaches out of the question, we venture into the hinterland, taking the opportunity to revitalise and reconnect while exploring the natural biodiversity of the area.
The Sunshine Coast is home to more individual national parks than any other region in Queensland. These are protected by five separate parks in both coastal and inland regions, including Mapleton Falls National Park, Kondalilla National Park, The Glasshouse Mountains National Park, Noosa National Park, and the Great Sandy National Park, which includes sections on Fraser Island and in Cooloola near Rainbow Beach.
Unfortunately, our dive to the EX HMAS Brisbane was cancelled due to the weather. While we were gutted about this, it was interesting to learn the the decommissioned guided missile destroyer is located just 2.9 nautical miles offshore. Sunreef can take you below the ocean surface to explore this magnificent wreck as they have exclusive use of the 2 midship moorings, making for 2 leisurely dives in which you can visit the entire wreck comfortably. A dive will take you along the outside of the wreck to encounter an abundance of local aquatic sea life that inhabits her. Dependant on experience, then explore the depths of her hull, enter the engine room or even visit the control room where her kill switches are still in tact.
Determind to keep exploring the outdoors, we ventured north to Noosa where we found you can jump on a horse and explore one of Noosa’s best kept secrets, Lake Weyba. There is something extremely Australian about riding a horse through bushland, spotting kangaroos and wallabies. Take in the surrounding views of Lake Weyba as you emerge from the bush and enter the water, spotting rays and fish as you ride. Noosa Horse Riding offers 1 hour and 2 hour tours across Beginner, Intermediate and Expert levels.
When the weather did ease off a bit, it allowed time to explore the local markets. Possibly one of the best markets in Australia, Eumundi Market is held every Saturday and Wednesday from 6:30am to 1:30pm. Here you can stroll amongst some two hundred stalls of various handcrafts and produce while enjoying local musicians play and munching on international delights at the food market section. There is something tempting around every corner.
While I am not one for aquariums (as I prefer to see marine life in the wild while diving), I found myself hestitant in agreeing to a seas swim experience. SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast offers a unique experience like no other. You can actually can get in the water with seals. Spend time learning about the playful seals with engaging educational interaction. During the holidays the Seal presentations run daily at 11am, 1pm and 3.30pm. You can also meet the resident seals by booking a seal encounter or even make a splash and go swimming with the seals – experiences run daily. The experience includes photo opportunities and entry into SEA LIFE where you can enjoy a host of colourful exhibits and experiences guaranteed to satisfy young aquatic explorers.
Even in the rainy weather, I was surprised at how much there was to see and do in and around the coast. Bag a bargain at the markets or shop up a storm on Hastings Street. Tantalise the tastebuds at the incredible restaurants or quench your thirst at one of the many bars found along the way top off a day of conquering all there is to do.
The best part for us was the options of dog friendly accomodation. We split the stay between to areas of the Sunshine Coast.
A boutique waterfront complex of only three villas, Saltwater Villas offers a luxurious home away from home, and is pet friendly. There are one and two bedroom villas, and a waterfront house that sleeps 10. Being pet friendly means it’s perfect for bringing your family pet along to, with onsite pet sitting also available at a charge. Located on Goonawarra Drive, Mooloolaba means there is everything you need located nearby.
Located on David Low Way, Marcoola, this Pet Friendly Holiday House is north end of Sunshine Coast and located right near Marcoola Beach. This Modern Retro City Chic 2 bedroom Marcoola Beach Holiday House accommodation is perfect in every way for a Sunshine Coast dog friendly holiday. Whether you are a couple or family this is the perfect place to enjoy the quiet Marcoola Beach and the comforts of a resort quality private oasis of your own.
For more on the Sunshine Coast visit www.visitsunshinecoast.com
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