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Caloundra

The holiday memories of a lifetime are all within reach at Caloundra - where the Sunshine Coast begins. Experience the uncrowded beaches with views of the heritage listed Glass House Mountains, the sparkling waters of the Pumicestone Passage, and a breath-taking coastal headland with interesting coves and sandy beaches.

Caloundra takes in several beaches each with their own personality and loyal devotees. There's Golden Beach, Bulcock Beach, Kings Beach, Shelly Beach, Moffat Beach, Dicky Beach and Currimundi.

The Caloundra Coastal Path stretches along some of the most scenic shorelines you could ever wish to see. The path is a continuous coastal link from Golden Beach in the south, around Caloundra Headland then Moffat Headland, before heading north following the long, sandy beaches of Kawana to Point Cartwright. Along the way it passes some historic sites including Military Jetty used for military operations in World War II, and the heritage listed Kings Beach Bathing Pavillion constructed in 1937. There are also magnificent views to enjoy at Moffat Beach, Kings Beach, Happy Valley and Bulcock Beach. The walk traverses some remnant coastal vegetation between Currimundi and Dicky Beach.

Kings Beach is Caloundra’s premier surfing beach and just behind the beach itself is a modern playground area, barbecue facilities and an amphitheatre for major events. A giant water fountain provides hours of entertainment while in front of the Surf Club there's a unique foreshore swimming pool.

Explore the coastline on a cycling or walking tour, on a cruise, by kayak or hop on a jet ski. If you love a round of golf then tee off at the challenging Greg Norman-designed Club Pelican. Nearby Corbould Park is one of the finest regional thoroughbred racing facilities in the country.

Major attractions in the area include Australia Zoo, Aussie World and the Ettamogah Pub, Big Kart Track and the Queensland Air Museum.

It only takes one look and you’re hooked on Caloundra as the place to refresh and rejuvenate.

Caloundra, Sunshine Coast Area
Queensland
Australia

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Free Entry
Currimundi Lake (Kathleen McArthur) Conservation Park is a natural gem which has survived despite its proximity to Sunshine Coast developments. A pocket of the wallum heath which once covered much of coastal southern Queensland thrives on Lake Currimundi’s northern shore. This type of coastal heathland is rich in plant species, many of which attract birds and insects seeking food and shelter. Wander down the track from Coongarra Esplanade through the park to the beach. After the first 130 metres of wheelchair-accessible track, pause at the lake lookout. Spot the spectacular yellow-spiked flower or knobbly seed pods of the wallum banksia. Walk quietly, looking and listening for wrens, finches and honeyeaters such as the noisy friarbird.

Glass House Mountains National Park

Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Craggy volcanic peaks, rhyolite plugs, rise abruptly above the scenic landscape, a rolling green patchwork of pine plantations, bushland and cultivated fields. The Glass House Mountains were named by Lieutenant James Cook as he voyaged up the Queensland coast in 1770. They are spiritually significant to the local Aboriginal people and are listed on the Queensland and National Heritage Registers as a landscape of national significance. In this park, remnants of the open eucalypt woodland and heath vegetation, which once covered the coastal plains, provide a home for an interesting variety of animals and plants. Visit the interpretive centre in the Glass House Mountains township. Drive to the nearby Glass House Mountains lookout in Beerburrum State Forest for views of the multiple peaks. Enjoy a picnic at the base of Mount Beerwah or Mount Tibrogargan. Take the easy Western Boundary walk at Mount Beewah or try a slightly more challenging walk such as the Tibrorgargan circuit or Mount Beeburrum track for great views. If you are a fit, experienced walker with rock climbing skills, tackle the Mount Ngungun summit track. The summit routes on Mounts Ngungun and Tibrogargan are also suitable for roped sports for experienced and well-equipped climbers.

Mount Ngungun Summit Walking Track

Beerwah, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Named by Cook during his epic voyage along Australia's east coast, the Glass House Mountains are rhyolitic volcanic plugs left by volcanic activity millions of years ago. This area has special significance for the Gubbi Gubbi Aboriginal people. The Mount Ngungun summit walk begins in open forest with a fern understory. Part way up the mountain there is a great view of Mount Tibrogargan and the track passes a small rock overhang. The summit provides spectacular close-up views of nearby volcanic peaks-Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah-and a 360° panoramic view of the coast and hinterland. The 2.8 kilometre track is classed as a grade 4 walking track. Visitors need a moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear. Take plenty of drinking water and wear a hat and sunscreen. Allow about two hours to complete the walk. Caution: Track passes close to cliff edges-supervise children closely. Take extra care around the summit area in wet weather-rocks become very slippery. Walk carefully to avoid dislodging rocks-they might hit walkers or climbers below you.

Mooloolah River National Park, Jowarra Section

Beerwah, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
This park on the banks of the Mooloolah River, protects one of the few remaining coastal rainforest areas in this region. Also known as Jowarra, this is an important home for wildlife, including the wompoo fruit-dove, eastern yellow robin and the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly. The river is home to platypus, which may be seen at dawn and dusk. Two short, easy walks lead from the rest area: the Mooloolah River circuit and the Melaleuca walk. The tracks are not sealed but in dry weather they are wheelchair accessible. Use insect repellent to deter mosquitoes and leeches.

Bribie Island Recreation Area

Bribie Island, Moreton Bay Area
Free Entry
Bribie Island Recreation Area is a treasure trove of plants and animals. The island is fringed by white, sandy beaches. Heaths and freshwater lagoons support many birds, while the shore provides food and roosting havens for thousands of shorebirds. Dugong thrive in protected waters nearby. Explore the easy Bicentennial bushwalks. Heathland, eucalypt and paperbark forests offer great birdwatching and photography. Go boating or paddle a kayak around Pumicestone Passage. Try your luck at fishing or crabbing. Picnic at Lighthouse Reach or Lions Park. Pitch a tent at Mission Point - or in one of three other camping areas that are accessible only by four wheel drive. Bribie Island is approximately one hour’s driving distance from Brisbane.

Caloundra Cruise

Pelican Waters, Sunshine Coast Area
Caloundra Cruise is an iconic Sunshine Coast attractions suitable for all ages. Sunday and Tuesday to Friday, on the 90 minute Smoothwater Classic Cruise, discover the spectacular beauty of this marine environment with abundant bird life and locals at play. Hear the waterway's rich nautical history; see the wildlife and experience superb views from Caloundra Heads to Moreton Island, Bribie Island National Park and the "Blue Hole", all from a specially designed riverboat. The calm waters of this marine park ensures a pleasant trip. You can include a break for lunch at the Pelican Waters Tavern and take advantage of the specially priced "cruise boat menu". Each Thursday, the "Eco Explorer" cruises deeper into the Pumicestone Passage Marine Park for some great bird watching opportunities. An experienced guide will cover the fascinating history, geography and ecology of this pristine region. Enjoy a deluxe morning tea at anchor while you observe the native flora and fauna and hear dreamtime legends. You'll return in time for lunch ashore. Or take in a stunning sunset over the Glasshouse Mountains while relaxing on their BYO Friday or Saturday Sunset Cruise. Check the website for the new Saturday Lunch Explorer (three hours).

Beerwah

Beerwah, Sunshine Coast Area
Beerwah is a thriving small country town and home to Australia Zoo. Located just an hour drive north of Brisbane and a short drive from the Sunshine Coast, Beerwah is the perfect location to explore the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The Glass House Mountains, 16 ancient volcanic crags that emerge from the plains, are also just a few minutes away. Mt Beerwah is the name given to one of the eroded volcanic plugs. There are several walking tracks and some lookouts in the Glass House Mountains that offer breathtaking views of the region, so be sure to take some time to explore this area. Call into the new Visitor Information Centre at the town of Glass House Mountains on the Steve Irwin Way to pick up a local map and directions.

Sippy Downs

Sippy Downs, Sunshine Coast Area
Bordered on one side by the beautiful Mooloolah River National Park, and on the other by the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens, Sippy Downs on the Sunshine Coast is best known for the system of picture-postcard lakes that pepper the area. These beautiful, tranquil lakes can be enjoyed from various waterfront parks and picnic areas and can be accessed by numerous walk and bike paths. The National Park on the eastern side of Sippy Downs preserves one of the last remnants of unspoilt coastal lowlands in southern Queensland. The park protects valuable pockets of wallum heath, open eucalypt woodlands and tea-tree swamps. The calm, still waters of the Mooloolah River are perfect for paddling a canoe and in the spring, Mother Nature puts on a show with a spectacular wildflower display. The Botanic Gardens on the western side of Sippy Downs features rock pool, wetlands, fern glades, sculpture gardens and a wonderful array of flora and fauna including the whipbird and fairy wren. Just 10 minutes’ drive west of Sippy Downs is the bustling seaside hot-spot of Mooloolaba. Sippy Downs is three minutes off the Bruce Highway. A range of accommodation options can be found at Mooloolaba including holiday resorts, self-contained units, holiday rentals, and backpacker hostels.

Tanawha

Tanawha, Sunshine Coast Area
Take a step back to yesteryear and imagine yourself in the court of King Louis the XIV with a visit to the Sunshine Coast’s very own giant living hedge maze! Located at Tanawha just 10 minutes’ drive inland from Maroochydore, this impressive outdoor maze has been painstakingly sculptured from over 1000 trees and is the only maze of its kind in Australia. Designed as an eight-pointed star, this botanical marvel can be viewed in its entirety from a platform adjacent to the tea house. After you’ve completed your mission, challenge yourself further with a tyre maze, rope maze, tile maze or baffle your noggin’ with a brain-teasing puzzle in the café. The kids will adore finding the seven dwarfs in Snow White’s cottage and bird-fanciers can get to know some new feathered friends with a walk through the huge bird aviary. Just minutes down the road are more theme park attractions the Sunshine Coast is famous for, so make a day of it and treat the whole family to some outdoor fun! A wide range of accommodation options can be found nearby at Maroochydore including hotels, motels, resorts, self-contained units, holiday rentals and backpacker hostels.

Landsborough

Landsborough, Sunshine Coast Area
Landsborough, gateway to the Blackall Range and to the Mary Valley, is one of the historic townships of the Sunshine Coast. From 1868, it grew behind the wheels of Cobb and Co. coaches as they followed the tree line blazed by Tom Petrie to Gympie gold, discovered by James Nash in 1867. The historic town bears the name of one of Australia's most successful explorers, William Landsborough. The social history of the Caloundra region can also be traced at the Landsborough Museum and businesses like the Landsborough Hotel offer an authentic slice of the town’s history. Close to Landsborough is Ewen Maddock Dam with walking trails and picnic spots to enjoy. There is also a swimming spot for a dip in the dam. Families will especially love the award winning Pioneer Park in Landsborough built especially to cater for active kids and those with special needs.
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