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Caloundra

Caloundra is an aquatic paradise where you and your family can enjoy a wide range of water activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, fishing and jet skiing. For nature lovers, the Pumicestone Passage is an ideal spot to get up close and personal with a variety of migratory birds as well as dugongs and dolphins.

The Caloundra region has a range of accommodation available - from budget beachside cabins to luxurious resort suites. When it comes to sea and sand, there are loads of beaches to choose from including Golden Beach, Bulcock Beach, Shelly Beach, Moffat Beach, Dicky Beach, Currimundi and Kings Beach - which is popular for families due to its water park area with a fun fountain for the kids to play in and a foreshore swimming pool.

The best way to explore this part of the coast is by setting off on the Caloundra Coastal Walk which stretches 25 kilometres from Golden Beach in the south to Mooloolaba Beach in the north. It takes in Caloundra Headland, Moffat Headland and Point Cartwright - passing historic sites such as the Military Jetty used for operations in World War II and the heritage listed Kings Beach Bathing Pavillion constructed in 1937.

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

Caloundra
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.

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.

Glass House Mountains National Park

Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
They're one of the most quintessential landmarks on the Sunshine Coast - eleven peaks that rise dramatically from the coastal plains. Their beauty caught the attention of Captain James Cook in 1770 who named them the Glass House Mountains because they reminded him of glass furnaces back in Yorkshire. Formed over 26 million years ago, these volcanic plugs are spiritually significant to the local Aboriginal people and are listed on the Queensland and National Heritage Registers as a landscape of national significance. The peaks are known as Mount Beerburrum, Mount Beerwah, Mount Coochin, Mount Coonowrin (Crookneck), Mount Elimbah (The Saddleback), Mount Ngungun, Mount Tibberoowuccum, Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Tunbubudla (The Twins), Wild Horse Mountain (Round Mountain) and Mount Miketeebumulgrai. Remnants of open eucalypt woodland and heath vegetation can be found in the park which is home to a variety of animals and plants. For great views, head to the lookout in Beerburrum State Forest or take on one of the peaks. There are a range of walking trails, ranging in difficulty, that can be found in various locations throughout the National Park. The summit routes on Mounts Ngungun and Tibrogargan are also suitable for roped sports for experienced and well-equipped climbers.

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.

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.

Mooloolah

Mooloolah, Sunshine Coast Area
Mooloolah is located off the Steve Irwin Way (formerly Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive) via Mooloolah Connection Road with neighbouring communities of Glenview and Palmview being located just off the M1. Mooloolah is aboriginal for 'black snake'. It is a peaceful, rural town with a variety of things to do. You can grab a pint at the Ettamogah Pub, a restaurant and bar in an oddly proportioned architectural building, which is a popular focal point for photographs. The Pub is situated on the M1 at Palmview. Behind the Pub is a theme park based on a fairground concept called Aussie World. Still looking for something to do, go horseback riding at the Mooloolah Valley Riding Centre, an Aussie dude ranch. The ranch also has some cute accommodation options. There are also walks and picnic spots to enjoy in the surrounds of Ewen Maddock Dam, just minutes from Mooloolah.

Palmview

Palmview, Sunshine Coast Area
Centrally located on the Sunshine Coast, Palmview is right on the Bruce Highway and just 10 minutes drive from the golden beaches of beautiful Mooloolaba. The breath-taking Sunshine Coast Hinterland is just 15 minutes up the road and the pristine Mooloolah National Park is right next door. A network of rehabilitated natural waterways weave through Palmview and can be enjoyed from a number of parks and walkways. Palmview is home to family-friendly theme parks and tourist attractions. The young and the young at heart will find it hard to resist a ride on a rollercoaster, a strap around a go kart track, a drive on the dodgems, or a turn on an old fashioned carousel or ferris wheel. Right next door to all the thrills and spills you can kick back and relax with a cold drink and a huge feed of good Aussie tucker at The Pub. Accommodation at Palmview is limited but many options can be found at nearby Mooloolaba on the beach. Choose from high-rise apartments, hotels, motels, backpackers, resorts, self-contained apartments, holiday rentals and cabins.

Kawana Waters

Kawana, Rockhampton Area
Kawana Waters is home to one of the region’s premier sports and entertainment precincts that includes Stockland Park and the Lake Kawana Community Centre. Both host major events year round. The man-made waterway of Lake Kawana has become popular with a number of sports including kayaking, canoeing, outrigging, dragon boat racing and motorised boats. The foreshores of the lake have walking/bicycle tracks perfect for some light exercise or to watch a regatta. There is a marina at the northern end of Kawana on the main canal. Pick up a cruise that will weave past waterfront homes and into the Mooloolah River past the Mooloolaba Yacht Club and to the river mouth. Kawana Shoppingworld is one of the largest shopping malls in the region. Shop in air-conditioned comfort with over 100 retailers to satisfy all of your fashion, food and services requirements. Kawana has excellent fishing and surfing along one of the longest stretches of ocean coastline in the area. Point Cartwright marks the northern end of the beach and is part of a great walking track along the coastline. Just near Point Cartwright is LaBalsa Park, which runs along the edge of the Mooloolah River. It’s a popular place for a barbeque or picnic with plenty of room to move and spread out. Take the walk from the park to the end of the rock wall that marks the river entrance then follow the path that winds through the Point Cartwright Lighthouse Reserve.
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