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There's variations on what the word Kirra actually means, but some believe Queensland Aborigines named it after a boomerang. Which makes sense as Kirra wraps evocatively around the bend separating Coolangatta and Kirra beaches and in front of Kirra Hill.

Surfers still flock to Kirra bend for its world-class breaks despite beach erosion issues changing the game and nature of the surf spot a bit. Still, there's plenty of character to be had in one of the Gold Coast's most laid-back beach destinations and home to Kirra Surf which surfies consider the one-stop shop for surf gear. This is not a place for glitz and glamour, you'll still find plenty of weatherboard beach shacks here among the burgeoning apartment scene.

There's also a cute café scene emerging here but for a true taste of Kirra, head to the iconic Kirra Beach Hotel which has been trading for more than 50 years. There's even accommodation upstairs in this pub offering views of the ocean and the Gold Coast foreshore. There may be variations on what Kirra means, but like a boomerang, you'll just keep coming back.

Musgrave Street
Kirra Beach, Gold Coast Area
Queensland
Australia

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Mothar Mountain Rockpools

Gympie, Gympie Area
Free Entry
Looking for a relaxing, sheltered place to while away some hours, you can't go past the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools. Located in the Woondum National Park, about a 20 minutes, 16 kilometres drive from Gympie's Central Business District, the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools day area provides the perfect family friendly location for a barbecue or picnic.

Mapleton Forest Reserve

Mapleton, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
In Mapleton Forest Reserve, Mapleton Forest Drive winds through deep forest, past Cooloolabin Dam, to Point Glorious lookout where great coastal and hinterland views await. Picnic at the Mapleton day-use area near Cedar Creek’s headwaters or camp at Gheerulla Creek.

Gardners Falls

Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Leave your vehicle in the car park on the banks of the Obi Obi Creek and take a short, level walk downstream to Gardners Falls.  You’ll pass a number of shallow rock pools which are ideal for smaller children who just want to splash about.

Ex-HMAS Brisbane Conservation Park

Mudjimba, Sunshine Coast Area
From AU$15 - 25
Dive the Brisbane and experience this historical treasure and budding environmental wonder. The ex-HMAS Brisbane Conservation Park is an artificial reef and dive site off the Sunshine Coast, and is set to become one of Australia's premier dive attractions.

Kondalilla National Park

Montville, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
A refuge for many species of native animals and plants, Kondalilla National Park is a popular place for birdwatchers and nature photographers as well as bushwalkers. With a magnificent waterfall, rock pools and freshwater creeks - is it any wonder the park gets its name from an Aboriginal word meaning 'rushing waters'?

Buderim Falls

Buderim, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Buderim Forest Park is a 45 hectare haven of tranquillity less than a kilometre from the north side of Buderim village on the Sunshine Coast –just 15 minutes from the coast. With its towering trees, meandering tracks and stunning waterfall, this sub-tropical oasis is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve comprises 55 hectares of National Estate listed subtropical rainforest overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains. A remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, the Reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal life which promises to delight with its tranquility and beauty.

Conondale National Park

Conondale, Noosa Area
Free Entry
Conondale National Park forms the heart of an extensive area of unspoilt mountain scenery in the Conondale Range. With magnificent forests, deep gorges and spectacular views, this park and the adjacent State forest offer scenic drives, picnic areas and a choice of four grassy camp sites near rainforests and mountain streams.

Noosa Everglades

Como, Noosa Area
The Noosa Everglades are one of only two Everglades in the world. For the ultimate in serene tranquility, the area is best explored on an eco-cruise or in a kayak. Marvel at the reflections of the flora on the banks of the water that appear like a mirage.

Delicia Road Conservation Park

Mapleton, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Delicia Road Conservation Park on the scenic Blackall Range is a small park protecting remnant forest communities. It is a refuge for wildlife and a special place where visitors can enjoy a peaceful native forest.
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