Conondale

Conondale, like many rural towns in South East Queensland, is pretty. The town might be a great spot for a chance to catch your breath during what is a very scenic drive but there is something about Conondale that is as subtle as it is magic. When travelling from Maleny, Conondale is the first opportunity to take a close-up and easy look at the river that gives its name to the valley through which it passes - the Mary River.

Just near where the Maleny-Kenilworth Road crosses the Mary River, Fritz Park offers the chance for a picnic and time to contemplate exactly why this little village is so special.

Conondale is distinctive because of its proximity to the rugged beauty of the range to its west called the Conondale Range. Within the Range a national park called Conondale National Park is an unspoilt and undeveloped park of harsh beauty. Conondale National Park protects important remnants of grassy open Eucalypt forest, tall wet sclerophyll forest and subtropical rainforest that once covered large areas of the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The park is the central undisturbed core of an extensive area of forest reserves in the Conondale Range and an important refuge for many rare and threatened animals, including the Mary River Turtle, which, until recently, had not been discovered.

It is important to remember that this park is suited to very experienced walkers only. The turn off to the national park is about 15 kilometres north of Conondale at Sunday Creek Road. The turn is marked by a pretty park called Keith and Ivy Boon Memorial Park.

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Snapper Rocks

Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Snapper Rocks is a small rocky outcrop on the northern side of Point Danger at the southern end of Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast. Snapper is a point break forming the first part of the man-made Superbank which extends from Snapper Rocks Point, through Rainbow Bay, Greenmount Point, Coolangatta Beach, and Kirra, for a distance of around two kilometres.

Palm Beach

Palm Beach, Gold Coast Area
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Kirra Beach, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
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Kirra

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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.

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Gold Coast, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
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Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
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Tugun

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Just when you thought the Gold Coast couldn't get any more relaxed you arrive over the hill and into Tugun. This southern Gold Coast suburb is so laid-back that locals fondly call her Tugz (pronounced choog-s) while ancient Aborigines referred to Tugun as a place of "breaking waves".

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The coastal nook of Currumbin on the Southern Gold Coast is a haven of pristine beaches and calm waterways attracting surfers and SUP enthusiasts by the dozen. Swim in the sheltered waters of Tallebudgera Creek and the Currumbin Rock Pools and test your balance kite-surfing or kayaking.

Currumbin Valley

Currumbin Valley, Gold Coast Area
Heading into the Currumbin Valley is a little like entering an Aladdin's Cave of adventure. From the coastline, head southwest into another world along Currumbin Creek Road which leads to Tomewin Mountain Road winding up to Tomewin Mountain.

Currumbin Waters

Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast Area
Currumbin is an inspiring beachfront community where the epic Currumbin Creek waterway links to the pristine rainforest mountains of the region when heading west. Currumbin Creek and the Alley, the entrance to the ocean, offer a protected and patrolled haven for all kinds of active water sports, particularly stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking.
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