Saturday, December 05, 2009

- Sunshine Coast -

(Looking down on Noosa from Noosa National Park.)

Our travels further down the coast brought us to the Sunshine Coast region. Well known for its beaches, hotels and water activities. Our first stop was Noosa, very similar to Port Douglas in the north with its beautiful beaches and swanky high end shopping and hotels. It also offers more opportunity with the beautiful Noosa River.

After a wonderful river ferry cruise we explored the famous shopping strip in Hastings Street. The next day we explored the Noosa National Park which is the entire Noosa headland. It was an amazing spot, with secluded little beaches around every corner and endless walking tracks to the eastern beaches.

(One of the beautiful secluded beaches.)

After a couple of days in Noosa we decided to head inland to explore some of the Hinterland. We stopped in at Yandina, for a tour around the Buderim Ginger Factory and cross the road was the Macadamia Nut factory with both offering taste testing. It was extremely hard not to buy all the yummy things in the gift shop!

From Yandina we called into Kenilworth State Forrest, it was a beautiful drive through some amazing countryside and VERY steep hills, Pockets of rain forest and plenty of wildlife. Our plan was to camp in the forest, however at the time we were going to set up camp, the heavens opened up and let out a mighty down poor! Bugger! So we decided to push on and see if the rain would let up.

We drove through some amazing little townships perched on the top of mountain ranges. Through Maleny, Montville and with the rain still not easing we stopped the night in a cabin in Mapleton.After exploring around the town in the morning & the rain still present, we decided to head back to the coast.But not before stopping in at one of Australia's BIG icons, The Big Pineapple. We caught up on our Christmas Shopping in Maroochydore and headed down to Caloundra for the night.

The following morning we made the tourist Pilgrimage to Australia Zoo! In true Steve Irwin style everything was presented in his larger than life personality and attitude towards wildlife. We fed the elephants and watched a show or 2 in the MASSIVE Crocoseum, and ventured around the park for the entire day. Although a little expensive (depending on what you chose to experience) it was a wonderful day out.

(Steve seemed to be still amongst us with larger than life posters like this one.)

(The Crocoseum, can seat 5,000 visitors per show.)

(One of our favourites at the park was the Koalas, arent they adorable?)

That evening we caught up with long time family friends, The Blores and enjoyed their company for the next few days. Before we pushed south to explore the Glass House Mountains. Named by Captain Cook in 1770, they're a series of Volcanic plugs. Believed to be hardened lava core of Volcanoes, exposed after 25 million years of erosion, making for a beautiful skyline! We took several walks around the mountains before hitting the road south again.

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