AUS­TRALIA’S NA­TURE COAST

Outer Edge - - Contents -

Fol­low­ing the coast road right down to South East Queens­land brings you to Aus­tralia’s Na­ture Coast: a re­gion that stretches from the Fraser Coast and beau­ti­ful Fraser Is­land, to Noosa and the Glass House Moun­tains.

Aus­tralia’s Na­ture Coast is a re­gion that is filled with nat­u­ral beauty, along with a range of ad­ven­ture ex­pe­ri­ences, from bush­walk­ing and hik­ing, to 4WDing, farm ex­pe­ri­ences, fish­ing char­ters, food trails, wa­ter sports and whale watch­ing.

You’ll find an abun­dance of Na­tional Parks and gar­dens to ex­plore as you travel through the Sun­shine Coast Hin­ter­land, the Glass House Moun­tains and Pu­mice­s­tone Pas­sage. Visit Noosa and you’ll have the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the won­ders of the Cooloola Na­tional Park, with re­mote golden beaches, sub-trop­i­cal rain­forests, fresh­wa­ter creeks and some of the largest and most colour­ful coastal sand dune sys­tems in the world.

The Cooloola Na­tional Park is World Her­itage listed and cov­ers around 70,000 hectares. It’s also home to the south­ern hemi­sphere’s largest pine plan­ta­tion. One of the best things to see here is Rain­bow Beach, with coloured sand dunes that reach up to 200 me­tres high. And if you have the chance, visit Dou­ble Is­land Point with its tow­er­ing rain­for­est grow­ing on the sand, and the Dou­ble Is­land Point Light­house on the rocky head­land.

This is all part of the Great Sandy Straight, which leads you to the iconic Fraser Is­land.

Fraser Is­land it­self stretches more than 123 kilo­me­tres in length and 22 kilo­me­tres at its widest point. The is­land has un­in­ter­rupted white beaches, strik­ing sand cliffs, rain­forests and more than 100 fresh­wa­ter lakes and it is World Her­itage listed.

Ex­plore the sites on Fraser, from Lake Mcken­zie, Lake Wabby, Eli Creek and the Cham­pagne Pools, to the Pin­na­cles Coloured Sands and the Ma­heno Ship­wreck. There’s no other way to see Fraser than by 4WD, so book ahead and take the con­trols your­self.

Other high­lights of Aus­tralia’s Na­ture Coast in­clude two UNESCO Bio­sphere Re­serves - the Great Sandy Bio­sphere and Noosa Bio­spheres; Lady El­liot Is­land - the most south­ern is­land on the World Her­itage listed Great Bar­rier Reef and a key part of the Great Bar­rier Reef tur­tle habi­tat; along with 47 State and Na­tional Parks, Re­serves and Forests; and more than 200 kilo­me­tres of pris­tine beaches.

The Sun­shine Coast of­fers a re­laxed life­style with an abun­dance of ad­ven­ture, from wa­ter sports and cycling, to moun­tain climb­ing and hik­ing: in­clud­ing the Hin­ter­land 56 kilo­me­tre Great Walk which is a must for any walk­ing en­thu­si­ast. The Glass House Moun­tains Na­tional Park was formed mil­lions of years ago thanks to vol­canic ac­tiv­ity in the re­gion and the moun­tains are craggy vol­canic plugs, rich in veg­e­ta­tion, birds and an­i­mals. Here you can climb, ab­seil and bush­walk to your heart’s con­tent.

Mean­while, the Fraser Coast is such an amaz­ing place that the humpback whale goes here ev­ery year to play for months. Visit be­tween Au­gust and Novem­ber for peak whale watch­ing sea­son, and you can also visit the beau­ti­ful coastal city of Her­vey Bay to en­joy the beach life­style. See the iconic Uran­gan Pier, which stretches for al­most a kilo­me­ter. It’s one of the long­est piers in Aus­tralia and was orig­i­nally built in 1917. There is so much to see and do in Aus­tralia’s Na­ture Coast for the ad­ven­ture lover that you are guar­an­teed to want to stay a while, so be sure plan ahead.

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