FEA­TURE: Great Unwinds

Look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent to do this week­end? Try some hid­den se­crets on the coasts, lo­cal winer­ies, mar­kets and more

QT Magazine - - WELCOME -

THERE’S more to the Sun­shine Coast than the beaches, shop­ping and great food. The best part is just when it feels like ev­ery nook and cranny has been thor­oughly ex­plored, it tosses up yet an­other trea­sure trove of good­ies to sift through. Find­ing things to do on the Sun­shine Coast cer­tainly isn’t hard; it’s one of the most vis­ited des­ti­na­tions in Queens­land for good rea­son. But discovering off-the-beaten-track al­ter­na­tives to the usual sus­pects is just so much more sat­is­fy­ing. We all like a hot top, right?

Mud­jimba

ANY Sun­shine Coaster worth their salty hair has spent many a sun-drenched day at Sun­shine Beach. Both the pa­trolled and dog beach sec­tions are pop­u­lar with beach-go­ers look­ing to es­cape the hub­bub of Hast­ings and Noosa Main Beach. So if you’re after even less crowds with the same surf-pounded shores, then Mud­jimba is your jam. Just north of Ma­roochy­dore, and flanked by the Ma­roochy River Con­ser­va­tion Park, the pa­trolled beach is pure Pa­cific Ocean glory, com­bin­ing ul­tra sur­fa­ble swell with plenty of fam­ily-friendly op­tions.

Nat­u­ral Pools

WHILE there are plenty of places to lay out a beach towel and get your fix of vi­ta­min D, find­ing a rock pool to soak in – like it’s some kind of nat­u­ral spa – in­volves a lit­tle more ef­fort. The flat, eas­ily ac­cessed, ti­dal rock pools at Kings Beach in Caloun­dra are the ob­vi­ous choice for rock pool hop­pers but head just one hour north to find the Fairy Pools in Noosa Na­tional Park. Con­sist­ing of two deep, sparkling, bot­tle-green pools (the smaller of the two is only vis­i­ble at low tide), the Fairy Pools sit past Tee Tree Bay and Gran­ite Bay, about a 30-40 minute walk from Lit­tle Cove.

Road­side Har­vest

STUM­BLING upon the oc­ca­sional hon­esty box is one of the most pleas­ant sur­prises of driv­ing on Queens­land’s ru­ral roads. And the Sun­shine Coast hin­ter­land as its fair share of these mi­cro-mar­kets dot­ted along the wind­ing, hilly back­roads from Ke­nil­worth to Maleny and Montville. From av­o­ca­dos to pump­kins, corn, man­goes and to­ma­toes, the pro­duce is su­per fresh – well worth the short stop.

The Other Hin­ter­land

THE Sun­shine Coast Hin­ter­land of Maleny, Montville and Maple­ton be­hind Caloun­dra, Bud­erim and Ma­roochy­dore holds many a time-hon­oured trea­sure, it’s true. But just a short zip up the mo­tor­way to­wards Noosa and you’ll find the ‘other’ hin­ter­land brim­ming with lesser-known sights to be seen. Quaint towns like Pomona, Cooroy and Ke­nil­worth are hav­ing their time in the sun with cafes, mi­cro­brew­eries and all man­ner of things to do pop­ping up reg­u­larly. Check out Bonsai Brew­house in Pomona, The Ke­nil­worth Cheese Fac­tory in, you guessed it, Ke­nil­worth, and Fox and Hound Es­presso or Dhom’s Kitchen, both in Cooroy.

Great mar­kets

THERE’S noth­ing like a good trip to the mar­kets to make you feel a) very hun­gry; and b) full of that com­mu­nity spirit. And while the Sun­shine Coast’s most fa­mous of­fers, Noosa Farmer’s Mar­kets and Eu­mundi Mar­kets, are def­i­nite must-dos there are plenty of al­ter­na­tives to fill a bas­ket and grab some­thing lo­cally-made to munch on. The Kawana Wa­ters Ar­ti­sans and Farm­ers Mar­kets is a less-busy, just as im­pres­sive op­tion where friendly lo­cal pro­duc­ers share their wares ev­ery Satur­day from 7am to 12pm.

The Great Aussie Pub

THERE’S noth­ing like perch­ing your­self at the bar of a clas­sic old-style Aus­tralian pub, pot of beer in hand, pub grub on the way. And while the Sun­shine Coast’s pub stal­wart, The Pub at Aussie World (pre­vi­ously known as the Et­ta­mo­gah) still draws the crowds, there’s a few more old charm­ers just wait­ing to be ex­pe­ri­enced up and down the Sun­shine Coast. Try Palm­woods Ho­tel in Palm­woods (duh), Apol­lo­nian Ho­tel in Boreen Point, or the Royal Ho­tel Gympie or Yan­d­ina Ho­tel for a step back in time, Sun­shine Coast style.

Try a new view

FROM Caloun­dra around to the Glass House Moun­tains, the view is most spec­tac­u­lar at sun­set when the sun lights up the land­scape with a warm golden glow, throw­ing rays out from be­hind the jagged and an­cient moun­tain for­ma­tions. To get here, take the Wild Horse Moun­tain Look­out. Hugged by wal­lum heath and tea trees on ei­ther side, Cur­rimundi Lake is a ti­dal lake run­ning ad­ja­cent to the surf beach of the same name. With its in­land reaches dyed brown by the for­est which sur­rounds it, it’s a lo­cals se­cret from way back. A favourite with fam­i­lies thanks to the calm, shal­low wa­ters for splash­ing, swim­ming and ca­noe­ing, it’s great to visit any time of year but in win­ter and spring, the heath flow­ers come out to play.

Op Shop­ping

THERE’S vin­tage, pre-loved trea­sure just beg­ging to be taken home in Nam­bour’s nifty thrift stores and quirky-cool op-shops. A rum­mage never felt so good when you hand your hard-earned cash over for new found gold, and help one of the char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions that op­er­ate the stores. Trawl your way through Margie’s Place, Hospice Shop, Bloomhill Op Shop, En­deav­our Op Shop and Life­line. The Old Am­bu­lance Sta­tion is also a can’t-miss; the for­mer emer­gency ser­vice hub has been trans­formed into a cre­ative arts space and in­cu­ba­tor filled with pop-up shops and gallery exhibition spa­ces.

PHOTO: JARRAD SENG

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