5 THINGS TO DO
1. Ice skating
WHERE: Caloundra Rollerdrome, Caloundra Rd
WHEN: The holiday program runs until Sunday, January 27. Sessions are 10am-noon, 2-4pm and 6-8pm INFO: For more information about session times, learn-to-skate classes, birthday parties, school sport and private fund-raising events, visit www.rollerdrome.com.au ENJOY a cool summer at Caloundra Rollerdrome these school holidays as the daily sessions have turned into ice-skating fun. While outside temperatures sizzle, the indoor winter wonderland offers visitors some welcome relief and plenty of new skills to conquer. Check out the great discount vouchers online and make sure you download, print and take them along to save.
2. Story Walk: Koalas Eat Gum Leaves
WHERE: Maroochy Botanic Gardens, Tanawha
WHEN: Until January 25
SUNSHINE Coast Council welcomes visitors to a Story Walk to celebrate First 5 Forever and the annual Summer Reading Club. Walk together and enjoy Koalas Eat Gum Leaves, written by Laura Bunting and illustrated by Philip Bunting. Follow the signs through the botanic gardens to read the full story. Once you reach Whipbird Village, choose a book from the Little Library and continue reading. Or go on a hunt through the gardens to find curious creatures, and if you are lucky, you might spot a real koala.
3. Buderim Forest Park
WHERE: Off Harrys Lane, Buderim COST: Free
BUDERIM Forest Park is a 45ha haven of tranquillity less than a kilometre from the north side of Buderim village – 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. Buderim Falls, also known as Serenity Falls, is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year, and looks particularly spectacular after rainfall when the waters cascade down the rock face into the waterhole below. The 600m walkway from Lindsay Rd will take visitors on a picturesque forest ramble along the banks of Martins Creek’s cascading waters. This is the easiest part of the walk and is wheelchair-friendly. From the end of the boardwalk, you can continue upwards through the bush via a rugged trail to the waterfall. For direct access to the waterfall and the high arch bridge spanning the creek, start at Quorn Close. It’s an easy-to-moderate hike to the falls via a bush track. The Quorn Close entry to the reserve is not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers.
4. Gardners Falls
WHERE: Obi Lane, Maleny
FROM the car park on the banks of the Obi Obi Creek, take a short, level walk downstream to Gardners Falls: a hidden gem in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. You’ll pass a number of rock pools which are shallow and ideal for smaller children who just want to splash about. Follow the bubbling waters downstream where the pools increase in size and enjoy a freshwater swim in the largest pool underneath the falls. These delightful waters are bounded by a grassy verge and backed by native forest, making it the ideal spot for a hinterland picnic.
5. Hire a boat
WHERE: Swan Boat Hire, Bradman Ave, Maroochydore – on the Maroochy River opposite Chambers Island
WHEN: Open seven days, 7.30am-5.30pm
TRY the fleet of boats at Swan Hire for a fun and memorable experience on the river and hopefully catch a few fish, too. There are more than 20 boats available – six to eight-seater tinnies, runabouts, half-cabins, cruisers for seven to 10 people and luxury barbecue boats (with toilets) for eight to 12 people. Also available are paddle craft including one to three-person canoes, kayaks, paddle skis and stand-up paddleboards.
SERENITY NOW: Buderim Forest Park is in the heart of Buderim and it only takes a few minutes walk to see Serenity Falls. BELOW RIGHT: The Maroochy River, opposite Chambers Island, is a great place to spend a few hours in a boat.