Gold, green & blue
The Sunshine Coast’s range of landscapes is a treasure trove for nature and wildlife lovers
Few people realise quite what a natural wonder ‘the Sunshine Coast’ is. The area contains an astonishing diversity of landscapes that go beyond the usual beachy escapes and gift travellers the chance to experience Queensland at its most verdant and varied.
Case in point is the Noosa Everglades, one of the planet’s two official Everglade systems. This 60km labyrinth of swamps, river and lakes is nature at its rawest. Walk its trails or – better yet – explore via kayak to reveal its wealth of fauna and flora; the Cooloola section boasts a greater density of flora than any other part of coastal Queensland.
Visitors can then enjoy a double-hit of nature at its richest. The Great Sandy and Noosa Biosphere Reserves are the only two UNESCO Biospheres in Queensland and sit side by side. The former’s home to more than 7,500 species of flora and fauna, half of Australia's bird species and has greater fish diversity than the entire Great Barrier Reef; a wander through the Noosa Biosphere's 60 ecosystems might bring opportunities to spot rare and endangered animals, such as dugongs and platypus.
There’s more wildlife to be found south at Pumicestone Passage, but you won’t be alone. Around 20,000 migratory shorebirds visit this 35km stretch of Moreton Bay Marine Park during the year, while turtles, whales and bottlenose dolphins can also be spotted. So discover Queensland’s wildest travel secret for yourself: come for the gold, but stay for the green – and there’s a whole lot of it here.