Gold, green & blue

The Sun­shine Coast’s range of land­scapes is a trea­sure trove for na­ture and wildlife lovers

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Queensland & Flight Centre / Promotional feature -

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.

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