When we first looked at our map of Australia we worried we would never make it as far as Brisbane. In fact we actually made it with a few days to spare, so decided to continue our journey north to the Sunshine Coast.
Our first stop was Noosa, which is one of Australia’s most sought-after holiday destinations. This was apparent almost immediately after arriving, as we were unable to park anywhere near the beachfront. We finally found a space a short distance away, packed a picnic, and headed out for the day.
We spend the morning exploring Noosa National Park, and walked the 2.7km coastal track to Hells Gate. The boardwalk began from Noosa’s main beach, which is one of the only north-facing beaches on the east coast of Australia. This meant it had some of the calmest waters we have seen, and looked like an ideal place for learning to paddle board. Although we decided to stay on dry ground.
We followed the track as it winded along the coast to dolphins point, which lived up to its name as we had our closest encounter with dolphins yet. We sat mesmerised by the beautiful animals for quite some time as they dived in and out of the water, just 20m in front of us. Simon managed to get the best photo his lense would allow. If you squint you might just be able to see two dolphins.
We continued along the track through open woodland to Hell’s Gate, where we sat enjoying our picnic on the clifftop overlooking the beautiful Alexandra bay, before making our way back to Main Beach for a much deserved rest.
After spending the afternoon on the beach reading (I know, hard life), we indulged in an ice-cream from Massimo’s Gelateria. The tiramisu flavour was definitely the highlight, and we were both disappointed when they were finished.
It was clear that Noosa was an upmarket area with various classy beachfront restaurants. Parallel to the beachfront is the popular Hastings Street which is also full of fancy accommodation, restaurants, cafes and clothes shops. It seemed like a great place to spent some time, if you have money to spare. Instead we waited on the beach for the sunset, before making use of the campsite’s pizza oven and sharing a bottle of red.
The following day we made our way down the coast, with a stop at the vast Peregian beach, which we walked along while watching some brave skydivers as they made their descent. Along the journey we also made a stop at Coolum beach where we scrambled across the rock pools to take some photos.
We made a short detour inland to Yandina to visit the Ginger Factory. We were expecting to find a small working factory, but were greeted with an overly touristy amusement park, packed with rides, a tourist train as well as small shops and a cafe. During our visit we sampled all things ginger including; chocolate covered crystallised ginger, ginger beer and ginger nougat.
We also visit Nutworks, which is one of Australias biggest suppliers of macadamia nuts. Here we learnt about the production of the nuts, as well as trying 10 different flavours, varying from plain roasted to wasabi.
Our final stop of the day was at Alexandra headland, where we walked along another coastal track to Mooloolaba. After another long day of walking it was time for another ice-cream, this time from Cool Rocks, which we enjoyed while watching another sunset.
There was yet more sweet treats in store, when we visited the Sunshine Sunshine espresso bar, which is famous for its overindulgent donuts.
As it was our last morning of traveling we decided to accept the challenge of eating a whole one each. The donuts were sugar coated rings filled with m&ms and honeycomb, with an accompanying syringe of chocolate sauce. We both agreed they were the best donuts we had ever eaten, but were left feeling fairly sick for at least a couple of hours afterwards.