Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World

High on the escarpment in the Sunshine Coast hinterland are the Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World.  The gardens cover about four hectares, with pathways meandering beside ponds, waterfalls, trees, flowers, gazebos and lawns.  The owner, Frank Shipp, began with a bank canvas in 2005, and has created an environment of great ambience, with the Glasshouse Mountains as a backdrop.

View to the Glasshouse Mountain from above the Weeping Willow Pond (click once to enlarge)

View to the Glasshouse Mountains from above the Middle Pond (click once to enlarge)

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Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park (in white)

Noosa National Park (in white)

Noosa National Park is a popular national park in Queensland, Australia, with more than a million visits each year, mostly walkers and surfers.  There is easy access from the town of Noosa.  The park covers 4,000 hectares beside the Pacific Ocean, and at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast. We walked the coastal track (in blue on the map), starting at Laguna Bay and walking to Sunshine Beach, on a showery day in July. Click once on the map to enlarge.

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Mooloolaba: a beach playground

Each year, in July, we try to abandon our New Zealand winter, and head for the sunshine and warmth of the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland, Australia, just for a few days.  Mooloolaba is a resort township right on the coast of South East Queensland, with a population of about 7,000. The average maximum temperature in mid winter (July) in 20C, making it a favourite get-away destination for Australians from the southern states, and for New Zealanders.

The name Mooloolaba is derived from the Aboriginal word “mulu”, meaning snapper fish, or “mulla” meaning red-bellied black snake.  There are shops, alfresco dining, and accommodation beachside.  Mooloolaba has been our favourite beach since we spent many hours sandcastle-building there when our children were young, during the time we lived in Australia.

Photos were taken in July 2012.

Sunrise swim at Mooloolaba

Sunrise swim at Mooloolaba

 

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Laughing Kookaburra

When I lived in Australia, there were kookaburras residing in the golf course trees, right by our house.  What I remember most is their cackle, like hysterical human laughter.  A cacophony of sound, when there are several of them together. A most engaging bird!  These photos were taken in Noosa National Park, on our recent trip to Queensland.