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.
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.
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.
The Blue Laguna awaits its passengers for an ecocruise down the Maroochy River, at Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast, South East Queensland.
Australia Zoo sets out to deliver an “animal experience”. Despite a downturn in visitor numbers this year, it remains one of Queensland’s top tourist attractions.
Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) and his parents founded and developed Australia Zoo. He died in 2006. This is a tribute to him at the entrance to Australia Zoo.