The Sunshine Coast - Paradise on Earth

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Saturday, August 25, 2007

Just an hour's drive to the north of Brisbane and you hit one of the sunniest parts of the world called the 'Sunshine Coast'.  Up there you will find an interconnection of beaches that run along the shoreline - typically, it's a veritable surfers dream, even in the depths of winter... Then we (Colin, Melissa, Colin's brother David, and Colin's mother, Alma) arrived in drought conditions and a day and a half later, the area was hit by a category one cyclone (hurricane). The rain was so hard and wind so strong that no one has seen the likes of it in this area since the eighteen hundreds.
The day we arrived, we found the beach filled with dozens of surf boarders and kite sailors all in wet suits, but enjoying the sun and clement conditions none the less (just wait!). It seemed as if no one works up here, or those who do, feel like knocking off early to enjoy the fun of the sand and surf.
We stayed in the 'Majorca Isle' resort in a penthouse suite with a sweeping view of the beach front. Our three bedroom apartment also had a private roof top that included a pool, a hot tub and a gigantic BBQ - in fact everything we needed to enjoy this beautiful part of the world.  This excellent accommodation had been provided as a joint birthday present for the two of us, by Colin's mum and we are very, very grateful for it!
The next day, Melissa & Colin were keen to just chill out a bit and enjoy the sun, despite the warnings of Colin's mum that a storm was coming. What storm?  Why, there's not even a cloud in the sky (not yet, at least)!
We never-the-less went out and did a bit of sightseeing.  We explored the Ginger Factory and went to the fabled Big Pineapple Farm.  The 'Big Pineapple' was to Melissa the one attraction that Colin had talked about the most - Much like an Australian tourist representative, he praised its virtues: "Be impressed with the wonders of Queensland's Prodigious Pineapple Plantation, savour the delights of a Macadamia Nut Parfait and tour the grounds of this working farm in a steam train!"  It did meet up to expectations (well, mostly) and we intend to go back and see it in more detail on some future occasion.
In the afternoon the wind picked up and it started to rain quite steadily. By nightfall there was a 95km/hr steady wind, gusting up to 120 km/hr.  Up on the top floor we felt battered by the winds and rain and by morning we were starting to rust. Everything seemed some how damp and cold - how could the climate have changed so suddenly?  Despite the dire weather conditions, there are no doubt worse places to be held up in.
With the rain beating down, the following day we decided to do some shopping to obtain SIM cards for our mobile phones. To do this, we went to the Sunshine Plaza which is a shopping mall built over the Maroochy River and is by far the largest in the area. We had no luck finding any SIM cards, but it was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
The wind and the rain continued unabated for the rest of our time up the coast.  We were happy enough though, as it gave us an opportunity to relax and take things easy by  playing Scrabble, Risk, (David won both!), reading and spending our mornings having breakfast at the Coffee Club and afternoons watching DVD's or at the movies.
The one day of good weather that we did have was wonderful and we will be back later to discover everything else that the Sunshine Coast has to offer.
Next up:  From the sleepy, Sunshine Coast, to the magnificent Gold Coast. Hopefully this time, we'll leave the rain behind us in Brisbane to work on the drought!
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decemberchick on

I'll be heading back to Auckland for October 24 since I got a ticket to the Justin Timberlake concert! So I can probably stick fairly close until you guys arrive. What type of things do you want to see, like the cultural side of NZ? Rotorua would be a definite must. Paihia (bay of islands) will probably be pretty nice since it will be warmer, cute beachy town, and close to Waitangi where the treaty was signed way back. Taupo also is pretty cool and if you are keen for some exercise, has the best 1 day walk in NZ close by, which you can do guided. I'd actually like to do it myself, just not in winter! If you end up not hiring a car, I think they have bus passes basically that route.

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