20 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this Spring

The birds and the sun are waking earlier and the days are getting longer. In a couple of weeks the rest of Australia will be winding their clocks forward for the start of daylight saving and those of us here in Queensland who work remotely back to Sydney each day will be cursing the time difference.

For those of you reading this on the other side of the world, Queensland (where I live) and Western Australia don’t do daylight saving – even though the rest of Australia does. It’s something to do with how the curtains will fade, the chooks will go off the lay, and the cow’s milk will dry up. Of course I’m being facetious, but you get the idea.

Anyways, it’s Spring – and it’s pretty close to perfect. The weather is fabulous, the ocean is bluer than blue and you can still get a carpark at the beach. Once summer hits, and brings with it heat, high humidity and summer holidays, it can be bedlam here.

To make sure I don’t miss one glorious minute, here’s what’s planned:

  1. Continue to walk the beach most weekday mornings.
  2. A road trip – we’re heading up to have a look at Bundaberg and Bargara. Bundy rum anyone?
  3. A romantic foodie weekend in Melbourne. Yes, I know, we’re leaving the sunny coast for a few days, but Melbourne is always a good idea.
  4. Hit the beach. Enough said.
  5. Fish and chips on the beach at sunset.
  6. Buy loads of mangoes and make yummy things with them – or buy loads of mangoes and eat them.
  7. Continue to buy, cook, and eat local produce. We’re spoilt for choice up here.
  8. Try the farmer’s market at Timari Village and Noosa.
  9. Plant a vegetable garden. I’m missing having herbs at the back door, so I’ll plant some. I also want to have a go at growing some more tropical plants – such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, galangal or lemongrass. As an aside, there’s a papaya tree growing on our verge.
  10. Chill out on a Friday night at one of the street food markets – Marcoola, Ocean St or Timari Village Market.
  11. Continue our search for the ultimate beer garden. The research is a bugger.
  12. Speaking of which, check out Copperhead Brewery at Cooroy and Rick’s Garage at Palmwoods.
  13. Add to my list of fabulous places for breakfast on the Sunshine Coast.
  14. Drop 8 kgs – see how I just snuck that one in? I need to lose about 30 kgs, so 8 will be a start.
  15. Do some of the walks in Noosa National Park before the heat and the summer people hit.
  16. Do more of the Point Cartwright to Caloundra walk – again before the heat hits.
  17. Fire up the barbecue (grill) and pizza oven and eat outside lots more.
  18. Get a good start on Christmas shopping at the arty markets around the coast eg Peregian Beach, Sunshine Coast Collective, Eumundi, Cotton Tree, or Caloundra Street Fair.
  19. Get an early morning photo of the boathouses along the Maroochy River.
  20. Make like a tourist (man, we are sooooo local these days) and do a Maroochy River or Noosa Everglades cruise.

 

22 things I’ve learnt about living on the Sunshine Coast…

Ok, so we’ve been residents on the Sunshine Coast for just over a month now (less a couple of weeks in Vietnam). We’ve settled in well and are loving it beyond words. I have a list a mile long of places to explore, but here’s what I’ve learned already:

1.Active wear is appropriate for most social occasions.

2. So are thongs (flip flops or jandals…)

3. Everyone here can tell you exactly how long it takes them to get to Sunshine Plaza and Mooloolaba Beach.

4. The parking is actually free. Yes, really. That means you don’t pay for it. In most places.

5. Nearly everyone came here from somewhere else. Apparently we’re all imports – with most of us coming from Sydney, Melbourne or Auckland.

6. There really is a (closed) Facebook group called Haunted: Sunshine Coast, for, well, haunted stuff on the Sunshine Coast.

7. There really is a suburb called Bald Knob, and a beach called Dicky’s. (insert juvenile titters… I said titters)

8. Surely the coast has more yoga classes, new age options, and organic food places than anywhere else – on a per capita basis? (Is there a statistic on this?) And acai bowls – they’re everywhere!

9. There are more markets held each weekend than anywhere else in Australia – on a per capita basis. (I just made that statistic up, but it seems true).

10. The Sunshine Coast has the lowest rate of smoking than anywhere else in Queensland. (I didn’t make that one up, but read it somewhere – so it must be right.)

11. Indicators on cars seem to be optional extras. Oh and everyone seems to tailgate. I no longer take it personally.

12. You really don’t need to leave for the airport three hours before your flight.

13. The sign going into Noosa that points towards Noosa, or “all other destinations” annoys every non-Noosa local. The implication, of course, being that Noosa is the only place that matters.

14. There’s a lot more to the Sunshine Coast than Noosa. I saw this really funny meme that said it all but, in the interest of not upsetting Noosa locals – not that I’ve met any yet, but I’m sure that I’ll like them when I do – I won’t re-post here.

15. There’s a lot more to the Hinterland than Maleny – but Maleny is pretty fabulous.

16. We get annoyed when people mix up Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. It’s like the Australia and Austria thing.

17. There are at least twenty coffee shops in and around Mooloolaba that apparently serve the best coffee on the coast.

18. It’s tough to get a decent dumpling – anyone who knows where the best dumplings are on the coast, please tell me…

19. Beer yoga is a thing – and it’s happening at the pub in Eumundi.

20. Public holidays are really public holidays – even Woolworths is closed.

21. The Queen’s Birthday holiday is held in October – which is Labour Day for most of the rest of the country – and Labour Day is held on the first Monday in May – closer to the Queen’s actual birthday. Go figure.

22. There’s absolutely nothing better on earth than watching the sunrise from a Sunshine Coast beach. Nothing. Except maybe a sunset…

Welcome to navigator…

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Hey there and welcome – it’s great you could drop by.

What’s this site about?

Essentially it’s about a sea-change, but it’s also about adventure and exploration.

Let’s back-track a little…don’t worry, I won’t prattle on for too long.

In October 1998, when our daughter was just 6 months old, we holidayed in Mooloolaba. We loved it so much that we kept coming back. We’ll move here when the time is right, we promised ourselves.

Over the years we continued to travel, yet we also continued to be drawn back to Mooloolaba. One day, we kept telling ourselves. One day, when the time is right, we’ll move here.

It was hubby who first suggested early in 2015 that maybe that time was now. Things weren’t great at his job, and they definitely weren’t great in mine. No, I said, we’re too young. Two more years. I’ll be ready in two more years.

The months passed and things got tougher. In July last year, I changed jobs and in the week I had between roles we went back to Mooloolaba – ‘maybe the time was right now?’ he suggested. ‘No, I said, not yet.’

Two weeks later, on an overloaded peak hour bus on the M2, I decided there had to be more to life than spending 3 hours a day getting to and from work. I called hubby and said, ‘ok, maybe now.’ I might have also mentioned that I felt too old to be wasting my life away on a commute. ‘Let’s do it.’

In October I got scared. ‘There’s too much to walk away from,’ I said. ‘My family is here, my job is here.’

‘But we don’t have a life here,’ he argued. ‘You’re always tired – there’s more to life than this,’ he said.

‘Too late,’ said our daughter. ‘I’ve already applied to USC (University of the Sunshine Coast). We’re going.’

After that things moved quickly – and, for the size of what we were doing – relatively painlessly. Our daughter got into the Uni course she wanted, hubby retired from his employer of 37 years, we found the perfect house to live in, and ours here in Sydney sold within 3 weeks.

It really felt like it was meant to be – everyone said so.

The move itself begins this week, but I’ll be splitting my time between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast until Easter.

After that? Well, that’s all part of the adventure – and that’s what this blog is about: an exploration of everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

So that’s told you something about the sea-change and this blog, but what has any of that got to do with the sea turtle in the logo? I’m glad you asked.

A tarot reader told me many years ago that I had the sign of the traveller in me – the sea turtle, he said, symbolizes the navigator. He also told me I was descended from travellers – more specifically gypsies. And that part is true. Romany gypsies…not that I told him so.

Perhaps it was a load of whatever, who knows, but it’s stayed with me.

Since then I’ve also learnt that the sea turtle is an important symbol in Polynesian culture and is connected to long life, wellness, fertility, union, family and harmony.

The sea is regarded as both the source of food and also the final resting place – or world beyond. The sea turtle covers both sea and land and, because she returns to the beach of her birth to lay her eggs (through a series of magnetic signatures – whatever that means) there’s a belief that the sea turtle also represents a sort of coming home. I suppose it’s about destination, finding your true north or spiritual home – the sort of return you make after and during your travels to the place you’re meant to be.

Sure, it’s a tad new age-y, but it’s also a pretty cool concept, right?

Anyways, that’s why I’ve called this site navigator and it’s why I’ve used the sea turtle in the logo – because I have the feeling that up here on the Sunshine Coast is where I’m meant to keep returning to.