The Birds And The Beans

There’s something about a coffee shop that’s just about the coffee. As if it’s popped up somewhere, thrown in a super-smart, sleek and totally gorgeous coffee machine, sourced the best beans and then gone, ‘man, we better get something for people to sit on?’ That’s The Birds and The Beans.

Located at the top of Buderim Village in the old Vandy’s Garage – dating back to 1918, it was the first garage in Buderim – this cafe is a retro lovers paradise. Nothing matches, the old garage has been left largely intact – you can even have your latte out by the old petrol bowsers. And your coffee even comes with souvenir teaspoons – I knew I shouldn’t have donated all those old spoons when we moved.

 

 

Speaking of seats, you can chill out on one of the old couches and read a mag or catch up with friends, or settle in at one of the tables and get some work happening.

And for eating? This place is all about the coffee. You can buy a couple of toast-your-own slices of raisin toast for $2 a serve. They also usually have some crumpets and bagels on offer – if you’re early enough. The toaster is in the corner. Other than that there’s usually a few different slices or some cookies to choose from, sometimes some pastries. But really, you’re here for the coffee – or the retro vibe – but mainly the coffee

Where: Vandy’s Garage, 114 Burnett Street, Buderim

When: 6.30am – 1pm

 

 

10 great breakfast places on the Sunshine Coast

The smashed duo – pumpkin & avo – at One Block Back

I’m a big fan of the weekend breakfast, but let’s be honest – not all avo smashes are created equally. So where’s the best breakfast on the coast? I have no idea…yet, but here are 10 of my favourites.. so far…in no particular order… Watch this space for part 2!

The Shak, Buderim

Since moving to the Sunshine Coast, we find that we’ve been naturally eating in a way that is more aligned to the seasons than we ever did in Sydney. A very welcome aside to this is that much of our produce is grown or sourced locally – or relatively locally. The Shak Organic Cafe and Wine Bar prides itself on being Buderim’s only organic cafe – and one that is pretty much as local as you can get.

Located in the centre of Buderim Village, we couldn’t go past their version of eggs benedict – served on herbed potato rosti rather than bread. I’d go as far as to say it is one of the best eggs bennies I’ve had – and so so pretty. Next time, though, I’m trying the Balinese black rice pudding…

The Velo Project, Mooloolaba

A quirky interior and great food and coffee makes this cafe – located a few blocks back from the Esplanade – worth seeking out.

The avo smash is great and there’s a huge range of fresh juices and herbal teas available, but my fave (so far) is the pumpkin and goats curd “gnocchi” with chorizo, avocado, rosemary roasted chickpeas and sage butter.

The Velo Project is open 7am – 3pm 7 days a week. You’ll find it at 19 Careela Street, Mooloolaba.

One Block Back, Moffat Beach

If I were really pushed for a favourite from this group of cafes – and I mean really pushed – it would probably be a toss-up between here and The Velo Project…although I do love #Phresh… Seriously though, it would come down to the quirk factor, and OBB has it in spades.

Located in a quiet street back from the main Moffat Beach Village, One Block Back would be equally at home in Abbotsford as it is here on the Sunshine Coast.

The eggs benedict with pulled pork, beetroot relish and paprika emulsion is a winner, as is the beans with eggs and ham hock. The award for prettiest breakfast though has to go to the nutella panacotta with banana rolled in granola and a whole host of other gorgeous bits.

You’ll find more instaworthy pictures of food on their Facebook page. One Block Back is open from 7am.

Hashtag Phresh, Mooloolaba

A relatively new offering on The Esplanade, #Phresh also has one of the cheaper avo smashes on the strip. At $10.50, with tomato, feta and dukkah, it’s a very satisfying brekky.

The #BennieBagel is also very good – and highly instagrammable. If, however, you’re into acai bowls – I’ve told you before about my suspicion that there are more acai bowls per head of population sold here than anywhere else – and smoothies, you’ll be well chuffed by what’s on offer.

#Phresh is open from 6.30am 7 days a week. You’ll find it on the Esplanade at the base of the Landmark Resort.

Update June 2018 – Hashtag Phresh is now closed

One on La Balsa Cafe, Buddina

We tried this place at the end of a walk around the Pt Cartwright headland and down the path to Kawana, but you don’t need to make any excuses. Located opposite La Balsa Park, there’s plenty of parking and always something happening in the park or on the water.

The avo smash with bacon was yummy, but my daughter – who fancies herself an expert on acai bowls – declared this one a winner.

One on La Balsa is open from 6.30am Tuesday – Sunday. You can find out more here.

Elliott’s Bistro, Alexandra Headland

From the minute we walked in I knew that Elliott’s would know how to do smashed avo the way it’s meant to be done. It wasn’t just the soundtrack – Bob Dylan and This Wheels On Fire – it was the service, the cute beach-side shopfront, the whole package.

We weren’t disappointed. Miss 19 was well impressed with her avo smash – which she declared up to Melbourne standards. It came with perfectly poached eggs and sharp, salty feta perched on top for the perfect avo. Hubby made his version even more perfect by adding bacon and tomato.

Elliott’s also know that anyone can do the basic bacon and eggs, but a great breakfast place should do that plus something a little more interesting. Something like, say, potato and gruyere croquettes. Served with fried eggs, bacon, a dollop of relish and a dab of blue cheese, this was bacon and eggs with hash browns taken to a much higher level.

You’ll find Elliott’s across the road from the beach at 102 Alexandra Parade. It’s open from 7am. Their Facebook page is here.

Kimnat Little Market and Cafe, Woombye

We found this place accidentally one morning when the ATM wasn’t working at Hinterland Harvest and we ran out of cash for breakfast. The closest ATM was in the IGA at Woombye, and just down the road was this little treasure trove.

The smashed avo was beyond good – so much eating, so many herbs and greens – and the tarot and guidance cards on the tables outside were just another fabulous little new agey touch.

You’ll find them here.

CK Wholefoods, Mooloolaba

Ok, the first thing you need to know about this place is that it’s huge. The next thing that you should take into account is just how popular it is. And why wouldn’t it be? Just off the Esplanade in Brisbane Rd, CK really is a healthy alternative.

Now, I’ve never been one to have my coffee other than as real coffee, but if you’re into turmeric lattes (which it seems half of the Coast is) or matcha or dandelion lattes, you’ll be in heaven. Of course there’s a great range of coffees and black as well as herbal teas also available. When it comes to food, CK has all your paleo and raw food options covered, plus more for the, shall we say, more dietary challenged.

I chose the Japanese pancakes – okonomiyake – with perfectly cooked salmon and a poached egg and was absolutely not disappointed.

Open from 6am for coffee and 7am for breakfast 7 days a week. Check out their full menu here.

Monica’s at Maleny

Maleny is a town with plenty to offer the hungry breakfast seeker, but it was Monica’s that we chose when arranging a real-life meet-up of social media friends. I had the baked eggs, and my friends had the eggs benedict. Gluten free requests were handled without fuss. My only regret? I was too busy chatting to take photos. Ooops.

Monica’s is open 7am – 3pm 7 days a week. Their website is here.

Decisions Cafe

The premise of this place is fabulous – decisions. Your first decision is choosing between the superfood or super junk menu – and this is not a decision to take lightly.

Another place where we went for the avo smash and acai bowl, but for the life of me I can’t find the pics! You’ll have to take my word for it.

Decisions is open from 6am at 10 Capital Pl, Birtinya.

 

Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens

These are not your average Botanical Gardens. Aside from the Sculpture Garden, there are no manicured lawns and exotic flowering plants. Instead, what you have is bushland – a place to breathe, and wander, and relax, and remember what it’s like to reconnect with nature after a hard week in the office where you’ve been thinking too much. That last bit came out loud, didn’t it?

Why come? Aside from the breathing, relaxing,  reconnecting, and grounding part? The bush walks, of course – gentle enough for all levels of fitness, short enough to fit into a busy day, and interesting enough to make you think you’ve been in the bush.

Lagoon Circuit

This track takes you on a round trip around the lagoon.

It’s about 1.2kms – or thereabouts – has a bit of up and down, but is an easy walk. The track is dirt, but well maintained – although I imagine there could be some slippery parts if it’s been raining. There are a few stairs, so I wouldn’t recommend this path for wheelchairs or prams.

There are viewing platforms at a couple of points around the lagoon, and on a clear day the reflections are worth a picture or three.

or more…

Fern Glade

The Fern Glade is another short walk – about 900m, on a fully accessible concrete path.

A few degrees cooler than the bush track, I’ll be keeping this little oasis in mind on a hot summer’s day.

Sculpture Garden

Another 900m on another fully accessible path, it’s worth a wander.

Facilities…

There are plenty of picnic tables, but no barbecues – you can bring your own, if you want. Oh, and there are no rubbish bins, so make sure you bring something to take your garbage home in. Inconvenient yes, but it’s all about not interfering with the natural feeding patterns of the animals and birds that live in the gardens.

Yes, there are toilets.

Accessibility…

Aside from the bush tracks, there are other accessible paths in the gardens.

Dogs…

No dogs are allowed in the gardens.

Admission…

The gardens are open every day and admission is free.

More information…

The gardens are located off Tanawha Tourist Drive. You’ll find more information here.

Buderim Forest Park and Serenity Falls

 

I’ve been bookmarking pictures of Buderim Falls (or “Serenity Falls”) since before we moved to the Coast. The pictures on instagram showed a lush rainforest with a relatively short (hello, I’ve seen the size of those falls in New Zealand…just saying) waterfall into a beautifully lit turquoise swimming hole. Of course I was keen to go!

There are two entry points to Buderim Forest Park – and two ways to get to the falls:

The lower entry is at Lindsay Road near Harry’s Restaurant. The track from here takes approximately an hour return – longer with stops. It’s boardwalk for approx 600m and then bush track. Apparently the track gets a tad “rugged” and the website says it’s not great for those with “walking difficulties or a low level of fitness.” I’ll try that way next time. There’s apparently barbecues and picnic facilities here.

I went with the entry closest to our house – the one at the base of Quorn Place. There’s  a good amount of parking here and well maintained barbecues and picnic tables for when you’ve finished the circuit.

The circuit track itself is quite short – less than a kilometre return. It begins with a relatively steep downward bush trail. My knees aren’t great  – and I’m petrified of being the big fat lady falling down the hill, so I took it quite slowly and it was absolutely fine.

About 100m down there’s a fork in the park. I took the option of heading through the open forest so went to the right, crossing a short bridge and walking through the edge of the forest. With the sound of the trees, the birds and the tinkling of the water below, it’s just beautiful in here. It’s also hard to believe that we’re pretty much in the middle of Buderim.

From here there’s another short and steep-ish downhill scramble to the bridge above the falls. Apparently the bridge was built offsite and lowered into place by a hovering helicopter. #funfact

You can walk down into the swimming hole and around behind the waterfall,but when I was there, there was a proper photographer with a proper kit set up down there – and ruining my photo (see the main shot below).

The falls themselves weren’t at full flow today – we haven’t had rain in a long time – but it’s still beautifully serene down there…get it? Serenity falls? Oh, never mind…

After a short piece of boardwalk, it’s all uphill from here to get back to the carpark. But it’s do-able, it’s only 300m (or so), and there’s a viewing platform part of the way up that you can catch your breath at.

Accessibility

The path from Quorn Close is not accessible for prams or wheelchairs.

Dog friendly?

Sorry, no, not this one. There are no dogs allowed in the forest park.

Toilets

Yes, at the entrance.

How hard is it?

It is quite steep downhill to start – which means it’s quite steep to come back up. You step down from rock to rock – so it can be very slippery after rain. The path itself is in pretty good condition. The steep parts are over and done with quickly and the distance is short so anyone with moderate fitness can do this one. Just take care after storms when there can be debris over the path as well. Don’t try this in thongs/ jandals/ flip-flops

Can you swim in the swimming hole?

People do – I’ve seen the evidence on instagram. Apparently the creek passes through suburbia and some stormwater drains to reach the falls, so…well, I’ll leave that to you.

Want to know more? 

Check out this page.