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…

Eumundi Markets

Make it, bake it, sew it, grow it. A simple philosophy and one that has seen Eumundi Markets grow from just a few craftspeople into a must do – and not just because you have visitors from interstate/overseas in town.

The original markets have been going since 1979 and still holds to the locally made mantra. These days, there’s also a sustainable and green element to it, with a no plastic bags policy.

As far as I’m concerned, the best part of the markets is getting there early for breakfast. I’m on a mission to try something different every visit – and there’s certainly plenty to try.

This time I chose the brekky bahn mi from the Asian Street Food stall. I also sampled some chicken satay spring rolls – for something a little different. Others in our party tried the fried Hungarian bread with nutella and banana, and the french crepes.

There’s plenty to see, listen to, buy and eat…so I’ll let the photos tell the story.

How to get there?

Eumundi is 20kms west of Noosa in the gorgeous Sunshine Coast hinterland. Just follow the signs on the Bruce highway.

For more information, check out the website.

The pub across the road

Kawana Waters Farmer’s Market

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Queenslanders, well, perhaps just Sunny Coasters, tend to be early risers – especially when the rest of us are on daylight savings. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that the sun comes streaming in just after 5am at this time of the year. (As an aside, they tend to dine earlier too – the waitress in one of the Italian restaurants in Mooloolaba apologised for not having a table available before 6.30pm…)

img_0395It’s why, when hubster asked if I’d got the time right for the farmer’s market we were going to for breakfast (‘7am? Are you sure?’) I was sure. I didn’t like to tell him that Woombye Farmers’ Market is underway by 6am. He’ll find out about that soon enough.

‘Nothing will be open that early,’ he said, with the confidence of always being right. ‘It won’t get going until 8.’

Not only was it under full steam at 8am, but people had already bought their veggies (and their brekky) and were starting to leave.img_0394

It’s when you visit farmer’s markets like these – especially in places like this – that you realise there is a growing number of people (it was particularly pleasing to see so many young families) who want to eat fresh food sourced locally. And why wouldn’t you? All the produce from these markets is both of those things.

img_0409Sure, there were some stalls selling raw treats and fermented foods, but mostly it was produce – locally grown vegetables, fruit, cheese, and meats – that was the star attraction. Not everything is organic, but much of it is – or at least chemical free. Real food – with the dirt still on it, sweetie.

I was especially happy to see baskets of locally grown tumeric, ginger and garlic – for most of the year at home we can only get the imported stuff. This looked young and fresh – the way it does in the markets in Ubud…the way it rarely is in supermarkets.

img_0410For brekky we grabbed a plate of home-made pork and prawn dumplings to share, and split a brekky bacon and halloumi roll with home-made pesto. Perfect.

Kawana Waters Farmers’ Market is on every Saturday from 7am- noon at Kawana Waters State College, Sportsman Parade, Bokarina. Don’t forget your market bags.

This post was originally published in October 2016 on andanyways…