Have you ever heard of Dunethin Rock Lookout? No? Neither had we .... so out came the Explorer's outfit, GPS in hand (the modern day gear for adventuring) and off we went. One has to get to Bli Bli on the Sunshine Coast first. From Bli Bli, travel about six kilometres along the Yandina Bli Bli Road, turn right onto Pearce Drive - there's a sign here for Dunethin Rock. Continue about two hundred metres along Pearce Road, which is asphalt, until you reach a split in the road. We chose to take the right split which is a gravel road (phew, was I happy we didn't come in my car) - I would suggest a 4 x 4 if you choose this route - and continue up to the Dunethin Rock Lookout.
Mt Ninderry from a different perspective - Image: Elaine de Wet
Dunethin Rock is part of a heritage-listed park located on a tranquil stretch of the upper Maroochy River. Dunethin Rock is Rhyolite which usually forms in continental or continent-margin volcanic eruptions where magma reaches the surface - thanks to hubby for this information. This Rock is the dominant feature of this whole area offering panoramic views from the Blackall Ranges to the coast. The expansive views include Mt Ninderry, Coolum and Cooroy and the winding Maroochy River. The esplanade between Dunethin Rock and Dunethin Lake is the ideal spot for relaxation in a river setting.
Views forever with glimpses of the Maroochy River - Image: Elaine de Wet
Okay, so this one might not be 'little-known' but I wonder how many of us have driven past Point Perry hundreds of times and like me, has always said 'next time'. Point Perry is also known as Wilkinson Park and is a very popular venue for weddings and ceremonies. Luckily one can drive all the way up to this vantage point, with parking and picnic spots available too.
Views to the South from Point Perry - Image: Elaine de Wet
All I can say is 'WOW'! What a magnificent location - I can fully understand the desire to have a special ceremony in this absolutely spectacular spot with a backdrop second to none. Point Perry is also one of the premier seasonal whale watching sites on the Sunshine Coast. The raised vantage point allows exceptional views over the ocean making whale watching easy and relaxed.
Spectacular backdrop for photos - Image: Elaine de Wet
One can also access Point Perry Lookout by walking to the end of Coolum Beach Board Walk, near the surf club and climbing the hill. Needless to say, you know which option I took.
Two unique features of Point Perry is the amazing artwork produced by a local bird watching enthusiast and the other is that there is no admission fee - whale watching and viewing can be achieved free of charge.
Picnic spots at Point Perry - Image: Elaine de Wet
Low's Lookout is a lookout and picnic shelter on 'Toboggan Hill' at the end of Grandview Drive, which could possibly be the equivalent of a Millionaire's Row with the incredible houses in this Drive. The lookout is positioned on the Point Arkwright (southern) side of Coolum. The name for this lookout originated from the Maroochy Shire Chairman Edward (Ted) Low.
The indigenous people of Coolum were attracted to this hill to visit the 'Belly Stone', a large rock which once sat at the southern end of the existing car park. The Belly Stone's flat face sloped northwards, absorbing the sun's heat, which the Coolum indigenous people used as a healing stone to treat a wide range of illnesses. It was said that all pains disappeared when one lay on the sun-warmed rock.
Historical Plaque at Low's Lookout - Image: Elaine de Wet
In the 1920's this was a very popular destination for residents and visitors to Coolum, who all came to enjoy the "Thrilling Natural Toboggan". Toboggan slides could be hired, created from wooden fruit boxes or packing cases or in some instances, were made from the fronds of the Alexandra Palm. Due to the popularity of this pastime this location was commonly known as 'Toboggan Hill', a name that was used for more than seventy years.
Hinterland views from Low's Lookout - Image: Elaine de Wet
So, if you're looking for a little-known lookout, not over-populated with tourists and no pre-exercise regime required, I think one of these should do the trick - in other words, the type of lookout that's just up my alley!
PS The only one I can't vouch for not being overpopulated is Point Perry.