I'm a freelance writer, living in the Mooloolaba area, and enjoying the chance to promote its attractions.
Published November 17th 2012
Barbecues seen in the vicinity of Mooloolaba
Having a barbecue is a popular dining option at Mooloolaba, and it has some good and well-patronised BBQ facilities. But, other equally good BBQs exist on its outskirts. They provide different vistas and extra choices for the outdoors cook. Each BBQ is a one metre square and high, solid brick or metal bench, mounting one or two hotplates. The locations have charms that make them worth a visit.
Nelson Park, just north of Alexandra Headland, spreads out north-south between the resorts along Alexandra Beach esplanade. It is accessed by the streets going west off the main road. Charm 1: Picturesque lake frontage. The BBQ facilities are located midway along the park's length, which is bi-sected by a long narrow pond. Charm 2: Protection. There are two BBQs under individual tin-roofed, un-walled shelters, within a large fenced enclosure which also contains a covered children's playground. Good for families. The surrounding resorts block onshore easterlies and westerlies, but not so north-south winds.
Charm 3: Facilities. Each BBQ has an accompanying sheltered wooden table and bench, tap and bin. A toilet block is immediately adjacent, as is the parking. Charm 4: Surrounds. A walking path circumnavigates the pond which has a couple of islands. A dainty wooden bridge provides access to one. An enormous bronze monument of a swan and egret stands on the other, an isolated reserve. Birds dabble in the water. Sorry: No swimming. No boating. No fishing. Shops are at the northern and southern approaches.
Jessica Park is 5 minutes by car, south of Mooloolaba, on the Nicklan Way at Minyama. Its BBQ facilities are hidden by the treeline fronting the park. Charm 1: Pictureque pond and tree-haven setting. There are three BBQs, all at the eastern end. One stands near the front of the park, and separate from the other two, adjacent to each other, at the back of the park. Charm 2: Protection. The front BBQ has no cover, though trees give shade except at midday. The back two BBQs nestle between tall trees and get dappled shade all day long. Strong winds bother only the front BBQ.
Charm 3: Facilities. Each BBQ has an accompanying wooden table and bench. The front BBQ is under an open, tin-roofed shelter. Taps and bins are handy, as is a toilet block. Charm 4: Surrounds. There is a large pond which attracts various birdlife, a large and fenced, pirate-themed children's playground, walking paths throughout, and a small botanical reserve. Parking is handy, and surprisingly, Nicklin Way traffic noise does not intrude to the back BBQs.
Geographically, La Balsa Park is within eyesight and coo-ee of the fish shops and park at the river mouth end of Mooloolaba Spit. But, to be there, you have to go to Point Cartwright Headland; 10 minutes by car. Charm 1: Picturesque river frontage. La Balsa has ten BBQ stands spread along its stretch of Mooloolah River bank. Every BBQ looks across to a large marina and harbour buildings on the opposite bank. Powerboats, yachts, and trawlers come and go within hailing distance. Charm 2: Protection. The BBQs are not under cover, but nearby trees generally give some sort of shade. Point Cartwright Headland acts as a buffer against strong southerly winds. Northerlies, however, sweep in unimpeded.
Charm 3: Facilities. Most BBQs have wooden tables and benches close by, some under unwalled shelters. Generally, a tap and bin are conveniently located. Toilet blocks are at either end of the park. Parking is handy. Charm 4: Surrounds. There are a couple of children's playgrounds, lawn areas, a small sandy, river shore, calm water for swimming and fishing, and walks to the harbour entrance seawalls and headland park. A convenience store is a street away.
Double Bay Beach Park, Kawana Island
Double Bay Beach Park is a somewhat misleading name for this unique and relatively new BBQ place, 10 minutes by car south of Mooloolaba. In truth, the 'island' is land between two channels of the Mooloolah River where it divides just west of the Nicklin Way at Warana. The 'double bay beach' is a special white-sand shore on the 'island'. Charm 1: Picturesque river frontage. Two individual two hotplate BBQs stand on a wooden deck platform built above the shore of Kawana Island. They look out eastward upon a little cove whose 'shores' feature luxury homes and private jetties. Charm 2: Protection. Each BBQ is under a shady, tin-roofed, unwalled shelter. Each catches all the breezes, and so, winds cool or annoy, depending upon strengths.
Charm 3: Facilities. Each BBQ has an accompanying large, sheltered wooden table and benches. Taps and bins are handy. A toilet block is nearby. Parking is a 100 paces away on the street. Charm 4: Surrounds. On either side of the deck is calm water on a little sandy shore - the 'double bay beach'. Swimming, boating and fishing are allowed. There's a grassy lawn with a little playground of swings, and nearby, a set of exercise benches. For walkers, a concrete pathway meanders along the river bank, north and south. A convenience store and morning-time cafe are fifty paces away.
Three other BBQ spots worth a visit are the park where Point Cartwright Drive joins Pacific Boulevard at Buddina, the park at Kawana Waters Surf Life Saving Club, and the park at the end of Kensington Drive at Minyama; all good alternatives. Happy BBQing.
Just a quick note to say I enjoy reading your articles about the attractions of the Sunshine Coast. Personally I enjoy a really good cup of coffee and am often on coffee blog sites to sus out the best coffee places. If you drink coffee would you consider investigating the best places to have a coffee on the coast?
Thank you for the appreciative comment. The coffee spot suggestion appeals because I, too, like a good coffee. Plenty of places to check, though. I'll be bouncing off the walls by the end of it, I would expect. Keep an eye on the articles to see how I'm coping.