Hubby and I were celebrating our 29th Wedding Anniversary so thought something a bit unusual would be a lovely way to celebrate our special day. And, that's how I came across the Seafood Cruise in Mooloolaba. This cruise needs a minimum of twenty people before the decision is taken to do the cruise for the day, so having booked, I was required to wait until two days prior to our date, to confirm that the Seafood Cruise was in actual fact going ahead.
Spectacular array of watercraft - Image: Elaine de Wet
Passengers are told to meet fifteen minutes prior to embarking at the Mooloolaba Yacht Club at 33 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba. Once arriving you can take a stroll around and enjoy the spectacular yachts and watercraft docked at the Yacht Club.
When all the guests were assembled, a short walk down to the marina and we reached our transport for the afternoon. Nothing quite as glamorous as what we had envisioned, having just 'oohed' and 'aahed' at the impressive assembly of 'other' boats we had just seen at the marina.
On to the boat - with indoor and undercover outdoor seating facilities, I was very excited to see where we would sit. Unbeknownst to us, all our tables were pre-reserved by the organisers and we, unfortunately, had the table right next to the skipper. I say, 'unfortunately', because we couldn't sit down until all the other guests had arrived as our table was smack bang in the middle of the entrance to the boat. I wasn't going to allow this to spoil my afternoon and so graciously waited until everyone else was seated.
The entree, Prawn Cocktail, had already been served and was waiting for our arrival. All the seafood Mains (except for the fish fillets) were sumptuously laid out on beds of ice, with more than enough to feed the proverbial army.
Sumptuously laid out lunch - Images: Elaine de Wet
As you can see there's a very large selection of crustaceans. Now, I love seafood, but not necessarily just the crustacean variety and was a tad disappointed that there was only one reef fish available. The food was available immediately - we hadn't even left our mooring station yet and guests were already filling up their plates. This IS a two hour cruise, so once having eaten I was wondering what we would have left to do to fill in the remaining time.
I must mention here that non-seafood eaters and children do have an alternative choice of premium steak with garlic butter; Thai-style marinated lamb chops; two marinated chicken kebabs; Asian vegetables cooked in chilli, garlic and oyster sauce and hot dogs. This selection must be pre-ordered when booking.
There were only three staff members working this specific day. They were very efficient and ensured that everybody had what they needed, including beverages, which could be purchased at the bar area. One could run a tab to settle before disembarking or pay upfront. There was an assortment of exotically-coloured cocktails and I couldn't resist the temptation of having 'Sex on the Beach' - not literally, you understand. Too quickly the lunch was over and we could walk around the boat or go upstairs to admire the views, which is exactly what we did.
The cruise is started with a brief safety message. The skipper then heads out from the Mooloolaba Marina on Parkyn Parade into the main canal. You cruise past the Mooloolaba Wharf Complex and around Minyama Island, showcasing some of the Sunshine Coast's most prestigious waterfront homes.
Minyama Island and even 'his' and 'her' boats - Images: Elaine de Wet
Onto Outrigger Island and the bridges of Nicklin Way before turning around to return into the Baronga broad water. Up the river mouth where hopefully you can see dolphins, stingrays and pelicans - nope, this wasn't our lucky day and we didn't see any of the aforementioned. Cruising back you will see the trawler fleet and the Mooloolah River Fisheries processing plant.
Then off down the main channel towards Lawries Marina and the Kawana Waters Tavern.
Most of the information re the route taken by Seafood Cruise Mooloolaba, I have gleaned off their website as we honestly didn't always know what we were looking at. An educational commentary by the organisers would have been very much appreciated with historical information or just specific landmarks.
Point Cartwright Lighthouse and Unity Water reservoir - Image: Elaine de Wet
I think at this stage most of the guests had overeaten on seafood, so I chose to try out a few smallish portions to appease my sweet tooth. Delicious, tasty and more-ish! Can you believe it - I even forgot to take a pic. Thanks to Seafood Cruise Mooloolaba Facebook page, I got that one sorted - see Cheese platter above.
The two hour cruise time absolutely flew by, no doubt due to the ever-changing stunning scenery we had the pleasure of enjoying.
If you're looking for a laid-back, totally relaxing afternoon, taking in the surrounds of Mooloolaba, Kawana and Minyama from a different perspective, I would highly recommend trying the Seafood Cruise Mooloolaba. I can't think of a better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, feet up, cocktails in hand and just being mesmerised by the water.