When you wake up to something beautiful everyday, it soon becomes ordinary.
This is what happened to the outlook on my home town of the Sunshine Coast. I soon believed the beach became boring, the shopping was basic and the cafes never changed. However after living away from this region for many years in an overpopulated, cemented city, my eyes were once again opened to what this little beach region has to offer.
The sun, surf and sand are certainly the main attraction! There is not just one spectacular beach to visit but many.
Mooloolaba is certainly the most populated, family friendly beach. Not only is it thoroughly supervised by the Surf Lifesavers, with clear red and yellow flags signalling the safe swimming zones, it is a lovely walk along the beach to the Point Cartwright Lighthouse.
Whilst off the beach the area is still buzzing with many cafes, bars, restaurants, and fresh seafood. The best priced, and freshest seafood to purchase in this area is certainly the Mooloolaba Fish Market. Whilst the newest and crowd pleasing place for a bit to eat or evening drink is Your Place Espresso & Bar on Brisbane Road with $12 lunch specials and an exciting list of cocktails.
In regards to accommodation, Mooloolaba has an endless supply of hotels and resorts which boasts cheap deals on the off peak seasons. There is also the option of two caravan parks which are literally on the beach, so it might be a nice change to try a less materialistic holiday by camping.
Alex Beach is closely located to Mooloolaba, which is a 5 minute drive to one of the local surfing hot spots. This beach has reliable surf however there are rocks, so be mindful.
The area is again host to cafes and multiple accommodation venues, however on a smaller scale. If you stay in this area you must drop into the Thai Street Restaurant (closed Tuesdays) as they make organic and ever so flavoursome thai food for dinning in or takeaway.
Both of these beaches, however, host Nippers early Sunday morning from September - March, so I would suggest to stay clear of the sand and water until you have eaten your brunch.
Kawana Beach is another place for surfers and also a beach that welcomes dogs. However if you are looking for a more secluded beach, Cotton Tree is the beach for you.
Cotton Tree is the locals answer for a lovely breakfast and swim, the beach has the waves whilst the river provides a calm swim for beach activities or unconfident swimmers.
When hungry try out Mojos or Harvest Breads. Both these cafes provide an extensive menu of breakfast and lunch ideas accompanied by thirst quenching drinks. If you have any allergies or dietary requirements, they both offer gluten free, nut free, and dairy free options.
Cotton Tree also provides an on the beach caravan park which is booked out on Christmas and Easter holidays. There is also a huge park backing onto the river that offers a great area for picnics and a day of outdoor games. This area is also home to one of my favourite Boutiques, Alterior Motif, although it can be rather expensive it offers the most one-off clothing items.
Now if you travel further up the coastline, you will pass Coolum and Noosa.
Coolum Beach Coolum can sometimes be a beach area that is overlooked by visitors, but it provides comfortably populated, flat beach, with some cute reasonably priced boutiques. Aura Coolum is one of my favourites as they have a chalk bored that says "friends don't let friends shop at chain stores."
Noosa Heads Noosa is home to the rich and a temporary home to backpackers! This beach has previously been hit badly with poor weather conditions resulting in extreme erosion. With quiet a lot of money and council help the beach has been restored to family friendly beach.
Backed onto the beach is the famous Hastings Street which houses an array of restaurants, bars, cafes, clothing and houseware stores. Noosa also is well known for its National Parks which provides visitors and locals with an easy walk through trees to a beach outlook.
Alexandria Bay Now if you really want to exclude yourself from the mainland and get your serious tanning on, I'd suggest the nudist beach in Noosa, Alexandria Bay, located on the eastern side of the Noosa Heads National Park. Be sure to not fool yourself though, this beach does get quiet populated at times.
So if you want a weekend close to the beach, at a reasonable price give the Sunshine Coast a look at, as stated there are many beaches to visit, nor will you go hungry or without a new outfit.
Having lived in Noosa for my teenage years, I know what you mean about becoming blase' about living in one of the most popular places in Australia. When you see it day in, day out you do take it for granted and when you move away as I did to join the RAAF you miss it like crazy!!! Luckily I still have my bestie who lives at Peregian and I can crash at her place at any time. My mum is buried at Tewantin so that's another reason for me to go back and revisit my childhood. Coolum is one of my favourite beaches and is great for families. Having lived there, I much prefer the Sunny Coast to the Gold Coast. You don't have anywhere near the crime you have down there and I find it's so much easier to get around from place to place. There is not one traffic light in Noosa Shire, so it's so easy to get around quickly without having to wait for traffic lights to change. Noosa is Roundabout Central and it's so much better! Everyone should do themselves a favour and check out the entire Sunny Coast. The Hinterland is also a great day out and the views are to die for!! Mandy E.