My Sunshine Coast!

This is quite a belated post of my 10 day Down Under adventure in April. But, thank god for iCal and my awesome photos to refresh my rather elephant memory. I spent 6 nights in Sunshine Coast before ending the trip with the sister in Gold Coast. I had previously blogged on my different accommodation types for my travel. For those of you who had missed it, here you go.

Sunshine Coast isn’t a very popular tourist destination in comparison to Brisbane or Gold Coast which are both an hour or two drive away. But, hey, if you’re looking for a place to spend a couple of days just chilling and lazing, Sunshine Coast will be perfect for you. If you’ve always thought Gold Coast is chill, Sunshine Coast is CHILLLLLL.

1. Spend a day in Mooloolaba 

via

I spent my first day in Sunshine Coast staying with a local family so after a lovely home cooked meal for dinner we drove to Mooloolaba for a stroll before calling it a day. What Surfers Paradise is to Gold Coast, Mooloolaba is to Sunshine Coast. Wander into some cafe to while the morning away sipping coffee and reading. Grab a quick bite for lunch and head to Sea World to spend the afternoon. Lay by the beach to enjoy the sounds of waves crashing on the shoreline while watching sunset. Have a lovely dinner after in any one of the many scrumptious restaurants lined along the coast. Ah, what a perfect way to spend a day.

Quick tip: Stay at Buderim if accommodation at Mooloolaba is too expensive.

2. Local Markets!

It’s almost impossible to visit any part of Australia without stopping by a market. There are so many weekday and weekend markets available that you’ll be spoilt for choice. It was nice to spend a Sunday morning shopping for second hand books, clothes, fruits, knick knacks for the home etc. Usually the patrons are regulars, so the community is a rather close knit one, with stall owners greeting customers by their first names. As an Asian, this culture might take a bit of getting used to. But, after a while, you’ll wish you have such markets back home. At least, I do.

3. Mt. Coolum 

I decided to spend a night in Coolum so that I could climb Mt. Coolum first thing in the morning before I head up to Noosa. My couchsurfing experience worked out well as I met Ally, another adventure lover, so we did the climb together before she dropped me off at the bus station after a hearty brekkie. I wouldn’t call the climb easy so take your time and pace yourself well. We did the climb up in about 45 mins and took about 20mins to descend down.

This is the nature of the course so pace yourself well, really. There is no point rushing through the climb. And, once you are up at the summit take your time to enjoy the view before you make your way down. The view is easily worth a good 15 – 20 mins.

4. Frasers Island!

My Frasers tour has got to the best part of my Sunshine Coast adventure. Initially, I was sightly apprehensive. Can you imagine being a stuck with a boring bunch of travellers on an island for 2 nights?! Especially since, I was already travelling solo I was praying for some good company. Again thank god, everything worked out well and I met George, a dutch guy who was also travelling alone for 5 weeks along the East Coast of Australia. The 3D2N ended up being a blast despite being cut off from technology.

To explore this world’s largest sand island you’ll require a 4 wheel drive so decided to join a tour. I did my tour with Sunset Safaris and no regrets! Worth every buck despite me being a near SGD 700 poorer! I will be doing a separate post on Frasers soon so do keep a look out.

5. Cycle along the coast

After I got back to Sunshine Coast from Frasers, I spent my last night in Caloundra in a beautiful apartment booked through Airbnb. That meant I was 10 minutes away from the picturesque Dicky Beach. I borrowed a bike from my host couple and decided to cycle from Dicky beach all the way down to Golden beach through Moffat, Shelly and Kings. Apart from my minor injury (I didn’t brake in time so smashed into a tree), it was a good 30 minute ride down south. Feel free to stop by to grab a coffee or take some shots while cruising along the coast. If you’re looking to have a breakfast, do check out The Pocket at Moffat Beach.

 

Doing this post makes me miss Sunshine Coast so bad. :/

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

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Accommodations for the adventurous soul.

So my recent 10 day trip to Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, Australia saw me trying out different types of accommodation, from couchsurfing, to home stay and motels (both luxurious ones to 4 bedder ones). Planning accommodations while travelling is probably one of the most important on the list of things to do before jetting off. I mean, who doesn’t want a comfortable night of sleep after a long day of walking around and sightseeing!

1. Couchsurfing 

Couchsurfing wasn’t something I was planning to do when I was crafting out my itinerary. I was looking for a place to stay at Coolum for a night so that I could set off in the morning for my Mt Coolum climb. There weren’t many options for me on Agoda or Airbnb which resulted in couchsurfing crossed my mind. No regrets at all! My host was wonderful. I took her out for dinner and fell asleep watching re-runs of Miranda. We did the Mt Coolum climb together in the morning and had breakfast by the beach before I headed up North to Noosa.

2. Motel

Motels are probably the most common cheaper alternative to hotels that we are all quite familiar with. If you are looking to stay in Noosa, I highly recommend Noosa Sun Motel. Good location facing the river and walking distance from cafes/restaurants. Spacious rooms with living area and a nice veranda to enjoy morning coffee or read the papers. I booked my room for AUD 100/night. Motel run by a lovely couple who take care of all your needs. I left my baggage with them before I headed for my 3 day Fraser tour and had no hassle collecting them after.

3. Home stay

My personal favourite when travelling is to stay with a local family. Had the privilege of meeting Jo and her lovely husband, Chris while I was on a tour in Hoi An, Vietnam early this year. Who knew 3 months later she would be hosting me! Travelling by train/bus from Gold Coast all the way up to Sunshine Coast was so tortuous. (6-7 hour journey!) I’m glad Jo welcomed me to her home and cooked up a lovely meal for me. We then drove to Mooloolaba for a stroll before calling it a night.

4. Airbnb

Airbnb has been my favourite travel companion since 2012. Cat and Leon’s place in Aroona was just perfect for me to spend my last day in Sunshine Coast just chilling. If you are looking to meet locals, I highly recommend using Airbnb to book your accommodations. There is only so much travel guides can tell you. Live like a local with a local.

So, here’s some options for you to consider if you’re looking for the less travelled path when it comes to accommodation bookings. Hope this helped your travelling planning 🙂

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

 

Leap of faith.

Sunset while driving along Yandina-Coolum Road.

Last night, I slept on a couch of a total stranger.

It was a farmhouse with 1 dog, 1 puppy, 1 kitten and 1 pig (not guinea pig).

I took her out for dinner and listened to her London airport 3-hour detention story.

Also, her Everest base camp climb and Spain bull run stories.

We had to walk to her nana’s home, 3 mins away, to shower.

We watched sitcoms on a make-shift screen (projector + white cloth).

This morning, we climbed Mt. Coolum together before she bought me breakfast.

Thank you, Ally Gamble.

Leap of faiths can go all wrong.

I’m glad mine was life-changing.