Onto the tourist destinations of the Sunshine coast and to step back in time with a visit to the Big Pineapple! In it’s heyday when this highway was the only one to travel we would stop and visit the Big Pineapple take a walk to the top and see the displays, take some classic pics and then enjoy a pineapple sundae – yummo! Now the Big Pineapple is Heritage listed and needs a little bit of work and love. A lot of the us who enjoyed it as a tourist destination when we were kiddos still appreciate it for it’s nostalgia and it’s grandeur.
On this rainy Monday we also took a wander through the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Garden and was an excellent place to take the kids for a wander through the sculpture garden. For a change they all enjoyed posing with the sculptures especially the sculptures of the animals – the bottom pic is a wombat that they all loved by an artist from South Australia.
A couple of my favourite sculptures in the garden – Snake made from Black Chillagoe Marble and Man of Nature carved from Sandstone.
Definitely on the tour itinerary this year was a trip to the legendary Australia Zoo! The kids really enjoyed their time at the zoo especially seeing the show of the crocodiles at the Crocoseum. We had lunch at the food court and managed to see a spectacular display of birds flying around the stadium and landing right in the audience as a warm up for the big crocs!
Finally the kids got to touch a kangaroo – the kangas were in their rest area, some were quite confident and hopped right up to the visitors for a pat and the hope of some food. Koalas are always cute and generally always asleep! The croc in the pic above was with the Australia Zoo stars Terri, Bindi and Bob showing us how these crocs in action. Steve Irwin was an Aussie legend and Australia Zoo is a testament to his dedication and care for the conservation of animals especially the crocodile.
Australia Zoo is huge and requires a bit of planning to navigate to the animals you would like to see. We choose to see the African animals instead of Bindi’s Island with animals inspired by the tropics. The Giraffes are always cool to see and we saw them having their afternoon snack and saw a baby giraffe close by just looking on as he couldn’t reach the food! On our way to Africa we wandered through the Asian animal display and saw the ever popular tigers – you can see what the crowd was like when we went, it was busy with school holiday traffic.
We enjoyed spending the day at the zoo with our friends from Portland walking many trails that day and seeing quite a few animals! Good times at the zoo, how about you?
The next stop in our journey was an hour or so up North to the beautiful Sunshine Coast to hang with my sister and my 5 year old nephew. The day when we arrived the weather was warm and sunny – a perfect Queensland winters day. As it was the perfect day for a drive we headed on up to the lovely town of Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Wandering through to the local town centre we found these lovely blooms on the way to a hot chocolate. The local town had a co-op and a fabric store that I love, called Sapling Textiles with fabrics from India – I was sad that it was closed! Also we found a cool local non-profit with beautifully designed clothes from India called The Industree where I found a lovely hummingbird jumper AKA sweater that matches my tattoo!
On our way to The Shak for a Sunday brunch to meet up with family we found this secret sacred garden called Wunya Park in honour of the Indigenous people of the area. A lady places random crocheted items around the garden for wanderers to find and follow.
Finally we made our way to The Shak a legendary local, organic cafe for brunch and excellent coffee. The menu was just amazing and I enjoyed the Avo’ Smash, just delish! Check out the iced chai with their coconut mylk made in house, just perfect!
These amazing Moreton Bay fig trees are just a walk down from The Shak on King Street in Buderim and are perfect photo subjects.
Some more of these beautiful trees in colour. They are the best trees for climbing.
We enjoyed some winter beach time and hanging out with my friend from Portland while we serendipitously met at the Sunshine Coast for our Stateside summer vacations!
Friday was a day out to Dreamworld on the Gold Coast! We have not been to Dreamworld since we were little kiddos! Back then we used to go on all the rides but these days there is a very low tolerance for the rollercoasters. We all had a blast with the kids and their favorite ride was the log ride even though you get drenched riding a log downhill. Afterwards we had the best time drying off in the drying machine – we have this great video as we paid $5 to stand under ultra violet light and be blown by a blow dryer for 5 mins!
The fun never stops at Dreamworld and we went on lots of rides mostly with the kiddos. The rollercoasters were out and I would say the log ride was the scariest ride we went on – the other exciting ride were the dragon dodgems! The kids did enjoy the day and say they had an awesome time, without the need for huge thrills. I do think that my days of crazy rides are long gone.
The photo opportunities are endless with so much fun and colour so I had a blast being the tourist and taking pics with all sorts of characters. The Dreamworks ride area was super cool and set up beautifully focussing on their range of characters from their films – Madagascar, Puss In Boots and Kung Fu Panda. My uncle who gave us the day out wondered where the Chinese restaurant was, maybe Dreamworld should add a dumpling place to compete with the crazy priced food that was on offer. We shared a pizza between the 7 of us and it cost us with drinks $4.80 for a water so the grand total for lunch was over $70, that was insane!
Another favourite spot of ours was Tiger Cub Kindy where you could get very close to tiger cubs. These pics were taken by the trainers who took your camera into the enclosure to take shots for a donation to the DWF (Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation). They are such incredible creatures with their numbers dwindling in the wild we as humans need to do whatever it takes to save these majestic creatures. Most of the cubs were born at Dreamworld which is a success for the tigers as their habitats decrease dramatically. Any cat fan will be so excited to experience these animals up, close and personal!
And indeed we found a happy place at Dreamworld for the day – next time we will bring a picnic lunch or some sangers.