Part two of our holiday in Queensland was up the Sunshine coast – this is my happy place, a place so relaxing with the most gorgeous beaches and delicious food. We drove up from my parents place and then arrived just in time for lunch where we found New Earth cafe with delicious creations like this hot chocolate and vegan caramel slice – so tasty. Then as soon as it was time to check in we drove on over to our Air Bnb at Mt Coolum, so beautiful.
The first day at our mini vacay up the Sunshine Coast was to get outside and enjoy some hiking, so as we were close to Mt Coolum we put on our trainers and wandered up and up and up to the top – 208 metres above sea level. It was an excellent cardio workout going up all the stairs but there are some sketchy areas where you have to be careful where you are putting your feet because when you look down it is a long way to the bottom!
The views up top were just incredible but as the weather was still a little grey and the rain clouds were coming in which made the winds very gusty – my crazy hair can attest to that! The kids were very excited to meet an endangered tree that is endemic to Mt Coolum called the She Oak – pictured up the top left. On the way down we wandered the pathway using those thigh muscles to keep balance – thank goodness for my time at the gym I say!
And here is a panorama of the sea with those billowing grey clouds up high ready to rain on us any minute!!
After our hike up to the top of the mountain we wanted to enjoy some beach time but the surf was wicked, grey and very rough plus we got rained on! So we cancelled that idea and decided to enjoy an indoor activity.
Oh yay! We drove less than 30 minutes south to play mini golf inside. Something that we have not experienced since our time in California when I used to take Ash to play when he had a day off school. In California, we enjoyed the sunshine and hit around the little ball until the end of the course – sometimes taking ages. This course was only 9 holes and here are a couple of our faves with their references to California – west side, yay!
From behind our beautiful little studio Air Bnb we enjoyed a quiet private spot where I could enjoy some Qi Gong outside in the mornings. Where one morning I was out there in the sunshine and enjoying the bird sounds when this mama Brahminy Kite delivered some treats to her little ones up to her nest high at the top of the pine tree. Later that morning we enjoyed Otis the super friendly golden retriever in our pad for some quiet time and lots of pats.
As we checked out of our Charming Pioneer Cottage Air Bnb on Thursday we got to feed the sheep some apples one last time. These guys are middle eastern Damara sheep and are the lawnmowers of the property! We got to feed them in the morning and gave them a treat of some bread which they loved. We enjoyed such a relaxing stay with our wonderful host Libby (who also is a children’s book author), it was a perfect place for the three of us and we felt safe in amongst the sounds of the noisy cockatoos and trees.
I had planned for our drive home to stop off at the Heide Museum of Modern Art where I met my friend who lives close by. We stopped by to check out more art and enjoy some picnic snacks from a bakery across the road. It was the perfect little stop for our drive back to return our Car Next Door car share back to its spot.
Checking out what we experienced it was an art focussed family getaway to refresh and restore ourselves before we hit the next phase of our time in Melbourne in our rental property and our family is reunited again in a couple of weeks!
To visit this sanctuary it will take your breath away with its dedication to the plight of Indigenous Australians by the sculptor William Ricketts. According to the video interview, William’s spirit animal was the Lyrebird where you see him dance as a Lyrebird sharing his inspiration and love for the earth and Indigenous Australia. I loved his sincere dedication as being the channel to share this art with the world. This sanctuary is a place of beauty, contemplation and peace where you are surrounded by a history of Indigenous Australia. Where the connection to the earth is fully present in what we need to see today, this sanctuary is something humanity has dealt with – the cruelty of colonialism. But breaking through the ugliness of this is the beauty in people and hope that we can exist on this earth together with nature.
After our William Ricketts experience we drove down to Birdsland Reserve to have a picnic lunch and go for a wander around the waters where we found a heron and a cormorant. Our Air Bnb host said to arrive there early in the morning or later in the afternoon to see lots of kangaroos. But as our day panned out we were there in the middle of the day and as we sat down at our table we were immediately surrounded by kookaburras! As Missy was about to eat a hot cross bun a kookaburra swooped down and landed on our table, we took one look at that beak and decided it would be safer to move somewhere else away from this wild kookas as I had heard they will steal snags from the BBQ.
After the Rone exhibition we went on the Sherbrooke Falls hike where we wandered on a small 45 minute walk in amongst the trees to see a little creek and find the small waterfall. I was thankful as our host told us not to expect Niagara falls which helped curb the excitement! The kids loved these very friendly Rosellas, due to humans feeding these guys over the years they have learnt to be trusting of humans and come very close to see if they can score some food.
The inspiration for our little getaway over the school holidays was to go to see the Rone exhibition at the Burnham Beeches mansion in the Dandenong Ranges. My friend had shared some of his work on Instagram and as soon as the show was announced here I was on it! So I got a rental car and drove up carefully – the first time I have driven on the left hand side of the road in years to our little Air Bnb for the week.
Our first stop before check in was Grants picnic ground where you can get delicious pies for a late lunch and go and feed some cockatoos for $4 for plate of seed. The kids loved it and so did I and I was blown away to experience so many cockatoos in one place. After our fun with the birds we wandered over to the forest where you can get a glimpse into the feel of the National Park and it was absolutely divine to be amongst the giant Mountain Ash and huge ferns. I have not been hiking in Australia in 12 years and my experiences have been in amongst the redwood forests of Northern California, it was so good to be home amongst the trees again!