Australia March-April 2016 Trip Report, Part 7 - Brisbane and Sunshine Coast

Hello everyone,

Continuing our adventures up the east coast of Australia, we left Gold Coast and Wallaby Ridge Retreat behind, and headed further north towards Sunshine Coast. On the way up we passed through the city of Brisbane.

We didn't spend very long in Brisbane - just an afternoon walking around really - but it was a pretty city that reminded me of a cross between Sydney and London in some regards.

We parked in a place just outside the city, called Auchenflower, and commuted in using the local train. We parked on the street, which cost around $8.50 for the day. The train cost us around $20 total return fare for the two of us.

While walking from the car to the train station we passed by some really big spider webs, which of course meant really big spiders! As far into the trip as we had come, I was continually surprised at the crazy wildlife in this country, even in urban areas like Auchenflower!

We explored the botanical gardens, got lunch at a place called Snack Stop that had an awesome vegetarian hot dog, walked into some stores, and even bought one of the collectable location specific mugs from Starbucks! At the botanical gardens we saw some pretty big lizards just roaming around - just another everyday sight in this part of the world!

We stopped by a store that sold snowboards, because we saw these in the window, which we thought were neat:

Our accomodation on the Sunshine Coast, like with Gold Coast, was a little further out, and up a mountain in a town called Montville. We stayed at a place called Belle's of Montville, which I will be sharing my review of in the next part of this report (part 8). For now, let's take a look at some of the things we saw in the quaint mountain town of Montville, which had a distinctly European flair to it.

Also in Montville was another retreat-type accomodation that I had seen online, and wanted to visit, called Secrets on the Lake. We had breakfast at Secrets on the Lake one morning, and while we were taking photos, were introduced to the owner, who proceeded to very kindly show us around the whole property on a personal guided tour! Secrets on the Lake is breathtakingly beautiful, and if you're ever considering a stay on the Sunshine Coast, it is well worth looking in to.

Montville is also home to Kondalilla National Park, which was within walking distance from our cottage at Belle's (it is literally at the end of the street). Kondalilla National Park has a waterfall and some rock pools that are very popular with the locals, who come here to hang out and swim. Once again, we saw some fairly interesting wildlife, including a pretty big lizard.

As for the Sunshine Coast itself, we didn't spend too much time there. It is a smaller destination than Gold Coast, with not as much to see and do. We did visit Australia Zoo, but I'll tell you about that in a later part of this report (probably part 9). We did explore a little though, including a place called Noosa, which is a little north of the main Sunshine Coast core area. We found a restaurant that had vegan coconut milk ice cream, which was really great. There was also a Sizzler restaurant, which was reminiscent of the US Sizzler, but a little different. Again, I thought this was funny given our experiences with Target and Kmart earlier in the trip (you may recall from the Sydney part of my report that I talked about this).

You may recall that in earlier parts of this report I had mentioned about the strange store hours in Australia. Well, Sunshine Coast was certainly no exception, and as you can see in the photos below, there was still daylight when these places were rolling in the tables and chairs!

Finally for this part of the report, I wanted to briefly mention that while driving around, we stopped in two more places - Maryborough and Gympie. Maryborough is actually the town that P L Travers is from - the author of Mary Poppins. Sadly we didn't really get time to explore there, as we were just passing through, but perhaps someday we'll return. We did get an awesome ice cream at McDonald's though!

We ate at a pretty decent Indian place in Gympie, and then went across to the mall, which of course was mostly closed as per the Australian trading hours...

That's it for this part of my report. In the next part I will review our stay at Belle's in Montville.

Have a great day everyone,