COOLUM, SUNSHINE COAST QLD

COOLUM, SUNSHINE COAST QLD

We were up and early for a day up the Sunshine Coast with our Kelpie pup (Shari). We take our pup everywhere we can, we don’t believe in leaving her with people or left at home while we enjoy ourselves. Today was Shari’s day. On the M1 we headed north one hour to Coolum.



Coolum is a surfing and golfing mecca, with a carefree holiday atmosphere distinct from its neighbouring beach towns. It’s long shopping and entertainment strip has a stunning outlook across a large beachfront park, and its leafy backstreets quietly traverse this beautiful coastal town in constant view of Mount Coolum, a grand volcanic dome that presides over the landscape.
About 1 kilometre north of Coolum, Stumers Creek is the estuary to the surf beach. The creek splits into two and runs into a shallow body of water which is ideal for swimming.



A short walk took us down to the unpatrolled surf beach. This is a great place to fly kites, take 2.5 kilometre stroll along the beach to Coolum, or enjoy the surf.

If it’s picnicking you want, there’s a shaded grassy picnic area with toilet facilities just a hop away from the shallow swimming area.

Bordering the swimming area is a grassy bank, where you can sit and watch the kids playing, fishing, or boogie boarding.





Kids seem to have a great time running up and down the sand dunes (which at present, are under regeneration).

This is a dog friendly area so Shari enjoyed the freedom of splashing around freely, chasing her favourite ball through the shallow waters and generally having a great time.


Stummers Creek is also a drop off point for parachutists, always a great sight as you see them glide gently down to the sand, but none for today.

Often you will see paddle boarders and kayakers alike enjoying the peace and quiet as they silently drift down the creek.



Stumers Creek is very popular with the locals, and on a hot day, like today parking can be at a premium. We thoroughly recommend Stumers Creek for a lazy, relaxed day out.

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NUMINBAH VALLEY, QLD

 Numinbah Valley                                                                                           


Started out at 0745, which is a smidge later than we normally do.  Probably because we were so excited to be going to a campsite just a little over an hour and a half from home and knowing that the day onsite would be longer and hot than normal.
This weekend our trip was straight down the highway at 110kph, then a right hand turn through suburbia and into the countryside.  We followed the Hinze Dam’s zig-zagging western coastline down to the Nerang River and then through the valley to Numinbah Valley, which is a quaint little country town.




We arrived at Numinbah Adventure Trails around 9.30am and were told to head straight for the campground.  Then it was a matter of unhitching and start setting up. Tent goes up right beside the creek.

Kim’s down to the creek and checking it out by 10.30am.  Of course our dog Shari was straight in the water.  By now we are joined by others.  And pretty much the afternoon continues,  sitting in creek , camp for a refill, sitting in creek, lunch and back to drinking in the creek.



 By 3.30pm we headed to Beachfront Markets. During late afternoon and early evening, The Esplanade along the beach of the Gold Coast becomes a hive of activity when a hundred or so colourful stalls set up for the Beachfront Markets. We finally got to take a stroll along the foreshore to check out the microcosm of life on the strip with a spot of crowd watching, to watch street performers.
While we were there, we wandered the stalls investigating new gizmos and gadgets, unique products and paraphernalia, with Kim giving in and buying a bracelet. The wares on sale are fairly touristy, carrying goods such as jewellery, home wares, fashion, beauty products and Gold Coast oriented tourist wares. While some of the goods are made elsewhere, the emphasis is on locally made or produced. Kim especially loved the seashore-inspired jewellery and the beautiful metal-mounted photographs of Surfers Paradise by Geoff Edwards. 




Back to camp for a quick chat around the fire before a small storm with a shower rolled in, so we retreated to our campsite a made an early night of it.




Next day dawns noisily.  Birds of all shapes, sizes, colours and call have descended on our campsite and are doing their best to get us out of bed. 





We then jumped in the car and headed to a sizable sandy patch of dog paradise which starts at the edge of Palm Beach Parklands and follows Currumbin Creek all the way around to the surf. So whether your dog is the wave catching type or just enjoys a good old-fashioned dog paddle, both will be in heaven here. And for owners it doesn’t come much more scenic than this, with gorgeous vistas across Currumbin Creek on the still water side and views to Surfers paradise from the wide surf stretch on the other. On the parklands before the beach is a cafe that is dog friendly which we had a nice lunch.



 We arrived back to camp late afternoon just before some storms rolled in. We decided to fire up the Ozpig and eat dinner early. Back to the fire for some drinks and yarns before more storms rolled in and we all split back to shelter.

The next morning we were up and early to pack up and head to Burleigh Markets. Featuring over 75 fashion, art and craft stalls, the Village Markets in Burleigh Heads is Kim’s most loved boutique market on the Gold Coast.

Now five years old, the market provides a valuable springboard for talented emerging designers, photographers and artists from the local area, as well as providing a regular community meeting hub and cultural event for all ages to enjoy. We picked up a freshly brewed boutique coffee and enjoyed a laid back Sunday morning browsing the fantastic mix of men and women’s fashion, vintage clothing from all over the world, hand crafted jewellery, homewares, gifts and much more. Then home to dry the camping gear. Was a fantastic and short weekend away.

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MT TAMBORINE, GOLD COAST HINTERLAND

MT TAMBORINE

Every now and again you feel the need to get up and go, a desire to re-charge the batteries and enjoy a change of scenery. Planning a weekend escape is almost as good as the escape itself. In South-East Queensland we are spoilt for choice. As long as you have wheels to get you there and the desire to go, adventure or relaxation, whatever you choose, awaits. A small, low convertible with its top down would be most ideal, but we all have 4wds and after taking a wrong turn, we checked out the amazing rainforest through our open windows instead.  The winding drive up the mountain with sunlight sprinkling down though dense forest crowding in from either side of the road is a simple highlight in itself and for many people choosing to do just that, picnic at the top and then head on home is all they need to give their heart and mind a lift.
It seems that whichever way you turn you are greeted with inspiring and wondrous views on the mountain.  To make the most of these spectacular outlooks and gain the best vantage points there are a number of lookouts scattered around the mountain that are well worth a visit.

One of the most popular is the Hang Gliders which is along the Main Western Road.  This spot offers uninterrupted views and comes alive with energetic hang gliders that use this cleared mountain section as a launch site on a good day.  A great spot to take a picnic and watch the festivities. We missed this one on this trip and instead stopped at Rotary Lookout which is on the same road but directly opposite the Bavarian Grill Haus Restaurant.  This lookout even comes equipped with benches and binoculars.




There is a vast area of rainforest national park areas on the mountain with abundant birdlife and a variety of flora, one of which is the oldest national park in Queensland, Witches Falls National Park. Walking tracks are provided in six sections of Tamborine National Park. Most walking tracks are short and can be walked within a few hours. The walks are relatively easy although some tracks have short, steep grades. After the lookout we did the Curtis Falls walk, which was a 1.5 km circuit beside the river through the rainforest, showing lower pools and giant strangler figs. Descending down stairs to a large pool at the base of Curtis Falls. They really need to review the signage, more 4 km return circuit.  




We then took a stroll down Gallery Walk and stopped in all of the galleries and shops that were packed full of local souvenirs and treats. From antique stores to the Cuckoo Clock Nest there are interesting things to see behind every door on gallery walk. Personally, I don’t how someone could work in a cuckoo clock shop all day, it would literally drive me cuckoo, but it’s great for a visit and very hard to walk away without thinking I need one to complete my home, not





We stopped for lunch at Mount Tamborine Vineyard Winery Café. The cafe specializes in quick and tasty indulgent foods for guests wanting a quick, satisfying fix whilst exploring the Mountain.  After a big burger for breakfast I went with Mountain fried chicken wings with Asian dipping sauce and Kim went with the Coconut Prawns with Petite herb salad, Sambuca dipping sauce. It was a great lunch with fast service. We went back for some more shopping and headed back to Brissy late afternoon.



Overall Tamborine Mountain is a hinterland paradise far enough away from the madding crowd of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, but near enough for a comfortable day trip. 

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THE SPRINGS 4X4 PARK

THE SPRINGS 4X4 PARK

The Springs Camping and Adventure Park is situated just south of Warwick on the New England Highway in the Granite Belt region of South East Queensland.   The Granite Belt is a premium food and wine destination surrounded by stunning national parks and prehistoric granite formations.
The tracks wind over 700 acres of beautiful and varying terrain, ranging from Easy to the Extreme to cater for all vehicle types and class of driver.  There is also the Ironman Test Track for you to have some fun and test your skills!

Delivering a choice of campsites, the Main campsite is found some 1.4kms into the property and is accessible by 2WD’s and 4WD’s.
It is situated in a beautiful gulley with your own rock escarpment and creek. All sites are secluded and have shade. The main campsite has a purpose built modern shower and toilet block with hot showers.  They are just what you need after a long day in the Park. 

Drinking water is provided for all campers and wood for campfires is available.  All tracks are signposted, named and graded for difficulty and a detailed map of the Park will be provided on entry.
The road from the office to the camp ground is well maintained and easy with the exception of a hill climb just past the office which could prove to be a bit of a challenge in the wet or if you where towing a trailer like we were.

We were there for Doing it in the Dirt, in conjunction with a Social 4wd Group and The Springs 4×4 Park for the first ever #DrivingTheBluesIntoTheDirt in aid of raising funds for Beyond Blue. We had to arrive Saturday morning and eventually found the area the group were camping. After finding the only flat spot around, we were told that it was reserved for a parking spot. No one around, we decided to pack  the camp gear back in the trailer and started heading back home. Upon leaving we found a flat gully opposite a group on a buck’s weekend.

We unpacked and setup and we had plenty of room for our dog to run around. The night was spent with drinks with the boys on the bucks.



Overall would I recommend The Springs to campers? DEFINITELY NO.  Sixty Five Bucks for one night. Their dreaming if they think I’m heading back there again. The Springs is more for 4wder’s who are more than happy to smash up there 4wd’s and whine later how expensive it is to fix.


We attempted to head to one of the lookouts, and then halfway we turned back because of the state of the track and the little to no signage. We really enjoyed the camping and the only socializing was with Matt’s buck’s party. 


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