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explore the SUNSHINE COAST


Visitors from interstate are up 27.2% at 999,000 - another record.

Pumicestone Passage. Photo/Visit Sunshine Coast

“We were number one in the state and we’ve never, ever done that before,” Simon said. Nearly 20% more New Zealanders and 2.5% more UK residents visited this year compared to last. The Coast is bucking the trend of reduced international visitation, with its emerging Asian markets increasing 24%. “Another record,” Simon said. Simon attributed the growth to “hard work”, clever and sustained marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the region, collaboration and active involvement between industry sectors. But the Sunny Coast’s main asset is the environment itself – it was a “critical asset.” “Our landscape is to my opinion our number one asset, full stop,” he said.

From range to reef: nature is the backbone of the Coast’s booming tourism sector Arguably the Sunshine Coast’s most fervent advocate is the excitable head of Visit Sunshine Coast, Simon Latchford. He’s the man to speak to about what makes this place – from the range to the reef, extraordinary. But before he can bring himself to answer questions, Simon launches into a speedy statistical relay, punching one number after the other over the phone.

It’s been a good year. The best year in the Coast’s history, actually, when it comes to tourism – and Simon is brimming with excitement over it. The amount of money overnight visitors are spending is up 18.3% on this time last year, at $2.6 billion. It means the local economy and community is benefiting more per tourist. Total visitor numbers are at 3.98 million, that’s up 17.1% and an all-time record.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t need development, we do. It needs to be appropriate development, and we need to make sure that it’s respectful of the environment, which is the true star of the show.” As a holiday destination the Coast was attractive for families because a wide array of outdoor options available were free. “The beaches have great river systems here –take Cotton Tree, where you can have your 13-year-old surfing around the corner and your six-year-old’s paddling away on the beach on a river mouth estuary,” he said. “It’s all of those little things, it’s the ability to do all those things. “You can be eating the best prawns you’ve ever had in your life down at Mooloolaba, and the next minute you’re getting a new shirt in David Jones. “The next minute you’re down the beach, the next minute you’re going up to the hinterland, going through some extraordinarily lush farmland.

“When you get to the hinterland, whether it’s Montville or Maleny, you turn around and look off the escarpment and it almost looks like you could touch Mooloolaba beach.” In the south, the Glasshouse Mountains’ breathtaking scenery made a film of postcard-worthy impressions of any scenic drive. “You’ve got Glasshouse Mountains - if you didn’t like that, your eyes are painted on your face,” he said, laughing. “It’s just absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. “Then you’ve got the undiscovered, beautiful Pumicestone Passage carving its way through.” River systems on the Coast are healthy, unlike many parts of the world, which is a key attraction, he said. “Our waterways that have living things you can catch, take home and eat, without dying of food poisoning,” Simon said. “In the rest of the world, that’s becoming less realistic, because there’s nothing alive left in the river systems. “Asia is a great example of that, which is why Asians and most other nationalities look at us and go, ‘what a wonderful place to go and visit’.” The Coast offered a collection of environments where people can come and “actually experience the environment,” he said. “It hasn’t been destroyed.” The Sunshine Coast’s glorious beaches were a huge drawcard, he said. “We have cracker beaches- some of the top beaches in the world. “We are constantly in the top 10 of beaches, like with Mooloolaba where respected entities like TripAdvisor constantly rate Mooloolaba as top-four in the country, so that’s a big statement.” Business visitor and business events visitor numbers were also increasing as the Coast

Top 10 walking trails and tracks on the Sunshine Coast W

hether you’re looking to embark on a four-hour trek up or a leisurely 20-minute beachside stroll, there’s plenty options to get out and about on the Sunshine Coast. Here’s a list of the top 10 best places walking treks, trails and spots across the Coast. The question is, which one are you going to do first? Noosa National Park - Tea Tree Bay

1. MOUNT COOLUM Nothing is better than the view from the top of Mount Coolum on a clear day. The 208-metre mountain makes for a challenging trek, best done early morning or late afternoon. The average person can complete the climb in just over half and hour, while the fitter climbers race to the top like it’s nothing. An estimated 50,000 people climb the

mountain each year and it’s easy to see why. The view at the top is amazing. with 360 degree views of the coastal area, including Point Cartwright and the Glass House Mountains to the south, the Blackall Range to the west, and Noosa Heads to the north. There’s no toilet facilities at the park. 2. NOOSA NATIONAL PARK Noosa National Park is located in the heart of Noosa. Access from Hastings Street follow Park Road around Laguna Bay headland to the car park entrance. The National Park encompasses a rocky coastline and sheltered coves. No matter what your fitness level, you can explore one of its five varied tracks from the 1km Palm Grove Circuit, Tanglewood Track to reach Hell’s Gates (6.9km), the 3.4km Noosa Hill Track or the 10.8km Coastal track. 3. KONDALILLA FALLS, KONDALILLA NATIONAL PARK Named after the spectacular Kondalilla Falls, where Skene Creek drops 90m into a rainforest valley, this park is a cool mountain retreat and an important refuge for many native animals and plants. Enjoy a picnic at Kondalilla Falls day-use area. Walkers can choose the easy 2.4km Picnic Creek Circuit, the moderate 3.2km Rock Pools Walk or the more challenging

4.6km Kondalilla Falls Circuit. 4. MAROOCHY RIVER FORESHORE Start at Sports Road, Bli Bli for a beautiful walk along the river. The 1.2km sealed boardwalk allows visitors to easily explore wet and dry eucalypt forests, rainforest, melaleuca forest, casuarina woodland, salt marsh and mangroves. 5. BUDERIM FOREST Tucked away just off the main streets of Buderim is a wonderful and easy walk through the Buderim Forest towards the beautiful Buderim waterfall. Start at Harry’s Lane, just off the bottom of Lindsay Rd to stroll along the 700m long wooden boardwalk. Peer over the edge to see clean trickling water flowing through the forest, past the palms, rocks and vines. This is the easiest walk and is wheelchair friendly. Once the boardwalk ends, things turn to bush and it’s a bit more of an adventure to reach the waterfalls and rockpools. To access the waterfall direct, start at the top of Lindsay Rd and turn at Quorn Close. The walk is easy to moderate to the waterfall but is not wheelchair-friendly. The walk is well worth it to reach the stunning hidden gem of Buderim-its waterfall. 6. MAROOCHY BOTANICAL GARDENS A beautiful spot for a stroll and a picnic, the SCNE01Z01MA - V1



explore the SUNSHINE COAST was developing rapidly, he said. “People are coming here for a holiday before they make the investment, and saying, ‘how good is this place, let’s invest here, I’ve got a really good feeling about it’. “That’s why you see this huge increase in business travel.” Simon said the collaborative efforts with Sunshine Coast Council and Tourism Events Queensland to drive major business events – including medical, technology and economic development conferences – to the Sunshine Coast were reflected clearly in the visitor survey figures. “One of our key aims over the past three years has been to diversify the region’s market base,” he said. “The Sunshine Coast may have become a prime destination for discerning holiday travellers, but we wanted to build all other sectors to ensure that we had a balanced tourism base that was less likely to be subject to sharp variations in visitor trends. “For instance, the region is working hard to


grow food-based tourism, with the inaugural staging of The Curated Plate earlier this year. Arts tourism and experiential tourism are also being targeted, while our major events calendar continues to grow and diversify. Just recently, the Sunshine Coast won the ‘Aussies’ (the Australian Surf Life Saving championships) in 2021, which will bring over 20,000 visitors to the region. “One of the most important aspects of Sunshine Coast tourism in the past three years has been the go-ahead for major new tourism infrastructure projects including the upgrade of Sunshine Coast Airport, the launch of the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre and approval of a number of quality hotel projects. “However, it has been equally important that so many of our operators have invested in upgrading and extending their products and venues. The revitalisation of The Wharf Mooloolaba, Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort, Australia Zoo, Aussie World, the Big Pineapple and the Mary Valley Rattler has highlighted that everything old can be new again.”

Photo/Claytons Towing

The boggy downside of adventure E xploring the Coast comes with risks, as many off-road drivers bogged on its roads and beaches have discovered. Manager of Clayton’s Towing Mike Clayton has a fleet of more than 100 tow trucks and the business specialises in off-road recoveries. His staff recover hundreds of bogged four-wheel-drives on the Sunshine Coast every year.

Glass House Mountains. Photo/Visit Sunshine Coast

“We’re the port of call for the four-wheeldrive community, when everything else has failed,” Mike said. Driver error and lack of preparation accounted for the majority of spills, he said. “You can have a person with no four-wheeldrive experience that can get the most capable vehicle bogged,” he said. While he agreed some vehicles were easier to handle and had better manoeuvrability than others, he said inexperienced drivers can get anything bogged.

Maroochy Botanical Gardens at Tanawha are a great choice for kids. The gardens span 82 hectares located just off Tanawha Tourist Drive. Take a tour with a trained guide or come and enjoy the surrounds for yourself. Find out more at the gardens’ Arts and Ecology Centre. 7. COOLUM BOARDWALK Nothing beats an oceanside stroll and one of the best places for that is Coolum. The short walk along the boardwalk is designed to be suitable for people for all abilities and is lit at night time to be accessible at all times of the day. Starting from the lights at the t-junction of Beach Road and David Low Way, head up the boardwalk to Point Perry offers great views and a rest spot. Check out views north right up to Noosa. First Bay can also be seen from here in all its glory.

9. MAROOCHYDORE TO MOOLOOLABA SPIT WALK Join the cavalcade of walkers who choose the Mooloolaba Esplanade for their exercise spot. The walk is easy and the view is simply amazing. For those looking for a harder workout, there’s plenty of exercise equipment dotted along the way on Alexandra Parade and stairs down towards the beach which make for a great circuit. Stop for a cheeky coffee at one of the cafes before returning back to the car. 10. CURRIMUNDI FORESHORE RESERVE Near Gamban Esplanade and Westaway Parade. Take an easy 1.4km stroll along the southern shoreline of Currimundi Lake between Gamban Esplanade and the beach or walk through to Kathleen McArthur Conservation Park on the north side of the. Fantastic chance to take the kids for a walk with plenty of wildlife to spot along the way.

Caloundra’s Coastal Pathway is a breathtaking nine-kilometre stretch of paths, meandering along Caloundra’s beaches from Bells Creek in the south to Point Cartwright in the north.

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“You’ll see really capable cars that are stuck, and you’ll see somebody in a soft 4WD just driving around him. “Sometimes you go out to help people and you get there, and they haven’t even put their front hubs in, they’re just in two wheel drive.

“But it’s obviously a place where people get bogged – if it’s been sunny for a while, people get bogged one after the other.” He always asks a few questions to try help people solve the problem themselves, over the phone. “A lot of the time we talk people through, and we always ask people to send through a photo so we can get an idea of what’s going on,” he said. What tyre pressure is right for off-road? According to Sugar Rd Tyre and Mechanical owner Anthony Neilson, a bit of preparation will go a long way for a successful off-road adventure. “If you buy tyres off me, we’ll give you a tyre pressure guide,” he said. “For soft sand, go down to 18-16 PSI. Rock or gravel tracks can be 25-26 PSI. It comes down to the tyre and vehicle – but that’s a rough guide.” He said people often take the wrong vehicle off-road and wonder why they get stuck.

“That happens a lot.” Mike said drivers often go to great lengths to avoid calling the experts for a rescue.

Ground clearance was also an issue, he said, and preparation was underrated.

By far the worst area for bogging was the forestry dirt roads in the Glasshouse Mountains.

At Double Island Point, a common destination for people wanting to drive off-road on the beach, signs clearly advise areas where only vehicles with low range should go.

“And they’re paying a tow truck to come rescue them…so you go there and push the lever, and drive the car out.

“They get mixed up between their ability and what they think they can do,” he said.

“We rarely get a call through the day, but when their mates can’t help them and the mosquitoes start coming in and the sun goes down, all of a sudden we get calls.

Buderim Forest

“We don’t often get calls from there, because people tend to help each other,” he said.

“People buy an SUV, like a Captiva or Toyota RAV or Nissan Xtrail, they’re marketed as an all-wheel drive vehicle but for beach going you’re asking for trouble. All wheel splits the torque between front and rear wheels – but you don’t have low range.”

“They go through these massive holes with their little road tyres and get bogged.


With sights such as a lighthouse, lakes, creeks and surf beaches cropping up along the Coastal Pathway, this scenic trail is a great reason to get out and about and explore Caloundra’s natural beauty.

“It’s how to drive – picking the right gear, the right speed, the right tyre pressure,” he said.

and Inskip Point, near Tin Can Bay are beach areas where drivers often get into trouble, he said.

“We’ve been down there and rescued six cars, because someone’s called their mate who gets bogged and calls his mate, who gets bogged…and there’s six cars bogged.” Double Island Point at Noosa North Shore

“Know the tides, too - if you go in your RAV at high tide where there’s only soft sand, you’re asking for trouble,” Anthony said. “Low tide is a bit easier, but you’ve still got to go through the cutting.” He said people commonly also burned out their tyres by dropping the tyre when they left home rather at the beach. “Don’t adjust them at home - do it at the beach. It’s a no brainer but people do do that. Then the tyres run too hot and they need a new set.”



explore the SUNSHINE COAST


Everything you need to explore our marine environment


aguna Boating Centre is a local, familyowned business of 17 years. Our team has a combined industry experience of more than 85 years. Our sales, service and technical knowledge in the marine industry has earnt us the top status of an Elite Suzuki dealer. Come see our undercover showroom for Suzuki 4-stroke outboards, Seafarer fibreglass boats, Stacer aluminium boats, Polycraft boats, new trailers and accessories.

If you are looking for a tinnie, centre or side console, bowrider or an offshore fishing rig, we can package a boat to suit your needs and we take pride in offering good oldfashioned service. Our workshop is equipped with the latest factory service tools and diagnostic equipment for Suzuki outboards. We only supply and fit genuine spare parts for service and repairs, so you know your outboard is being taken care of and able to perform at its optimum level. Also, we

can service and repair Mercury, Mariner, Yamaha, Tohatsu and Honda Outboards. We have finance options available with Suzuki Finance for new and used packages and Suzuki Outboard Repower. Laguna Boating Centre provides a fast and efficient service to our customers so you can be back on the water having boat loads of fun. We are a member of Marine Queensland and stand by the Marine Code of Ethics. If

you’re looking for good honest service at competitive prices, give us a call or come and visit us at: Laguna Boating Centre: 16 Project Ave, Noosaville Trading Hours: Monday to Friday – 8am to 4.30pm Our current special is on the entire range of portable Suzuki 4 stroke outboards, a perfect gift or time to upgrade to get you out on the water this Christmas.

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explore the SUNSHINE COAST


Consider your skin while enjoying the outdoors W

e are fortunate to live and work on the Sunshine Coast, and enjoy all that this area has to offer. However, in Queensland, and especially on the Sunshine Coast, we live in one of the most at-risk locales, with two out of every three Australians being diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before turning 70. Fortunately, many types of skin cancer can be dealt with early on, so it’s important to get yourself checked regularly by a professional skin cancer doctor. Fair skin, family history, freckles, tanning or solarium use, outdoor work, lowered

immune system, a large number of moles and especially a personal history of skin cancer or melanoma, are reasons for paying particular attention to changes in your skin. People with one or more of these factors are strongly urged to have a regular skin check.

Sunscreen also plays a role in treating existing damage as it has been shown to reduce the number of existing sunspots when applied once daily to the heavily exposed skin.

What should you look for when checking your own skin?

The clinic.skin staff, Dr Scott Wilmot and Dr Mark Devin specialise in skin cancer detection and treatment and have worked

full time in the field for more than 15 years. Our clinic is brand new and purpose built to optimise patient outcomes and we able to deal with all types of skin cancer and melanoma at our facility.

We can’t be complacent when it comes to the Queensland sun.

Be checked, be sure. Contact clinic.skin now for your annual skin check on 07 5391400 or visit www.clinicskin.com.au

Put simply, be suspicious of any spots that stand out from all the others. It may be a new spot that you’re unsure about, or one that has changed. Melanoma can be flat, with the average thickness just 0.60mm. They may be very small but will typically have a diameter greater than 6mm. The one pictured measured 13mm x 8mm. Nodular melanomas are fortunately less common, however they are more aggressive and grow quickly. It is important to cover up when outdoors and limit your sun exposure to the start and end of the day.


Put your sunscreen on 20 minutes prior to sun exposure, wear long pants and long sleeves where practical, always have a hat, and sunglasses.



Specialist Doctors. Specialist Care.

FULL BODY SKIN CHECK Don’t delay, book your Full Body or Spot Skin Check today!


Sunshine Coast’s

#1 Skin Cancer Specialists. Book Now 07 5391 4000

Dr Scott Wilmot and Dr Mark Devin 5-7 Arundell Ave. Nambour (Entry via Bundarra St) Mon-Fri: 8.30am - 4.30pm | Weekends: Closed DR SCOTT WILMOT V1 - SCNE01Z01MA



explore the SUNSHINE COAST


Sunshine Coast Multisport Festival A

thletes are set for an off road extravaganza, as the Sunshine Coast MultiSport Festival returns to the picturesque rainforests of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Hinterland in 2020. The weekend is set to attract off road enthusiasts from across the country ready to tackle the rainforest trails at the Sunshine Coast MTB Festival on Saturday, followed by round four of Australia’s National Trail Run Series, Trail Run Australia on Sunday.

Photo: In2Adventure

Photo: In2Adventure

The weekend includes events for all comers from hardcore athletes to weekend warriors and mum, dad and the kids. Riders can choose from one of the many courses on offer at the Sunshine Coast MTB Festival including 47.5k, 28.5k and 9.5k courses, as well as the FREE Kids mud rats dirt bike and running enthusiasts have the option of a half marathon, 11k, 5k as well as the FREE kids mud rats run. And, if just one day of action isn’t enough, why not consider taking on the ultimate off road challenge with the Dirt Master and Dirt Mistress competition where athletes tackle two hardcore events across two days with the aim to record the fastest cumulative time to take the title of Sunshine Coast Dirt Master or Dirt Mistress. Visit in2adventure.com.au for details.

Photo: In2Adventure

Photo: Jeff Kingston, In2Adventure

Apps and links for adventure Fuel Map Fuel Map (Smartphone app) is a crowdsourced database of petrol stations and fuel prices from all across Australia. All station information is added and edited by users like yourself. You can also add current fuel prices which are then shared with other users of Fuel Map.

WikiCamps Australia A great database updated by fellow campers and adventurers that provides information on campgrounds, backpacker hostels, caravan parks, public dump points and information centres.

Coastalwatch SunSmart The SunSmart app lets you know when you do and don’t need sun protection, making it easier than ever to be smart about your sun exposure all year.

Spyglass Spyglass is an essential offline GPS app for outdoors and off-road navigation. Packed with tools it serves as binoculars, heads-up display, hi-tech compass with offline maps and many more features.

adventure.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au With over 150 free, self-guided walking, cycling, mountain biking, horse riding and canoeing activities, Adventure Sunshine Coast is the ultimate guide to the great outdoors of the Sunshine Coast.

Check the surf anywhere, anytime with Australia’s largest network of live streaming Surf Cams, Daily Surf Reports & Surf Forecasts from Australia’s most popular beaches, plus tide and weather information.

First Aid by Australian Red Cross This brilliant First Aid app gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. Interactive and simple step-by-step advice means it’s never been easier to know fifirst rst aid.

Apps available on iTunes and/or Google play - check individual apps for pricing/in app purchases. SCNE01Z01MA - V1

Profile for NRM Custom Publishing

Range to Reef Sunshine Coast  

Range to Reef Sunshine Coast

Range to Reef Sunshine Coast  

Range to Reef Sunshine Coast