The perfect antidote to a Victorian winter.
There are times when cold, wet and windy Melbourne gets too much and all I want is a few consecutive days of sunshine. With four days to spare, what was a girl to do? Head up to the Sunshine Coast, that’s what!
This spontaneous little trip was basically a much needed Vitamin D infusion, so we picked up a rental car at Brisbane airport and whizzed up the M1 to our absolutely stunning AirBnB rental in Castaways Beach, an upscale residential pocket nestled between Marcus and Sunrise beaches. The journey took about two hours, but boy, was it pretty. And warm.
Pro Tip #1: If you have a little longer than four days, there’s plenty to do around this area, from visiting Australia Zoo to bushwalking on Bribie Island or even hiring a boat for a few nights.
The house was a stunner, an Australian coastal retreat-slash-Balinese villa, with a fabulous outdoor pool and wicker poolside pods to boot. In our bedroom was a massive ensuite with a freestanding stone bath. The windows looked out onto a lush tropical side garden so I had a view when I lay back in the lavender infused tub.
Our host was a wonderful lady who had three rooms for rent on AirBnB – each different, all providing guests access to the gorgeous shiny kitchen, pool and gardens. For breakfast, you helped yourself to cereal, bread, spreads and eggs left out on the countertop.
Pro Tip #2: If you’d like to book this place on AirBnB and don’t yet have an account, just sign up using this link: www.airbnb.com.au/c/klaw11. You’ll get free credits to put towards your first booking ($50 at time of writing).
Across the road was the ocean, and a scenic coastal path that offered relaxing morning walks. Further up lay Noosa National Park, where travellers appeared to enjoy stacking up rocks – a ‘thing’ apparently, as I saw these in the remotest places in Iceland too.
Busy as Noosa Main Beach is, it’s important to understand that it’s nothing like your quintessential Aussie beach. For one, the water is a deep green and the sand, grey and quite pebbly. Nevertheless, it has its charms, being sheltered and as tepid as bathwater.
Closer to the Noosa River mouth holds some fantastic relaxed stand up paddling – minimal current, plenty of marine and avian life. I think I counted about a dozen stingrays barely hidden in the sandy shallows – there were countless more individuals in the mangroves.
Pro Tip #3: People are terrified of stingrays – sure, these guys can cause damage with their barbed tails. However, don’t forget that you’re on their turf so respect their space and watch where you step!
There were also plenty of pelicans – a favourite of mine – who weren’t at all perturbed by our presence on the sandy spit in the middle of the river.
In the evenings, we schlepped up to Hastings Street in thongs and beachwear to look for food. This was where I got my first taste of a classic cheeseburger and frozen custard known as a “concrete” from Betty’s Burgers – so bad but also so good!
Pro Tip #4: Purchase your retirement home here if you can. The weather’s perfect, the water’s clear and it’s close enough to Brisbane that you won’t get bored 🙂
Read more about my travel experiences in Queensland here: