Playing tourists on the Sunshine Coast

From inland we head back to the beach to the Sunshine Coast with no real plans other than wanting to find something affordable (you know, because I’ve become a mega tight-arse and all!). Well, we were in luck and found the Cooroy RV park which is a Council run space – to call it a park really is quite a stretch, it’s really an oval with a caretaker, especially as all vans had to be self contained and there was no power available – however, the best part was that it only cost $10 a night.

It was the perfect base to explore the coast and so we did. We headed to the coast for a trip along the beach and to Coolum for lunch.

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We took a drive up through the hinterland to Maleny and Montville whilst the girls slept and a trip up to the coast to Mooloolaba.

We checked out Eumundi Markets which were awesome – thank goodness we only had 2 hour parking, because in that time we ended up with a new pair of shoes each, a little bit of Christmas shopping and a tonne of fresh fruit and veges.

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After this we went to the Ginger Factory in Yandina. The girls loved it here with the ginger train and the boat ride that told the story of the Gingerbread man who travelled the world (you know the story – ‘run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread man!). A really well done ride for littlies, featuring boats that took us around to view iconic vistas of the world created using marionettes. Very well done!

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We were also able to catch up with some old friends who are now based in Cooroy here as well which was awesome. Ali and Liam are old friends from Mundubbera and we’d worked out I hadn’t seen them since my Mum passed away. Through the wonders of facebook, we’ve been able to stay in touch but it was really great to see them both.

The next day we spent the afternoon with my friend Sarndra and her fam which allowed the girls the chance to run around and play with other kids and for us to catch up over chicken and chips for dinner.

After a few days in Cooroy we head over to Landsborough, ready for a day at Australia Zoo which was fantastic.

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Theme parks and tourist attractions are often not cheap for families. We’re extremely lucky that with a 2 year old, many things are free for us, Australia Zoo included. However, despite the fact that we spend $151 on entry fees for the three of us, you can see where every cent has been spent. It’s a fabulous place and Steve Irwin’s legacy is still very much alive and well. My marketing brain went into hyerdrive with how well the branding of the Zoo has been done and how Steve and his life story has been integrated in the signage and marketing.

We’d heard you could hire prams so we decided to do this and was surprised to find that it was only $14 for the day. I went back to get aonther one and due to computer glitch, managed to get that one for free. Completely saved our butts and allowed us to get all the way around with minimum drama and requirement to piggyback the girls.

Surprisingly the food court and gift shops were really reasonably priced too.

And after 7 hours, we were done! Exhausted but pleased we decided to do it!

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And that was the Sunshine Coast. There is no doubt a million more things we could have done whilst we were there, but we’ve reconciled ourselves to the fact that we are limited in what we can do with the girls not to mentioned, with the funds. We have to be very selective about what will provide value for money and keep the girls engaged.

But our few days on the coast were fantastic and it was great to experience the diversity of the area. From the beaches to the hinterland, it’s a beautiful part of the country. Despite growing up on the coast, I think I prefer the forests and hinterland over the beaches. That could be more to do with the tourists and crowds, but there’s something about the lush green national parks that I just love.

What’s your favourite part of the Sunshine Coast? Do you prefer the beaches or the hinterland?

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