There are many reasons why people visit the Sunshine Coast. It is conveniently located on the coast of Queensland Australia, which puts any visitor within close proximity to an array of fascinating and fabulous islands. There is an array of lovely hotels to use as a home base. The toughest decision that an intrepid traveler will have is making the choice of which islands to visit.
Likely the first island that will come to mind when in the area is the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island. This is a destination the people come from all corners of the globe to enjoy. One important thing to note about Fraser Island is the large size. There are many tours that explore the multiple very different aspects of this island.
The easy route: Likely the quickest and least demanding way to see the whole island would be to take a one hour flight with MI Helicopters. They offer an a picnic getaway that will take you and someone special on a scenic flight of the island culminating in a private picnic for two on the beach of Hervey Bay. A beautiful view, lovely lunch, and a romantic beach setting would be appealing for a lazy day.
All day affair: The Discovery Group offers a day long tour that starts with a complimentary pick up from the Sunshine Coast bright and early and continues until the evening . This tour takes passengers along the sand to a morning tea at Rainbow beach, and then on a day long adventure with plenty of sights and no shortage of teas and good eats.
On your own: For those that like to explore on their own it is possible to rent a vehicle and do exactly that. It is important to note the need of a four wheel drive vehicle as well as the required driving permit. Drive along the Seventy-Five Mile Beach, which is a highway or traipse through sand tracks that will take you to lakes and rainforests. Remember this is an island, so there will be a list of emergency tools and supplies to carry along.
Getting there: To get there from your hotel take the Bruce Highway, go on through Gympie all the way until exiting at Maryborough. Getting to Hervey bay from that point is pretty easy because there are signs plainly posted to follow.
Bribie Island is just south a bit from the Sunshine Coast. This is the perfect place to go for a laid back and low cost day. This is a particularly nice location for families that are looking for a low key day. The vast majority of the island is protected and still an a natural and unspoiled state. Many different creatures, such as dolphins, dugongs, and turtles call this area home. It is also a good place to bird-watch and spot kangaroo's or emu's.
Easy hike: Take a leisurely walking tour known as the Bongaree Walkabout, which starts at the jetty and takes around an hour to take in.
Shopping :For some relaxed shopping check when there will be a Bribie Island Market to find tasty gourmet treats, see arts and crafts, and look for treasure at a salvage sale.
Moreton Island National Park
Hiking, camping, and viewing marine life is what many people do at Moreton Island. The best place to spot whales is from Cape Moreton. Visit during the months of June through November for this treat. There is excellent fishing here, but rules and regulations are important to abide by. Certain parts of the island are off limits to any type of collection including catching crabs and fish. There are so many rules that getting a map and a park user guide is recommended.
A very natural setting: a lot of what makes Moreton Island such a nice destination is due to the unspoiled nature of the park. There are some very good spots to snorkel such as along the Tagalooma Wrecks, but it is something that is done at a persons own risk because there are no patrols whatsoever. A visit to Moreton Island is not for those who prefer their comforts, it is a wild place that can be dangerous if care is not taken.
Available tours: There are nice guided tours which offer secure avenues of exploring the area with a guide that is informed and reliable. Some tours will guide you through snorkeling in spots where they know there is an abundance of marine life. Dolphin wild offers a relaxing and educational cruise that gives passengers a chance to see the island and it's underwater inhabitants aboard a luxury catamaran.
Getting there: Heading south from the Sunshine coast along Bruce highway will put you in the right direction, the choice of ferry will determine the rest of the journey . Just book ahead because it is a popular destination.
North Stradbroke Island
Anything you could possibly want to do is available it seems on this busy, bustling Island. There are calm and relaxing tours to sit and see as well as fishing and diving adventures. This is a destination that can offers delights to the sedentary as well as adventurous. Families especially love the island because of the sandy beaches and enclosed swimming areas.
Bike tours: it is important to note that North Stradbrooke Island is known as being a great place to bicycle. There are a few different ways to rent the bicycles and some are nice family deals. With the gently rolling hills, abundance of adorable eateries, and all of the incredible vista's this makes a great spot for the family.
Getting there: South of Sunshine coast. There is a vehicle ferry and water taxi's that make so many trips back and forth that it is very easy to fit the crossing into your schedule. Once on the island it is a breeze to hop on the NSI bus service and get dropped off at all of the popular spots.
BIO: Jason Hall is Social Media Manager for http://www.budget.com.au/default.aspx, Australia’s leading car hire company.