We arrived on the Sunshine Coast just before Easter, the school holidays were in full swing and it was busy, but we really wanted to make sure we didn’t hit Fraser Island during this time and it meant there was lots going on in the area. The weather also put on a show for us, it was sunny on the Sunshine Coast (SC)
We stayed in three different areas both on the coast and the Hinterland using the brilliant Journey Guide of the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland National Parks as our bible for planning trips. [Pick one up at the tourist Information Centre] Most days unless we had a monster cardio day, we hit the Jets gym’s in the area too.
What I love about the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast is how you can quickly switch from being on the coast and enjoying the beach to being in the cooler hills of the Hinterland. From Maroochydore we headed up the Obi Obi Road into the Hinterland. We had planned to stay at Gheerulla campsite in Mapleton National Park, but on arriving we both didn’t get a good feel about the place, it was dark, the campsite small and undefined as well as being right on the dirt bike track. We had seen a campsite just outside Kenilworth on a dairy farm and decided to give it a go. There is also a homestead a little further down the road which is lovely too, but only open on weekends, public holidays and school holidays. [Check the dairy farm availability before you arrive as there were rumours that it was shutting down, when we were there]
DAY 2 There was a camping expo on in Nambour and so we headed to checkout the latest camping gear on offer. There were some amazing compact caravans we loved and a few groovy new products. Checkout their website here for future dates
We actually came away empty handed with our only purchase being a pulled pork salad dish from one of the many food trucks.
We had coffee in Mapleton which is a cute little village with an amazing Lilly pond. This evening we met up with Brett Hooker whom we had been chatting with on the Drifta Fan page. He is probably the biggest fan on the planet and had so much cool camping stuff we got to checkout. As we all hit it off so well we decided we would meet up again over the pubic holiday.
DAY 4 [HIKE] Anzac Day
Conondale National Park, The day started with a beautiful eerie mist across the campsite. It’s was an easy 4×4 track into the National Park to do the 10.6km Artists Cascades walk, crossing three stony river beds, with the last being the deepest after a bit of rain. There are lots of walks here through the subtropical rainforest and we could have easily come back and done more, or gone backpacking here. We had planned to stay in this National Park and it looked fantastic, but we were all set-up at Kenilworth. The hike is an undulating walk to one of the best swimming holes in QLD [Sorry you loose out to the Hinchinbrook Trail] The walk also took us to an old Gold Mine and the 3.7m high Strangler Cairn rock sculpture
Over the last few months we have been using the Jets gyms while we travel and so we hit the gym again today before heading over to the Farm Gym to checkout how Acacia and Luke were going a few days before they opened. I use to train with these guys back in Perth and the concept they have created out here is amazing. Its a community where you can train on a 40 acre fruit farm, the views from the squat rack are amazing and I wish this was my local gym. They gave us some perfectly ripe paw paw which we enjoyed for breakfast.
We rounded off the day exploring the quirky shops around Kenilworth and grabbing a coffee at Nanna McGinns Coffee Shop, which is very traditional coffee shop with a lovely big balcony.
DAY 6 [BIKE]
It was great to get back on the bikes today in Mapleton National Park with its huge towering trees and really nice day area with BBQ’s
We did the short but very steep 9km Kurleepa Loop with a short walk to a not so impressive waterfall. We had coffee in Mapleton again over looking the Lilly ponds at Fishtales. If we did this trip again we would definitely consider staying at the campsite in Mapleton for easy access to all the activities.
DAY 7 [BIKE]
We loved yesterdays ride so much we came back for some more fun elevation in Mapleton National Park and hit the 6.7km Piccabeen Circuit.
We then popped into Kenilworth for some amazing cheese tasting and ice cream. Yum this place is well worth a visit.
DAY 8 [Eumundi Markets]
These markets are huge, the whole town is geared up to host these markets on a Wednesday and Sunday. We loved exploring all stalls and found a gem of a coffee shop called Deadly Expresso. It’s been established as an indigenous community development project and they cook up yummy food with a bush tucker twist. It’s a must visit, tucked at the back of the markets.
Take a look at the SevGen concept too if you want more information on this project. “SevGen is short for Seven Generations which is an Indigenous way of thinking that says we must consider that our actions and deliberations of today, will affect our people seven generations into the future, whilst drawing on the wisdom of seven generations past.”
Today also was the first night of Join the DOT’s where other Drifta trailer owners from the online community joined us, we have become great friends with Tofty and Brett having met in the Drifta online community and our planning more trips soon. You can checkout our Facebook live video here.
DAY 9 [HIKE]
Conondale National Park, Mt Allan: It was back to Conondale National Park to do the 10.5km hike up Mt Allan today, its a great climb up the switch backs to the summit. We were met with magnificent views from the top of the fire tower, which we climbed inside. The hike has a total elevation of 473m.