Caloundra Weekend Away

Caloundra Weekend Away

AFTER picking up a fantastic 2-night hotel stay on Wotif.com (shameless plug) a couple of months ago, Kirsten and I took off for Caloundra, and more specifically Bullcock Beach on the Sunshine Coast for a couple of days of blue skies and exploration of the local area.

Checking in at the BreakFree Grand Pacific Resort in the late afternoon on Friday after work, we headed straight out onto the boardwalk around to Kings Beach to the North to enjoy the sunset which turned out to be a real beauty despite the lack of clouds to add a little reflective texture. But hey, I’m never one to complain too loudly about the lack of clouds.

Here’s a few pics of our boardwalk stroll and the view from our apartment kicking off with a couple of images I posted to Instagram over the weekend:

Surfers making the most of a beautiful evening off Kings Beach, Caloundra.
Kirsten looking out towards Mt Beerwah poking up from the horizon.

The tranquil view from our balcony at the BreakFree Grand Pacific, Caloundra.

Australia Zoo

First up on the weekend’s agenda was getting Kirsten along to the always awesome Australia Zoo for her first ever visit.

Located in Beerwah (Glasshouse Mountains), inland from the Sunshine Coast and about 80 clicks or an hour north of Brisbane, Australia Zoo is a stunning zoo experience that has easily become one of Queensland’s premier tourist attractions.

Set on roughly 100 acres of land the zoo was built up from a simple reptile park into an internationally renown zoo and wildlife conservation education facility by the late and great Steve Irwin and his family (Terri, Bindi & Robert).

The zoo now features not only a fantastic selection of native animals from all over Australia, but also from across Asia, Africa and the Americas – all who enjoy large spacious enclosures set in clean, almost spotless, grounds.

The following selection of images gives you a good idea of our entertaining animal encounters across 6 hours or so inside the grounds.

This alligator was pretty chilled considering how much he probably wanted to nibble on me.
This long-necked, long-legged beauty was one of Kirsten's favourites.

One of Australia Zoo's gorgeous tigers.

These little guys, the Red Pandas, are probably my favourites!

This Roo took some time out from being harassed by small children.

This Red Kangaroo was more than happy to feed from Kirsten's hand.

Alimah, Australia Zoo's albino Burmese Python.

This little devil, a Tasmanian Devil, was full of energy.
This little devil, a Tasmanian Devil, was full of energy.
I can't for the life of me work out how Koalas ever sleep comfortably.
I love this shot and knew it would be a goodie as soon as the shutter opened.

Hello there little fella!

The vibrant colours of a Blue-and-Gold Macaw from South America.

A Jabiru gracefully arrives in the 'Crocoseum' arena.
Lunch time for this powerful Croc, in front of a thousand or so onlookers.

One of Australia Zoo's largest resident Crocs.

A tightly curled Green Tree Python.

An example of the species of wombat we didn't see in Tasmania - the Hairy-Nosed Wombat.

Back for a last visit with the adorable Red Pandas.

A late afternoon visit with Bengal Tiger, Charlie.

An entertaining trio of Asian Small-clawed Otters.

An entertaining trio of Asian Small-clawed Otters.

While a day out at Australia Zoo for a family of four is by no means cheap, roughly $172, you can certainly squeeze a lot of fun and entertainment into a full day visit with various shows, intimate encounters with some of the critters, photo opportunities and more.

For more information and a wealth of educational material, check out the Australia Zoo official website at www.australiazoo.com.au.

The Glasshouse Mountains

Sunday was all about exploring the Glasshouse Mountains and surrounding region. The original plan was to summit Mt Beerwah, the highest peak of the group at 556m, but a recent landslide across the main trail put an end to that.

Instead, we opted for the well groomed, but very busy 1 hour return trail up Mt Ngungan, affording great views of the neighbouring peaks of Mt Coonoowrin (377m), Mt Beerwah (556m) and the iconic rock that is Mt Tibrogargan (364m).

It was a beautiful day to just sit and take in all the surrounding views of the pineapple fields and out to the coast, but our time at the top was limited a little by a series of flying ant swarms which, while not threatening in any way, were a bit off putting.

For a good source of information on the Glasshouse Mountains, check out this fan site put together by Phil Suter, a local resident and avid fan of the region he calls home.

A perfectly aligned view of both Mt Coonoowrin (377m) and Mt Beerwah (556m) from the top of Mt Ngungan (253m).

The most recognisable of the Glasshouse Mountain range - Mt Tibrogargan (364m).

Back down at sea level, we made our way up to one of our favourite spots in Queensland’s South East – the hinterland artisan village of Montville, for a little Sunday session with live music, a couple of ales and a cheese platter at the Montville Cafe Bar & Grill.

On the way home we dropped in on my grandparents for a quick visit, then battled heavy traffic home to Brisbane. All-in-all a relaxing and fun weekend away in one of Queensland’s best tourist regions close to home.

2 Comments

  1. Mel S says:

    Looks like a great weekend away. Your pics are amazing!

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