After leaving Fraser Island and Hervey Bay and having a bit of a look around Maryborough it was on to Gympie and then into the hustle and bustle of Maroochydore and the Sunshine Coast. After ticking off a bucket list item (see Roller skating at Maroochydore), I had a wander around the area before catching up with an old friend from my teenage years at Coffs Harbour.
I arrived in Maroochydore the Friday before Christmas and the place was just crazy. People and cars everywhere and far too busy for my liking. The next day I headed off with the intention of heading out to a couple of Dams west of Gympie but was having some mechanical issue so decided to get that seen to. Being Christmas week no mechanical place wanted to know me. After visiting 3 places in Gympie without luck I got on the phone and searched further afield and finally found a small place at Yandina that was willing to “have a look” but no promises. The next day he got me mobile but I would need further work which could wait until they reopened after the Christmas New Year break. Unfortunately I had further (different) issues which ultimately required major surgery.
I had organized to do a Housesit over the Christmas break at Eudlo (See Bucket List #25) so stayed around the area until it was time to go there. I arrived a couple of days before they were departing to familiarize myself with the duties I had to undertake. Fairly easy and straightforward. Looking after a Jack Russell Terrior, a horse and an aviary full of Finches and Quails. They also had an extensive garden so needed to water most days, until the rain started to help me out. It was a great relaxing time. The property was situated 500 metres from the town on a few hectares of bush. So sitting on the veranda looking out at the bush was very peaceful. Needless to say it was a very quiet Christmas Day for me, apart from numerous phone calls. I stayed in Rhonda but had access to shower, toilet and laundry as well as power.
The owners were going away again later in January and had organised another sitter but that fell through and they rang me and asked if I was still in the area would I like to return. As it happened I was around the area so happily agreed to go back and do another week. This time they were taking the dog so it worked out well as I had hired a car for this week and was able to see so much more of the area as Rhonda was not well enough to travel too far.
From the base in Eudlo (20 minutes south of Nambour) I was able to do day trips all around the countryside and covered over 1200km in that time. There is just so much to see and do in the hinterland. Beautiful and quaint little towns like Montville, Mapleton, Maleny, Kenilworth, Palmwoods. The Eumundi Markets. Did a trip out to Kilcoy, Esk, the huge Somerset Dam, Yvenhoe Dam, Mount Glorious, Mount Mee. The list goes on. Some of the roads that I went on were at times very narrow and winding but just absolutely stunning scenery and countryside. A couple of standouts were Obi Obi Road and Postman’s Track. Zipping around in the Hyundai i30 was heaven. Not only did it have air conditioning but I didn’t have to go in the slow lane going up hills!
All up I spent nearly 2 months in this area and just absolutely loved it. Apart from the 2 stints of housesitting, I stayed at a variety of places around the area including beside the Maroochy River, boat ramp at Kuluin, Nambour, Yandina, 5 nights at Dayboro Showground and at friends places at Maroochy River and Peregian Beach. While the coast is so busy all the time, I especially enjoyed my time with an old high school mate at Peregian Beach. He lives 100 metres from the beach, the house with ocean views and the beach is awesome for a swim and a surf. He and his wife surf just about every day. Why not when you live that close to the beach.
Dayboro Showground was a lovely stop, overlooking green paddocks and up to the hills and some great looking trees. A short walk into town to replenish supplies. What I don’t recommend though is walking back from town in the midday sun, carrying a carton of beer on your shoulders!
One of the “touristy things” I did was visit the Buderim Ginger Factory at Yandina. I did the factory tour and this was enlightening and well worth it. It was a great place for kids but I recommend avoiding the school holidays if you can. It was packed with ankle biters.
Eudlo and Nambour are both on the rail line to Brisbane so I took advantage of this and did a few day trips down to Brisbane and even the Gold Coast one day. I really enjoy train travel and it was an economical way of getting around.
There are so many great places I have been to so far and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is right up there with the best.
After nearly 2 months enjoying all there was to offer, Rhonda finally had open heart surgery, well heart replacement actually, and I was on the road again for the next adventure.