This month we are highlighting the Sunshine Coast. While some of the team were away exploring our great state dahumbug was very busily preparing this month’s feature for you all. We thank him for his time and effort in bring us this great report. There is so much to do in the Sunshine Coast! It was not possible to fit it all in. We may bring you another Sunshine Coast Highlight as we get closer to the main event.
Welcome to Geocaching in the Kabi Kabi area!
Or more commonly known as the Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast is a peri-urban area and the third most populated area in the Australian state of Queensland. Located 100 km north of the state capital Brisbane in South East Queensland on the Pacific Ocean coastline, its urban area spans approximately 60 km of coastline and hinterland from Pelican Waters to Tewantin.
The area was first settled by Europeans in the 19th century with development progressing slowly until tourism became an important industry. The area has several coastal hubs at Caloundra, Kawana Waters, Maroochydore, and Noosa Heads. Nambour and Maleny have developed as primary commercial centres for the hinterland. When referring to Maleny, you also must refer to other magical towns nearby. Montville and Mapleton are only a small stones throw away. Lets not forget about the beauty of the Glasshouse Mountains in the south, and the mystique of towns of Pomona, Cooroy and Eumundi in the north.
The Sunshine Coast, as a term recognised by most Australians, is the district defined in 1967 as “the area contained in the Shires of Landsborough, Maroochy and Noosa, but excluding Bribie Island”. Its use is frequently colloquial, however. Since 2014, the Sunshine Coast district has been split into two local government areas (LGA OR COUNTIES AS PER PROJECT GEOCACHING), the Sunshine Coast Region and the Shire of Noosa, which administer the southern and northern parts of the Sunshine Coast respectively.
Major rivers of the Sunshine Coast include Noosa River, Maroochy River, Mooloolah River and the Stanley River. The region includes several lakes such as Lake Cootharaba and Lake Weyba. Ewen Maddock Dam, Wappa Dam and Baroon Pocket Dam have been built for water storage.
Several stretches of the Sunshine Coast are lined with unbroken beaches – from Sunshine Beach near Noosa to Coolum Beach, the coast from Point Arkwright to Mudjimba, the Maroochydore–Mooloolaba stretch and from Buddina past the Caloundra CBD to Pelican Waters .
The Sunshine Coast is home to more individual national parks than any other region in Queensland. The natural biodiversity of the area has been protected by five separate parks in both coastal and inland regions, including Mapleton Falls National Park, Kondalilla National Park, and The Glass House Mountains National Park.
Sunshine Coast has a humid subtropical climate typical of South Queensland. Summers are generally hot, but moderated compared to areas on similar latitudes elsewhere. Winters retain warm days, but have cooler nights rendering it falling into the subtropical fold. There is no dry season and precipitation is generally quite high. Enough with the boring intro, let’s talk about what you’re here for … the caches!
There are currently 1255 active caches collectively in the Sunshine Coast and Noosa LGAs, making it the third most abundant area in all of Queensland after Brisbane and Moreton on the north side.
Where shall we start? Lets start with somewhat what the Sunny Coast is famous for …the sunny coastal beaches. In no order of preference, we start at the top.
Noosa is famous for its beaches and upmarket shopping. While the Main Beach is easily accessible, the hidden joys are hidden around the headland. Why not treat yourself to a walk around Noosa National Park. Here’s a couple of caches to get you there. GCWBBA #1 Keyring Cache at Noosa – this is an easy walk along a popular track, a little care needs to be taken near the cache site but it’s not too treacherous.
GC737 Plantman #17 – one of the great Plantman caches hidden by Plantman while on a working holiday back in 2003.Original Logbook and Container you can find on this one. A struggle to believe once you find it. Located at the southern end of Noosa National Park. While its one of the hardest spots to get to, you will be rewarded with access to one of Noosa’s remote beaches and also visit one of the caches listed on Queensland oldest 100 caches.
There are also several Earthcaches located on Noosa National Park where visitors will not be disappointed.:
GCWCF0 No Granites At Granite Bay
GC6WCF0 Hells Gate
While you’re in the area don’t forget to visit Sunshine Coast’s “Most Visited Cache” GCRKN4 Laguna Lookout with over 860 Finds since 2005 you don’t want to be one to miss out looking out to stunning views over Noosa. We have the cacher powellbruce to thank for that offering.
Let’s move on down the coast a little to the awesome beachside town of Coolum. While there is lots of beaches to enjoy here at the coastal village of Coolum, you would be missing out by not climbing Mount Coolum GC4G6XW Mount Coolum. At a height of 208mtrs Mt Coolum has a remarkable botanical diversity with more than 700 different species of plants identified there. Vegetation types include eucalyptus forest, coastal wallum, paperbark wetland, rare coastal montane heath.
The walk to the summit is along an Australian Standards class 4 rated track with a 1.6K return journey which recommends that you allow 2 hours return. The pathway has recently been reconstructed and is well maintained with plenty of areas for a rest on the way up and down. It is estimated that up to 140 people a day climb Mount Coolum! With over 50 Favourite Points it must have something to offer.
Lets move on down the coastline, to the golden beaches of Maroochydore and Mooloolaba. Most recommended here is the two Adventure Labs – Green Team’s Sunshine Coast Coastal Pathway a cruisy walk from Cotton Tree to Maroochydore. After this you can try your hand at Konie’s A Wander Around Mooloolaba, a journey that takes you from Alexandra Headlands to the Spit at Mooloolaba. (PS…I recommend Fish and Chips down the Spit). Konie and Green Team have been caching for eons and are enjoying their golden years placing caches on easy terrain these days!
Before we finish talking about the beaches, we better not forget about Caloundra. One of the original sunny coast holiday hotspots. Once a very affordable holiday spot for young families but now home for an abundance of baby boomers. You could say all the travelling grey nomads could feel at home here…just joking. For caching lets look at the most favourited cache on the Sunny Coast. With a hundred odd Favourite Points the location is to die for GC3TK2J Kings View If it’s too tricky to find Wesso is always good for a PAF!
While in the area you can try your hand at Wesso Family’s Adventure Lab Discover Caloundra. Another easy one to find on the app. Do not forget the Virtual Cache, we will list that one later. Caloundra region is abundant with caches looking to boost their numbers. Caloundra is also the doorway to the Northern tip of Bribie Island, which is also home to a pleasure of caches.
Moving away from the coastline down to the Glasshouse Mountains. There is a plethora of caches available for the masses down there. Whether you like easy to find park and grabs, or maybe challenge yourself with a daring mountain climb. We will mention a few to get you in the right area.
GC1E307- The Glass House Mountains – Mount Ngungun
At a height of 253mtrs Mount Ngungun is made of rhyolite and the vegetation is the most varied of the Glass House Mountains. 126 of 178 plant species found in the Glass House Mountains are found within the forests of Mount Ngungun.
The walk to the summit is classed as one of the most accessible in the Glass House Mountains. It is a class 4 track with a 2.2K return journey which requires you to allow 2 hours return. Note-A little bit of trivia with this one…This mountain was home to the first geocache ever hidden on the Sunshine Coast back in March 2001 GC2A5JF Glass House Lava Plugs (Queensland). This cache is the epitome of the Glasshouse Mountains. A real showcase. While the last two caches are the easier mountain offerings, we should not fail to mention a couple of challenging caches GC264D Gorilla, on top of the world, or at least the head of a gorilla, hidden in November 2001. The original cache hidden on the gorilla mountain Mount Tibrogargan GCQFKP Big Bold Beautiful Beerwah a replacement cache for the highest mountain of the Glasshouse Mountains. This will test your stamina and rock scrambling ability. DO NOT ATTEMPT IF WET.
Let’s move on up the hill from the Glasshouse region to Maleny. The original home of alternative culture on the Sunny Coast. Do you know that the world-famous Woodford Folk Festival had its origins as the Maleny Folk Festival? Once a buzzing town of hippy culture and alternate thinking, now the home of trendy up market real estate. Why is that? Well the rolling hills soaked in glorious mountain air, and abundant in views to die for you should treat yourself and immerse yourself in a Maleny experience of your own. Caches to highlight GC892WA Hinterland Highlight Virtual and GC4R718 Heard of Cows a pairing of caches to get you in the right area to enjoy Maleny Meanderings.
Moving on from here north to Montville… along the way there is a couple of breathtaking reflections to behold. Don’t miss this one GC17G2J Gerrards Views one of the many lookout caches along the way. Once you’re at Montville, you can enjoy the quaint little village feel while doing WallabyWanderers Adventure Lab Montville Meandering.- GC17G2J Montville Coddiwomple.
Meandering mostly through municipals muchly starting with M, meets us with another mention called Mapleton. The hometown of “The Bug”(dahumbug) who has made sure there is nearly one of every cache type here for punters to amuse themselves merrily with. Meantime, there is a cache that should not go unnoticed GC4XHMZ Baxter Falls searchers for this cache will be rewarded with a stunning rainforest walk and a look at a waterfall few people know about. You will follow a well-made and signposted walking track to Baxter Falls.
There is heaps more hinterland towns that could be mentioned with much detail. The kaleidoscope of caches at Kenilworth with nice offerings in town on the edge of the Conondale National Park to the south and a montage of mountain musings at Kenilworth Bluff, otherwise known as Humbug Mountain.
Eumundi with its efficient placement near the highway and situated nicely to promote travellers onwards to Noosa. Home of the famous Eumundi Markets which take place most Wednesdays and Saturdays. The old timber town of Cooroy, home of the famous EVIL CACHES. Cachers come from all over the world to find them. Here’s a bit of an EVIL ONE. Let’s not forget about Pomona, home of the world famous mountain race King of the Mountain where such humans subject themselves to race from town to the summit of the local Mount Cooroora. Don’t be afraid to come embrace your very own piece of Serenity of the Mountain.
There is so many more that I’ve forgotten to mention all the Adventure Labs. There is 10 ALs listed on the Sunshine Coast Map. Pull up the app and look at the map for yourself.
There are 4 Virtual Caches placed on the Sunshine Coast, a couple already mentioned previously:
GC892WA Hinterland Highlight Virtual
GC891FT A Good Egg
GC891Q8 Emu Mountain
GC890CH Centaur Memorial
Being the Sunshine Coast most people think of the water. There are many, many water based caches spanning the whole Sunshine Coast, plenty of space for you to get your yak out and go for a paddle.
Our big thanks again to dahumbug for highlighting the Sunshine Coast. Next month we hope to bring you another guest writer and introduce you to a whole other part of Queensland.