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Travel guide Caloundra

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Sunshine Coast

If you visit the Sunshine Coast, you may never want to leave. The stretch of towns from Caloundra to Rainbow Beach boast exceptional weather, sunrises you'll actually want to wake up to watch, beaches perfect for surfing as well as beaches ideal for people who hate surfing, vineyards, scenic vistas of Glasshouse Mountains and even dolphins. The list of reasons to visit has barely started.

The truth is, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect holiday destination for honeymooners, families, retirees, singles, mates, couples, professionals, blue-collar workers, domestic gods and goddesses, dogs, SCUBA divers, yobbos, fishermen, bush-walkers, wine connoisseurs, greenies, and even accountants. It should be illegal to go there and not have a good time.
Family fun

If your family needs more than the Sunshine Coast's glorious beaches and pools to have a good holiday, fear not: there is plenty to keep kids and parents entertained. 
1. Aussie World in Palmview is a theme park packed with 30 rides and games, offering plenty of excitement for all ages.
2. Pay homage to the man who made the world believe all Australians use the word "crikey" on a daily basis. The 70-acre Australia Zoo in Beerwah was made famous by Steve Irwin - Crocodile Hunter, and was clearly a labour of love, judging from the effort put into each of the exhibits. Exciting shows run daily; opportunities to feed giant turtles and interact with many other animals make this a must-see attraction.
3. Mooloolaba's UnderWater World is great way to see what lies beyond the coast of Australia. Sharks, rays, turtles, weedy sea dragons, and crabs are just a few of the 25,000 creatures you'll meet. Sea lion shows, interactive displays, tours, feeding sessions, and even diving opportunities make this a fun day out for everyone.

Romantic interludes
Frolic on the beach, watch the sunrise together, and prepare yourself for some more romantic fun:
1. Take a wine-tasting tour of the many Sunshine Coast vineyards. Be sure to buy a bottle or two to enjoy during your holiday, and for your return back home.
2. Catch The Valley Rattler, a scenic railway line starting at Gympie and passing through Dagun, Amamoor, and Kandanga to Imbil. Choose where you'd like to disembark, and take a tour of the village, try some shopping, enjoy a pleasant lunch and then hop aboard until the next scenic stop.
3. Enjoy a romantic cruise at dusk. Many companies throughout the Sunshine Coast offer sailings, ranging from dinner cruises to longer excursions.

There are thrills and excitement to suit any age on the Sunshine Coast. Here are just a few to get you started:
1. Take a 4WD tour of the world's largest sand islands, Fraser and Moreton. You can also rent a 4WD and catch the ferry across. There is plenty to see and do - snorkeling, whale and dolphin watching, swimming in rock pools and off beaches, and strolling through the beautiful vistas of flowers and birds. Great fun for families, romantics, mates, and anyone else who likes a good day out.
2. SCUBA divers and snorkelers will find plenty to of colourful fish, coral, and sea creatures in the region. Each town along the Sunshine Coast offers tours for experienced divers, as well as training for anyone wanting to try diving for the first time.
3. Offshore fishing: there are loads of fishing tours from which to choose, get out and have fun with a line and BBQ your catch for dinner.
4. Try your hand at kayaking along the beautiful Noosa River, or if you're feeling especially adventurous, give ocean kayaking a try.

When to go
The Sunshine Coast is a year-round paradise.

How to get there
There are two airports from which to choose. The most convenient is Sunshine Coast Airport if you can get a flight from your city. Alternatively, if the best airfares or most convenient flights are to Brisbane International/Domestic Airport, you can rent a car and drive the 75 minutes to the Sunshine Coast, or catch the Sun-Air bus service or Airtrain to get to your destination.

Alternatively, there are major highways leading in from the north and south, as well as a rail service to Nambour from Brisbane.

Whether you are after a luxury self-contained home on the beach, a dog-friendly hotel, a stylish bed and breakfast, or a comfy economical retreat, you will find what you are looking for among the 200 Sunshine Coast accommodation choices available on www.takeabreak.com.au

Ideal length of visit
The Sunshine Coast is an area where you'll want to stay as long as possible, and visit as frequently as possible. So if a weekend is all you can spare this time, there will be plenty to do (or not to do if relaxation is your goal). You could also easily fill a week or more checking out all the attractions, exploring the towns and lazing on the beaches.

Further information
Visit Tourism Sunshine Coast for more information about the region, and www.takeabreak.com.au for the biggest range of holiday accommodation choices.

Kylie-Jane Degeling is a freelance writer who has lived in Adelaide,Yulara (Uluru), Alice Springs and Canberra, as well as five different countries throughout the world. After backpacking around Australia, sheworked as a tour guide in Central Australia, before training for her Commercial Pilot License and working as a flight instructor, scenic flight and charter pilot. She later worked as a travelling IT trainer for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which involved spending time in each of their 16 District Offices around the country on a frequent rotating basis. 

Having experienced Australia as a backpacker, tour guide, pilot and business traveler, Kylie now enjoys family holidays with her husband Alex and children Jezzy and Jordan. She says, “I have been lucky to see Australia from a variety of perspectives, and as a travel writer can use this experience to inspire others to find holidays they would enjoy.”

Kylie currently works as a travel writer in addition to being a government writer and columnist for two parenting magazines.


About the author
Find out more about Kylie at http://bit.ly/h_experts

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