When we departed Scarborough we had hoped to go back to Tangalooma, but damn that Tangalooma roll sucks. Instead of stopping, we decided to just hightail it out of Moreton Bay and head to our next destination – Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.
The Sunshine Coast is the area just north of Brisbane up to Noosa Heads. The distance between Moreton Bay and Mooloolaba, combined with the lack of other good stopping points in between, makes it a solid jump up the coast.
Friends of ours have a house in Mooloolaba with a dock, and had been accepting packages for us. It’s about 50 nm to Mooloolaba from Scarborough. Thankfully we left very early in the morning and timed the tide perfectly. What we didn’t time well was the weather! It poured buckets on us just as we were approaching the bar entrance. We slowed down until the storm passed and had an easy time entering the bar.
The south side of the Mooloolaba River is residential canals, so we squeezed our way in and docked at Alison and Wayne’s. Starry Horizons was super happy to have a beautiful and new dock to stay at, and David and I were warmly welcomed into our friends’ home.
Since we had boat parts waiting for us, our primary goal was to tackle some projects, but we did get to have some fun around the Sunshine Coast.
One day we went into Mooloolaba proper. We had lunch at the Surf Club with our friends Debbie and Paul, and then we walked along the beach. Surf Clubs are ALWAYS a reliable meal and this one was particularly good.
From the beach, we walked to The Wharf. The Wharf is a nice waterfront area, with docks, a small marina, and plenty of restaurants. All of the local boat tours leave from the Wharf, and there are a few dive shops as well. Apparently diving the HMS Brisbane is a big thing to do.
One night our hosts took their tinny over to the Mooloolaba Fish Market, where we picked up Mooloolaba shrimp, Coffin Bay oysters, and Moreton Bay bugs. We had a fantastic meal, and everything was SO good. Although Australian oysters aren’t as big as what I’m used to back home, I have to say, they are really good…maybe even better than Gulf coast oysters.
We had very calm weather while we were in Mooloolaba. Alison and Wayne have a jet ski and took me for a ride! On flat days, there are tons of boats out in the ocean just off the beach. We zoomed along at 40 knots and made the entrance into the Maroochy River. This river is definitely too shallow for Starry Horizons, but it’s fun of recreational boating like fishing tinnies, jet skis, and even a seaplane. It was a great way to spend a glorious day out on the water.
Mother’s day was another glorious day, so the four of us braved the crowds and went up to Noosa National Park for a bit of hiking. Noosa is at the top of the Sunshine Coast and is a cute beach town. The Coastal Walk is about a half an hour’s walk out to Hell’s Gates. Alison and Wayne remarked that this was the flattest they’d ever seen the water. We hiked all along the edge, looking down at the water and all the people enjoying it: sunbathers, kayakers, paddleboarders, jet skis, snorkelers.
I’m still having a blast with my paddleboard. Paddling the canals was fun and it was so nice to easily hop on and off to get some exercise.
I also got to meet up with my new friend Linda. Linda was docked at Mooloolaba Marina and I paddled over to say hello. We first crossed paths back at the WWSA Gathering on the Bay. Linda has written two books about the cruising life: Sailing in my Sarong and Salvage in my Sarong. It’s always nice to talk to someone who’s had such a lifetime of sailing.
The Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY) is just north of Mooloolaba. Public transport isn’t widely available, so you’d have to rent a car.
We departed the Sunshine Coast after 10 days, headed up for the notorious Wide Bay Bar and Fraser Island.