Posted 7/11/2011 by
When you live on the Coast, an outdoor picnic makes you feel like you're on holiday. When you ARE on holiday, it’s a wonderful way to explore places on the Sunshine Coast you may not have considered. I use the term ‘picnic’ very loosely to encompass everything from fish and chips in butcher's paper to barbecues or full-blown wicker baskets. Free gas barbecues in most Sunshine Coast parks mean picnic destinations are endless. Here are half a dozen of the less obvious choices:
Currimundi, near Caloundra
The calm shoreline of Lake Currimundi is the perfect place for a picnic with preschoolers. The waters are shallow and calm, there’s plenty of sand to dig. With a couple of takeaway café’s to choose from (on the Southern side), you don’t have to think ahead. Bike paths run the circumference of the lake making this a lovely spot during colder months too, and barbecues are available.
Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens
Palm Creek Road, Tanawha
Avoid the beach crowds at this wonderful expansive garden. Shelters and picnic tables are available and a huge grassy area is perfect for a ball or Frisbee. Kids just love exploring the sculpture garden and there’s even a trail designed especially for them with hidden insect sculptures. Barbecues are not available here though, and you will need to take all supplies because there’s no kiosk on the premises.
Bradman Avenue, Maroochydore
In the middle of the Maroochy River, Chambers Island is accessible by walking bridge and surrounded by a thin strip of beach. Just walking over the bridge gives you the sense of being a world away. If you love fishing this is a great spot with Swan Bait and Tackle (and café) on the road side of the bridge. The island features a little playground surrounded by grassy picnic areas and a few new picnic tables with barbecues. Don’t forget insect repellent though!
Ormond Terrace, Kings Beach, Caloundra Kings Beach has the most amazing water fountain where kids (big and small) run amuck. Metres away, a free seawater swimming pool, water playground and grassy expanse make this a perfect picnic spot. Sheltered tables and barbecues get busy here and there’s not much shade by the fountain so remember sunscreen. There’s plenty of room for a blanket on the grass and you might catch a concert in the amphitheatre. A number of takeaway places are easily accessible.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
Mountain View Road, Maleny No doubt you have seen pictures of the view of the Glass House Mountains from Mary Cairncross Park. What you may not know is there’s a great, short, stroller-friendly walking trail here and (if the kids can be quiet) you have a chance of seeing Pademelon marsupials in the forest. A gold coin donation is requested for the walking trail and discovery centre, but picnic areas (with barbecues) are free and a kiosk on the premises has plenty of eating options.
Free gas barbecues throughout the Sunshine Coast make picnics easy
Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba
The Spit is home to Mooloolaba’s fishing fleet and consequently offers a plethora of super-fresh seafood options for your picnic. A newly developed playground is a real hit with youngsters and it’s within sight of the fish and chip shops so they can play while you wait. It might be hard to find a free shelter and barbecue, but the calm end of Mooloolaba beach is within spitting distance, so take a blanket and enjoy!