In desperate need of a break after an emotionally draining few weeks, we packed our bags and headed off to the Sunshine Coast for the Australia Day weekend. We were in search of a dog beach, op shops (we’re avid bargain hunters), good food, and some much needed R&R. Well, Sunny Coast, you certainly did deliver!
Where we stayed
We booked ourself another Airbnb for the weekend – a fantastic dog-friendly spot in Palmwoods called Winston Cottage. If you’re new to Airbnb and book a stay via the link in this post you’ll receive $55 in credit towards your stay, and we’ll get a little kick-back too. The location is perfect for exploring the Sunshine Coast. Everything is no more than a 30 minutes drive away – Maleny, the Glasshouse Mountains, Mooloolaba, you name it! Chris, the owner of Winston Cottage, was an amazing host. He provided us with the most delicious, filling gourmet breakfasts every morning. I’m sure not complaining about the few extra kilos I probably gained thanks to his home-made bacon and fresh eggs from his chickens! We highly recommend Winston Cottage. If you book there make sure you let Chris know that Trinity, James and Dog sent you!
What we did
This wasn’t our usual “adventure filled” weekend. Instead, we took it easy. We meandered around the op shops hunting for bargains, dined out at dog-friendly cafes and restaurants, and relaxed on the beach taking in the colours of the sunset.
If you’re into op shopping, we highly recommend checking out what the Sunshine Coast has on offer. Prices are far more budget-friendly than the city op shops and there are plenty of great bargains to find. I scored a pair of Ted Baker flats for a mere $6.50, and multiple Review tops for less than $5 each! If you’re limited on time, the op shops in Maroochydore are your best bet. The Lifeline at Maroochydore was our favourite for clothing bargains on this occasion.
If you’re looking for dog-friendly dining we recommend Rick’s Garage in Palmwoods. They were more than happy to accomodate Dog when we dined there, with plenty of seating outside. They specialise in American diner style food – ribs, burgers and the likes. Their whiskey bar is also a very nice addition, with their whiskey cocktails definitely worth a try!
While I said this wasn’t our usual type of weekend away, we did manage to get off-road a little. In search of the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset over the Glasshouse Mountains we explored a few of the tracks in the State Forest. We’ll definitely be back to drive more of those State Forest tracks another time!
One Tree Hill
Maleny’s famous One Tree Hill deserves it’s own section in this post. A popular spot to take wedding photos, this unique tree has arguably the best view of the Glasshouse Mountains on the Sunshine Coast. It is worth stressing that One Tree Hill is on private farmland. Please do not trespass! If you are interested in organising a photo shoot here the owners ask for a $50 donation in advance which they donate to local charities.
We headed down Mountain View Road, armed with Thai take-away from Maleny (which was delicious), to find ourselves a place to park on the roadside to enjoy the sunset view. Of course, the evening we chose to photograph this spot it decided to rain! Like the paparazzi, we sat in the Patrol on the side of the road, camera ready, keeping our fingers crossed that the thick cloud over the mountains would pass before the sunset colour started to show. We weren’t alone for sunset – a small hatchback and Juicy camper van also pulled up briefly to snap a few selfies before moving on. Thankfully, our wait wasn’t in vain. As if on cue the clouds moved on right at sunset revealing a gorgeous purple hue over the mountains.
Is this the Sunshine Coast’s best dog beach?
A highlight for the trip was discovering an amazing off-lead dog beach. Not being a dog who loves water, it’s surprising just how much Dog loves the beach! Given the chance to run off-lead on the sand, Dog really comes to life. Our normally sloth-like dog, happy to spend 98% of his day sleeping, suddenly turns into your typical hyperactive Staffy!
Knowing a local who raved about the dog-friendly beaches in her neighbourhood, we found a place to park in the residential streets of Bokarina. This off-lead dog beach runs between Point Cartwright and Currimundi. You can find more details about off-lead parks and beaches on the Sunshine Coast Council website.
On the few occasions we visited this beach we were really impressed. The council has done a great job paving the beach access path, even providing a tap and shower to clean off after a swim. In addition, it was great to see everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves in the company of their dogs. We view our little guy as family. Therefore, we include him in our trips away as often as we can. Dog-friendly locations, like this beach, make it easier for us to spend time with him. He loves to join in on our adventures as much as we enjoy having him around.
We’re always interested in hearing about dog-friendly places to visit or stay. Do you travel with a dog? We’d love to hear about your experienced and swap stories!