The first sign of a good holiday?
It’s when you wake up on the morning of departure and see that it’s raining in the city you’re leaving, and beautifully warm and sunny in the place you’re heading.
And that’s exactly the way it was when my mum and I took off on a three-day adventure to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for three days and two nights. The Sunshine Coast holds a special place in mum’s heart – in the late 70s and early 80s, she and my dad owned a Kombie and would often drive to Noosa and camp in the national park at the end of Hastings Street.
I haven’t been to the Sunshine Coast since the days when Tencel jeans were a thing and a fight over who would get the mini packet of Cocoa Pops from the Kellogg’s fun pack was the biggest concern we’d have during the week of family fun.
These days, I’m still wearing Tencel but I’m less concerned about Cocoa Pops, so I’m feeling pretty good about how far I’ve come in twenty years.
Anyway, back to the trip.
Mum lives in Melbourne and I live in Sydney so it’s early on a Friday morning that we meet in the terminals of Sydney airport and hop on a flight bound for the Sunshine Coast. (Both Virgin, Tiger and Jetstar fly into the Sunshine Coast, but if you’re more Qantas inclined, the drive from Brisbane is just a little over an hour.)
When we arrive at the Sunshine Coast, we ‘re met by Tony from Swanky Soft Top Car Hire. Tony generously hands Mum and me the keys to a soft-top VW Beetle. The car is indeed swanky and feels far too worthy for this daggy pair from the suburbs of Melbourne.
We set off in our far-too-cool VW (but keep the top down most of the time because we’re too scared we won’t get it back up again).
We were only on the Sunshine Coast for three days and two nights, but were surprised at how much you can pack into 72 hours. And so, here is a guide to the best of the the area.
You could do all of this in the space of three days or, better still, why not spread it out over a week or two?
Believe me, there’s nothing like a 60-minute massage followed by a 30-minute facial to kick off a relaxing weekend.
This spa is part of a boutique hotel group and is beyond divine. When we arrive, the staff at Spa Anise at Spicers Tamarind greet us with iced water with fresh lime and show us to what’s possibly the most beautifully tranquil treatment room I’ve ever seen. After an hour and a half of treatments, Mum and I sit outside on the balcony to the most stunning lunch – prepared by the chefs at the award-winning (and hatted) restaurant The Tamarind, which is located just next door.