Beached: Coolum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

4 Jan

I write this as I cycle through four loads of washing and drying in the ridiculously hot Deception Bay laundromat situated between a pawnbroker and The Burger Joint with an adult shop and tattoo parlour conveniently located one shopfront beyond. Please don’t think I am feeling sorry for myself. I meet fascinating people in my regular visits to the laundromat and often treat myself to a Chinese reflexology head and neck treatment afterwards just down the road. Twenty dollars for twenty minutes of strong, skilled pressure in all the right places can’t be beaten in this part of the world.

We’re still in holiday mode here and I’ve been remembering my best times at the beach. In my teens I was a ‘surfie chick’. Today that label sounds derogatory but back then it was synonymous with a tiny white string bikini, long blonde hair, an all over tan and a passion for the beach (and surfers). While the sun-bleached locks are long gone, I still love the beach, wear a bikini, probably to some people’s horror, and despite SPF30 the tan remains.

That said, while I’m an ocean person my fella is more of a mountain man. Happily Mount Coolum, one hundred kilometres north of Brisbane, has both in proximity. Instead of Christmas gifts we rented a newish three-bedroom house with plunge pool a three-minute boardwalk from a patrolled surfing beach at Mount Coolum and invited our sons and their partners for the week. Friends came for a couple of home-cooked meals, we relaxed in each other’s company and made the most of the surf and sand at our doorstep. Evenings usually started with a game of backyard boules with cocktails. One was occupied watching recently digitised home movies of our time in Japan and Malaysia in the 80s and early 90s. I guess it’s for the best that our sons’ life partners know the good, the bad and the downright weird of their upbringing.

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Stuart and Cameron explored mountain biking trails and Stuart got back on court with the tennis coach at the Palmer Resort five minutes down the road. He did brilliantly at both. As his Brisbane neurologist said, if Stu takes his medication religously and stays off his Hyabusa (motorcycle) he should live long and well! Tristan was recovering from minor surgery so he and Jenny had a quiet few days. Not a bad idea after their hectic few months of travel and relocating to Brisbane from the UK to start brand new, challenging jobs.

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On a full moon evening we all hiked the forty minutes straight up the 25 million-year-old volcanic dome called Mount Coolum to watch the sun set. The summit has a glorious 360 degree panorama of the coastline to the cane fields, Maroochy River and the Glasshouse Mountains, deep green as far as the eye can see.

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Jenny’s first Aussie Xmas Dinner

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What we didn’t do was eat out. Apart from an occasional take away coffee we all took turns cooking and prepared a joint feast Christmas Eve (or as Stuart has renamed it ‘Family Day’). I’ve never eaten better. We also disconnected from the interweb for the week as the house doesn’t have wifi. I don’t believe anyone missed it what with War on Terror, Monopoly, books and a ridiculously difficult jigsaw puzzle to entertain us.

We’ll be back in Coolum for a few days when my sister Maria and her family come up from Melbourne this month and we’ve rebooked the Mt Coolum house for a fortnight over the coming year end holidays. I’m hoping Mum and Dad can park their motorhome in the driveway for a couple of nights and family and friends can take it in turns to come to stay. We may even remember to take a beach cricket set. Summer 2013 has all the makings of the best Aussie beach holiday yet!
……………………..
PS I have nothing but praise for the holiday letting company I dealt with http://www.coolumholidays.com.au Run by locals with a shopfront in central Coolum they are efficient, pleasant and easy to deal with.

On the other hand I would note that since Clive Palmer acquired the Coolum Hyatt Regency Resort recently it’s gone in the wrong direction. It seems to be an extension of his ego with cross promotion of his shipping interests, his classic car collection at reception and the infamous huge animatronic dinosaur on the golf course. While the look is definitely downmarket the prices are still five star, e.g. $5.75 for a flat white coffee and $27 for a basic pasta dish. Unsurprisingly the resort appeared nearly empty at what should be the busiest time of the year.

3 Responses to “Beached: Coolum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland”

  1. Irene Koh January 4, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Wow! I live on the Gold Coast and I don’t spend as much time on the beach or even made the time to go to Mount Tambourine. Visiting the beaches at Surfers or Broadbeach or Kirra are reserved for visitors. My days are spent at work 8:30 to 5:30pm and in the pool, sauna or spa at the complex where I live.

    • Sharon Tickle January 4, 2013 at 1:06 am #

      Irene, You gotta go more, there is such good energy at the beach!

      Like the sound of the spa.

      Stay well my friend.

      Sharon

  2. Linda January 4, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Hi Sharon. Sounds great. Can’t believe we were in Cairns and Sydney last year and could have met up in Brisbane if we had known you were there! Happy New Year to all x Linda

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