August newsletter 2014.
July has brought us some fabulous days with clear skies and gentle breezes; just right for sitting on our balconies and watching the world go by. Some of our guests have been lucky enough to see whales close to the shore from their apartments. Early in July Sunreef Scuba Diving Services introduced a new experience – Swimming with Whales! Dan Hart is the staff member who has introduced this to Sunshine Coast visitors. He told us that the only other place where people can swim with whales is Tonga. Sunreef is offering two trips a day, each one takes three to four hours. Dan has done the trip many times and says he never grows tired of it, he describes getting within a few metres of a whale as a “breath-taking, unreal experience” and it is accessible to anyone who is a competent swimmer. The price of $114 per person includes equipment hire and a bag of snacks. Encounters will be running through until 11th November. www.sunreef.com.au
Strawberries: the very word conjures up sun and joy. We’ve treated ourselves to strawberry sundaes at McMartin’s Strawberry farm a couple of times this month. Families were picking strawberries and children playing in the playground while we indulged ourselves. A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Their strawberries are available from Eumundi Markets on Saturdays and from the Fisherman’s Road market on Sundays.
We continued our Sunshine Coast parks expeditions with a close to home visit to Nelson Park. It is an area just one street back from the Alex Surf Club. A 15 minute walk from Northwind, the park is a haven for a wide range of bird life. We saw grebes, dusky moorhens, three kinds of shags, an Australian darter, Australian wood ducks, black swans and egrets to name just a few of the species bird watchers can spot in the park. This is a great place for families to enjoy. It has BBQ facilities and a fabulous playground which are fenced off so children cannot access the large, shallow lake which is home for the birds. At one end of the lake there is an island which has a large bronze statue featuring a black swan and an egret. The Sisters by Choice sculpture symbolizes the relationship between the Sunshine Coast and Chinese sister city Xiamen. The smaller island in the middle of the lake is reached by an arched bridge and features a rotunda, which provides a pleasant place to sit.
Sealife (formerly Underwater World) is one of our favourite places. Each time we go we discover something new. This month we discovered the leaf scorpion fish. This fascinating creature molts every 10 to 14 days and can change colour after each molt, they are venomous but the venom is not as strong as that of the stone fish or the lion fish. Sealife will be having its next sleep-over in the walk-through tunnel on 4th October as one of the school holiday activities. www.underwaterworld.com.au