Committee member, Pamela Wright, investigates the 2017 host destination for the 2017 ASTW Convention and Awards
To whet the appetite for members who’ll be attending the ASTW Convention, Awards and AGM on the Sunshine Coast in August this year, whale watching tours will definitely be on the agenda.
Departing from Mooloolaba, a 20-minute drive from the Sunshine Coast Airport, this coastal town will play a central role where members can participate by swimming with the humpback whales. Something I’d love to do.
On a visit, last December, I was too late for the whale migration but, because Mooloolaba is the centre of the Sunny Coast’s great fishing industry, you can go on deep sea fishing charters and guided kayak fishing tours. I chose a more demure water activity. A sunset, two-hour cruise with Sunshine Coast Afloat on the Mooloolah River and canals – on a jet boat no less but this time minus the thrills and spills.
For three days, I stayed at The Mantra in a one-bedroom apartment with a view to the ocean from the balcony and a view across the hinterland to the Glass House Mountains from outside the lift. Downstairs, as you leave this excellent property, is O’Malley’s Irish pub and just beyond is the beginning of a long stretch of beachfront esplanade, full of bars, al fresco restaurants, outdoor cafes and fashion boutiques finishing up at the surf club, a great place to dine looking directly down to the beach.
Hiring a car was an option I took, mainly to drive into and through the Hinterland. I drove via Landsborough to Maleney for a wander through the six kilometres of walking paths in the Botanic Gardens and a walk through the township loaded with bookshops and galleries. Eumundi Markets, open as they are every Wednesday and Saturday, was a perfect stop on the way back to Mooloolaba via a surf lesson with Merrick’s Learn to Surf in Noosa, The World’s Best Surf Lesson “If I may say so myself” says champion surfer Merrick.
Ah Mooloolaba – just a taste of what’s to come.