Mooloolabah

A major residential and resort centre on the Sunshine Coast.

Location: 100 km north of Brisbane.

Mooloolah River National Park

Adjoining Mooloolah River, this park protects valuable remnants of coastal lowland habitat - rainforest, open eucalypt woodlands, melaleuca forests, wallum banksia woodlands, scribbly gum open forests, wallum heath and sedgelands.
Visitors can explore these habitats on walking tracks and fire management trails. The Park is within ten minutes drive from Mooloolaba off Bruce Hwy and Kawana Way.

Sunshine Castle, Bli Bli

This recreated Norman-style castle comes complete with drawbridge and moat, dungeon, torture chamber, dioramas depicting medieval life and fairy stories, period settings, medieval armour and a very large doll museum (including animated dancing dolls and those in national costume). It is located near the Maroochy River at 292-296 David Low Way, Bli Bli, just west of Pacific Paradise and Maroochydore, and is open from 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Ph: (07) 5448 4477.

Point Cartwright

At the mouth of the Mooloolah River are Point Cartwright and Beacon lighthouse Reserve (access via Pacific Boulevard). This recreation and scenic reserve offers excellent views over the coast and the boat harbour. Dolphins and turtles can sometimes be seen offshore.

Ski and Skurf Cable Water Ski Park

This water-ski park is located on the other side of the Maroochy River to Bli Bli Castle, but also adjacent David Low Way. It is open daily. Ph: (07) 5448 7555.

The Wharf

Behind Mooloolaba Beach, by the mouth of the Mooloolah River and adjacent Parkyn Parade, is the Mooloolaba Wharf Complex. With its jetty and marina, it is the home base for a trawling fleet, a pilot station for the Moreton Bay River and the home of a yacht club. The complex is used as a base for those interested in coastal, game and deep-sea fishing and it sports a number of waterfront craft, gift and specialty shops, an ice-creamery, cafes and restaurants.

The main attractions on the wharf are Games Zone, the Submarine Complex, the virtual dolphin ride, Underwater World and Scuba World. It is also possibe to arrange fishing expeditions, yachting, parasailing and canal cruises at The Wharf.

Underwater World

An quarium which boasts a moving walkway beneath a 2.2 million litre oceanarium full of sharks, rays, sea jellies, beautiful corals, moray eels, turtles, sea horses, octopi, colourful reef fish and larger ocean fish such as gropers. There are educational displays, billabongs containing crocodiles, lungfish and giant barramundi, as well as a touch tank for a hands-on experience of starfish, sea urchins and hermit crabs. For an extra (and quite substantial) fee visitors can take a behind-the-scenes tour and enjoy a 15-minute swim with the seals.

Special shows are held in Underwater World and on The Wharf throughout the day. Ph: (07) 5444 8488. Website


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Top Shots Fun Park

Top Shots Fun Park is one of the best family orientated attractions on the Sunshine Coast. A day at Top Shots goes a little like this; climb it, play it, splash it and hit it! There are loads of great activities to choose from; Climb the Indoor Rock Climbing wall with three tricky climbs, Putt two of Queensland's best 18 hole mini golf courses, Turn and Spin on the Extreme Vertical Trampoline, enjoy the Battle Dome of the Cannon Ball Blaster or for water sport lovers, the Blaster Boats and Inflatable Blue Crush Waterslide. The park has dozens of great coin operated arcade games, catering options, and an onsite fast food cafe. Ph: (07) 5452 7007.

Scuba World

Nearby, also on the Wharf complex, is Scuba World caters to both certified drivers and novices. Ph: (07) 5444 8595. Website

HMAS Brisbane Dive Site

HMAS Brisbane was affectionately known by those who served on her as “The Steel Cat”. Huge crowds watched as the HMAS Brisbane was ceremoniously sunk at 10am on Sun 31 July 2005, just off the coast of Maroochydore and Mooloolaba to create an artifical reef. Divers can explore the 133 metre, former warship through large access holes that allow passage into the forward engine room, boiler room, & the ship’s interior including sleeping quarters used by the crew during the ship’s service from 1967 to 2001. Website

History

In 1861, Lieutenant Heath surveyed and chartered the Mooloolah River mouth and harbour. A year later, Tom Petrie explored the area for timber resources. By 1864, William Pettigrew had purchased land at the mouth of the Mooloolah River and developed enterprises which enabled him to dominate the timber trade in the Maroochy District for the next thirty years. He established a timber depot and wharf and in partnership with James Low, he also opened the first store in the district. From 1870-1884, Mooloolah Heads was the port of the Maroochy District. By 1919, Mooloolah Heads was still more of a fruit growing area and fishing port than the seaside resort it is today.

Origin of name: thought to have derived either from 'mulu' the Aboriginal word for snapper fish, or 'mullu' meaning red-bellied black snake. Originally the name 'Mooloolah Heads' was given to the area from the mouth of the Mooloolah River to the site of the present Charles Clarke Park on River Esplanade.

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