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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.