ANYONE FOR A PICNIC?: Mooloolah River and picnic reserve, Mooloolaba, ca 1960.
ANYONE FOR A PICNIC?: Mooloolah River and picnic reserve, Mooloolaba, ca 1960. CONTRIBUTED

Recreation areas enhance Coast's natural wonders

WITH the change of seasons, thoughts turn to getting outside to enjoy the wonderful environment in this beautiful region we call the Sunshine Coast.

With school holidays on the horizon, being in the great outdoors is the choice for many families.

Our bushland, parks and walks have much to offer.

Pack a picnic, grab a blanket and enjoy the day.

Don't forget some binoculars for the kids or perhaps nanna to take a look at birds building their nests and to view scenes in the distance.

Early pioneers Agnes and William Skene built their home, named Bon Accord, near Flaxton during the 1890s.

The dwelling stood at the top of a section of the Montville-Mapleton Road, known as Skene's Cutting, on the corner of Bon Accord Falls turn-off.

The falls were originally part of Mr Skene's selection and in 1893, were named Skene's Falls and later Bon Accord Falls.

Mr Skene requested the Home Secretary's Department to have 80 acres of his property, including the falls, declared a reserve.

The area is now a national park and the falls are known as Kondalilla Falls.

Kondalilla Reserve, including the falls and present parking area, were all part of Skene's original selection.

In 1906, it became a recreation area and in 1945, the reserve was gazetted as Bon Accord Waterfall.

Six years later, the name was changed to Kondalilla, meaning "rushing water" in the local Kabi Kabi people's language.

Kondalilla National Park (327ha) was linked to Obi Obi National Park in 1988.


Maroochydore's Blanck Park was given to the community by generous benefactor Thomas O'Connor.

There is a plaque in honour of Mr O'Connor with the wording: "This park was donated by Thomas O'Connor in the year 1917 upon Trust to erect thereon a public hall and other buildings for the benefit of the residents of the area. Upon the passing of the Trustees, the land has now been set aside as a public park".

Originally, a public hall was erected on the site and on August 21, 1921, a provisional school started in the building.

Following the end of the 1923 school year, the provisional school pupils were relocated to a new state primary school built on Main Road, Maroochydore.

In 1923, Mr O'Connor built and opened the Star Theatre which also served as a venue for social events.

As a result of these changes, he considered there was no need for the public hall.

The building was demolished and the land left neglected until the 1940s when a local resident, Adolph Blanck, voluntarily took over the maintenance and care of the grounds.

The park then became known locally as Blanck Park.

Tanawha's Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens is another place to enjoy.

It is set amid 82ha of bushland with walking tracks, artworks and is an ideal place to have a picnic and walk during the early spring months.

Native plants should be in flower during this time with eucalypt forest trees shading picnic tables.

Some of the wildlife you may see in local parks such as these botanic gardens include mammals such as possums, koalas, sugar gliders, and water rats, and reptiles including water dragons, goannas and snakes, as well as an endless list of bird varieties.

Snakes, including venomous ones, can be seen at this time of year sunning on paths or in bushland and we must not do anything to put ourselves or families in danger.

Take a wide berth and stay clear.

Situated in Queen St, Caloundra, Ben Bennett Bushland Park was set aside in 1969 to preserve representative ecosystems once widely found on the Coast.

This is a great place for a picnic and a great time of the year to view wildflowers and melaleuca and eucalypt trees, as well as coastal heaths.

Native wildlife can be seen in secluded spots and it is a great place to do some birdwatching.

Kings Beach has long been a popular holiday destination for families who make the trek for their annual holiday or for a day at the beach, to play in the park or splash under the water fountains.

Close by is the Sir Francis Nicklin Pool where you can take a swim in the free saltwater pool.

The new Kings Beach heritage murals on some of the picnic shelters provide an awareness of our cultural heritage, natural environment and landscape for all to enjoy.


Kings Beach foreshore, Caloundra, ca 1975.
Kings Beach foreshore, ca 2006, showing work on the Sir Francis Nicklin Memorial 25m pool redevelopment. CONTRIBUTED

Life-sized images from Sunshine Coast Libraries Picture Sunshine Coast image database display the loyal lifesavers, bathing beauties and the sand garden competitions in the new Kings Beach heritage murals.

New technology has made available amazing digital tools that enable new ways of becoming immersed in history.

Take a walk through the streets of Nambour and experience the unique and sometimes quirky history of the town by using the Soundtrail recently launched by the Sunshine Coast Council.

The new Nambour Heritage digital audio Soundtrail features 18 stories of Nambour as told by local residents.

Narrated by journalist and former Powerfinger drummer Jon Coghill, the Soundtrail opens a fascinating window into the contemporary history of Nambour from the 1950s and beyond.

Download the free app to your smartphone and take a walk through time.

The walk is a distance of 2.4km and starts just outside Nambour Library.

If you want to experience one of the best views on the Sunshine Coast, Mt Ninderry Conservation Reserve walking trails has two viewing decks with the second one recently completed.

Mt Ninderry is 304m high and has spectacular views.

The good, solid walk is similar to Mt Coolum, with signs in place.

Platforms on the eastern side provide views of Mt Coolum towards the Pacific Ocean, Valdora farms dotted nearby and the southern views of Maroochydore and the Glass House Mountains in the distance, as well as Noosa when looking north.

The second platform allows you to look towards Eumundi region and the vista seems to continue for many kilometres.

Enjoy the school holidays and our parks, beaches and walks.

There is so much to see and do in this beautiful region we call the Sunshine Coast.


Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council's Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.

In 2017, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the naming of the Sunshine Coast. For more information on this milestone anniversary, visit