Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re looking for something beyond the traditional chocolates and roses, there are plenty of ways to maximise the Sunshine Coast’s natural wonderland to treat your partner on February 14. Nine News Sunshine Coast weather presenter Nicole Rowles (pictured) shares her four best date ideas.
- VISIT THE FAIRY POOLS
They’re Noosa’s worst-kept secret and for good reason. In my opinion, the Fairy Pools are one of the most beautiful spots on the Coast. Located just a short hike along Noosa National Park’s coastline, these stunning rock pools are more like gorgeous outdoor spas, best enjoyed on low tide (and early in the morning before the crowds roll in). Just picture it – snuggling up beside your partner in the water, a cold drink in hand, looking out on the expanse of the ocean.
- RIDE A HORSE ALONG THE BEACH
It’s the classic, romantic long walk on the beach, but with an exciting twist. Horse riding is such a fun, relaxing way to spend time in the outdoors. A number of companies offer experiences for riders of all abilities, and even let you to take the horses out into the ocean for a swim. It’s picturesque, it’s unique and it’s the ultimate gesture, especially for horse-lovers.
- KAYAK AMONG WATER LILIES AT LAKE COOTHARABA
Imagine picking a path through scores of beautiful floating flowers on board a kayak. Now, that’s a dream date. The surface of parts of Lake Cootharaba is covered by several beautiful species of water lily. Hire a canoe or kayak and take to the water for some slightly more active Valentine’s fun. If you’re up for an even bigger adventure, a number of camping grounds dot the shores of the river.
- PICNIC ON A MOUNTAINTOP
One of my favourite places in the world is the summit of Mount Ngungun. With a gorgeous outlook of the impressive Mount Tibrogargan and the sweeping coastline, it’s a great place to set up a picnic blanket and take in the view with a cool drink. The walk to the Ngungun summit is uphill and a little uneven in places, but the trail is less than three kilometres long. If you swap the picnic basket for a backpack and take it slow it’s an easy ascent and the view is worth every step.
Visit Sunshine Coast has also compiled a list of romantic ideas to consider this Valentine’s Day.
Paint and sip
For a date night with a difference, head to The Art Hub Sunshine Coast to enjoy one of the ‘Paint and Sip’ workshops where you can test your artistic talents on canvas, with a paintbrush in one hand and glass of wine in the other. On February 16, The Art Hub will host a Picasso Portraits event, making for a fun night out.
Watch the sunrise
What’s more romantic than declaring your love for someone on top of a mountain at sunrise? With views stretching across the coastline, a visit to Mount Coolum is the perfect way to start Valentine’s Day. After you’ve finished enjoying the view you can cap off the morning with breakfast at one of Coolum’s many beachside cafes.
Pack a picnic
A Touch of Deep Love offers the ultimate in Sunshine Coast romance. The company sets up luxurious grazing tables set against our stunning natural landscape. With plush scatter cushions, elegant tableware and bottle of Moët on ice, the picnics are as Instagram-worthy as they are delicious. If you’re after something more relaxed, simply pack your own basket and head to the beach or hinterland for a sunset picnic.
Fly and dine Take your romance to new heights with a romantic daytrip, by helicopter. Ocean View Heli offers adventures to some of the Sunshine Coast’s most scenic locations, including across the stunning coastline or Glass House Mountains. For something extra special, try the Fly ‘n’ Dine Experience tour taking you to the Sunshine Coast’s Flame Hill Vineyard for lunch. For the ultimate romantic gesture, there are also engagement and proposal packages.