Sunshine Coast: Water sport haven

By Estelle Sarney

The pool at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast. Photo / Supplied
The pool at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast. Photo / Supplied

They know how to do family resorts in Queensland, and the one we stayed at, the Novotel Twin Waters Resort, is a fine example.

Just down the road from the Sunshine Coast airport, where Air New Zealand will start flying direct from July, and across the river from Maroochydore, Novotel Twin Waters is an expansive haven that you'd never have to leave if you didn't feel the need to explore.

Built around a man-made lake fed by the river, there are sailboats and kayaks, and a big inflated pontoon that kids trampoline off into the water.

You can work out in the gym, go for a bike ride, then have a swim in the pool before wandering over to the spa for a massage or facial.

The buffet restaurant puts on a fabulous seafood spread on Friday and Saturday nights, and there's also a more casual bar restaurant for steak, pizza and fish and chips.

And then, of course, there's the beach. The sand is so soft and golden, and stretches on forever in either direction (without the Gold Coast's high rises), it seems too good to be true.

The water is a balmy 22C most of the year, warmer than any New Zealand beach I've been to. It's like it's been heated just enough to take the chill off, but still be refreshing.

A surf break is never far away. Surf lifesavers set up flags from 8am every day, probably funded by the resorts so no guests get into trouble, but their presence is reassuring just the same.

Back at the resort, the units are spacious and comfortable, with blocks looking into central treed areas dotted with barbecues so you can cook your own dinner if you wish (and if you can't be bothered shopping, the resort provides barbecue packs).

We don't really have family resorts like this in New Zealand, so if you're going to the Sunshine Coast stay at one. They're part of the Queensland experience.

* Accommodation ranges from A$139, with one and two bedroom suites available from $199. Stay three nights and save 33 per cent.

- Herald on Sunday

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