Sydney Morning Herald Traveller
Travel writer Marissa Calligeros was guest of Rumba Beach Resort and posted this amazing editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Suites at Rumba house a double spa bath within a rather glamorous bathroom. Rooms over The Esplanade offer sweeping views of the coastline. Those at the rear of the complex still offer beach views, but also overlook the roof of restaurants below. When it’s pouring rain like it is on this weekend, staying directly above restaurants is always handy. There’s nothing pretentious about Rumba’s self-contained rooms, but it’s the small luxuries, including a spacious kitchen with near-new stainless steel appliances, DVD player and iPod docking station, that are appreciated by the many couples on coastal breaks, and weary mums and dads with kids in tow.
Come dusk, locals congregate on the boardwalk at Bulcock Beach to thrown in a line, while families unpack eskies ladened with salads and snags on the picnic tables nearby. The opposite side of the road is lined with restaurants. However, it's no Hastings St. Rather, it's a more relaxed style of dining, free of too many white tablecloths. There’s the family-friendly (and very mainstream) offerings of Hogsbreath Cafe and The Coffee Club, as well as the slightly more upmarket La Dolce Vita. Yet, Beachview Seafoods is the popular choice among many who visit here.
For those not keen to fish, there are hire bikes to peddle along the boardwalk and the over the headland to Kings Beach. On Sunday mornings, markets pop up in a tree-lined boulevard of Caloundra’s main shopping precinct on Bulcock Street. Seek out the homemade fudge - there’s coconut, chocolate and caramel flavours. There’s also a wide offering of art and crafts, clothes, health remedies and jewellery, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. On-site, there's a large pool which meanders its way around buildings of the hotel. There are some underwater window portals, and it's well-lit at night.
Fifteen years ago, Bulcock Beach was chiefly a boat channel. Swimmers were warned of deadly stone fish, bull sharks and passing ocean traffic. It was rough and ready. In more recent years, Bulcock Beach has undergone a gentrification of sorts, but not so much so that it has lost its laid-back, family-friendly vibe. For the return trip home, locals recommend taking the winding road that unfurls west from the Sunshine Coast through the mountainous hinterland. A Sunday drive through these lush surrounds is soothing - the sweet smell of eucalyptus from the forests on the Blackall Range equally calming. The lesser known route will take you through the picturesque, mountain top town of Montville, where a tea stop at the landmark Poets Cafe provides a welcome opportunity to stretch one’s legs. Warm homemade pumpkin soup and a mug of hot chocolate may not be the expected end to a weekend summer getaway.
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