Queenslanders have enthusiastically embraced the seaside lifestyle, and the amount of traffic in and around Caloundra, on the Sunshine Coast, has grown exponentially during the last decade.
Yet while visiting Caloundra recently I found a veritable oasis of tranquillity tucked neatly to the side of one of Caloundra’s busiest main roads, Bowman Road, just before you enter into town proper. There, nestled among plenty of tall trees, was the entrance to the Hibiscus Holiday and Caravan Park.
Investigation revealed that it was right on the water, within walking distance of Caloundra’s main shopping area. This location is great for anglers – you can fish from the walkway along its entire eastern frontage or travel just a little further away to enjoy plenty of fishing. There’s also a boat ramp suited to smaller craft, and from the ramp it’s no trouble at all to slip out into the nearby Pumicestone Passage in search of a feed of fish.
This Hibiscus Holiday and Caravan Park (ph: 1800 550 138, web: hibiscusholidaypark.com.au) has been there for quite a while but it’s modern throughout. The fact that it has graced the area for some time is reflected by the massive shade trees – palms, figs, jacarandas and others – interspersed throughout the Park. Air-conditioned cabins plus on-site vans with high degrees of comfort and useful exterior seating are part of the Hibiscus experience as well. There are also plenty of powered and un-powered sites to cater for all kinds of visitors, and sites are large with plenty of room for visitors to enjoy a stay without feeling cramped or crowded, even at prime holiday times.
Located on the southern side of Bowman Road, virtually opposite the large Stockland Shopping Centre with its prominent K-Mart sign, the tree-lined entrance gives an inkling to what you can expect to find inside the gates. Assistant managers Bob and Wendy Booker will make you feel very welcome, and after you’ve finished with the initial registration formalities you can choose just the right site for you, whether you have a van in tow or a tent in the back of the car.
Visitors choosing to stay in one of the large air-conditioned cabins will be pampered. For a start, each cabin is located on the east side of the Park, right on the water with views across Pumicestone Passage, and I noted tables and chairs were set up strategically to make the best of the cool onshore breeze plus the great view. Cabin features include kitchens with stove, microwave, cutlery, crockery, fridge, and other useful items, while a colour TV and self-contained bathroom are also offered to make the visitor feel right at home.
On-site vans are a little further into the Park but shade is pretty much assured due to that offered by the magnificent trees along roads. Again, visitors are well catered for in that each van has its own lean-to for shade, plus a table and chairs set up within the confines of the lean-to. Campers will also be impressed by the size and cleanliness of amenities. Again, modernisation has shown benefits.
As mentioned, there is a boat ramp suited to smaller craft (great for people who travel with the tinny on top of the van) easily accessed on the east border of the park and a BBQ is conveniently handy in the same area as well.
Within around 500m walking distance of the Park is the main Caloundra shopping centre where there are any number of retail outlets of all descriptions, restaurants, shops and clubs, a tavern with bistro and restaurant plus a decent seafood outlet on the southern side of Bowman Road for those folk who can’t catch their own fish. Also in Bowman Road is a handy bait and tackle outlet.
Within a short drive are the local surf beaches, local markets at Eumundi, Caloundra and Maroochydore, and the renowned Underwater World at nearby Mooloolaba. While there are ample clubs in the area, the local Caloundra RSL Club is an award winner and well worth a visit.
Anglers will find plenty of excellent fishing opportunities while enjoying their stay at the Hibiscus Holiday and Caravan Park. Yes, you can fish straight off the front wall of the park for whiting or bream (best at night as the water can be very clear) but with so many other good areas within a short drive you can easily diversify. Attractions include the break at the Caloundra bar, which is known for its excellent whiting and bream fishing as well as the many neat areas of the Passage’s west shore that are quite easily accessed via Landsborough Parade and The Esplanade, which are the main thoroughfares leading to Golden Beach.
Local beaches that are well worth close scrutiny by the visiting angler include Bulcock Beach, accessed via The Esplanade at Caloundra, as well as Kings Beach via Ormonde Terrace, Shelly Beach via Swansea Street, Moffat Beach via Campbell and Bryce Streets, and the well regarded Dicky Beach around to the north side of Caloundra, which is accessed via Beerburrum Street where there is a parking area.
Surf fishing, rock fishing, estuary fishing – it’s all available in this area, and for those with a boat there is great fishing available both in Pumicestone Passage as well as offshore for those with larger craft.
And yet, as great as the fishing is, I saw folk within the Hibiscus Holiday and Caravan Park just sitting back and enjoying a cold drink in the shade of a big paperbark tree right on the water.
1) The sign for the caravan park on Bowman Road isn’t easy to miss.
2) The boat ramp at the Park is ideal for small cartoppers and the like.
3) Fishing in Pumicestone Passage is easy while staying at this caravan park. Wading or boating – it’s up to you.
4) Holiday cabins are right on the waterfront at the Hibiscus Holiday and Caravan Park. You could fish off the walkway if you wanted to.Reads: 557