Cruise the Maroochydore River.
Stroll through mangroves and rainforest.
Another stunning sunset on the Sunshine Coast.
Cruise along the Maroochydore River, then take a stroll along the boardwalk through mangroves and rich rainforest; all in a few short hours.
David and Ann Percival are the owner/operators of Cruise Maroochy Eco Tours which operates three cruises. Getaway joined them on the Ecosystem Cruise. It normally runs for five hours, leaving at around 9:30am and including morning and afternoon tea and a barbecue lunch.
David looks after things down below and Ann gives a commentary covering the pioneer history, cultural aspects, flora and fauna. The tours are unpredictable, depending what wildlife is out and about and which questions passengers ask along the way. Ann knows the river as if it was her own and is known in the area as Queen of the River.
The Maroochydore River is calm and has an abundance of salt-tolerant vegetation within the tidal flats, as well as rainforest providing food and shelter for many animals.
Cruises start at the Cod Hole jetty. After the vessel's safety features are pointed out you gently cruise towards your destination of Mt Coolum, past the Eudlo Creek, Blackall Range, Mt Ninderry, Mt Ewar and crops of sugar cane.
Paddle-steamers used to travel along Petrie Creek and it was a thoroughfare for timber cutters. Heading downstream you reach the Wetland Sanctuary for lunch, which is served in a covered area about 50m from the boat among the wetlands.
You can wander on the boardwalk which meanders through five types of mangroves; just 500m away is a patch of thick rainforest. So close, such an intense contrast.
There are countless different types of birds in this area, as well as beautiful butterflies, crabs, kangaroos and wallabies and trees and mangroves, all of which Ann can identify.