Once slated to become the capital of Sunshine Coast, the small Queensland settlement of Yandina never quite fulfilled its ‘destiny’ … but that’s probably good news for atmosphere-loving grey nomads.
Yandina was the first town established in the Maroochy district, but it was overtaken in importance by Nambour when a sugar mill was built there.
It may not have risen to the heights once expected of it, but Yandina – located 110 kilometres north of Brisbane about a kilometre or so off the Bruce Highway – was once a bustling community, and its historic heart is still a big attraction for travellers.
A good starting point for visitors is Yandina Historic House, which was built more than a century ago and now houses many local artefacts.
The building also acts as a Tourist Information Centre, and this is the spot to pick up a copy of the Yandina Heritage Trail brochure.
Many of the town’s original wooden buildings have been beautifully preserved and these include the Anglican Church built in 1880, the Yandina School of Arts built in 1916, the general store, Excelsior House, built in 1909, and – of course – the pub.
The Yandina Hotel dates back to 1889 and was once famously relocated across town on rollers to its current position near the railway station. Legend has it beer never stopped being served during the entire move.
Many of the buildings in this heritage streetscape now house independent specialty shops, and a very worthwhile bakery! While the town itself is a fascinating place to walk around, the most famous attraction in Yandina is the Ginger Factory, which was moved here from Buderim back in 1978.
There are rides, tours of the factory, and shops and restaurants. There’s a lot going on. Nearby is Nutworks, where all sorts of magical macadamia products are created. Visitors can view the factory processing, chocolate panning, and roasting here … and enjoy a free taste test.
Other popular local attractions include the Wappa Falls Astronomical Observatory, and the Yandina Markets which take place every Saturday morning at the Yandina Sports Complex.
Serious market lovers might decide it’s also worth a 10-kilometre trip out to the village of Eumundi, which hosts what could be the biggest art and craft market in Australia. The monster event is held every Wednesday and Saturday.
Yandina does make a good effort to make grey nomads welcome and normally offers free 48-hour camping for self-contained campers at Endiandra Park Rest Area, three kilometres north of town. However, this is reportedly closed at the moment while it undergoes renovations.
Other good camping options though include the Yandina Caravan Park and Hidden Valley Farm Camping. There are some great little spots to explore just out of town, including Wappa Dam, Dunethin Rock, and Cooloolabin Dam. And the beaches of Coolum, Noosa and Mooloolaba are less than half an hour away.
Not a bad place for grey nomads to base themselves while they explore the entire Sunshine Coast!