Top 5 Day Trips from Living Gems Pacific Paradise

Pristine beaches and tropical rainforests make up the long stretches of coastline just waiting to be explored. Here is our shortlist of the best places to get out and about to enjoy the Sunshine Coast.

  1. Noosa National Park – 30 minutes’ drive

Loved by locals and tourists alike, Noosa National Park is an unmissable destination. The magnificent coastal backdrop is framed by beautiful pandanus palms and banksia trees. There are a number of walking tracks varying in levels of difficulty:

Alexandria Bay Walk: follow the Coastal Path, starting at the Parkedge Road entrance, the walk is 4.2km so allow an hour to reach Alexandria Bay.

Hell’s Gates Lookout: This 2.7km trail starts at the main car park and is a peaceful walk that gets you out of the sun on a hot day. Follow the Tanglewood Track back through the forest.

  1. Maleny Botanical Gardens & Bird World – 1-hour drive

Take the scenic route and enjoy the drive from the resort to Maleny Botanical Gardens. When you arrive pick up a map and take a leisurely stroll through the easy walking paths.

Pack up a picnic and enjoy lunch at the picnic tables — or don’t ­— and enjoy a pot Devonshire tea and scrumptious scones with jam and cream in one of the gazebos.

  1. Hervey Bay Whale Watch – 2.5-hour drive

Hop onboard between 14 July ­– 31 October and join Australia’s original Whale Watch operators for an experience of a lifetime! Because Hervey Bay’s waters are protected by World Heritage Listed Fraser Island, it makes the perfect place to see the humpback whales play.

  1. Glass House Mountains – 1-hour drive

The magnificent Glass House Mountains are made up of the remnants of volcanic activities millions of years ago. As a result the ancient peaks offer incredible views of the Sunshine Coast. This makes it a popular place for bushwalking, rock climbing and abseiling. The mountains have a unique Dreamtime story which tells of their formation. 

  1. Ginger Factory Yandina – 40 minutes’ drive

Sunshine Coast’s iconic Ginger Factory in Yandina offers a unique retail precinct, cafe, tours and fun rides. Visitors will also enjoy the live bee show, the Ginger Train or a stroll through the tropical gardens. Don’t forget to pick up a ginger plant for your garden!


For more information about Living Gems Pacific Paradise click here or to request a FREE information pack click contact us.

Living Gems celebrates Seniors Week

Throughout the state our community will come together to celebrate Seniors Week. This event is held from 18-26 August to recognise the value of the contribution older people have made in the workforce and community throughout their lives.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland coordinates Seniors Week on behalf of the Queensland Government. The event aims to improve community attitudes towards older people and to enhance community connections and relationships.

Living Gems is joining the celebrations this year, offering free morning tea and information sessions at four locations.

General Manager Vlad Pullich said that Seniors Week is a great opportunity for over 50s, seniors and retirees to see the vast lifestyle opportunities that are available.

“Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in all that this resort has to offer whilst enjoying a delicious morning tea in the country club.”

As well as the morning tea, the public can join in a variety of activities at each resort.

Enjoy a game of indoor carpet bowls, learn how to play croquet and enjoy line dancing at Opal by Living Gems. Living Gems Toowoomba is hosting a great information session, Living Gems Caboolture will have display homes open and you can learn how to play Mahjong at Living Gems Pacific Paradise.

For more information about Living Gems Seniors Week activities please call 1800 785 594 or visit Event information is also available on the COTA website and the Living Gems Facebook page. 

Living Gems Homeowners making a difference

Homeowners Jan and Barry Smith have spent their working lives in a nomadic fashion, moving all over New South Wales, from Boorowa to Dubbo and everywhere in between. 12 months ago, they made the move to Living Gems Pacific Paradise and aren’t planning on leaving anytime soon. Jan tells us more about their lifestyle since moving in to the resort.

We moved around plenty whilst Barry was working as a banker, mine accountant and school bursar and myself as a teacher in New South Wales. Eventually we settled in Batemans Bay and enjoy the coastal lifestyle there for 13 years until we decided to make the move up the Sunshine Coast. We lived in Buderim for three and a half years before discovering Living Gems Pacific Paradise.

My sister was already looking to buy here at Living Gems Pacific Paradise, so we thought we would come and have a look around. Barry and I decided that this would be the perfect place to live and we’ve been thoroughly enjoying the lifestyle ever since. We both love the incredible sense of community here; everyone is very friendly, social and supportive. We chose the right resort.

My sister, Helen and I have been very involved with the social committee, the committee was only in its early stages when we first moved here, but since the opening of our country club at the end of 2017 numbers have been growing.

As chair of the committee I have been busy organising everything from craft groups to monthly catered meals.  Our committee recently organised a Biggest Morning Tea event to help raise funds for cancer.

Cancer has touched my family many times, so this is a cause that is close to my heart. I had previously held the event when living in Batemans Bay and raised $17,000 over five years, so I thought let’s see what we can do at Living Gems.

All the homeowners provided the food; we had sandwiches and cakes and opened the bar to serve champagne and orange juice. Local businesses donated prizes that we could raffle off and, in the end, we raised $1140 – more than twice our goal! 60 homeowners and friends attended, it was a wonderful way to raise awareness and a donation for the cause.

Last Sunday we fired up the industrial ovens in the country club, greased the egg rings, lined our baking trays and out came delicious bacon and egg rolls – a masterpiece that we decided should be repeated every month.

There is always something happening at our little resort. We all enjoy “Friday at Five”, the monthly happy hour event hosted in the country club. Members of the social committee help out by serving up the drinks at the bar. Every month we have a lady’s day out in the resort bus, the last trip was to Montville including morning tea at Secrets on the Lake.

Next month, we will have Christmas in July and a band will be coming to play 60s rock music on 13 July for our Black Friday themed night.

It is wonderful to be surrounded by friends and family, enjoying great food, drink and entertainment. Barry and I are hardly ever home!

More information
1800 785 594

A White Christmas in Germany and Austria

Dreams of a white Christmas inspired Michael Holder and Karen Hawkings to travel to Germany at the end of 2016, a country that captures the spirit of the season like no other.

The Deutschland Christmas charm is showcased at its wintertime markets and beer halls where the amber liquid flows freely and the wine is served warm and with spice.

Michael and Karen did the Christmas and New Year period with Albatross Tours, first with a 7-day tour around Germany, followed by a 5-day Sound of Music-themed New Years journey around Austria.

“It was a wonderful trip,” says Karen, “the scenery was spectacular, and the markets were very special – the food was delicious – and they captured the spirit of Christmas just as we had imagined they would.

“It was our first Christmas in the northern hemisphere. We always wanted a white Christmas and New Year, and it was very nice to get the opportunity to see that alongside a group of really nice people on our tour. “

The Living Gems Pacific Paradise residents flew to Frankfurt to pick up the tour, and visited Bamberg, Nuremberg and Rothenberg ob der Tauber, which is often called a “fairytale dream town” because of its romantic medieval architecture.

In many ways, it is the archetypical country German town, and it was the inspiration for the village in the 1940 Walt Disney movie Pinocchio. Another Disney inspiration, the Neuschwanstein Castle, was also part of the tour.

Karen and Michael then travelled on to Fussen, in the Bavarian Alps, where they spent Christmas. From Fussen, the couple travelled on to Munich, via Lucern in Switzerland, where they linked up with another Albatross Tours group for a seven-day trip around Austria, themed around The Sound of Music.

The group was based out of Salzberg, where most of the Sound of Music was filmed, and toured the surrounding areas. From Salzberg, the couple visited Salzkammergut in the Austrian Lakes District; St Gilgen, where they caught a cable car to the top of Zwolferhorn Mountain, and experienced a horse and carriage ride in the snow from the ski resort of Filzoos to Oberhofalm.

Leopold Castle, which was the Von Trapp family home in the film, was the venue for the New Year’s Eve festivities. It overlooks a small lake into which the Von Trapp children fell out of a rowboat in one of the film’s most memorable scenes.

It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque way to celebrate the beginning of a new year than with a light snowfall as fireworks burst in the sky over a frozen lake.

“We didn’t get a ‘white Christmas’ but we were very lucky that it began to snow that afternoon, it made our day and created a really beautiful atmosphere as we watched the fireworks.”

Later in the year, the couple participated in a Scenic Tours river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam and then visited Italy and Sicily. And the busy couple was preparing for a trip to Japan on the day they spoke to the Living Gems Pacific Paradise newsletter.

As Karen says, “there are so many places to see and things to do. It is a big world, and we would like to see as much as we can.”

Pacific Paradise residents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary
Pacific Paradise Residents Celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary
Pacific Paradise residents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary
Pacific Paradise residents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary

Living Gems Pacific Paradise residents Inga and Charles Somers celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary  with friends old and new on Saturday. They held their lunch party at Curlys on the Boardwalk in Mt Coolum but cut the cake at Pacific Paradise.

Sales manager said everyone had a great time. “It’s wonderful to meet people like Inga and Charles, everyone joined in the celebration and congratulated them on 50 happy years, it’s a major milestone and one to be very proud of,” Victoria says.