Travelling with children? The team at Noosa Pacific have the perfect day out, one that will appeal to all members of your holiday party. Just a short 35-minute drive from Noosa Pacific Resort, the Mooloolaba Wharf precinct is an excellent way to indulge in some educational, informative and culinary fun for the whole family. With Sealife Sunshine Coast Aquarium within squirting distance of over a dozen popular eateries and retailers, everyone is catered for when the daily grind of luxuriating in stylish relaxation becomes too much.
Sealife is an outstanding aquarium housing a number of interactive displays with animals, fish, shows and jaw-dropping exhibitions. The humble Starfish is front and centre as you walk into Sealife, with little fingers able to get up close in the Tidal Touchpool. Further in, exhibitions showcase everything from jellyfish to sharks, fresh to saltwater species and mammals to fish.
Cleverly set out, walking through Sealife is pram and wheel chair friendly along an easy to follow sequence of exhibitions. The Ocean Tunnel is an absolute standout! Watch as sharks and enormous rays seemingly fly overhead, whilst plumes of coral delight and colourful fish dart about. After something a little more interactive? The new Little Blue Penguin exhibit is spread over two levels with both above and below water observation areas. You can even help handfeed the little waddlers with their fish lunch. For those after something a little more adrenaline inducing, there are also seal and shark swimming encounters- not together! For most of us though, we’re happy to sit on the sidelines and maybe get a photo, which is exactly what you can do after the entertaining and informative Seal Show.
Ready for a half time break? The onsite café sells good coffee, and best of all, there’s a three storey indoor play zone to really tire those kids out before viewing the last of the exhibitions and perhaps the most harrowing aspect of any aquarium: getting out of the gift shop with your wallet semi-intact!
Sealife is a great morning or afternoon out for the whole family, offering that lovely combination of wow-factor and education. But once you’ve oohed and aahed at all the sea life and read all the informative facts, its time to cater to the adults.
Literally over the pedestrian crossing from Sealife is a veritable treasure trove of eateries, retail shops and activities. Almost every tastebud is catered for, from good old fish and chips, to fudge shops, gelato stores, lovely cafes and upmarket restaurants, all looking over the Mooloolaba river and the bobbing masts of the marina. The team at Noosa Pacific took a vote though, and of the many eateries available at the Wharf, Rice Boi has topped the polls.
With Melbourne Laneway-esque interiors and a grungy Japanese izakaya bar feel, Rice Boi has dialled up the funk in their roomy and seriously cool restaurant. Take a trip through South East Asia and immerse yourself in the best dishes those cuisines have to offer from a menu built to share. Each dish is sprinkled with a colourful profusion of tastes: believe us when we say there’s more to a mere spring roll at Rice Boi, than a simple spring roll! Fried Chicken is served with a sticky Asian bbq sauce, crisp nashi pear, pickled daikon, kimchi and spring onion. Sticky Pork Belly comes with subline burnt lime caramel, apple som tum salad, red curry and roasted rice powder. The Ramen is a heady mix of chicken karaage, roast chicken broth, baby corn, nori, spring onion, bamboo, Naruto, soy and egg. This is tasty food presented beautifully, and guaranteed to make the trip from Noosa Pacific down to Mooloolaba worth it!
There are a number of non-spicy dishes, but fussy eaters may struggle here, though there are a number of thoughtful allergy specific dishes for those who are shellfish, gluten or dairy free. With a plethora of other eateries around, there’s always the option of feeding the kids first before venturing into Rice Boi. With a no-booking policy and several dining areas in the restaurant, the wait for a table is usually minimal.
Once you’re done stuffing all of that tasty goodness in (along with some superb wines or a cheeky cocktail) why not source some Mooloolaba prawns for dinner from the source at Fisheries On The Spit, just a short drive from the Wharf. Now that’s a day well spent!