TEMPORARY berths are available at Mooloolaba and Kawana Waters, and these ports of call are central to so much the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

Kawana Waters Marina, centrally located in the Mooloolaba canal system, has 130 berths ranging from 9m to 17m. 

The massive and recently refurbished Kawana Shopping World is a 300m walk away, and a pleasant amble finds you at the lengthy Kawana Beach and Point Cartwright.

There's fuel on hand at the marina, berth charges include your power and water, and wireless internet, an amenities block, laundry, barbecue and gas refills are all on site.

Expect the marina to be busy in summer.

Because it is at the end of a tidal canal, don't travel at low tide unless you have done your homework and know it is safe.

Any port in a storm

WHEN weather and conditions get hairy, boaties need to know where they can seek safe harbour. Sunshine Coast Yacht Club Commodore Ian Brownhill says that if boats and yachts can get into the Mooloolah River at Point Cartwright they're as safe there as they'll be anywhere.

"It's a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week river, kept open due to the fishing fleet," he said. "It got very gusty a few weeks ago when we had the tail end of Cyclone Ita so we saw more people then, and in the Australia Day storm last year it was the best place to come for shelter."

Where to go from here

SETTING sail into the ocean from the marinas at Mooloolaba or Kawana offers boaties striking views of the Sunshine Coast coastline. 

One of the best day trips is to head north and sail around Mudjimba Island - locally known as Old Woman Island - about 1km off the mainland. The island took its name from an Aboriginal legend in which a woman became stranded on the island and lived there to an old age.

It is a mere three miles north of the Mooloolah River mouth, and you'll look back on Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore, Cotton Tree, the South Maroochy River mouth, Pincushion Island and finally Twin Waters. 

Coral gardens can be seen around Old Woman Island, and there are often turtles and dolphins. During winter this is a top spot for whale watching too.

If you're prepared to venture further north, one of the most beautiful places to anchor - in the right conditions - is off the Boiling Pot in Noosa National Park. 



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