Feb 27, 2011

Noosa Festival of Surfing

Now in its 20th year, the Noosa Festival of Surfing has grown to become the biggest surf festivals in the world attracting more than 600 competitors in 11 age divisions. There is something for everyone with single and tandem malibu boardriding, standup paddleboards and noserider trials.

The official opening ceremony and paddle-out will take place, following a 5km standup paddle race on Laguna Bay.

When you need to take a break from the surfing action, make your way to the Festival Village in Noosa Lions Park (adjacent to Hastings Street). The Expo has free admission with the exhibition pavilion featuring some of the world’s most famous surfboards, on loan from private collectors.

Spectators are free to watch the board riding action at First Point, Noosa. 

Feb 13, 2011

Mooloolaba Seafood Jambalaya

Drive Thru Australia with Ben O’Donoghue will see the celebrity chef embark on an epic food adventure, stopping at some of Australia’s most amazing destinations to take in the sights, sounds and tastes.

The first episode (
Channel Seven) features Ben visiting the Sunshine Coast to source the freshest seafood for his Mooloolaba Seafood Jamabalaya. If you would like to cook it yourself follow the instructions below.

Mooloolaba Seafood Jambalaya*

Ben O'Donoghue - Drive Thru Australia - Channel Seven


2 tbsp sunflower oil
100gm spicy chorizo sausage, thickly sliced
4 chicken drumsticks, skin off
250gm raw king prawns, peeled and deveined, heads and shells reserved
1 large white onion, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 sprigs of thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
250gm long-grain rice
1 litre chicken stock
1 tbsp Cajun Spice Mix
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium male blue swimmer crabs, cooked, halved and cleaned
2 large Moreton Bay Bugs halved and cleaned
100gm-cleaned squid
2 spring onions, finely sliced, to serve
1 long green chili, chopped, to serve

Cajun Spice Mix:

Place the fried onion and garlic in a bowl, along with the remaining ingredients, and blitz to a fine powder using a handheld blender. The spice will keep for 1 month if stored in an airtight container.

2 cups sunflower oil

3 tbsp fried Asian shallots (buy in Asian grocers)
1 tbsp fried garlic (buy in Asian grocers)
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp celery salt
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp fennel seeds


Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or electric frying pan and cook the chorizo and chicken over medium–high heat until the chicken is golden and the chorizo is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pan.

Reduce the heat to low–medium. Fry the prawn heads and shells for 5 minutes, squashing them with a potato masher to extract their flavour. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard.

Add the onion, capsicum and celery and sauté until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rice, stock, chicken and chorizo to the pan, then season with the Cajun Spice, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Place the crab halves into the rice. Push the bug halves into the rice and place the prawns and calamari on top, Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow too rest for a few minutes. Stir the rice to loosen it and arrange the seafood and check that it’s all cooked. Serve the dish sprinkled with the spring onions, chopped chilli and lime wedges.

Serves 4.

*Recipe by celebrity chef Ben O'Donoghue as seen on Drive Thru Australia with Ben O'Donoghue.

Feb 6, 2011

Valentine's Day at Sailport Mooloolaba

This Valentine's Day, we're calling on lovers of romance and good old fashioned money-saving deals to give into temptation and get away to Sailport Mooloolaba for a short break. 

Our 7 night Romantic Escape Special for 2 adults includes a bottle of bubbly on arrival and a romantic sunset cruise through the beautiful Mooloolaba River system.

You can also choose one of our February Special Deals and do as much or as little as you like and, at the end of the day, watch the sun set over the Mooloolaba Wharf from your balcony.