The beauty of the Mapleton sunset

Looking east to a sunset.

The Sunshine Coast Daily this ran an article today on an amazing sunset the Sunshine Coast enjoyed a couple of nights ago.  I was walking home that night and had noticed that it was truly spectacular, regretting that I hadn’t snapped off a shot or two.

Well it was back on tonight and I managed to get an iPhone photo to at least capture some of it, mainly because a sunset at Mapleton is not a “normal” kind of sunset, and it’s the lack of normalcy which captures part of why Mapleton is such a beautiful place to live, work and invite people to.

What’s unique about these sunsets is that we’re looking east to get the true splendour of it all.  Most sunsets, including the amazing Zambezi sunsets of my childhood are best viewed peering into the sun setting in the west.

Mapleton is on top of the Blackall Range around 20-25km from the beaches (30km by road).  We enjoy sweeping views of the rain-forest plunging down into the plains of the Sunshine Coast that are studded with volcanic outcrops like Mount Coolum.

What has made the spectacular sunsets of the last few days is that there has been some convection off the ocean that has built up a low-lying bank of cumulus cloud hovering on the coast.  And there’s a bit of dust in the atmosphere.  From where we sit we have a view above the clouds (we’re 450m above sea level) and the setting sun is being reflected back at us, lighting the clouds into red, oranges and purples.

Throw in the sea views, glimpses of Moreton Island, the rainforest and the sparkling cloud bank and it makes for a wonderful evening show.  On my walk to work I pass a viewing platform in Mapleton which takes in views sweeping from Noosa to Caloundra, a 60km stretch of coast.  Every time I walk past I stop and marvel that we get to live in such a beautiful place.

The photo doesn’t do it all justice.  But that’s looking at the clouds over Moreton Island, the path in the shot runs down the few metres to our front gate.

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