The Aussie F1 great shares his favourite driving loop through Queensland – behind the wheel of his Porsche Taycan.
Who needs the French Alps when you've got lush hinterland and crystal clear beaches in your very own backyard? Porsche ambassador and former F1 driver, Mark Webber certainly doesn't. In fact he praises his native Australia and shares his all-time favourite driving loop through the high hills that fringe Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
As a part of Porsche's Sunday Drives series, Webber takes us on his journey, made even more attractive by his choice of wheels – the highly sought after Porsche Taycan.
“This is a loop for a well-balanced sports car. Until recently, my recommendation for this loop would have been a 911, especially something with four-wheel drive like a Turbo S or 4S. But any 911 really," says Webber. "A 718 would be great through the tight stuff.
"But driving the Taycan 4S today has been an eye opener – this is my first spirited drive of a Taycan in Australia and it’s great to steer it for a day on home turf. It ate up the road with ease and didn’t miss a beat all day."
Webber's route offers up the perfect combination of steep undulations, tight hairpins and incredible views.
“It’s a route I probably do eight or so times a year, through the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland,"says Webber. "The hinterland here brings a tremendous amount of atmosphere when it's rainy, foggy. It brings something else to the drive."
Beginning in Noosa, Mark travels along State Route 12 to a town called Eumundi.
"As you drive out of Noosa, you head through the lush, sub-tropical forest and you really appreciate what a beautiful area this is… the locals call it living in a ‘biosphere’ because so much of the area is protected forest." Webber explains.
A 30-minute drive west provides some spectacular elevated driving, at around 500-600 metres above sea level. The loop swings left onto Obi Obi Road just before Kenilworth, the ultimate place to stop off for a famous doughnut at the local bakery.
Mark then takes Obi Obi Road, which he describes as a cracking road – steep and punchy with sensational blind crests. The route then follows the ridge-line, offering up stunning views towards the ocean some 50 kilometres east.
“It’s lush all year round up there, like a sunny Scotland every day. When it rains, it rains heavy, and it can be quite humid, but it’s always picturesque.” says Webber.
The Obi Obi Road finishes in the town of Mapleton. Turning right, cruising along the crest of the ridge-line provides views all the way down to the coast and Pacific Ocean. Webber then suggests adding a lap down the mountain along a pass known as ‘Hunchy’ before driving back up a narrow and challenging pass along Palmwoods-Montville Road.
The route continues south towards Balmoral Ridge, on to the town of Peachester then a trek along Old Gympie Road will take you past the Australia Zoo.
Driving past 'the Big Pineapple', a real highlight of the trip – this part of the journey takes Kiel Mountain Road around more of the Glass House Mountains.. The loop joins the coastline at Peregian Beach and heads north towards the spectacular Sunshine Beach, where some of Australia’s most lavish houses are situated.
“When you finish over at Sunshine Beach, have a look out into the Pacific Ocean and listen to the waves breaking. This is one of the most magical places in the world,” Webber remarks.
If you're keen to drive Mark's route yourself you can see the full guide at the Roads by Porsche app.