Kite enthusiasts flying high

US kite enthusiast Dave Hoggan gives a few lucky beachgoers a sneak preview of his renowned octopus kites.
US kite enthusiast Dave Hoggan gives a few lucky beachgoers a sneak preview of his renowned octopus kites. Brett Wortman

Beachgoers gazed in awe.

Tiny tots giggled as they were tickled by the colourful octopus tentacles of not one, not two but five giant creature kites that flew on a perfect day on Coolum Beach on Monday.

The spectacular display was courtesy of kite enthusiast David Hoggan, and was a sneak peek at what will be brightening the skies this weekend at the IGA Coolum Kite Festival.

World-renowned kiting enthusiast Mr Hoggan has come from San Francisco Bay, where he is part of a team of giant kite fliers known as the Berkeley Kite Wranglers, to take part in the festival.

“I'm very excited to be here,” David said.

“I just love Australia ... it's a wonderful place.”

He said he was amazed at Australia's beautiful blue sky, the greenery and how Australians were so friendly.

A late bloomer, Mr Hoggan discovered the joys of flying giant kites in 1999, the same time he discovered the internet.

The burgeoning internet helped to find other enthusiasts and develop his passion, which has taken him to kite festivals from Qatar to Japan and Quebec.

Festival goers will see Mr Hoggan fly his five giant octopus kites together for the first time in Australia.

David said he loved flying kites because it was family friendly and he could enjoy it with his five children, who were also keen kite fliers.

Interstate and international kite fliers will converge on Coolum this weekend for the much-anticipated festival.

Guests include Australian Kite Flyers Association president Peter Stauf, who has flown in from New South Wales.

Peter is a former Australian Fighter Kite champion and he will showcase a number of his hand-made fighter kites, including Indian and Japanese kites, at the festival.

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