The 73km Sunshine Coast Coastal Pathway stretches all the way from Bells Creek in the south to Coolum in the north. This must-do coastal pathway is split into nine segments and runs alongside surf beaches, parks and family leisure areas.
A wide pathway ensures no jostling for position between walkers and cyclsts
Locals and visitors can spend time discovering and exploring this pristine coastline by either walking, jogging or cycling on a combination of on and off-road networks. For adventurers looking for a half-day cycling experience or just a beachside stroll, this mammoth Coastal Pathway has something for everyone.
The Coastal Pathway has something for everyone ...
As mentioned in a previous article of mine, Cycling and Walking in Sippy Downs, my adventurous other and I have recently acquired new 'toys', namely, fold-up electric bicycles, which allows us to venture further afield in search of undiscovered local treasures. The feelings of excitement that bubble up in me when discovering 'new' locations, must surely mimic the excitement and delight experienced by explorers of 'old'.
Our ultimate aim is to cycle the entire Sunshine Coast Coastal Pathway, to appreciate and delight in places newly discovered. The 5.1km (one way) Golden Beach to Bells Creek segment of the Coastal Pathway offers a family friendly walk or cycle alongside the ever-changing waterways of the Pumicestone Passage.
Starting at the Short Street boat ramp in Golden Beach, there are a number of car parking spaces available as well as toilet facilities - sometimes a necessity before embarking on a longish journey of discovery. Beach view bench seats provide spectacular sweeping views of the Caloundra end of the Passage and glimpses of very well-maintained pathways, promise an easy walk or cycle, suitable for families of all ages.
Enjoy the waterway views, refuel with a bit of meditation or cast a line ... all in the same spot!
The pathway continues alongside the Pumicestone Passage and passes a number of very well equipped playgrounds, picnic tables and facilities, perfect for relaxing and stopping for a refuel or chat with well-informed locals. There are several beach access points for those adventurers keen on feeling the sand between their toes or to test the water temperatures. Unfortunately, this is one 'downside' to cycling as it's nigh impossible to easily carry a bike across the sands. You've guessed it, our new mode of transport is not geared for off-road adventures!
For those keen on fishing - and yes, a fishing rod is an easy add-on appendage for cyclists - the Pumicestone Passage is a haven for local fishermen, providing a number of tempting jetties and rocks, from which to cast a line.
The turnaround point for the Golden Beach to Bells Creek cycle and walk is the Bells Creek Boat ramp, which offers a green space, toilet facilities as well as shelter for a half-way picnic. En route back, take a bit of time out and stop at one of the cafes along the way - I noticed that Chill Cafe 89 was absolutely abuzz with diners and coffee drinkers.
Chill Cafe 89 abuzz with diners and coffee drinkers
🚲 Activities and facilities between Golden Beach and Bells Creek?
Suitable for walking
Suitable for recreational cycling - we have noticed on most of our cycles that the 'professional' cyclists prefer cycling on the actual roads, rather than using the pathways, which is a win-win in my saddle-bag, less over-crowding
Drinking water available
Barbecues on site
Picnic tables on site
Toilets on site
Shorebirds of Bells Creek adorn the toilet facilities
🚲 How to get there? To start your cycle or walk from Golden Beach: via Nicklin Way, turn left onto Caloundra Road, which turns into Bowman Street. Turn right onto Park Place and Short Street is on your left. The end point is the same as your starting point. This is one of the segments of the Coastal Pathway that one can choose either side to start/end as car parking is available in both locations.
Take time out to enjoy a cycle or walk from Golden Beach to Bells Creek
Author's Verdict: 10/10 for a fabulous location, awesome views, wide pathways also suitable for strollers and wheelchairs, plus the added bonus of extremely friendly locals. Must-do weekend family activities to bookmark!
All images courtesy of Elaine de Wet, author, unless otherwise indicated