Fringed on one side by the beautiful Mooloolah River National Park and on the other, by the magical Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens, Sippy Downs is known as the Sunshine Coast's 'knowledge precinct'. The reason behind this learned accolade is that the main campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast, one of Australia's newest and fastest-growing universities, is located in Sippy Downs.
Scenic, picture-postcard lakes are dotted throughout the Sippy Downs area
The tranquillity and serenity of these stunning lakes are there to be enjoyed by everyone and can be easily accessed with numerous paths which are suitable for walking and cycling. And, if exercise isn't your 'thing', the delightful waterfront parks and picnic areas around the lakes are plentiful, providing locals and visitors with a permanent 'holiday' feeling of relaxation.
On the eastern side of Sippy Downs, visitors will discover parts of the Mooloolah River National Park, one of the last remnants of unspoilt coastal lowlands in southern Queensland. This park protects valuable pockets of wallum heath, open eucalyptus woodlands and tea-tree swamps. The Mooloolah River National Park's plant communities are all threatened regional ecosystems and as recently as December 2021, sections of this protected National Park were exposed to bush fire, causing devastation.
According to those in the 'know', the good news is that fire shapes and transforms the heath landscape, recycling dead plants and releasing nutrients back into the poor, sandy soil. Many heath plants are dependent on fire to open seed pods or to germinate seeds. The Aboriginals used to deliberately fire the wallum, hunting the animals driven before the flames. But in the case of the most recent bush fire at the Mooloolah River National Park section in Sippy Downs, sadly, the claims are that vandals were afoot.
Absolute devastation in this section of the Mooloolah River National Park
My adventurous 'other' and I have recently acquired bicycles, one for 'him' and one for 'her'. Now, before you go off on a tangent as to how extremely fit we must be, I must add that our new 'toys' are electric and as such are much easier to peddle, especially on the inclines. And, this is actually the point to my whole story.
In order for me to gain confidence with my peddling legs and not roll off an embankment at the first sight of an oncoming car or pedestrian, our hours of cycling (my provisos) are strictly limited to 'quiet' days i.e. Sundays, public holidays or any day outside of school holidays. So, Sundays have become our day of choice to cycle in our local area and what an absolute delight this has become - being able to cover longer distances, means that we get to enjoy more places … a true reward in anybody's saddle bag!
Little Miss Puppy's basket PLUS the saddle bag ...
Our e-bikes are the fold-up type, so can easily be transported in the back of the car to 'level playing fields' and without too much pomp and ceremony, unpacked and 'rebuilt' in a matter of seconds - all thanks to a hubby who has it down pat.
One of our favourite cycle routes - all level, no hidden hills - is to park at the Ballinger Park Sports Complex on Ballinger Road and then to cycle along Dixon Road, on the outskirts of Sippy Downs' suburbia and on towards Albany Street. This is one of the roads that is perfect to access the stunning lake systems in Sippy Downs.
Enjoy a couple of hours watching the bird life in and around the water's edge, including the regally elegant black swans - there are a few around. Alternatively, the very new Albany Lakes Park in Sippy Downs is the place to be for little adventurers, who love nothing more than running wild. This absolutely fabulous park has everything from swings, slides and climbing nets to nature-based play and quiet green nooks for little legs to explore.
Round off your morning of exploring by cycling or walking through the University of the Sunshine Coast's campus. Visitors may be lucky enough to spot a kangaroo or three, grazing contentedly in the lush grounds that surround this contemporary University.
All of the pathways are sealed in and around the lakes of Sippy Downs and are relatively level, which means wheelchairs, strollers and littlies learning to bike, will love the opportunity of getting outdoors too. This entire area is doggy friendly - on a leash - which means the whole family can enjoy a morning or afternoon of leisure activities.
Suggested cycling route ... catch you on a Sunday!