Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published December 26th 2016
Those Boots Were Made For Walking
Those boots were made for walking - Image: Pixabay CCO Public Domain
As I'm sure you've all realised, I'm not into the six-month training regimen to tackle the next big outdoor adventure, but am rather in the market for the easy, laidback, scenic escapades. So, to help those of you, who might be like me, slightly more agile than a couch-potato and definitely less agile than the tri-athletes out there, I've made a list of thirteen easy walks on the Sunshine Coast. And, yes, I've done them all - so am sharing this information from my expertise level, so to speak.
For ease of reference, I've done them alphabetically.
🚶♀️1. Ben Bennett Bushland Park Queen Street Caloundra West
The Ben Bennett Bushland Park is one of the few remaining remnant bushland areas in the heart of Caloundra. Maps detailing self-guided walks ranging from eight hundred metres to eleven hundred metres return are available at the Queen Street entrance. This Bushland Park is the habitat of the Glossy Black Cockatoo and offers sheltered picnic areas, barbecues and toilet facilities for the day-tripper. Parking is also available at the entrance, so why not make a family day of it - picnicking, walking and enjoying the natural bushland surrounds.
🚶♀️ 2. Buderim Forest Waterfall Walk Lindsay Road or Quorn Close, Buderim
Buderim Forest Waterfall - Image: Elaine de Wet
Hidden away on the northern side of Buderim, less than a kilometre from Buderim Village, you'll find the forty-five hectare oasis that is the Buderim Forest Waterfall Walk.
An excellent walking trail has been developed from two entry points. The lower entry point is off Lindsay Road via Harry's Lane and the second entry point is via Quorn Close, which also runs off Lindsay Road at the top of Buderim.
The lower entry point (via Harry's Lane) has an elevated five hundred metre wooden boardwalk, ideal for disabled walkers and wheelchairs. Once one has passed the boardwalk, this walkway becomes fairly rugged, which is not suitable for anyone who has walking difficulties or a low level of fitness. Continuing along this marked trail along the creek, you will reach the Buderim Falls.
The Quorn Close entry point's trail is through a reasonably steep bush walking trail (fine for people with moderate fitness) and will take you straight through to the Buderim Falls and the high arch bridge spanning the creek above the falls.
To do the whole circuit, allow at least one hour, with no stopping on route - if one wants to stop for photo opportunities, which is an absolute must at the Falls, the walk could potentially take slightly longer.
🚶♀️3. Buderim Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Walk
Telco Road, Buderim
Historical info at start of walk - Image: Elaine de Wet
Buderim Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Walk is an awesome four-kilometre return walk through regrowth forest, with interesting points of historical value en route. You can park in Telco Road, as the trail starts from the corner of Mons and Telco Roads.
Wheelchair and stroller-friendly ramp - Image: Elaine de Wet
A wheelchair or stroller-friendly ramp leads to the start of the moderate walking trail. Allow yourself at least an hour for the return walk and don't forget to stop at the various markers to read interesting tit-bits at the various historical locations.
🚶♀️ 4. Coastal Track, Noosa National Park
Sunshine Beach to Noosa
Okay, so this was slightly longer and more energetic than my usual outdoor escapades - a 5.4 kilometre trail from the northern side of Sunshine Beach all the way to Noosa - but definitely worth the time to do.
This wonderful Coastal Track has it all, beach, rugged rocky terrain through the bush, Alexandria Bay, the Sunshine Coast's unofficial 'nudie beach' and sensational views at Hell's Gate. Local wildlife can also be spotted, with us being lucky enough to see a giant monitor, koalas and even a mermaid.
Commence your walk at Crummunda Park with paved walkways, a childrensʼ playground, picnic and barbecue facilities, all alongside the scenic lake. At the end of Crummunda Park, you'll come across the Heath Trail in the Kathleen McArthur Conservation Park, which is part of the Coastal pathway of the Sunshine Coast. A beach-type walkway (in my language, means narrow beach-sandy paths) through the wallum heath but with informative signage all along the route, indicating the type of plants, bird life and fauna one could expect to see.
This stunning easy walk is only two kilometres return (an hour), but the diversity of plant and bird life in such a small conservation area are phenomenal. The first 140 metres to the lake viewing point is wheelchair-accessible and stroller-friendly.
Stunning views from the top of the dunes - Image: Elaine de Wet
The absolute cherry on top is coming out on the top of the dunes and being greeted with breathtaking views of the ocean - the tides at the mouth of Lake Currimundi ebbing and flowing. A truly panoramic spot, with views to Point Cartwright in the north and to the south, Caloundra.
A great walk, seemingly uninhabited by other mere mortals, but well worth taking an hour out of one's day to enjoy.
🚶♀️6. Eric Joseph Foote War Memorial Sanctuary
Park Lane, Buderim
Eric Joseph Foote Memorial Sanctuary - Image: Elaine de Wet
Eric Joseph Foote War Memorial Sanctuary is a precious pearl that Buderim can call its own. Offering six walking tracks within the Sanctuary, one can choose between easy to difficult. As I'm only covering the easy to moderate walks in this article, we'll omit the most difficult ones, which leaves us with four:-
Botanic Track - 20 minutes - follows a sealed path through 'young' rainforest, with picturesque creeks and native plantings making this the most popular of the Sanctuary walks (Easy - Moderate);
Wooded areas - Image: Elaine de Wet
Cascade Circuit - 40 minutes - This track is a steep descent from the sealed track, but well worth it to view the permanent water flow over the basalt rocks set amongst the young rainforest canopy (Moderate);
Southern Track - 15 minutes - This is a lovely undulating bush track that will take you through the original plantations that were established more than forty years ago (Easy); and
Eucalyptus Track - (45 minutes) - This is a beautiful walk through natural woodland forest and eucalyptus (gum tree) plantings -plenty of birds to be seen, on the ground and in the trees (Moderate).
Perhaps, when I'm brave enough, I'll attempt the moderate to difficult ones, in which case I'll report back to you.
The flora at the Eric Joseph Foote War Memorial consists of beautiful wooded areas, stands of rainforest, eucalyptus, tree-ferns, melaleucas and eugenias - a large proportion of these plants are labelled for botany enthusiasts, even giving the Aboriginal medicinal usage for the different plant sections. This superb flora and fauna reserve has over two hundred and seventy-two indigenous flora species and is a haven for birds and a habitat for a range of larger mammals including the swamp wallaby.
Undercover picnic gazebo - Image: Elaine de Wet
A truly magical spot to enjoy a family picnic (after your walk, of course) - our furry family members are welcome too, as long as they're on a leash. The facilities include an undercover gazebo, electric barbecues, tap water, ablution block, picnic tables and a large grassed area to throw a blanket down and lie back to listen to the sounds of nature that embrace you.
🚶♀️7. Gary Evans Walkway
Petrie Park Road, Nambour
Dog-friendly Monday to Friday - Image: Elaine de Wet
Gary Evans Walkway is a little oasis smack bang in the heart of Nambour. The paved walkway runs from Petrie Park Road to Carter Road in Nambour along the banks of Petrie Creek, a tributary of the Maroochy River.
Train rides the 4th Sunday of every month - Image: Elaine de Wet
You'll find the Model Railway Park within Petrie Park, with steam and diesel miniature trains running the fourth Sunday of every month from 10.00am to 3.00pm. The train rides are only $3 each or four tickets for $10 and children under three get to go free.
Enjoy the peaceful shaded surrounds along the creek with picnic areas and get to meet all the water-dragons sun-basking en route. Only approximately three kilometres return, this walk is ideal for any day of the week and available to our furry family members from Mondays to Fridays.
This has to be one of my all-time favourite walks through Nature's own art gallery at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. The Rainforest Walk is only 1.7km return through an ecological island in a high rainfall area. This bird sanctuary is a paradise for birds including the Green Catbird, the Eastern Whipbird and the Rufous Fantail, all providing a background of sound whilst one walks.
The Rainforest Walk is open daily from 7.00am to 6.00pm, with a gold coin donation on entry and is well-signed with the botanical information on the variety of trees. Look out for the last two remaining Rose Gums in this area, which are apparently eight hundred years old. A viewing platform is provided here, allowing you to admire the trees without being too intrusive on the surrounding bushland.
Nature's own art gallery - Image: Elaine de Wet
A lot of fauna is to be found too - look out for the pademelons, Mountain Freshwater Crayfish and giant earthworms.
Picnic and barbecues, including a playground are available at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve - definitely a spot to bookmark for a family walk and day out.
🚶♀️ 9. Mt Tibrogargan Circuit, Glasshouse Mountains
Tibrogargan Circuit, Glass House Mountains National Park
Have you ever tried the Mt Tibrogargan Circuit? If you're not into summit climbing then this 3.3km return trail is the one for you - a circuit trail that goes around the BASE of Mt Tibrogargan. The gently sloping trail allows you to meander through casuarina groves and open forests of an area rich with Aboriginal history and folk-lore.
Glass House Mountains National Park - Image: Elaine de Wet
Don't forget to look up and enjoy the stunning craggy peaks towering above and around you. Mt Tibrogargan Circuit is an easy-to-access trail with plenty of car parking at the entrance and picnic spots available too.
🚶♀️ 10. Narrows and Baroon Lookouts on the Obi Obi Forest Walk - Kondadilla National Park
Narrows Road, Montville
Escape the heat of summer and experience a cool retreat of subtropical rainforest and open eucalypt forests within the Kondadilla National Park with the Obi Obi Forest Walk.
To access the Narrows and Baroon Lookouts, one has to get to the 'Great! Walk' carpark, a tad before the Baroon Dam, off Narrows Road in Montville. This walk is a total of 4.4 kilometres (two hours) return which includes the short detour to Narrows Lookout. A stunning, relaxed walk through rain forested gullies with multiple boardwalks interspersed en route, before a steady climb to the Baroon Lookout overlooking the panoramic Obi Obi Gorge.
Park your car at La Balsa carpark and take your choice of walks at Point Cartwright, either the bush walk or continue up to the Unitywater Reservoir with its striking mural, showing a whale, a turtle and fish swimming underwater all beautifully captured by Joel Fergie, a professional street artist.
Flanked on one side with the ocean and the Mooloolah River on the other, Point Cartwright is an un-patrolled beach, located at the base of the headland at the northern end of Kawana Beach. The Point Cartwright Lighthouse is located right next to the Reservoir and this is where the most exceptional views of the surrounding areas can be embraced. Continue down through the vast grassed park area, ideal for those large family picnics, and down to the beach.
Mural painted on the Reservoir at Point Cartwright - Image: Elaine de Wet
Bookmark the heritage-listed Tunnel Track in the Dularcha National Park for a fun, easy off-the-beaten track walk to view one of only two tunnels built along the old narrow-gauge North Coast Line between Brisbane and Gympie.
Enjoy the recreational trails that pass through open eucalypt forest and riparian areas with flooded gum, cabbage tree palms, piccabeen palms and rainforest plants grow. The trails are shared between walkers, mountain bike riders and even horse riders. The Dularcha National Park is home to koalas, goannas, echidnas, grey kangaroos and a variety of bird species.
An easy, scenic and short of distance trail in the Mapleton Falls National Park that winds through rainforest and eucalypt forest. A cacophony of bird sounds embrace you throughout this trail. Look out for the Peregrine Lookout sign - a short fifty metre detour off the trail - to be treated to magnificent views of the Obi Obi Valley.
Awesome views at Mapleton Falls National Park - Image: Elaine de Wet
The Wompoo Circuit is an inviting trail to participate in, on those hot, sultry summer days as the foliage provides much-needed shade - and at only 1.3km of easy trails, definitely one for your 'to do' list.