Take a walk, cycle or jog from Mooloolaba Esplanade to the northern break wall of the Mooloolaba River and back again, a must-do section of the coastal pathway with spectacular beach views, playgrounds and recreational facilities.
Starting at the Steve Irwin 'The Crocodile Hunter' commemoration sculpture, head south towards the Moolooba River mouth. The pathway is beautifully paved and makes for an easy walk for the young, the young-at-heart, as well as for strollers and wheelchair users. Stop for a play (having a child with you may be a pre-requisite) at the very colourful, enormously popular children's playground just outside the Mooloolaba Surf Club.
Open from 5.30 every morning ... a win-win for early birds!
Then onwards to a parent-spoil of caffeine at HUSTLE & flow, the espresso bar located under the Surf Club, offering speciality coffee, cold-pressed juices and tasty treats. The good news is that this little beachside gem opens seven days a week at 5.30 in the morning - a win-win for all the early birds.
The Council have upgraded a large section of the Mooloolaba Esplanade to the Mooloolaba River Mouth walk - the 3.4metre wide boardwalk has already proven its popularity, with the community and holiday-makers all making great use of the million dollar boardwalk. The boardwalk improvements have included new lighting (great for evening strolls); seating and viewing platforms along the route, plus a multitude of new native plants, intended to revegetate the surrounding dunes.
People of the Kabi Kabi language group of tribes were indigenous to the Mooloolah River catchment area, making it a significant region for the Kabi Kabi First National People, who are the recognised Traditional Custodians. 'Mooloolaba' is thought to have been derived from 'muloo a ba' the indigenous word for black snake place. Pause your stride to read the interesting information plaques, giving the 'natural history' of Mooloolaba.
Fedor Konyukhov left Chile in December 2013 and arrived at the Mooloolaba Spit in May 2014, having completed 160 days at sea. The 62 year old professional adventurer and Russian orthodox priest rowed into Mooloolaba after having completed the longest, solo, man-powered voyage in history - a 9,400 nautical mile or 16,000 kilometre trip. Fascinating pieces of history to look out for, whilst exploring this portion of the Coastal Pathway.
I love the next section of this walk, where walkers can admire the privately owned boats at their moorings; look up to admire the Point Cartwright water reservoir and Point Cartwright Lighthouse, or just take a seat to enjoy the early morning breezes coming off the water. Readers may remember my article 'Nature Walk at Beacon Lighthouse Reserve in Point Cartwright' - a walk that runs parallel to this one, on the opposite side of the river.
Take your time along the Mooloolaba Spit, you might be lucky enough to spot a turtle or two; a diver may be having a bit of fun off the rocks or a boat or two might be cruising by, keen to acknowledge you with a wave.
On your return walk, why not pop into the Mooloolaba Fish Market - at 9.00 in the morning we were the only customers - and could unhurriedly select and purchase our fresh fish for the week. Mental note to self: remember a soft cooler bag for the next walk!
A colourfully creative mural outside the Mooloolaba Fish Market
Detour through Fisherman's Park to admire the 'Fisherman's' memorial that is dedicated to the many fishermen lost at sea as well as a tribute to the fishing industry's heritage on the Sunshine Coast. The bronze sculpture depicts a fisherman holding onto a ship's wheel, bracing himself against a coming storm.
During the warmer months, there are always cooling breezes coming off the ocean and a shady tree with a bench to relax under. Look out for the local population of bearded dragons sunning themselves along the pathways and bush turkeys foraging wildly through the scrubby areas.
A dedication to fishermen lost at sea as well as a tribute to the fishing industry's heritage
We were fortunate to meet a skink - who definitely had not got the news memo regarding eating wild mushrooms that were sprouting all over the Sunshine Coast since the deluge of rain - and was merrily taking its time to select the best mushroom to transport elsewhere to eat in private.
Definitely didn't get the memo about not eating wild mushrooms
Continue back to your starting position at the Steve Irwin statue. This 4.7km easy return walk took us just over an hour to complete and that included stops to admire our local fauna as well as visiting the Mooloolaba Fish Market. Bookmark a sunny morning or balmy evening and get walking, this Coastal Pathway section is an awesome outing for every member of the family - our leashed pooches are welcome too!