Freelance writing from the beautiful Sunshine Coast...
Published December 3rd 2012
Find a beach to yourself to relax and indulge
Perhaps one of my favourite beaches on the Sunny Coast would be North Sunshine. Nestled under the headland that is the southern entrance to the Noosa National Park, North Sunshine Beach is just that; a beach. There are no picnic tables or cafes and sometimes, yes, it is really hard to find a carpark but it is well worth the effort because no matter what time of year it is, it is always a beautiful place to be.
Early morning and late afternoon you will see a pilgrimage of walkers and joggers coming up and back from the Sunshine Beach village centre, which is only a 10-15 minute walk along the sandy stretch. The sand is wide and firm making it a great place to walk and with the stunning Pacific Ocean views out to sea or the million dollar architectural homes hugging the hillside there is always plenty to look at.
Surfers also consider this a popular break and it's not uncommon to see the tanned bodies in the waves for hours on end. After school is a great time to see the younger kids and teenagers practising their aerial moves on shortboards. During a big Southerly swell though it is only the seasoned and brave who will attempt to tame her fury.
Another common visitor to North Sunshine is the four legged variety. North Sunshine is an official Dog Beach and you will find all breeds and sizes of local and visiting pooches splashing, sniffing and running around off the leash. Don't be put off by the fact that it is a dog beach. In all the times I've been visiting, I have never seen a dog fight and never stepped in any doggy doo. North Sunshine is promoted as a responsible dog beach and bags are located at the carpark in Seaview Terrace near the bin for your convenience. The dog beach extends from beach adjacent to entrance number 27 at the Seaview Terrace carpark to the boundary of the Noosa National Park.
Even in winter North Sunshine is appealing. Rug up and wrap a scarf around your neck and brave the bracing Southerly winds. A road less travelled it is amazing what flotsam and jetsam washes up on the beach during these months. And if there has been a really big blow, you can sometimes have seafoam knee deep, which keeps the kids entertained wading through it making instant white fluffy "boots". Of course, this is also the season that the beach can get washed away creating sandbanks that the kids love to jump down. Be sensible though as large sand cliffs can be treacherous.
By the time the sand starts to level out again and the spinnefex wheels are blowing across the grassy dunes, we are now well into the whale watching season. Humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to the warmer waters of Harvey Bay and the Whitsunday Islands during the winter months (May/June) and by September/October the coast has become a whale highway of mothers and their calves making the return trip south. At any time of the day, you can see them either just travelling together, Mum teaching bub - seen as a spout or a spray as they surface to breathe, or if you are lucky enough, they will put on a spectacular breaching display.
Whales heading south are common in September- October
Dolphins also frequent North Sunshine feeding in the channels and trenches just beyond the breakers. There is a pod of about 7 or 8, that can be seen most days enjoying the fish out there - you just need to keep your eyes open. One day I saw a large playful dolphin catch a wave and surf down the face of it before flipping up and out the back. Around the rocky headland you might even see turtles that are often sighted in the National Park.
If you want to see North Sunshine from a different angle you might consider a white knuckle ride on the Noosa OceanRider. It departs from the jetty in Noosaville and crosses the bar at the entrance to the Noosa River before careening around beautiful Laguna Bay and the ocean headlands to North Sunshine. Here they pause for a moment in the swell just shy of the breakers to view dolphins and fishlife, before racing off at breakneck speed to enjoy the thrilling ride home.
If you are a keen fisherman you might like to try your luck in the gutters, that sometimes form parallel to the shore. Tailor, bream and whiting your most likely target. You can sometimes find pippies and worms in the wetsand that make the most favourable bait.
And if it's you that feels like swimming then please swim safely. Dangerous rips are common along this stretch. North Sunshine is not a patrolled beach and if you want to take a dip, it is recommended that you swim between the flags located below the Sunshine Beach Surf Club. The Surf Club is open for breakfast on the weekends and lunch and dinner 7 days. It is on the hilltop overlooking the beach with a fantastic outside seating area to take in the view. From here you will also find showers, toilets, carparking, the bus stop and many other interesting restaurants, cafes, boutiques and a general store just through the park in the Sunshine Beach Village.
Getting here can be tricky or costly if you drive and ignore the yellow line indicating a no parking area. There is a car park in Seaview Terrace and some very limited street parking in adjacent roads. Public toilets and outside showers are located in the car park. Access to the beach is by beach access walkway number 27 from the Seaview carpark or via steps at beach access number 26 at the end of Seaview Terrace. If you are staying in neighbouring Noosa Heads or Noosaville it may be a better option to catch public transport. Bus 627 services Sunshine Beach regularly. Another option is to make your way to the Sunshine Beach village area and walk up along the beach to North Sunshine.
So now I have just shared with you my most favourite beach on the Sunshine Coast. But pssst... keep it as your secret place too. Part of the charm is that it is untouched and unspoilt and there is space to lay out your towel, paddle on the edge with the kids and kick a ball.
The Coastal Track to Noosa National Park begins here