Writer and fitness enthusiast living in beautiful Redcliffe, Queensland.
Published November 9th 2012
Splash around in the rock pools
Everyone has that beach that's constantly at the back of their mind, calling to them. You've probably got one, it beckons to you at the most inappropriate times, when you're miles away from it, stuck in the office or worst still when you're trapped far out west. That beckoning beach in my mind is Shelly Beach on the Sunshine Coast, around the Caloundra area.
Quiet and simplistic - that's what I love about Shelley Beach the most. It's unpatrolled, so you don't have to worry about hordes of tourists coming down to swim between the red and yellow. If you're lucky enough you could even have the whole beach to call your own. It's a great place to read, sunbake, and even play your guitar. With an audience that's nothing more than the ocean, you can really let loose.
The southern end of the beach is a fantastic area for kids thanks to my favourite feature of Shelley Beach, the rock pools. I saw a bunch of 10 year olds splashing around in water that only came up to their ankles. Even with the waves crashing just off shore you'll feel completely at peace as you dip your aching feet into the cool waters of the rock pool. The nearby park had a couple of undercover tables which just made this area a prime picnic spot.
The main stretch of the beach - you might get lucky and have the whole area to yourself
Be sure to keep an eye out as well for some of the 'rock pool residents' - the Black Sea Cucumber, Rose Barnacle, Blue Periwinkles and Chiton. There was an information board down by the rock pool with some information on what you may see down there. I learned a fair bit there, such as more than 20 different marine species depend on the rock pool ecosystem for survival.
The beach itself is pretty rough - there were some pounding waves when I visited recently that not even the dog was keen to run in like he usually does. This beach is also unpatrolled, so it's highly recommended that you don't go swimming. If you're that keen for a dip, check out Kings Beach around the corner closer towards Caloundra.
If you're sensitive to the sun, grab some shade under one of the nearby trees
Dogs are also more than welcome along the beach between Russell St and Victoria Tce from May to October between certain hours. My sister and I brought her dog Stanford along for the day - he absolutely loved the area. There were a couple of other dogs roaming around for him to socialise with, and I think he enjoyed the rock pools more than I did.
Shelley Beach may not be the best for swimming but it sure is one of the more relaxing and playful beaches you could experience on the Sunshine Coast. It's a great place for picnics, letting the young kids get their feet wet in the rock pools and for letting the dog off the leash. Do yourself a favour, have a stroll along Shelley Beach next weekend.