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 August 17th 2016
Slip-slap-slop and you’re ready to go
I hesitate to say that these are the 'top' nine walking trails and tracks on the Sunshine Coast as there really are so many to choose from, hence my decision to just call my article 'Nine Walking Trails and Tracks on the Sunshine Coast'. Perhaps a future article in the making - extending this article to include more scenic tracks and trails?
Whether you're into bush walking, mountain climbing or just looking for a casual stroll along the beach, the Sunshine Coast has plenty (and I mean plenty) of options to get you out and about.
Mount Coolum is an isolated volcanic dome and 208 metres in height. Even though the geology of Mount Coolum is quite amazing, ecologically Mount Coolum, with its diversity of plant life within such a small area, is unequalled. This area has been intensely studied and over 700 plant types have been documented. Thousands of people climb Mount Coolum every year and one can understand why - the 360-degree views once you reach the summit of the coastal area from Point Cartwright in the south to Noosa Heads in the north is absolutely breathtaking.
Unfortunately, there are no ablution blocks at Mount Coolum, so one has to make a plan!
Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park - Image: Visit Noosa Facebook page
Noosa National Park covers an area of more than four thousand hectares, including sections surrounding Lake Weyba, Peregian and Coolum. This stunning National Park is very important for nature conservation as it is home to several rare and threatened species. Locals and tourists all love the Noosa National Park.
There are several easy to moderate walking tracks which wind along the coast, through rainforest and open woodlands. The longer tracks lead out through the open forest and heath, where one can see a huge variety of wildflowers in winter and spring.
In the Noosa Headland Section, one can walk from the information centre to Dolphin Point, which is paved and suitable for assisted wheelchair and stroller access.
The park is home to vulnerable and endangered wildlife such as the glossy black-cockatoo, ground parrot, koala, red goshawk, wallum froglet, swamp orchid and Christmas bells.
Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park
Look-out point - Image: Elaine de Wet
Enjoy a family picnic at the large grassed area on entering the Kondadilla National Park or choose one of the walks available:-
1.7km Picnic Creek Circuit, the moderate 3.2km Rock Pools Walk or the more challenging 4.7km Kondalilla Falls Circuit.
As mentioned in one of my previous articles, the rainforest, the rock pools and the waterfall is absolutely a perfect reason to venture into the Kondadilla National Park.
Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary
Maroochydore Wetlands - Image: Sunshine Coast Council
One can start this walk along the Maroochy River, at Sports Road in Bli, Bli. A 1.2km sealed boardwalk allows walkers to explore wet and dry eucalypt forests, rainforest, melaleuca forest, casuarina woodland, salt marsh and mangroves. The wetlands are accessed via walking tracks and boardwalks leading from the Bilai Environmental Education Centre, making it easier for prams, wheelchairs and groups to tour this area. Just one word of warning - take plenty of mozzie repellant, the last time we were there, we were blanketed from head to toe in mozzies! I believe that the best time to be mozzie-free is to visit between May and October.
Maroochy Botanical Gardens
Great spot for families to explore - Image: Elaine de Wet
This is definitely one of my all-time favourite places to get back in touch with my inner self. Every first and third Wednesday of the month, you can take a tour with a trained guide - meet at the information centre sign near the car park for a very informative stroll starting at 9.00am. Free entry and lots of parking available (weekends get pretty hectic) but a great spot for children to enjoy the natural beauty of this spot.
Coolum - Image: Elaine de Wet
One of the best spots for an oceanside walk is in Coolum. The short walk along the boardwalk is perfect for people of all abilities and if you can't get out there during the day, no problem, we have you covered as it's lit up at night to accommodate you too. Start your walk at the T-junction of Beach Road and David Low Way, heading up the boardwalk to Point Perry to experience the views and a rest spot (should you want to sit and enjoy the views).
Views all the way up to Noosa and First Bay, just south of Coolum business district (a popular spot for weddings and events) can be seen on this great walk.
Caloundra's Coastal Pathway
Caloundra's Coastal Pathway - By Damien Dempsey from Melbourne, Australia - Boardwalk, CC BY 2.0,
Caloundra's Coastal Pathway offers an awesome nine kilometres of pathway, following along Caloundra's beaches from Bells Creek in the south to Point Cartwright in the north.
With everything on offer to see along the way, a lighthouse; lakes; creeks and beaches popping up all along the Coastal Pathway, this is truly an awesome scenic trail to follow and to explore some of Caloundra's natural beauty. The previous Caloundra Council spent an astronomical amount on the planning and construction of this Coastal Pathway ensuring that walkers and cyclists can take full advantage of the stunning scenery.
This walk is located at the Northern end of Pacific Boulevard in Buddina. An easy 1.2km walk on a paved path all along the Mooloolah Riverfront, where you pass a lovely swimming cove on route to the river mouth, or perhaps you're looking for a more challenging walk? Then the walk up the hill to the lighthouse would be the way to go offering sweeping views up and down the coastline.
Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout, Tewantin National Park
Sensational sunrise from the Mt Tinbeerwah Lookout - Image: Visit Noosa Facebook page
You'll find this walk just west of Noosa and Tewantin along the Cooroy-Noosa Road. A wonderfully panoramic walk as one gets a 360 degree view of the northern Sunshine Coast all the way down south to Caloundra. Mount Tinbeerwah is a volcanic plug (thanks to wikipedia.org "is a volcanic object created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. When present, a plug can cause an extreme build-up of pressure if rising volatile-charged magma is trapped beneath it, and this can sometimes lead to an explosive eruption".) This plug is the residue from volcanic activity millions of years ago.
Well, let's hope this isn't going to happen at Mount Tinbeerwah anytime soon. The surrounding forest in this area is home to the endangered Triunia Robusta, a scrawny, multi-stemmed small tree with white flowers and red fruit.
Let's get back to our walk. If one walks from the car park this leads to a fire tower which is 265 metres above sea level. This is not a very long track, only measuring 260 metres, but is well marked with information signs along the way and railings and steps on the steeper sections. The first 130 metres is wheelchair accessible - don't you just love it when wheelchair users get the opportunity to enjoy our natural surrounds too?
How easy is that? All you now need to do is, put on some sturdy walking shoes, a hat, grab a water bottle and slip-slap-slop and you're ready to go!