I have always believed in the adage 'families that play together, stay together', so what better way to spend time together as a family than taking on a variety of easy-to-do-walks. There are so many awesome walks on the Sunshine Coast that include points of interest, locations that will most certainly pique the curiosity of younger family members. To kickstart your family walking regimen, here are five vastly different walks that are worth dusting off the hiking boots for.
1. Loop the Lake Walk | Currimundi Lake, Gamban Esplanade, Currimundi
Easy Grade | 3.8km circuit Suitable for walking and recreational cycling (cyclists can do most of the circuit except for the beach crossing)
This is an easy grade 3.8km circuit walk that runs along both sides of Currimundi Lake and the beach at the end. There are a number of different starting points: on the southern side of the lake walkers can park on Westaway Parade, either near the surf beach or part way along at Frank McIvor Park; and on the northern side parking can be found on Coongarra Esplanade.
Start of Loop the Lake Walk at Westaway Parade Boat Ramp at the Frank McIvor Park
Most of the Loop the Lake Walk is lakeside, with sections through coastal bushland on the southern and northern sides of the lake. Walkers cross over the lake via the pedestrian path on the bridge on the western end and walk across the beach on the eastern coast side, where you will find one of Caloundra's most pristine beaches.
Walkers can take their shoes off for the river crossing and get to feel the sand between their toes, before returning to the car. Watch out for wildlife and especially the magnificent ospreys. The vegetation changes throughout the catchment and includes melaleuca wetlands, eucalypt woodland and patches of littoral rainforest*.
Narrow beach-sandy pathways
Littoral Rainforest is generally a closed forest, the structure and composition of which is strongly influenced by its proximity to the ocean* with thanks to www.environment.nsw.gov.au for this explanation.
Cool off with a swim in the protected lake's sheltered waters or, grab a coffee at one of the local coffee shops. Anybody who loves the combination of sand and water will absolutely love the Loop the Lake circuit.
Facilities include toilets, BBQ's, benches and a few patches of grass area to sit on.
Cool off with a swim in the protected lake's sheltered waters
2. Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Walk | Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny
Easy Grade | 0.4km length Suitable for walkers, prams and wheelchairs
With a wingspan of up to 16 cm in the female, the Richmond Birdwing is one of Australia's largest and rarest butterflies. Walkers will discover a birdwing butterfly vine during their walk, which is an important food source for developing caterpillars and attracting butterflies. The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Walk commences near the toilets - it is not necessary to go through the Discovery Centre. This walk leads behind the playground to the bottom end of the field, where walkers will discover information panels, describing the lifecycle of the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly as well as a viewing deck. Fly high, butterfly! Facilities include drinking water, BBQ, picnic table and toilets on site.
3. Bulcock Beach to Kings Beach | Coastal Pathway
Easy Grade | 1.6km one way
Suitable for walkers, recreational cyclists and even wheelchairs
Walkers and cyclists can commence this section of the Coastal Pathway in Bulcock Beach, with views over the Pumicestone Passage, towards the Glass House Mountains. Closer to the beach is a boardwalk that connects Bulcock to Kings Beach. This part of the trail winds along the cliff edge, offering spectacular views of the Passage entrance, Moreton Island and surfers catching waves. Finish your walk at Kings Beach with a cool off in the crystal clear water.
The Caloundra's Coastal Pathway is part of the 96km Sunshine Coast Coastal Pathway, that will eventually stretch from Pelican Waters Bell's Creek in the south, to Tewantin in the north. Facilities include drinking water, BBQ's, picnic tables and toilets.
4. Mount Tinbeerwah | Tewantin National Park
Easy Grade | 0.5km one way
Suitable for walkers, wheelchairs and prams (to the first lookout only, 130m)
An absolute must-do for any local or visitor to the northern side of the Sunshine Coast is the Mount Tinbeerwah ancient volcanic core lookout, offering spectacular 360 degree views. After a very short stroll on a paved pathway, which includes handrails and rest seats, walkers will be rewarded with sensational views to Mount Coolum, Mount Cooroora, Mount Cooroy, Lake Cooroibah and even the sandblows of Teewah.
A big plus: this 'climb' is rarely busy! During the day families can find a spot to watch on in awe as rock-climbers dangle off the side of the cliffs, showing off their climbing agility; or catch a magnificent moon rise over the horizon as nightfall settles in.
Being able to drive almost all of the way up to Mount Tinbeerwah, makes this walk ideal for families, young and old.
Young or old, everyone loves a good walk! Image: badski007 to Pixabay License
How to get there: From Tewantin or Noosaville or Cooroy, head to the Cooroy-Noosa Road. The turn-off to Mount Tinbeerwah is at the top of the hill (on the right going up, and on the left coming down), opposite the Tinbeerwah Hall. Follow this road for about 3kms until reaching the level car park area with an information board and toilets. Facilities include picnic table and toilets on site. No drinking water is available.
5. EJ Foote Sanctuary Botanic Garden Loop | Park Lane, off Foote Avenue, Buderim
Easy Grade | 0.6km circuit
Suitable for walkers of varying fitness levels as there are a choice of walks. Wheelchairs and prams can enjoy the paved section of this loop
Beautiful entrance archway at the EJ Foote Sanctuary
The Foote Sanctuary is a nine hectare reserve on the eastern slopes of Buderim. This reserve has an abundance of bird life, boasting more than eighty recorded species of birds, including the red-chested King Parrot, green Catbirds, Noisy Pittas and Fan Tails. And, if you're lucky, you might even spot a swamp wallaby or two.
The Botanic Garden Loop is one of the most popular walks at the Foote Sanctuary. This 608m sealed loop path meanders through the rainforest with three bridge crossings over creeks. If you have your littlies or grandies with you, this is the easiest loop to enjoy, with benches to sit and relax on, along the way. Facilities include a BBQ, picnic tables and toilets on site. No drinking water is available.
An easy-to-do family walk at the Foote Sanctuary
We are truly blessed to live in such a spectacular region of Queensland, with dozens of gems to enjoy outdoors. I know that I have barely scratched the surface and that there must still be heaps of fabulous walks to be discovered and enjoyed. Which ones are your favourites to do with your families?
Images courtesy of author unless otherwise indicated