Travel

The Prettiest Sunshine Coast Walks To Hit This Winter

By Urban List Writers

Our glorious pocket of paradise is blessed with a ton of stunning walking trails—dotted with towering waterfalls and pristine creeks, and populated by precious wildlife and cool rainforests—there’s no doubt we live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world.

Of course, no hike is complete without taking way too many photos, uploading them on Instagram and feeling better than everyone who slept in on the weekend. Or is that just us at Urban List? Here's 10 of the prettiest walks on and around the Sunshine Coast/Gubbi Gubbi country that you need to explore this summer.

Noosa Heads To Sunshine Beach Trail

Noosa National Park

The extensive network of walks around Noosa National Park and over the headland is world-famous, so we’re sorry to say you almost definitely won't have it to yourself. But when you see the amazing ocean views, or when you spot a koala napping in a tree, or even if a gorgeous carpet python slithers across your path, we promise you won’t notice anything else.

There are dolphins galore if you make an early enough start, and during whale-watching season, we can practically guarantee you’ll see a whale. Start at the national park carpark, following the coastal track to A-Bay. Then, enjoy getting a bit of sand between your toes before hiking around the headland at the southern end of the beach, and then down the giant staircase to Sunshine Beach. 

Mooloolah River National Park

Mooloolaba 

There are a couple of gentle, short walks through Mooloolah River National Park—you just need to decide whether you want to wind along the river or explore the rainforest. The Jowarra Section is an absolute must-walk and is one of the few remaining coastal rainforest areas.

We’ve even got it on good authority that platypus live in the river, so if you head out at dusk, bring along some cheese and wine (for you, not the platypus) stay very quiet, and you might even be lucky enough to spot one of these shy little critters.

Great Noosa Trail 

Noosa

People travel from all over the world to take part in the annual three-day Great Noosa Trail Walk, and we’ve got it right in our backyard—some of us, literally. This network of eight connected trails passes through private property as well as national parks, roads, and parklands through the Noosa Hinterland.

The trail itself has everything from short hour-long strolls, through to the whole trail which will take you about three days, camping along the way. The highlight of the trail are the lookouts, so you can not only admire the amazing view of the mountains, you can also feel pretty damn smug about how far you’ve come.

Kondalilla Falls

Montville

kondalilla falls
Image Credit: Kondalilla Falls | TEQ

Kondalilla, the Aboriginal term for “rushing water”, is just that. In fact, it’s 90 meters of rushing water plummeting into a gorgeous valley. This stunning walking track leads from Kondalilla Falls down the escarpment into a lush rainforests valley, which is ripe with prime photo opportunities. If you’re after a real adventure, ditch the easy 2.4km Picnic Creek Circuit, even the moderate 3.2km Rock Pools walk, and get lost on the 4.6km Kondalilla Falls Circuit.

This subtropical rainforest trail winds around chilled gorges and secluded rock pools with plenty of scenic lookouts along the way. Hint: use this opportunity to take in the view, and some deep breaths too, because once you reach the main event, it’s another 4.6km back. After all, what goes down must come back up.

Buderim Forest Park 

Buderim

buderim falls
Image Credit: TEQ | Supplied

Not all the beautiful walks on the Coast are, well… on the coast. Chuck on your best activewear and head for Buderim Forest Park, which is located deep in the lush Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

You can check out the wildlife and native subtropical forest, rockpools, caves, and of course Buderim (or the aptly named Serenity) Falls. Plenty of this 20-minute gorgeous walk is along boardwalks, so no need to get your hiking boots out for this one.

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Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Every Sunny Coast local needs to try this epic walk of almost 60km, which people do over a couple of days—camping along the way. Thankfully, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is also broken into smaller chunks, with easy spots to start and finish along the way.

We recommend starting small with some of the gorgeous day walks. The Baroon Point section is one of our favourite walks, with plenty of rest areas, and glimpses of Obi Obi Creek. When you reach Baroon Lookout, you can enjoy the view and head back, or if you’re up for something a bit tougher, keep going on to Flat Rock for a stunning, secluded swimming hole that usually doesn’t have too many visitors, especially outside peak tourist season. 

Glass House Mountains National Park

Glasshouse Mountains

glasshouse mountains
Image Credit: Glass House Mountains | TEQ

The Glass House Mountains are one of the most spectular natural landmarks synonymous with the Sunshine Coast. The volcanic range, comprised of 11 peaks, is listed on the Queensland and National Heritage Register as a landscape of national significance.

There are a plethora of walking tracks that will lead you from open forests to lookouts with panoramic views of the mountains. The Glass House Mountains area is spiritually significant to the Aboriginal Traditional Owners, the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara Peoples, with many ceremonial sites still protected today. Top places to explore include the base of Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Ngungun for spectacular views, and the tricky Yul-yan-man track.

Ocean Track 

Peregian Beach

If you want to look at more than just glorious ocean views (although there’s plenty of them too) check out the cheeky little dune and heathland walks from the carpark in between Peregian Beach and Coolum Beach (you’ll spot it on the left, heading south from Coolum State High School).

If you’re quiet along the Ocean Track, you’ll spot heaps of birds, wildflowers, and have a moment to appreciate the delicate ecosystem of our coastline. Make sure you pack your fave mandala towel and sunhat, because it’s only a short walk to the beach, where you can while away a few lazy hours before heading back again.

Mt Tinbeerwah

Noosa

Do you like the idea of bushwalking more than the actual practice of it? Do you start muttering to yourself “are we there yet?” before you’re even out of sight of the car park? Well, we have just the walk for you.

You can drive almost all the way to the top of Mount Tinbeerwah, which itself is just a very civilized five minutes from top-notch coffee at Clandestino Roasters. Best of all, the actual walk is less than 300m long, and a nice easy climb to a viewing platform. Because you’re just out of range of the suburban lights, head out close to midnight, and you’re guaranteed a breathtaking view of the starry night sky.

Coastal Pathway 

Sunshine Coast

For the big daddy of all stunning walks, check out this 73 kilometre long track that takes you from Bells Creek in the south all the way to Coolum, right up the entire Sunshine Coast. This isn’t a rural countryside hike either.

This is urban walking, along coastal paths, through dune areas, and most importantly, past cafes, public toilets, and even alongside some sneaky bus routes. You can break it into sections, and explore a different part of our amazing coastline every weekend for months.

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Main mage credit: Lumea Photography

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