As you wave goodbye to friends or family who have been visiting the Coast, do you always think to yourself “I really should make an effort to do more exploring that doesn’t involve caffeine, cocktails, or wood-fired pizza”?
We live in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. No seriously, check out the beaches and rainforests and rivers around the world that get written up in magazines and guidebooks, and most of them don’t even come close to measuring up to what we have, right on our doorstep.
We are so freaking lucky to have all these amazing walks within an hour or so from our home, so go and make the most of it. Now! That’s an order.
Mooloolah River National Park | Jowarra Section
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. 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 freaks.
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.
Mount Tibrogargan | Glasshouse Mountains
If you’re a bit of a thrillseeker—looking for horseback and dirt bike riding trails, rock climbing dizzying volcanic peaks, and other hardcore, death-defying active stuff—Mount Tibrogargan is probably one of the prettiest walks on the Sunshine Coast for you. Not me. I’m still back by the river with cheese and wine looking for platypus… But you do you, you wacky adrenalin junkie. Go on, off you go. *sips rose, pulls sunhat down over eyes, and dozes in the afternoon sun*.
Headland Walk | Noosa National Park
This 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’s dolphins galore if you make an early enough start, and during whale-watching season, we can practically guarantee you’ll see a whale (and no, we don’t mean the flabby white bums of the nudists at A-Bay!)
Buderim Forest Park | Buderim
Not all the beautiful walks on the Coast are, well… on the coast. Chuck on your best activewear and head for Buderim Forest Park. You can check out the wildlife and native subtropical forest, rockpools, caves, and of course Buderim (or Serenity) Falls. Plenty of this gorgeous walk is along boardwalks, so no need to get your hiking boots out for this one!
Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk | Baroon Point Section
Every Coast local needs to try this epic walk of almost 60km, which people (who are WAY more energetic than me, obvs) 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 faves, 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. #skinnydip?
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 carpark? Well do we have 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 our home away from home, 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 daddy of ALL stunning walks, check out this marathon trek that takes you from Bells Creek all the way to Tewantin, 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 (*ahem*) sneaky bus routes. You can break it into sections, and explore a different part of our amazing coastline every weekend for months!
Can’t get enough of pounding the Sunshine Coast’s prettiest paths? Well, take it to the next level and conquer these 5 epic mountains near the Sunshine Coast.
Image Credit: Claire Plush