Three coast hikes to try this summer season
WITH the warmer weather here some adventure seekers may be looking for something different to do in the great outdoors.
Local trek Coach Lisa Marshall has provided Noosa News with her top 3 hikes for Noosa and the greater Sunshine Coast region, combining them to provide an invigorating adventure trek experience from surf to summit.
Ms Marshall said people should always walk in a group, ensure they have suitable, well-gripping shoes and access to a good old fashion map.
Sunshine Beach to Noosa Beach
What: Headland, ocean views, beaches, coastal paths
Time: Allow 2-2.5 hours, depending on the route you take
Distance: about 8-10km
Best time: At sunrise
Transport: Park at Sunshine Beach and catch a bus back there afterwards from Noosa
What to pack: A day pack with water (at least 2 litres), a snack, some sun/rain protection, a towel, a pair of spare socks, a camera and/ or cell phone, but please note that there is no mobile phone reception in the parts of the route passing close to Alexandria Bay.
Route: Start at Sunshine Beach SLSC and head north up the beach to the coastal trail that starts at the foot of the headland and includes a stiff climb up a set of stairs before re-joining the natural trail. Take in the beautiful coastal views, walk along Alexander Bay and then up to Hell's Gates. Continue on the coastal walk to the finish at Noosa main beach. Or, if you want something different, take the Tanglewood Trail from Hell's Gates and head for Noosa via the the National Park entrance.
Tea/coffee recommendation: We love the coffee at Providores in Noosa or Fomo at Sunshine Beach, depending on whether you want your coffee at the start or at the end of your walk, or both!
Baroon Pocket Dam to Kondalilla Falls
What: This is part of the Sunshine Coast Great Walk, a truly wonderful trail in the Hinterland, mostly under cover, consisting of beautiful bushland, river trails, large waterholes and the scenic Kondalilla Falls near the finish.
Time: about 3.5-4 hours
Best time: In the autumn, winter or spring, with an early morning start to watch the sunrise before setting off on the trail.
Transport: Car shuffle. Leave car/s in the parking area at the finish at Kondalilla Falls and drive to the start at Baroon Pocket Dam.
What to pack: A day pack with water (at least 2 litres), a snack, some sun/rain protection, a towel, some spare socks, a camera/a cell phone (note there is no mobile phone reception along parts of this trek), warm layers of clothing to start with if going in winter, a pair of gloves and a beanie. Note that grippy boots or trail runners/walking shoes are recommended.
Map: Best to order the topographic map from National Parks. Basic trail notes can be found www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-sunshine-coast/about.html
Route: Start at Baroon Pocket Dam and follow the Great Walk signs, taking the chance to veer off to the lookouts over the valley and the dam. Stop at flat rock for tea or lunch and then explore the beautiful trails around the base of Kondalilla Falls before making your way up the steeper section to climb the stairs and trails up to the finish at Kondalilla Falls car park/visitor area.
Tea/coffee recommendation: We enjoyed tea and scones at Elements at Montville just up the road from the Falls before heading back to our cars.
Coast to Summit: Coolum
What: Ocean views, beaches, coastal path, mountain top and a great climb.
Time: allow 3 hours
Distance: approx 10-12km return
Best time: At sunrise or sunset
Transport: Park at Coolum SLSC. But if you want to shorten this route then park and start at Pt Perry.
What to pack: Daypack with water (at least 2 litres); a snack, sun and rain protection, a towel, a pair of spare socks, a camera and a cell phone.
Map: There is no available map to connect both but follow the instructions below. The trail from Coolum to Pt Arkwright is signposted along the way as is the Coastal Walk or Coolum to Pt Arkwright Coastal link. Mt Coolum map: www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mount-coolum/pdf/mount-coolum-np-map.pdf
Route: Start at Coolum SLSC and head south to join the wooden boardwalk along the coast. Take in the coastal views from the various viewing decks along the route. Continue to Pt Perry lookout before walking down the driveway from there and joining the footpath for a short while before accessing a beautiful bush track further along. Stick to the coastal path and beaches along this section rather than walk alongside the main road as this is often busy.
You then continue to walk along the beach, coming off it at Birrahl Park (Yaroomba Lifeguard Tower) and walking up Warragah Parade to meet David Low Way where you turn left and pass the Coolum residences on your left. Further along you must cross over at the pedestrian lights and turn into Tana Street West to find the entrance to Mt Coolum National Park. Climb Mt Coolum and enjoy the views! You can return either via the same route in reverse or take Tanah Street East down to the beach and walk along the beach and re-join the Pt Arkwright bush/coastal trail heading northwards back to Coolum SLSC.
Tea/coffee recommendation: The Compound Surf & Espresso Café in Coolum is highly recommended.