The Sunshine Coast is described as one of the most beautiful spots on Earth for walking. There are plenty of opportunities to check out the beaches, rainforests and rivers around the region on foot. And the great thing about Sunshine Coast scenic walks is that most of them are right on our doorstep.
Here are some of the Sunshine Coast’s best walking trails:
Coastal Pathway Maroochydore to Mooloolaba
The coastal pathway stretches 4.4km from Cotton Tree Park to The Esplanade in Mooloolaba.
You can walk all the way or just part of the way. The pathway starts in the park fringing the Maroochy River and then follows the coastline around giving walkers gorgeous views of the beaches along the way. You pass the iconic Maroochydore and Alexandra Headlands Surf Clubs and then ascend the gentle slope up towards Alexandra Headland which gives you breathtaking views of Mooloolaba Beach to the south and Alexandra Headlands beaches to the north.
The pathway finishes at The Esplanade in the beachfront resort town of Mooloolaba, where you can wile away a few hours browsing the trendy boutiques or sipping a frothy cappuccino from the large array of cafes along the esplanade.
Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park is located at the end of Park Road, Noosa Heads. Access is available by walking from Hastings Street along the seaside boardwalk, enjoying the ocean views as you go.
It offers kilometres of walking tracks of all grades from easy walking to medium level sandy tracks. A range of different vegetation stimulates the senses, from rainforest through to areas of coastal bush with iconic Pandanus and Banksia.
An easy introduction to Noosa National Park is to take a stroll along the boardwalk from the end of Noosa Main Beach. This will take you past Little Cove, a favourite beach for the locals and on towards the park’s main entrance.
Visit the information hut for information on recent sightings or visit Noosa National Park
The coastal walk brings you eventually to Hell’s Gates and Alexandria Bay with the most breathtaking views. You can then return via one of the other tracks through the rainforest or over the top of the hill.
Buderim Forest Park
Take a walk amongst nature in nearby Buderim. Described as the hidden jewell of Buderim Mountain, the Forest Park provides a nature lover’s boardwalk with viewing platforms through the subtropical rainforest.
This 45 hectare secluded oasis is less than a kilometre from the Buderim Village. Buderim Forest Park is a rainforest world of tall trees, ferns, babbling waterfalls, cascades and bird calls.
When the boardwalk ends, keep following the trail and the reward is a sensational wander through serene bushland along the creek, past babbling cascades and ultimately to the Buderim Falls.
The walking trail has been developed from two entry points. The lower entry is off Lindsay Road via Harry’s Lane, while the second entry point is via Quorn Close, which runs off Lindsay Road at the top of Buderim. To download a map visit Buderim
Mooloolah River National Park
Adjoining the Mooloolah River, The park is within ten minutes drive of Mooloolaba. This park protects valuable remnants of coastal lowland habitat—rainforest, open eucalypt woodlands, melaleuca forests, wallum banksia woodlands, scribbly gum open forests, wallum heath and sedgelands.
The majority of the park lies either side of the Sunshine Motorway with the Mooloolah River forming its south-eastern boundary. This Mooloolah River section is accessible from Claymore Road, Sippy Downs.
Tracks in Mooloolah River section include:
Boronia trail: 2.4km (one way), through an eucalypt forest, creek and onto a large heath plain.
Aemula trail: 1.3km (one way), taking you through woodlands and open forests.
Littoralis trail: 1.1km (one way), a higher walk through woodlands and open forests.
Paperbark trail: 850m (one way), a short walk with some challenging sections featuring casuarina forest.
Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk
From Maroochydore drive out towards Nambour and Mapleton for 32 kms to access the Mapleton National Park. From here day visitors can access either a short half-day walk or a full-day walk within the Great Walk route. Otherwise there is a 58 km four day walk with bush campsites along the trail.
There are four access points to the walk:
1. Baroon Pocket—from Montville follow the signs towards Barron Pocket Dam via Western Avenue and Narrows Road. Turn right into the GW entrance carpark just before the Baroon Pocket Dam picnic area.
2. Kondalilla National Park – access is via the Montville–Mapleton Road, turn west into Kondalilla Falls Road.
3. Mapleton Falls National Park – from Mapleton township turn west onto Obi Obi road and turn right into Mapleton Falls Road.
4. Mapleton National Park (Delicia Road entrance)—from Mapleton township take the Obi Obi Road and turn into right into Delicia Road. From here the GW entrance is approximately 2km on the right side of the road.
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is a clearly marked track with a generally firm and stable surface. Some sections include very steep grades and creek crossings.
You can download a walking trail map from National Parks HERE
Mount Coolum Summit Walk
If you enjoy a challenging walk with spectacular views, then the Mt Coolum summit walk is a must do whilst you are visiting the Sunshine Coast. Mount Coolum is the world’s second largest rock behind none other than world famous Uluru.
Geographically Mt Coolum is an isolated volcanic dome, 208 metres in height and roughly circular in outline. The 1.6km return walk to the summit involves a lot of steep rocky stairs and is categorized as a class 4 walk, suitable for fit walkers only.
It goes without saying that the view from the summit is truly magnificent; a 360 degree overview of the Sunshine Coast, Point Cartwright and the Glass House Mountains to the south, the Blackall Range to the west, and Noosa Heads to the north.
After you’ve completed the challenging Mount Coolum Summit walk take it easy on the Golden Beach walk of the Coolum Boardwalk. It’s a suitable walk for all levels of fitness.
Starting from the lights at the T-Junction of Beach Road and David Low Way head up the boardwalk to Point Perry where a recently completed shelter offers great views and a rest. Point Perry is a superb place to watch for whales in season and to check out the surfers all year round. The small headland juts out from the coast and looking North gives views of the coast right up to Noosa. First Bay can also be seen from here in all its glory.
Pack your camera and a pair of binoculars, as there are quite a few lookouts where you can stop and gaze into the distance and take some great photos.
M1 Resort in Maroochydore offers a selection of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments perfect for groups of friends travelling together. Book your Maroochydore Sunshine Coast accommodation today. Discover more of the Sunshine Coast on one of these magnificent walks.