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THE ADVENTURE THAT IS THE SUNSHINE COAST COASTAL PATHWAY

Why do I walk? Well, the short answer is to get there.

Yet through the years I have started to understand more and more that it is about the journey, not the destination.

Having grown up with one grandfather a coal miner and the other a farmer, it was always a matter of being active.

“You have two good legs, use them,’’ was what we were told.

Travel has taught me it’s not so much what you see but what you experience. And walking allows you to do that.

Along the way you can be astounded by the sheer magnificence or raw beauty of landscapes, the surprise encounters with native wildlife, and be impressed by the built environment, whether through history or the contemporary designs.

Yet it’s also about the people you meet along the way, the stories they tell, the knowledge they share.

Walking is also a release. A time when you can relax your mind and free up the thought patterns.

There is a sense of achievement when you reach a certain point at the end of the day. Yet along the way it allows you time for reflection. Time for different thoughts to flood into your head.

With this in mind, we decided to undertake the Coastal Pathway along the Sunshine Coast.

The shared pathway stretches from Pelican Waters and Bell’s Creek in the south to Tewantin in the north … a total of 140km.

Yet having already completed the southern section at various times this was going to be from Head to Head.

The starting point would be Noosa Heads and finish at Caloundra Head. A walk to further appreciate the Queensland coastline.

The pathway runs beside beaches, parks and leisure areas. And the plan was not to have a plan – walk along the beach, down the path, through parks or along streets as we felt like.

If something stood out, we could take a closer look. There was no timeline, just to get to a pre-determined point each day.

That would be where one car had been left, while sharing the second car to the start point for the day.

Some food and drink would be packed and there are plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants along the way.

It’s the same with a place to sleep the night. So many options.

Yet for this walk it would be home in bed each night.

What we found was very few locals know about the pathway. Even though it is designed to be a world class scenic route connecting the coast – a way to explore the beautiful and varied coastline by walking, jogging or cycling.

Along the way we will pass coastal resorts, enjoy the beauty of national parks and conservation areas, walk through seaside villages and cross rivers to major residential and commercial centres.

World-acclaimed surf breaks, yachting marinas and fishing fleets – they will all be part of the passing landscape.

Visit adventure.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for detailed information on various sections of the Coastal Pathway.

8 comments on “Head To Head

  1. Bettina Mertel says:

    Hi Earle,
    Thanks so much for your article!
    I didn’t know the Coastal pathway existed.
    I walk every day with my Rottweiler girl and try to discover new walks if they allow dogs.
    Have a fabulous day!
    Bettina

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    1. leavearly says:

      Yes … you can go from Tewantin to Golden Beach … we did it over stages to enjoy and discover rather than some sort of challenge to do it in a short space of time … it was the perfect thing to do during the time of limited travel … the Noosa National Park is probably the only restriction on dogs, so long as they are on leads at controlled beaches … we used the beach most of the way and looked back to the landscape whereas most times you go to the beach we tend to look out to sea … you can walk as far as you like each time, just take a small backpack for lunch and drinks but there are cafes of some sort all along the way

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  2. Howard Baker says:

    What a great idea, Erle. I must copy you and do at least some of that walk. 😊

    Howard

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  3. leavearly says:

    Yes … it’s our version of cinque terra except different seascape and architecture … you only need walk as far as you like each day … take a small backpack of picnic lunch. And there are cafes along the way … walk with the wind at your back …

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  4. Bettina Mertel says:

    Apologies I’ve misspell your name, Erle!

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  5. Lovely photos of your various trails. I too am reveling in the journey rather than destinations…grateful for the experiences which are so much more nuanced than mere sights. Thank you for a most wonderful meander through your coastal pathways.

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    1. leavearly says:

      Thank you, my friend … perhaps without knowing it has been your words and photos that have inspired me … in this unusual time the best thing has been to rediscover such important values as respect, good manners and common courtesy. And it has helped me realise how big an adventure can literally be in our own backyards or our own streets. The pandemic has seen people saying hello to neighbours and offering help where needed. There has been a re-evaluing of what is discretionary spend and what is truly needed, and there is the ability to discover parks, gardens, walking trails at our doorstep. A realisation by many of the beauty of nature. What has taken me a while to adjust to is the changes to time and space I find myself in … working from home changes the daily timetable … it gives me time lost in commuting back. And I find myself in a different space … understanding where we fit into this new dimension. Tomorrow I head off deep into cattle country to explore more of the Great Dividing Range that runs down the east coast of our continent.

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      1. I’m touched to know that I have inspired you. Indeed, the pandemic has both changed the way many of us experience time and helped reevaluate our priorities while on this journey. Wishing you the best in your explorations.

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