Queensland’s Sunshine Coast starts just north of Brisbane at Bribie Island and extends 100 kms to the Cooloola Coast, taking in such well known tourist destinations as the beaches of Noosa Heads and Maroochydore, and inland to Maleny and Eumundi.
There are 25 or so National Parks and reserves in the region. The possibilities for walking are enormous. For a comprehensive guide to all of the Sunshine Coast’s parks click on this link queenslandnationalparks.com.au
On a short visit to the area we managed to fit in two short walks – one in the hinterland around the base of an impressive mountain and the other a coastal walk with great views and a swim at the finish.
Mt Tibrogargan Circuit
Around 70 kms north of Brisbane are the Glass House Mountains. These remnant volcanic plugs rise dramatically from the landscape and have a slightly other-worldly look about them. These are the traditional lands of the Jinibara and Kabi Kabi people. Too irresistible to ignore we decided we needed to take a closer look at at least one of them.
There are many walks and views in the associated Glass House Mountains National Park. With only limited time available we chose the Mt Tibrogargan Circuit, a 3.2 km, 1 – 1.5 hour circumnavigation around the base of the said mountain.
From the car park we went to the rest and information area, which was adjacent to the start of the track.
The circuit is well sign-posted.
We travelled clockwise, but either direction is fine. The clear track wound through melaleuca and casuarina forest.
A stunning view of the peak emerged soon after commencing.
Hardy folks can scramble to the top. We could see the trail leading all the way to the top and a few intrepid people on it but we were content to stick with our plan to just do the circuit.
Various viewing points with interpretative signage added interest and photo ops.
Mt Beerah and Mt Coonowrin.
The trail split at the point where the track to the summit diverted from the circuit track.
It was a warm day and the intermittent shade from the lowland forest provided pleasant respite.
There was plenty of seating for a break if needed.
Lots of bottlebrush and other native plants.
The views of Mt Tibrogargan kept changing as we continued around the mountain.
The Circuit Track intersects with the longer Trachyte Circuit so it’s important to read the signs.
Overall the walk was an easy, flat ramble on well-defined paths with excellent views.
Noosa National Park
A couple of days later, and wanting a different experience, we drove out to Noosa National Park to do a walk around Noosa Headland.
From the car park on Park Road we started by checking out the map of the park.
We opted to walk the inland route across the headland via the Tanglewood Track and return via the Coastal Track, a circuit of 6.9 kms.
The well-defined Tanglewood Track initially took us through dense, cool rainforest.
Again, signage was very clear.
The trail rose gradually with the vegetation changing to more open eucalypt forest.
The occasional scrub turkey put in an appearance.
Eventually we emerged from the forest to expansive views of Alexandria Bay.
Then we arrived at Hells Gates, the end of the Tanglewood section of the walk. We were lucky enough to see a green turtle and a whale.
We then proceeded along the picturesque Coastal Track.
Lots of great views, including Granite Bay.
A quick stop at Dolphin Point.
More views, this time of Tea Tree Bay.
Past Boiling Pot (which wasn’t doing a lot of boiling this day).
And back to our starting point with a quick dip to cool off.
The total time for this walk was around 2.5 hours, going at a comfortable pace with time for views and taking photos.
As we said, these were just two of the day walk offerings in just two of the many national parks on the Sunshine Coast. An while the region is renowned for it’s surfing and beach culture, don’t ignore the fabulous possibilities for ‘going bush’ that are on offer. We’ll certainly be back to do a lot more exploring.
Ken and Cally