Coast Walk: Point Cartwright to Kawana

Followers of my Instagram page know that I like me a good sunrise, but there’s something about seeing a sunrise from a lighthouse that feels like you’re really making an effort to see the sunrise if you know what I mean.

It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for months – catch the sunrise from Point Cartwright. I’ve also been meaning to do the first leg of the Point Cartwright to Caloundra coastal pathway – just as far as Kawana, anyways. Plus, I’ve been wanting to try the breakfast at One on Balsa, so why not combine all three? Now that’s what I call multi-tasking.

Start and Finish…

We parked up near the lighthouse – mainly because the pathway starts at the Lighthouse, but also because it was still dark when we arrived. You could, however, park at Balsa Park and walk beside the river and then up to the Lighthouse – see this post for more information.

We waited for sunrise and then started walking.

Distance…

It’s just 3kms from the Lighthouse to Kawana Surf Club. From here you can keep walking – the path goes all the way to Caloundra. We turned around and retraced our steps for a total of 6kms.

The path…

The path is wide and paved the whole way – aside from some boardwalk near the lighthouse.

It’s fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs. The only obstacles are the early morning runners. Other than that, it’s a little up and down in a few places, but nothing steep. Besides, with this view, the steps just fade away.

Dog-friendly?

On a leash, absolutely. There are also plenty of exits down to the beach, so check the signage at each if you intend letting el poocho off to run.

Toilets?

Yep, there are some at the Lighthouse, at Buddina Beach, and at Kawana near the Surf Club. There’s also a really well-equipped outdoor gym at the Surf Club.

Coffee and food?

I’m glad that you asked. We rewarded ourselves with breakfast at One on Balsa at Balsa Park. The outlook is fabulous – across the river to the yachts and the fisheries at Mooloolaba. This morning there was a group of intrepid over 60’s doing tai chi. You could almost touch the serenity.

One on Balsa

But back to One on Balsa….

They have an extensive juice and smoothie menu, but we settled on a fresh orange juice and a restorative coffee.

As for breakfast, I chose the breakfast bruschetta – essentially an avo smash with bacon and fabulous tomatoes – and Miss 19 went for an acai bowl.

I have a theory that acai bowls were invented not for their superfood status, but for Instagram. These things are seriously pretty and it seems that half the cafes on the coast use them to hero their social media accounts. Anyways, Miss 19, who is a self-confessed expert on acai bowls, declared this a really good one. Apparently, the difference was in the depth of banana, and the use of great rather than ordinary granola. Served in a bowl deeper than it looks in the pic, she said it was full of yummy surprises.

I’ll be back for some of the lunchtime salads – maybe when I do the next leg of the path…

Coast Walk: Mooloolaba to Cotton Tree

Cotton Tree

With paths available all up and down the coast, covering a little extra distance than usual was also not difficult. Like this one: the coastal path from Mooloolaba to Cotton Tree. I started at sunrise and was back at the surf club at Mooloolaba for morning coffee with hubby.

How far?

I started the walk down near The Spit, so it was just over 10kms return. from the Esplanade it’s 4.4kms each way.

How hard?

Aside from the headland between Alex and Mooloolaba, this is a flat, very easy walk.

Why do it?

For the scenery. On a nice day, the beaches are fabulous- and on a moody Monday morning in the middle of winter, it can feel like you have them to yourself.

Coffee?

Absolutely- each of the surf clubs has a coffee cart or kiosk. Plus there are plenty of little places like this one that you walk past.

Toilets?

Available at each surf club.

Accessibility?

The path is wide and paved the whole way- making it accessible for wheelchairs and prams.

Dogs?

Leashed only. Don’t forget to pick a plastic bag up from the dispensers along the way…

Want more?

Each Sunday the main street in Cotton Tree is closed to traffic and a well worth a look at market moves in.

Alternatively, why not break your walk at the halfway point and stop for breakfast? Cotton Tree has plenty of great coffee shops to choose from.

Cotton Tree

Buderim Forest Park and Serenity Falls

I’ve been bookmarking pictures of Buderim Falls (or “Serenity Falls”) since before we moved to the Coast. The pictures on Instagram showed a lush rainforest with a relatively short (hello, I’ve seen the size of those falls in New Zealand…just saying) waterfall into a beautifully lit turquoise swimming hole. Of course, I was keen to go!

There are two entry points to Buderim Forest Park – and two ways to get to the falls:

The lower entry is at Lindsay Road near Harry’s Restaurant. The track from here takes approximately an hour return – longer with stops. It’s boardwalk for approx 600m and then bush track. Apparently, the track gets a tad “rugged” and the website says it’s not great for those with “walking difficulties or a low level of fitness.” I’ll try that way next time. There’s apparently barbecues and picnic facilities here.

I went with the entry closest to our house – the one at the base of Quorn Place. There ’s a good amount of parking here and well-maintained barbecues and picnic tables for when you’ve finished the circuit.

The circuit track itself is quite short – less than a kilometre return. It begins with a relatively steep downward bush trail. My knees aren’t great  – and I’m petrified of being the big fat lady falling down the hill, so I took it quite slowly and it was absolutely fine.

About 100m down there’s a fork in the park. I took the option of heading through the open forest so went to the right, crossing a short bridge and walking through the edge of the forest. With the sound of the trees, the birds and the tinkling of the water below, it’s just beautiful in here. It’s also hard to believe that we’re pretty much in the middle of Buderim.

From here there’s another short and steep-ish downhill scramble to the bridge above the falls. The bridge was built offsite and lowered into place by a hovering helicopter. #funfact

You can walk down into the swimming hole and around behind the waterfall, but when I was there, there was a proper photographer with a proper kit set up down there – and ruining my photo (see the main shot below).

The falls themselves weren’t at full flow today – we haven’t had rain in a long time – but it’s still beautifully serene down there…get it? Serenity falls? Oh, never mind…

After a short piece of boardwalk, it’s all uphill from here to get back to the carpark. But it’s do-able, it’s only 300m (or so), and there’s a viewing platform part of the way up that you can catch your breath at.

Accessibility

The path from Quorn Close is not accessible for prams or wheelchairs.

Dog-friendly?

Sorry, no, not this one. There are no dogs allowed in the forest park.

Toilets

Yes, at the entrance.

How hard is it?

It is quite steep downhill to start – which means it’s quite steep to come back up. You step down from rock to rock – so it can be very slippery after rain. The path itself is in pretty good condition. The steep parts are over and done with quickly and the distance is short so anyone with moderate fitness can do this one. Just take care after storms when there can be debris over the path as well. Don’t try this in thongs/ jandals/ flip-flops

Can you swim in the swimming hole?

People do – I’ve seen the evidence on Instagram. The creek passes through suburbia and some stormwater drains to reach the falls, so…well, I’ll leave that to you.

Want to know more? 

Check out this page.