Mooloolaba to Cotton Tree Coast Walk

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

Alexandra Headland

Located between Mooloolaba and Maroochydore, Alex (as the locals call it) is a long sweeping stretch of sand with great surf and fabulous views up to Old Woman Island of Mudjimba and, further up, Mount Coolum.

Popular with surfers – especially around the Headland at at the northern end of the beach – there’s also good swimming for families in the patrolled section near the surf club.

Alex lies at the midway point on the Mooloolaba to Cotton Tree coastal path, and is a great spot to grab a coffee and get some Vitamin Sea.

Anyways, no more words, just check out the pics…

Kawana Waters Farmer’s Market

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Queenslanders, well, perhaps just Sunny Coasters, tend to be early risers – especially when the rest of us are on daylight savings. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that the sun comes streaming in just after 5am at this time of the year. (As an aside, they tend to dine earlier too – the waitress in one of the Italian restaurants in Mooloolaba apologised for not having a table available before 6.30pm…)

img_0395It’s why, when hubster asked if I’d got the time right for the farmer’s market we were going to for breakfast (‘7am? Are you sure?’) I was sure. I didn’t like to tell him that Woombye Farmers’ Market is underway by 6am. He’ll find out about that soon enough.

‘Nothing will be open that early,’ he said, with the confidence of always being right. ‘It won’t get going until 8.’

Not only was it under full steam at 8am, but people had already bought their veggies (and their brekky) and were starting to leave.img_0394

It’s when you visit farmer’s markets like these – especially in places like this – that you realise there is a growing number of people (it was particularly pleasing to see so many young families) who want to eat fresh food sourced locally. And why wouldn’t you? All the produce from these markets is both of those things.

img_0409Sure, there were some stalls selling raw treats and fermented foods, but mostly it was produce – locally grown vegetables, fruit, cheese, and meats – that was the star attraction. Not everything is organic, but much of it is – or at least chemical free. Real food – with the dirt still on it, sweetie.

I was especially happy to see baskets of locally grown tumeric, ginger and garlic – for most of the year at home we can only get the imported stuff. This looked young and fresh – the way it does in the markets in Ubud…the way it rarely is in supermarkets.

img_0410For brekky we grabbed a plate of home-made pork and prawn dumplings to share, and split a brekky bacon and halloumi roll with home-made pesto. Perfect.

Kawana Waters Farmers’ Market is on every Saturday from 7am- noon at Kawana Waters State College, Sportsman Parade, Bokarina. Don’t forget your market bags.

This post was originally published in October 2016 on andanyways…

The Velo Project

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I don’t know about you, but if I’m going out for breakfast I want something a little, well, different to what I’d get at home – and I say that acknowledging that my husband makes a flipping good brekky and an even better avo smash. I don’t want overpriced avo smash, or, worse, overpriced avo smash that’s been smeared rather than piled onto the bread. Speaking of which, I don’t want overpriced, smeared avo smash on badly toasted, ordinary bread. Nor do I want my eggs rubbery, the decor sterile or the menu boring.

No, when I have breakfast out, I want breakfast the way that it’s intended to be: somewhere a tad quirky, served with a sunny smile-up, and a menu that has you considering your options. It’s even better in a place that only locals know about. See how I just slipped that in? Even though we’re still officially summer people, we will be locals in just a few weeks…

Anyways, The Velo Project is all that with a side of vintage and fabulous coffee.

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There’s a lot to look at here – something in every corner. If you can drag your view away from the bits and pieces, the menu – presented in vintage encyclopaedias – is worth consideration over a cup of excellent caffeine presented in the type of china I’m trying to get rid of at the moment.

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‘See,’ my husband said, ‘vintage china is really in at the moment.’

‘Perhaps, but do we need that much of it?’

‘We threw out the souvenir teaspoons, didn’t we?’

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The thing about vintage china and nik-naks is that they look great in a semi-industrial space (this used to be an old mechanics/ garage) in a place where nothing matches, nothing is trying to match, and everything (including the menu) feels young and vital. In any other circumstance, it just looks old. Here it works.

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As for the food? I somehow managed to resist the urge to try the eggs benny (next time – although with four different varieties, I could try a different one each visit) and went instead for the avo smash – as did Ms T. Served on good ciabatta, the avo is mixed with fresh red onion, roasted garlic, corn, lemon juice and piled high with fresh herbs – I suspect from the garden out the back. At $17 it’s a little pricier than some, but kept us going through a harrowing morning of real estate agents and open homes.

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Hubby went for house made toasted banana, macadamia and date bread served with mascarpone and orange cardamon syrup ($10.50). It looked beautiful and tasted even better than that.

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This place gets super busy on weekends, but there are some tables out the back too – where the herb garden is. The menu is also jam-packed with smoothies, enough varieties of coffees and teas to make even a Melbourne-ite proud (turmeric, ginger & honey brewed on coconut milk or dandelion latte anyone?) and plenty of options for the too young to drink coffee crew.

The Velo Project is located off the Esplanade, a few streets behind Mooloolaba Beach at 19 Careela St. It’s open 7am-3pm 7 days a week and is well worth seeking out…

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This post was originally published in January 2017 on andanyways…