25 June 2021, By Endeavour Lotteries
Hiking Heaven: Best Bushwalks Near the Sunshine Coast
6 min read
From accessible boardwalk strolls to rugged mountain scrambles and epic multi-day adventures, the Sunshine Coast and surrounds has an enormous variety of walks and hikes to suit adventurers big and small.
If you’re looking to hit the trails sometime soon, check out our list of bushwalks, mountain climbs, overnight hikes, and accessible adventures for some great ways to get out there and enjoy this stunning region.
Noosa Coastal Track
The famous Noosa Coastal Track in Noosa National Park is a must-do when you’re lucky enough to find yourself in this spectacular part of the world. This iconic walk wraps around Noosa Headland offering incredible views of the turquoise waters and pandanus fringed beaches below.
The full loop is around 10.8kms in total but you can choose to go as far as you like before turning around to head home. For a shorter walk, the main attraction, Hell’s Gates, is a 5.2km round trip from the park entrance.
Or for something different, you can begin the Coastal Track from the southern end at Sunshine Beach, climbing up the stairs at the end of the beach to join the track on the headland above.
Kondalilla Falls Circuit
Dropping 90-metres into the rainforest valley below, Kondalilla Falls, in Kondalilla National Park, makes for an impressive bushwalking destination. An Aboriginal word meaning ‘rushing waters’, the name Kondalilla, describes the waterfall when it’s at its most spectacular during the wet season in summertime.
The Grade 3 Falls Circuit is a 4.7km return trip, taking you down into the valley to the base of the waterfall. There are over 300 stairs to tackle on the circuit so you will need a reasonable level of fitness for this one.
Starting off with the baby of the bunch, Emu Mountain at Peregian is a gentle way to begin your mountain climbing adventures. This mountain may be small, but the views are mighty. After just a short, 500-metre walk to the top, you’ll be able to take in sweeping views up and down the coast.
The 1.6km return hike to the 208-metre-high summit is just about straight up, but the 360-degree views are worth every bun-clenching step.
If you want to take your Mount Coolum hike to the next level, time it at dawn. Reaching the summit just as the sun rises above the ocean is a magical experience. So set that alarm clock, throw on your head torch and start your climb in the glow of the pre-dawn light. You won’t regret it.
And once you’ve stepped your way back down to the bottom, you could always do like the super-fit locals do and turn around to do it all again.
Just north-west of Coolum, Mount Ninderry is a little-known hiking gem. At a deceptively high 308-metres, it’s almost half as high again as Mount Coolum, but seeing as the 1.4km return walk begins part way up the mountain, you get a pretty decent head start on your journey to the summit.
It’s a steady climb up which your legs will no doubt notice, but there are plenty of spots along the way where you can take a break and take in the view. Once at the top you’ll enjoy views toward the coast and to the hinterland from multiple vantage points.
About two kilometres from the township of Glass House Mountains, this popular walk takes a short, sharp climb up the mountain to reveal amazing views of some of the most well-known Glass House mountains including Tibrogargan, Coonowrin and Beerwah. Classified as a Grade 4 walk, this 2.8km is a good workout and requires a small amount of rock scrambling to reach the summit.
At 556 metres above sea level, Mount Beerwah is the highest of the Glass House Mountain peaks. Equivalent to scaling a 111-storey building, climbing this beast of a mountain is far from your average bushwalk.
To take on this dangerous climb, you must be a fit, well-prepared climber with extensive rock-scrambling experience. It’s recommended to start early to avoid the heat and allow 3-4 hours to complete the climb.
If you love nothing more than punishing yourself by slogging huge distances for days on end carrying 10kg plus packs, have we got the walk for you:
Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk
This epic adventure traverses three spectacular national parks – Kondalilla, Mapleton Falls and Mapleton – taking you past spectacular gorges, waterfalls, creeks and rockpools.
This 58.8km long-distance walk is typically broken up into four days with three overnight stays in remote walkers’ camps. The track is rugged in places but clearly marked and includes sections of Class 2, 3 and 4 walking tracks.
If you’re up for the challenge, you can choose to do the whole walk, otherwise you could pick a section or two to complete as a day walk or overnight hike.
The Sunshine Coast’s wheelchair-accessible and pram-friendly walks ensure nobody misses out on enjoying the natural beauty of this part of the world.
Noosa Coastal Track
The first section of this much-loved track is wheelchair accessible, meaning that this spectacular piece of coastline can be enjoyed by all. The accessible portion of the track stretches from the main picnic area at the park entrance around the headland to Dolphin Point, passing by Boiling Pot lookout and beautiful Tea Tree Bay.
Mary Caincross Scenic Reserve
Famous for its views of the Glass House Mountains, this beautiful reserve boasts several accessible paths and boardwalks including the impressive Glider Gallery Boardwalk. Accessed through the Rainforest Discovery Centre, this elevated boardwalk takes you high into the treetops for a unique view of the forest. Make sure you allow enough time to explore the Discovery Centre’s interactive displays and impressive specimen collections.
Finish off your visit with a coffee at the Mountain View café, which has – as you might have guessed – spectacular mountain views of the Glass House peaks.
In Mapleton National Park in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the short walk to the Mapleton Falls lookout platform is pram and wheelchair accessible. There is also a wheelchair-friendly toilet beside the carpark.
The Falls Loop at Buderim Forest Park begins with a 700-metre elevated wooden section of boardwalk suitable for wheelchairs and prams.
Mount Coolum Boardwalk
This elevated wheelchair-accessible walkway winds through native bushland and dunes to overlook the surf beach below. A deck seating area is the perfect spot to relax and watch the passing ships or try to spot a whale. On your return trip, the boardwalk affords fantastic views of Mount Coolum, especially in the late afternoon with the setting sun framing the mountain. To find this picturesque walk, plug 8 Breezeway Street into your Maps app then look for the boardwalk entry.
What are you waiting for?
Now that we’ve filled your brain with ideas for adventure, it’s time to plan your next trip to the Sunshine Coast region and surrounds. While you’re there, drop into Endeavour Foundation’s picture-perfect $1.4 million Prize Home at the foot of Mount Ninderry. Find directions and opening times here.