After a couple of weeks in Brisbane, I had a week to get back to Mount Isa and meandered my way up the coast. I didn’t go far on the first day – just a leisurely 150km to Noosa. First stop was the lookout at White Horse Mountain, named for the wild brumbies that used to roam the area. The lookout is just off the Bruce Highway about 20km north of Caboolture. The track to the lookout is a steep 700m walk from the carpark but offers fantastic views in every direction, south to Brisbane, east to Bribie Island and the coast, north to the Sunshine Coast and (shown below), west to the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains. James Cook so named the mountains as he sailed north in 1770 because their shape reminded him of the huge glass furnaces (glasshouses) in his native Yorkshire.
Next stop was a detour to Buderim, the one part of the Sunshine Coast on the commanding heights of Buderim Mountain. Buderim is the Kabi Kabi word for hairpin honeysuckle which grew abundantly here. There are terrific views here 180m below to the coast at Mooloolaba.
At Buderim there was an important stop at Vandy’s Garage. I didn’t need any mechanical repairs or fuel, which is just as well as Vandy’s has long since stopped being a Garage. Today it is home to a cool coffee shop and the beverage there went down well.
Replenished it was on to my digs for the night, a motel in Noosaville. The motel was only a block or two from the Noosa River and I wasted no time in soaking in the relaxing sights and having lunch by the foreshore. The river begins in the Great Sandy National Park and winds its way south to fill up Lake Cootharaba then Lake Cooroibah, and onto Tewantin before emptying into the Pacific at Noosa Heads. Noosa Heads is exclusive but Noosaville has a more accessible charm and a lovely esplanade along the river.
After lunch I walked the 3km or so to Noosa Heads passing many channels of the river. Stand up paddles were everywhere as were pricey-looking apartments and even pricier boats.
After a short mingling with the plutocrats on Hastings Street, I headed on east towards Noosa National Park, passing the busy Noosa Main Beach looking out on the North Shore. The rare north-facing beach makes it one of the Pacific coast’s safest and it is too far south to be infested by nasty marine stingers.
The National Park begins another 2km to the east. The track to the headlands is beautiful with fantastic views to hidden coves along the way. Though it has been a National Park since 1939 it almost succumbed to a pro-development lobby in 1962. The Park provides an important refuge for native wildlife including the koala, glossy black-cockatoo, ground parrot and wallum froglet. This photo was taken at Dolphin Point looking towards Tea Tree Bay.
I walked to the end of the track to the headlands at Hell’s Gates then trampled south to the beautiful surf beach at Alexandria Bay. The Bay is famous as a nudist beach though it is illegal and police charge people for “offending“. There was just one older gentleman displaying his baubles as I walked down (and I steadfastly remained legally decent) but clad or not, it is a beautiful place to, ahem, hang out. I walked back to town via the almost empty Alexandria Bay and Tanglewood Tracks to end what was another delightful day in that paradise some folk call Queensland.