This scenic Sunshine Coast drive is for those who like a soft adventure served with lashings of beautiful nature. Starting at the Caloundra Coastal Path, begin with a walk or cycle along the shoreline. Sated, drive to Point Cartwright for an overview of the region before heading north to Mount Coolum National Park and then on to Noosa National Park. Beaches, crystal clear water, dolphins and in season, humpback whales and the most fantastic fresh air are on the agenda here. While this tour is only 73 kilometres in total, you could do it in under an hour, but why rush? Stroll, smile, unwind and relax. You're on the Sunshine Coast, after all.
Park your vehicle before you begin this drive tour and take time to breathe in the scent of the ocean with a 3.4 kilometre walk which starts at the Esplanade at Golden Beach. Stroll along the Caloundra Coastal Path as you walk (or cycle) past some of the most scenic shorelines you could ever wish to see. The path (a purpose built boardwalk) is a continuous coastal link from Golden Beach in the south, around Caloundra Headland then Moffat Headland. If you feel like a long-distance walk, continue on the path and head north to Point Cartwright. Along the way you’ll pass historic sites including the Military Jetty used for military operations in World War Two, and the heritage listed Kings Beach Bathing Pavilion constructed in 1937.
Regardless of whether you choose to drive to Port Cartwright, or walk, you’ll find a piece of paradise here. There’s an unpatrolled beach at the base of the headland at the very northern end of Kawana beach along Point Cartwright Drive. High cliffs in the coastal headland reserve provide spectacular views of Mooloolaba. It's often possible to spot migratory humpback whales and turtles as well as ships entering and leaving the Port of Brisbane.
Magnificent Mount Coolum towers like a giant over the Sunshine Coast lowlands and the foot of this National Park is easily accessible via David Low Way. It’s a steep, rough, 800-metre trail up the mountain’s eastern side from the car park but the rewards of 360-degree views are worth it. And it’s even more spectacular after the rain with waterfalls cascading down its steep cliffs. David Low Way is more scenic than the alternative route of the Sunshine Motorway and you’ll head through Peregian Beach, Sunshine Beach and then Noosa. Half an hour north, you’ll arrive at Noosa National Park which boasts a range of walking tracks. This park, which wraps around the coastline, is rich with flora and fauna such a koalas and rare glossy black-cockatoos as you make your way through the pockets of hoop and kauri pine. Watch out for the Noosa locals, who use this area as their outdoor gymnasium - running, walking and enjoying the outdoors.