Australia’s outdoor-loving population has made it easy to enjoy the vast variety of hiking trails that crisscross the most scenic areas of the country. The Noosa Heads area, on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane, is home to some of the most celebrated beaches in the world. And the amazing network of walking trails allow you to explore the seaside as well as the hinterland.
The Noosa Trail Network—for hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers–has eight signposted trails that range from three to 16 miles in length.
The landscape includes rainforest and scrubland, mountain, sea and lake vistas– following meandering paths and country lanes. Some of the stream and river crossings were constructed using Clydesdale horses to drag in the logs for the bridges. As an American now living in the area, I’ve walked parts of several of the trails where the wildlife is something out of an exotic alien world.
Kangaroos, often with a joey peaking out from its pouch, lay beside the trail, resting in the shade, and casually bound away upon your approach. The bigger male Red Kangaroo can stand seven feet tall. Wallabies and Koalas and Dingoes are also in the area.
For bird watchers, the bird life along the Noosa Trails is simply spectacular
Aborigines were the original inhabitants of Australia and they have left a few remnants of their presence behind. Trees that bear a preferred nut have notches cut into the trunk by aborigines to ease climbing the tree each season for its fruit.
In addition to the Noosa Trails, there is the Cooloola Great Walk which meanders along spectacular white-sand beaches and provides camping sites along the way. Stretches of the beach are so wide that they serve as official roads, including having a speed limit. Carry a fishing pole to harvest some of the local ocean fare for dinner.
I like to hike with a purpose, like reaching the summit of a local mountain, searching for a Kookaburra’s nest in a termite mound, finding the river source that feeds a lake buried in remote rainforest. Here in Australia there is no lack of purpose to inspire a hiker to explore the fantastic wilds of this unique continent.
Here is a video walking tour of Noosa which was voted Australia’s Best Walking Town in a poll by Prevention Magazine:
Guest Blogger: FCL is an American who lives in Australia