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  • Narelle Donnellan

STOP & EXPLORE

It is sure is amazing how it had to take a pandemic to stop everyone from our busy lifestyles to then enjoy where we live again. Even if that meant literally your loungeroom or backyard. Being a mum of two young kids 2 and 4 years old those days were long and draining and I thought we definitely would have too much screen time but we surprised ourselves with finding toys we had forgotten about and making up new games. I am a people person and hate being stuck at home to suddenly being stuck at home with kids too, for 7 weeks. I mean I got my husband after work to enjoy adult chats and I thought I would have time to video call friends but who was I kidding it was the most full on parenting time ever. The house always looked like a bomb had exploded, let alone making sure fights were kept at a minimum and if it was too silent for too long who knows what was occurring. Ok ok I have to admit now, we weren’t at home in lock down fully so yes we decided to have relaxed mornings and get out by 11am for an hour each day, home for lunch then more play time and out a second time for a walk around the block late afternoon with hubby before dinner followed by the usual bedtime routine.

In that 1 hour each day it made me explore and look into destinations we haven’t been to before and message friends when they would post a photo of an amazing place to find out where it was and the next day we would be there too. I discovered in this time how much my son loves to hike but mainly rock climb so it had to be climbs that wasn’t a flat path but scrambling over the mountain basically.

One of our new discovery thanks to a friend’s post was Emu Mountain, perfect for little kids it is only a small mountain so doesn’t take too long to get to the summit with amazing views from Peregian Beach and Springs to Coolum. The path is narrow and enough rocks underfoot to satisfy my adventurer. Plus from Noosa it’s like 15 mins away perfect we ended up climbing it numerous times and of course took hubby one weekend.

Emu Mountain


Another new discovery was Mt Ninderry which was on my list for a while but now with a pandemic and nothing much we can do perfect time to finally complete and tick off the list. This is a lot longer track so best to take help if you have young kids like me. Of course we went the first day a lot of National Parks were closed including Mt Coolum so yes the track was busier then I wanted and apparently great walk for your dogs too. The track is wide and boring at the beginning but then it gets to the mountain climbing up steps of rock which as I mentioned my son loves. Also were blue markers along the track which kept him very occupied and my daughter spotting as sometimes it was on rocks or leaves. So worth the decent length walk for the amazing views of Mount Coolum and inland of the hinterland and up to Cotton Tree and Maroochydore.

Mt Ninderry


Point Arkwright has now become our favourite spot too. Driven past but never giving it much thought to stop and explore but I was so wrong. Amazing coastal walking track but even better still walk down the paths to the secluded beaches with all the rocks to climb over and the rock pools to watch marine life and jump in. Best of all we discovered a rock pool big enough that my kids used as there own personal swimming pool it was the best.

Point Arkwright


Another gem we rediscovered and never have time to do was the Noosa National Park from Sunshine Beach along the coastal track and the inland track to Alexandria Bay on separate days of course. Inland track you are mostly walking on a sandy wide path until it goes to narrower bush track. Coastal Track you have the stairs at the end of Sunshine Beach to tackle but stunning views of stretch of the Eastern Beaches. The rest of the track is narrow and winds around with amazing views nearly the whole way. Just remember Alexandria Bay is a nudie beach so do not be shocked if you spot someone going in for a skinny dip.

Alexandria Bay


Apart from discovering these new hidden gems we did not know about and rediscoveries. We spent most our times walking along Noosa Main Beach and the boardwalk and watching all the butterflies. Gympie Terrace is best for scootering, strolling and bike riding. We went up Mt Tinbeerwah numerous times another great close mountain easy to climb with amazing views. So good to be able to dust off the bikes and find new bike paths from our house with the kids on the back which usually my daughter fell asleep every time. I was inspired to get out in the water again like so many on my SUP and surf board the water was so crystal clear and perfect small waves to practice on again. Totally grateful we have a pool at our place and the weather was still so warm to utilise, it kept my sanity a bit longer in the afternoon grind.

Now with the restrictions slowly lifting it is hard to know when to celebrate surviving this time. I am desperate to treat the kids to a trip to the Gold Coast and go to an amusement park. Whilst we wait that little bit longer so glad to be living in Sunny Noosa and exploring all it has to offer. I can’t wait to reopen up accommodation to holiday makers again and let them know new places I have discovered in this time and share my love of Noosa with everyone I meet.

Until the next stage of restrictions reduced let’s support your local area you live in if it’s Noosa or somewhere else. See you shortly in June when first stage of travelling further and staying over night starts to then be letting everyone who is freezing down South come and enjoy Queensland again in July.

Make sure you are following my page on Instragram: “coastal_hosting” and Facebook: “Tropical Noosa Unit” for inspiring images of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.

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