I could continue without mentioning every beach we visit, but I can already feel the days running together and I would hate to forget these places. Everyday is a new beach, each offering different appeals. Certainly this is what you’d expect driving down the coast of a country, but we didn’t expect it to be this beautiful. Coming from the Utah desert I may be a sucker for any beach at all, but I’m okay with that. Lake or ocean – There is a certain sense of peace you get feeling sand between your toes and the sound of waves.
After Hervey Bay we headed to the next beach south, and possibly our favorite beach thus far; Rainbow Beach. The tiny town is named after its multi-colored sand cliffs, overlooking white surf breaks and aqua colored waters. We hiked up to Carlo Sandblow sand dune and spent the afternoon watching para-gliders run off the cliffs and sail over the sea. This place is also special because it blends into Great Sandy National Park where we stayed at an amazing campground on the beach for only $5.40/pp (Cheap, eh?). In the morning, Matt let me run/walk the 10km beach from the campsite to the parking area where he met me with the van. We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on our own private beach. It was a dream.
Next stop was Noosa Heads, where we were shocked back into reality when we couldn’t find a parking spot within a kilometer of the beach. Although Noosa is a much more developed resort town, we still caught some natural beauty by heading out to the national park. Hands down one of the most scenic hikes we’ve done. You’re walking along steep coastal cliffs, with full panoramic views of both Noosa and Sunshine beach – Absolutely amazing. This is also where we stumbled across Alexandria Beach which was noted in our guide book as an ‘informal nudist beach’. Unfortunately it was more of a formal nude beach and an unavoidable crossing in order to continue the hike. It was even more unfortunate when we were greeted by what seemed to be the naked old man parade. I sware to you – these men were walking single file, about 20m apart, TOWARDS us, and butt naked!!! Can’t you guys just lounge around naked?? Do you really need to be walking towards us right now? I think it’s basic human consideration to put on some shorts if you’re going to have a stroll, but that’s just me. Nonetheless, it provided us with a good laugh and we still had a great hike.
After Noosa we continued down to Coolum, which you’d be hard-pressed to find in a guidebook, but is an equally beautiful coastal town. Here we took our first try at ‘ninja camping’ (aka- parking our van on a side street, in a non-designated area). Up until now we have been fortunate enough to stay at free rest area stops throughout Queensland and have avoided random street parking. I was a bit freaked out to be honest and didn’t want to risk paying for a hefty ticket for illegally parking overnight. We played it safe by parking outside of an apartment complex where we could camouflage with other cars and leave first thing in the morn. The secret of ninja camping is fleeing the scene early so you don’t raise any eyebrows when you are crawling out of the back of a van with morning hair in PJ’s. Overall, the mission was successful and we caught an amazing sunrise over the beach the next day.
The following day we ‘splurged’ on a hostel in Caloundra for our anniversary. The hostel offered free stand up paddle board, surf board, AND bike rentals to its guests, (on the beach they will charge you $25/hour for stand up paddle boards), so this was a no-brainer! On our journey throughout Bulcock Bay we had a dolphin come within 10m of our boards and follow us for at least 5 minutes. Mind you, Matt has a legitimate fear of being raped by a dolphin after watching a terrifying episode of ‘When Animals Attack’. I was dying with excitement, laughter, and fear. Thankfully we survived the encounter. Call it an anniversary present.
Next stop Brisbane to spend some quality time with our great mate, BREE! Beaches, we will be back for you.