New Blog

I’ve been writing four separate blogs and now they’ve melded into one called:

www.brisbaneandbeyond.com.au

Please feel free to visit for information about Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, including Best Walks, History, What’s On and great places to visit.  Everything on this site has been copied to the new site.

Sunshine Coast Walks

For the last year or so, I’ve been working on a new book of walks for the Sunshine Coast. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s about an hour’s drive north of the city of Brisbane in Australia and extends to the resort town of Noosa and beyond.

It would be hard to find a more beautiful area for walking and exploring than the Sunshine Coast. There are golden beaches, pretty hinterland and coastal villages, rainforests and spectacular volcanic mountains. And for those, like myself and my co-author Virginia Balfour, who like to end our walk with a visit to a cafe, there seems to be an extraordinarily large number of great French patisseries and cafes along the Sunshine Coast. We always stopped in for a coffee and cake – for professional reasons of course – to check walking path notes, maps and photos!

The book is at the printers at the moment and should be in book shops by the end of November 2010, certainly in time for Christmas. You can order from bookshops now – they’ll just need the title and authors’ name: “Best Village and Coastal Walks of the Sunshine Coast” by Dianne McLay & Virginia Balfour. If you’re not in Australia, it’s possible to order directly from the publisher Woodslane and they’ll ship overseas.

Best Village & Coastal Walks of the Sunshine Coast

Spring in Brisbane

I love this time of year in Brisbane. It’s just warm enough for swimming, but still a pleasant temperature for taking a walk along Brisbane’s many beautiful walking tracks. Spring flowers are starting to bloom and you’ll see frangipani flowers beginning to unfurl. 

Frangipani Flower Brisbane

One of my favourite Brisbane trees is the Mulberry because of its delicious fruit. You might see them leaning over fences, on spare allotments once occupied by old houses, or sometimes growing wild. The fruit is ripe when it’s a deep purple colour, almost black. Beware though, they do stain. If your fingers become stained with Mulberry juice, pick an unripe fruit (very pale red colour) and rub it on the stain. My backyard tree has been giving us fruit for a few weeks now, enough to make a yummy mulberry pie.

Mulberries

Wynnum to Manly Foreshore Walk

Manly Boat Harbour

With school holidays coming up, it’s always a good idea to have a few interesting walks planned, to get rid of all of that excess energy!

 
One of our favourites is the foreshore walk between Wynnum and Manly. It’s about 4.5km one way with a smooth path suitable for strollers and scooters. There are plenty of playgrounds on the way along with picnic shelters.

At the Wynnum end, the shady playground near the Wynnum Jetty is great for kids of all ages and there are cafes and takeaways opposite. It might still be a bit chilly, but the Wynnum wading pool is a great places to cool down if we get one of those hot mid-spring days.

Manly Playground

The Manly end of the walk has a public swimming pool, a big playground with picnic shelters and plenty of cafes along Cambridge Parade. There are also markets on Sundays. Children will enjoy a stroll out onto the William Gunn Jetty to see people trying their luck with a fishing line, and yachts coming and going from the marina. The cafe on the jetty has great views of the action.

Do you have any favourite walks for kids in Brisbane?

Gateway Bridge Walking Path

I received a question from keen Brisbane walker, Alayne, who asked about access to the walking path over the new Gateway Bridge (officially named the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge).

Alayne, access from the south side of the bridge is from Lytton Road.  There is space for parking on the shoulder of Lytton Road on the east side of the bridge. At the moment, it looks like a bit of a construction site with the Lytton Road off ramp still being finished.  However, don’t be put off by the construction because there is pedestrian access beside the barriers. 

On the north side, parking is on Lavarack Avenue with access to the pedestrian path between Harvey Street North and French Street.

Late in 2010, new parkland with car parking, will open up under the south side of the bridge, and this will link up with the pedestrian pathway over the bridge. So this will be the best place to start a walk over the new Gateway Bridge. I’ll write up a walk description and map once it’s all completed.

In the meantime, below is a map which comes from an information sheet produced by the Gateway Upgrade Project information office. You can download a more printer-friendly information sheet with the map (on page 2 of the PDF) from their website.

By the way, the people who work in the Community Relations Team for the bridge upgrade (freecall 1800 700 525) are really friendly and helpful if you have any questions about walking or cycling access.

I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I have yet to walk the full length of the bridge (I only got 200 metres onto the bridge on the crowded open day). I’ve been busy writing my next walking guide book which is for the Sunshine Coast. So if anyone would like to give the bridge a ‘walking review’ please use the comments section or email me: editor (at) brisbanewalks.com.au.

Gateway Bridge Walking Path

Mt Coot-tha Walk

Mt Coot-tha Simpson Falls

Welcome to guest blogger Julie……..  On a cloudy and (dare I say it, coming from Melbourne!) wintry day in Brisbane, am up visiting friends over the school holidays, one of whom is Dianne McLay, the author of Brisbane’s Best Bush, Bay and City Walks.  Di and I have walked together over more years than we care to remember, in many countries and in all sorts of weather.  So a wander around one of her walks with all our kids in tow seemed a good way to burn some energy and warm up. 

We headed for one of her family’s favourite walks, the Mt Coot-tha – Simpson Falls circuit, which starts from the Grey Gum car park along the main Mt Coot-tha ridge.  This walk has a bit of everything – views, ups and downs along interesting paths, wildflowers, gullies, creeks and a strategically placed rock-strewn waterfall about two-thirds of the way along for a great rest and refreshment stop. 

It’s a wonderful feeling to be so close to the city yet truly feel like you are miles away in the bush.  After a fun, scrambly detour to explore the mostly dry, but beautiful water course below the waterfall, we headed back to the Summit for that panoramic view across the city as the sun was setting.  What a fantastic day!

Brisbane City Laneways

Burnett Lane

Melbourne is known for its inner city laneways and alleys. I love exploring the quirky shops and cosy cafes and bars you find in these secret side streets.

Until recently, some of Brisbane’s alleys and lanes have been neglected spaces – often a bit dirty and scary. But they’re going through a renaissance at the moment. During June, the Inhabit Fiesta (10 – 27 June 2010) has seen Brisbane’s CBD lanes transformed into performance and art spaces.

I took a walk around the city on the weekend and was surprised to see Burnett Lane, which runs behind the Queen Street Mall (walk in from Albert or George St), is in the middle of a face-lift. It’s all cleaned up and artworks and lighting are being installed. In the photo (left) you can see that even the road surface has been decorated.

I’m looking forward to taking a stroll through all of Brisbane’s refurbished laneways.

Do you have a favourite laneway or street that you like to stroll on in Brisbane?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: