Kayaking for me is a bit of a passion. I love the feeling of freedom it affords, but also how closely it draws you into the natural world around you, being nearly submerged into the flow of the water, and slicing through it’s ripples as you paddle along it’s length is an almost spiritual experience for me. Lately though I’ve been struggling to find time to get out on the water, between work, family and my napping schedule there isn’t a whole lot of ‘me’ time left at the end of my very busy day to day. This weekend I put my foot down, which of course I had to then lift and mutter the words ‘sorry, honey’ as it seems my wife thought the couch wasn’t the best place to be stamping my feet, but never the less I decided it was time to get back out there and get into it.
Luckily for me my home at Sunshine Cove sits close to the Maroochy River and it’s many paddling access points. The Maroochy River is a regular destination for me and my paddle, being just a few minutes from my doorstep, and playing host to an awe inspiring display of wild life and enough trails to keep you coming back weekend after weekend. You can find a list of trails and access points here on the Sunshine Coast council website.
There are around 30-kilometres of different trails making up the Maroochy River. The upper reaches begin within Lake Dunethin, a main entry point with disability access. From Lake Dunethin, you may choose to paddle north to George Best Park, which sits just east of the Bruce Highway, or south to Coolum Creek, the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary and Mangrove Islands, into the lower reaches of the Maroochy River. I chose to begin at the Coolum Creek Confluence and end up at the Wetlands Sanctuary after about thirty minutes of paddling.
The Sanctuary is one of my favourite places to just paddle around, and would happily do so for hours on end. You get an amazing perspective from the platform of a Kayak and it affords you some amazing photography opportunities. My favourite of the weekend was a snap of some fish feeding close to the surface not far from the side of my kayak, unaware of my presence as I sat idle on still waters. I was able to capture the sun dancing across their sleek and beautiful scales and the ripples cascading across the surface of the murky waters as my little aquatic friend snatched a meal of a bug from the world above. Looking back at my photos now, It almost looks as if he looked back at me, conscious of his predicament and my intent, even possibly posing somewhat so as to give me his ‘best side, darling!’.
I stopped for lunch with a few black-feathered friends with whom I shared my crusts before paddling back up stream to head home. This is what it’s about for me, getting away from the loud and busy people world, and to re-connect with this quieter, calmer world where I’m simply a contented observer and oddity to it’s residents. The tranquillity and serenity it affords is simply invaluable to my mental state, affording me an almost meditative experience that I cannot recommend enough.
If you’ve ever given kayaking on the Sunshine Coast a second thought then I urge you to do so, you will not regret it. Unless of course you have no sense of balance and a fear of water, because that’s kind of a bad combination with kayaking…