It has been an unseasonably warm start to March, so KJ and I took advantage of the perfect weather to have a cycling trip to Mudjimba Beach.
Taking the train to Beerwah Station, we set out along the forestry trails, aiming to reach Caloundra by midday. We did so – more or less. A couple of shortcuts, suggested by me, turned out to be not so short after all.
What began as a promising shady alternative route, ended up being blocked by some minor flooding on the trail, which was probably caused by the recent impact of Cyclone Marcia. I thought that by unloading the panniers I would be able to carry the bikes around the water, but it wasn’t meant to be. We returned to the sunny, but dry track and continued to Caloundra.
Back on the trail, we continued with the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains visible in the distance.
After a few hours of occasionally challenging riding – the cyclone had caused a lot of damage to some sections of the trail – we reached the seaside just north of Caloundra, near Currimumdi. A short rest, a bite to eat, and then onto lovely Mudjimba.
Having rested after a long day’s ride, we spent the following two days exploring the area by bike. It’s a liberating experience, leaving the car behind and travelling under one’s own ‘steam’. We weren’t limited in any way, and we even brought fishing rods with us on our bikes. As it happened, the fish weren’t biting this week, although it may have had something to do with the skills of the fisher-persons! Just a bit. KJ did hook a garfish at one point but it skipped off the line at the last minute.
We took a trip to nearby Peregian Beach, passing through a lovely area called Yaroomba. There is a strong protest movement underway there at the moment, hoping to reject the council’s intention to alter the local town plan and permit high rise development. It would be heartbreaking to see the character of this relaxed and peaceful region undone by the construction of high rise resort buildings. Hundreds of home that we rode past had signs out rejecting the high rise plan. We thought this one with the sea turtle was particularly arty and original.
Continuing on to Peregian Beach, we found a cafe for the dedicated cyclist where, if you wanted a coffee but didn’t want to stop pedaling, you could pedal along while getting your dose of caffeine, and not spill a drop.
Walking along the sand near Peregian, we noticed hundreds, possibly thousands, of jellyfish that had been washed ashore. The local newspapers reported that a bloom of Catostylus mosaicus jellyfish, aka ‘blue blubbers’ or, as we affectionately called them as kids, ‘snotties’, had been caused by the warm weather. They do have a mild sting but are not regarded as particularly harmful to humans.
And then there are the lorikeets. As noisy as they are colourful. These attractive birds are common all over the coast, and are especially vocal in the early morning (no sleeping in for us) and late afternoon.
We adored Mudjimba. It’s peaceful, picturesque and has great cycling all around. The Mooloolaba Triathlon was about to start and many of the locals asked us if that’s what we were there for. It was flattering, but we didn’t much resemble the speedy lycra-clad athletes zooming around the area on their bikes, in preparation for the big day. We were perfectly happy to just roll along at our relaxed pace and take in the glorious sights and sounds of the coast. This is a definite do-again trip.