Rediscover nature

Councillor Debbie Blumel reviews the progress of the Maroochy River Canoe Trail. Photo
Councillor Debbie Blumel reviews the progress of the Maroochy River Canoe Trail. Photo" Mike Garry/scw1007

Our homes and workplaces are filled with time-saving technology but most of us still do not have, or make, enough time to enjoy the sublime opposite of technology: nature.

A planned Maroochy River canoe trail could be just the thing to tempt us out of the house or office and take advantage of some of nature’s best work.

The 28km trail will provide “a quiet way of moving through the river, which historically has been the way people moved from the hinterland to the coast”.

It will extend from Cotton Tree at the mouth of the river to near Yandina, offering unique scenic, ecological, historic and cultural highlights along the way.

Sunshine Coast councillor Debbie Blumel, who travelled part of the canoe trail this week, said she was excited about the project’s potential.

Ms Blumel said the trail would be a major eco-tourism drawcard and deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the region.

“The Maroochy River Canoe Trail will be a fantastic opportunity for people to experience and enjoy the inspiring scenic landscapes and rich biodiversity of the river system,” she said.

“The trail will pass through an ever changing riverscape, including canopied tributaries, fish habitats, sand islands and heritage remnants.

“We looked at two possible sites for trail heads to be built on public land with parking, barbecues and safe wheelchair disability access.”

Some of the planned facilities will be in existing parks, which will mean better recreation facilities for everybody, not just canoe trail users. It is expected other informal river access points already established will continue to be used.

Consultation has begun with some community groups although a public information session will be held by mid-September.

The project is funded through a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Infrastructure and Planning as part of its outdoor recreation strategy, which aims to “get people active in the great outdoors”.

“I’m looking forward to a time in early 2009 when the minister can come and see the outcome of his $500,000 grant,” Ms Blumel said.

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