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Australia is often referred to as the Lucky Country, and I don’t disagree with that. However, after spending the last three weeks “holidaying” around Coolum, I have to add that we locals are the lucky Australians.

Every day of my break was blessed with perfect Sunshine Coast weather: the mornings were fresh, the skies clear and blue and the sun warm but gentle.

I have been guilty in the past of taking our magnificent beaches and natural attractions for granted And judging by the small number of people on the beach, I am not the only local to have become bit blasé about our own beautiful backyard.

But these holidays, the call of those clear, sharp autumn days was too strong to resist and most days I went for brisk beach walks between Coolum and Peregian.

The morning sun shimmered across the sparkling surf, which seems to change colour at this time of the year, and bathed those of us lucky enough to be outdoors in a warm, feel-good glow that lasted all day.

One day I was persuaded to go canoeing.

My mate and I paddled along Eenie Creek into Lake Weyba, via pristine mangroves that showed very little evidence of man’s presence. In fact, the whole time we were on the water we did not see another human. Our only company was a fascinating variety of bird life.

My mate’s a bit of a nature buff and he was able to rattle off the names of all the birds we saw. Mind you, they sounded suspiciously like Peregian street names.

I’m only kidding – I knew David Low Way was a bird.

But getting back to the beach. For many of my walks I headed north from Stumers Creek – the controversial off-leash area for dogs.

I’m pleased to report I did not see any out-of-control dogs or step on a single doggy doo – though I did see a shitzu. Either local dog owners are conscientious collectors or their dogs are well-trained.

But this same stretch of coast is where Freebeach Australia wants a nudist beach, or what it quaintly calls a clothing-optional beach.

Now I’ve got no problem with a properly signposted nude beach but I’m not sure naked people and an off-leash dog area are compatible. I foresee all sorts of problems, not the least of which is man’s best friend’s fondness for chasing balls and sniffing behinds.

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