Sunshine Coast Coastal Pathway

Design Feature
Type of Project
Local Government Initiative

The Coastal Pathway was developed as an extensive movement network for the Sunshine Coast, connecting communities, and integrating beaches, coastal lookouts, parks, services and businesses. It has been progressively planned and implemented over fourteen years, initially under the three coastal councils of Caloundra, Maroochy and Noosa, and later under the amalgamated Sunshine Coast Regional Council. It is envisaged as a continuous shared pathway spanning the breadth of the coastline and enabling enjoyment of the Sunshine Coast’s iconic scenery. Since 2003, 15 kilometres of the Pathway have been completed.

Highlighting a natural asset

The development of the Coastal Pathway commenced in the late 1990’s and is an ongoing project. In December 2001, the Council commissioned Stephen Pate Landscape Architects to prepare the Caloundra Coastal Walk Master Plan which is now the Coastal Pathway Linear Open Space Master Plan. Delivered in 2017, the Master Plan is intended to be a flexible, living document, adjusting to future change and seizing opportunities to advance the vision as and when they present.

The Coastal Pathway master planning process involved the following stages: 

  • Review and collate background information 
  • Map the pathway using councils latest GIS base data 
  • Site investigation to confirm initial feasibility of the mapped path alignment 
  • Consultation with internal and external stakeholders 
  • Preparation of the draft report and mapping for community consultation 
  • Community consultation 
  • Collation of consultation responses and amendments 
  • Finalisation of the report and mapping for Council endorsement.

Community consultation for the Coastal Pathway was initially undertaken as part of master planning processes and repeated for specific sections of the path prior to construction. This community involvement has demonstrated consistently high support with an average approval rating of approximately 80% for the project. This highlights a clear demand for a neighbourhood movement network that will contribute to the sense of place of the scenic coastal region.

Measured outcomes for the benefit of the coastal pathway are based on continued community approval and support for the project. Each section of the pathway is subject to further localised community consultation prior to detailed design and construction. Formal usage counts have also been undertaken to inform design decisions for Golden Beach, Mooloolaba and Caloundra, however this has been generally considered unnecessary due to the clear and obvious heavy use of the pathway.

Stretching from Pelican Waters Bell’s Creek in the south, to Tewantin in the north, the shared pathway is designed for both pedestrians and cyclists to facilitate an active lifestyle, a safe and enjoyable commuting route, and support community well-being. Since 2003, 15 kilometres has been completed to the current standard of 3 metres wide. Thirty-six kilometres follow the coastal alignment, 15 kilometres are considered high priority ‘missing links’ and 7 kilometres are long term planning options.  

In line with the Sunshine Coast Access and Inclusion Plan 2011-2016, the Coastal Pathway was designed to provide disability and mobility access so that people with disability, elderly people and young children are all able to utilise and enjoy the movement network. The pathway creates new accessibility to the Sunshine Coast's spectacular coastline. It also provides connection to, and activation of, existing public open spaces along the coastline for residents and visitors to explore. 

Project Team 

  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council 
  • Queensland Health 
  • TAFE East Coast 
  • Queensland Sport and Recreation Services 
  • Sunshine Coast local community 

Project Cost     

  • N/A

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