Sep 22, 2011
Sampling the Secrets of Coral Cove
I first spotted Coral Cove whilst paddling around Hamilton Island in an outrigger canoe during the Hamilton Cup Outrigger Regatta. I have been meaning to get back ever since – by foot this time.
With kids and grandparents in tow, well armed with drinks and snacks courtesy of a trip to the island Bakery, we set out for the Palm Valley trail head entrance near the golf driving range.
The trail map showed the first leg of this bushwalk as ‘Challenging’ and wasn’t far wrong. At least the ‘challenge’ was fairly short lived. I had the thought as I reached the top of the climb that my lungs had been bursting the first time I had glanced this beach, from the sea, and here I was again! With the last few steps completed at the urging of Little Miss 5 we glimpsed the beach beneath us. Breathe restored we commenced the descent and a short while later emerged at the beach.
A pair of fishermen waded off the shore fly-fishing while another family group was settling in for the day. As we paddled in the shallows we checked out the wildlife, spotting sea sponges, a small, fierce looking prawn-like creature, a young stingray and a curiously shaped, bright yellow fish that looked so similar to an autumn leaf that I though it was – until it started to move against the current!
After refreshing ourselves with a snooze under a tree with our morning tea we elected to connect with a different trail across the bay. As the tide was out we were able to negotiate our way across the Mangrove Flat to meet the Escape Beach trail. The children, in their bare feet, found the sight of the adults squelching through the mud as they sank to their shoelaces hysterical. Note to self: next time, carry the shoes!!
Clean feet restored, the walk up to the Saddle Trail through the trees was just lovely. We encountered a few runners and other walkers making their way towards Passage Peak, which we elected to leave for another day! The views from the Saddle Trail as we headed back to the Resort were spectacular and we were glad of the shade of the trees to shelter us from the bright Queensland sun.
The final leg took us down the Scenic Trail to the Reef Hotel where we were met by the men-folk who had veered back to pick up the golf buggies. All in all it was a lovely day.