Ready to roll – Biking and hiking for fitness, fun and travel

Ready to roll - Biking and hiking for fitness, fun and travel

There are not many cycling or walking trails on the Sunshine Coast that fitness enthusiasts Ross and Leonie Grant haven’t biked or hiked.

The future GemLife Palmwoods residents have even taken their passion for active living in the great outdoors interstate and overseas, exploring Victoria, New Zealand, England, Portugal, Belgium and Holland by foot and bike.

Ross, who spent much of his childhood in Palmwoods where his parents owned a pineapple farm, said numerous walking paths weaved through the area and across to Woombye. One of the couple’s favourites, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, is nearby. The 58-kilometre trail passes through subtropical rainforest and tall open eucalypt forest, with highlights including picturesque waterfalls in secluded areas of the Blackall Range – all part of protected national parklands.

Biking and hiking for fitness, fun and travel 3“You can do it in sections from Baroon Pocket Dam to Kondalilla Falls, or Flaxton to Mapleton for example. We like to do the walk in the spring and autumn, and there are camping areas available too.”

For cycling, the couple like to take their hybrid bikes to the Sunshine Coast Coastal Pathway, a 96-kilometre path that’s also suitable for walking, which winds its way from Golden Beach in the south to Tewantin in the north.

“There are dozens of terrific walks and cycling trails on the Sunshine Coast,” Leonie said.

“The Sunshine Coast Council has been very proactive about joining all segments of the existing coastal paths to either walk or ride,” she said.

The Grants also recommend the fully bituminised 44-kilometre South Burnett Rail Trail from Kingaroy to Murgon, as well as the 161-kilometre Brisbane Valley Rail Trail from Wulkuraka to Yarraman which, according to Leonie, includes segments for the more “adventurous”.

Besides the pure enjoyment of combining green time with fitness, one of couple’s biggest motivators to keep healthy and limber is their passion for overseas adventuring, something they did regularly prior to the covid pandemic.

Biking and hiking for fitness, fun and travel 2“We like active holidays with walks and rides, so when we travel, we need to be fit. Plus, we don’t feel guilty about enjoying a glass of wine or two and a nice meal at the end of the day,” Leonie said.

After they settle into their GemLife Palmwoods home and international travel fully resumes, the Grants plan to head to the UK, and New Zealand to ride the West Coast Wilderness Trail on the South Island, one of the few NZ trails they have not ridden.

The couple also enjoy international house sitting, which has given them unique opportunities to explore local areas off the beaten track, something they did in Kent and Hampshire in England two years ago. They also did a seven-day bike and barge ride from Bruges in Belgium to Amsterdam in Holland.

The Grants were looking to use the capital appreciation from their former Bli Bli residence, to buy a brand-new home in a different location. “As a former engineer, I’ve been impressed by the build quality of GemLife’s homes and the friendliness of the staff,” Ross said.

Ross and Leonie were also impressed by the high standard and range of facilities at GemLife’s country clubs and are looking forward to making the most of the gym at GemLife Palmwoods, with Ross also enjoying tennis, swimming, and lawn bowls.

“Palmwoods is a beautiful green area with a nice outlook that’s close to the mountains. We love grabbing a picnic, thermos and a newspaper and finding a nice spot under the trees to take in the serenity of the views from the hinterland back towards the coast,” Leonie added.

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