Sandgate - Shorncliffe
Walk Or Cycle
This is one of Brisbane's most scenic and easy bayside walk/rides of about 6km return (1 to 1.5 hr walk and a 40 min to 1 hr ride), passing ornate Victorian villas, waterfront picnic spots and playgrounds on its way to the historical jetty at Shorncliffe.
Park in the vicinity of Eight Avenue to commence the walk/ride by the Sandgate Swimming Pool on Flinders Parade. From here the cotton-tree-lined esplanade path heads south along the historical seafront stretch of Sandgate, with many of the grand Queenslanders, including Meridian, restored to their former glory and shops and eateries dotted along the way.
At the base of Shorncliffe’s cliffs is nestled the gothic white timber Sandgate Baptist Church which has graced the spot since 1887 and is now a child care centre. After you pass the church you'll enter the section of seafront path under the escarpment known as 'Lovers Walk'. For over a century this has been a popular promenade with seaside visitors, who have strolled its length to the historic pier Originally called Dover's Walk, the path is said to have got its name from the postcard-maker who changed it to Lover's Walk as a joke and the name has stayed with it ever since.
Continue along Lovers' Walk past some of the bayside's best white timber picnic pavilions until you reach the historic Shornciffe Pier, which over the past century has been restored several times to its original glory. It is well worth a stroll to the end, where you'll enjoy stunning views north to Redcliffe and east and south to the bay islands.
Adjacent to the pier is a sandy beach, Lower Moora Park, which for one hundred and forty years has been a popular spot with bathers. At low tide you can see the relics of the old swimming baths that once occupied the spot. Today it is a crescent of sand with no waves, frequented by families with small children, who love to clamber over the forts in the park's playground and take advantage of the many great shady spots for a beachfront picnic.
Return via Lovers' Walk and a short way along you'll see a paved track leading to the top of the cliffs above. Take this path (which eventually rejoins the seafront promenade) to the top of the Shorncliffe cliffs for more spectacular views and benches to enjoy them from.
Follow the clifftop path around past Matthew Thomas Cafe in the historic Masons Hall (a great pitstop for a bite to eat and a coffee) and down hill to rejoin the esplanade. Another option is to grab some fish'n'chips from Doug's Seafood Cafe or the Sandgate Fishmonger and enjoy them on the seafront before returning to the car.
Good to know - As an equally splendid tag-on to the end of this walk, follow Flinders Parade from the pool all the way through Brighton to Decker Park at the base of the Hornibrook Highway. It may lack the playgrounds and facilities but is just as lovely. This will add around 6km return to the journey.
3. Arrivals by Train - Travellers will need to take a slightly different route than those arriving by car. Head into the quaint town square with its heritage listed old town hall and take a left into Brighton Parade, passing the Einbunpin Lagoon and turn right opposite the Sacred Heart Primary School into Sixth Avenue. This leads to Flinders Parade on the seafront.