KINGY…The beach is back!

International tourists may never have heard of it.

Many in Australia would hazard a guess it’s in the UK, based on its royal reference, but for a fortunate number of those-in the-know, Kingscliff or “Kingy” is an irresistible lure to an immediate slow down and an astonishing strip of coastal beauty on the east coast.

For a while now its shine has been on hold, with glimpses of it’s former glory poking through ravaged pandanus trees and some scaffolded shoreline.

Mother nature, in her cycle of teaching us to appreciate our environment, lashed the Kingy coastline, stripping away sand, eroding vegetation and leaving a glum tarnish to this otherwise pristine patch of coastline.

Her mood didn’t last too long thankfully and in an upbeat change of heart the beautiful beach is back.

So, as our aussie autumn sun beats down with temperatures more akin to summer, it’s time to return or if you’ve never been there, consider Kingscliff for a visit.

Photo from Jo E

Just seventy-five minutes from Brisbane  to Marine Parade, the main street of Kingscliff, and you can spend hours, days and weeks enjoying this still unspoilt, yet back to blossoming beach strip.

A number of times over the years Kingscliff has been branded one of those “new Noosa” beach towns, but it really isn’t.

In fact other than being by the ocean there aren’t many similarities at all.

Traffic for one,  flows easily along the beachfront, there’s plenty of parking and it’s free.

You can pull up, park and parade along the pavement, lined with unique fashion boutiques, cosy coffee shops, a range of  restaurants, art, homeware, surf and jewellery stores, without the frustration of hustling with hundreds of other tourists. And there’s not a chain shop in sight.

Where Hastings Street has a vibe of ‘designer’, Marine Parade is more ‘trackie-dacks’.

That’s not to say it’s undesirable rather it exudes an air of casual and comfortable with-out any pressure to make a statement or stand-out. (Of course when my tribe and others turn up there,  feral is perhaps not too inappropriate.)

It has a  laid-back atmosphere combined with an impressive assortment of things to do that, so you can do as much or as little as you want.

Dec 2011

The “Boardwalk” bookshop is one of the best I’ve ever browsed in and bought from.

In fact it’s my all-time favourite. An entire section is dedicated to teenagers and young readers with many of the books of all genres, given a rating and a review by staff and customers. It makes it easier to choose when you have a recommendation, especially if Nikki is on deck. Thanks to her nudges I’ve read some gems and many years before they’ve been turned into Hollywood movies.

Each of the clothing stores are individual, mostly owned and managed by locals, and you can’t buy anything from “Dotti” or “Just Jeans” here.

A licensed cinema is a fairly recent addition and  “Babalou’s” is a funky yet sophisticated restaurant and wine bar, which was once backpacker accommodation above the local pub. It has stunning views out over the now-returned beach and has been designed in sections encompassing an array of unique themes.

stand up paddle boarding at the creek

In one area with plenty of natural light you could have a coffee and read the newspaper or relax in the record room and flick through some old-time vinyls. In the evening watch the sunset from a booth with some mates or for the romantics, choose the section with the subdued-lighting and sit on a lipstick-red love seat and sip a cocktail. Anytime of the day or evening it’s worth a visit.

For a longer break there’s an array of activities taking advantage of its central yet almost secret location.

Aside from the surfing and the beach, the Cudgen Creek just up from Marine Parade, is a favourite with kids. It’s shallow and protected, making it very safe for young and unsure swimmers. There’s an abundance of shade and you could easily spend a whole day on the banks, fishing and swimming and shell collecting.

The Tweed River runs parallel to the beach, back less than a kilometre and is ideal for jet-skiing or more serious fishing.

Then there are the opportunities for bushwalking and hiking, with Mt Warning, only 25 minutes drive away.

Before the beach was back

Thanks to a number of storms and severe weather around this time last year,  the unspoilt for decades beach was eroded in sections to metre tall cliffs, while in other areas so much sand has been dumped, that from a slight distance it looks like you could be walking on water.

Sand pumping, bagging and a range of other man-made engineering feats helped Kingscliff  return to the wide flat sandy beachfront it was only a dozen months ago.

It’s still quiet, it’s still beautiful and it’s still casual. And if you feel like a holiday, when we aren’t there, our beach shack the ‘Karavan’ still has some available dates for rent.

Not too many thankfully because as you’ve just heard the beach is back!

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