Twalking in Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

We’ve all done it. But we didn’t know we were doing it. Twalking, the timeless art of merging talk and walk, has been a cherished pastime since time immemorial. But who knew we were twalking? This term sprang to life from the fusion of “talk” and “walk,” coined by a friend of my cousin, Jeanette’s. The inspiration struck during their recent leisurely walk combined with animated talk along the sun-kissed beaches of Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.

I recently spent a few days twalking with Jeanette in Maroochydore. Jeanette has been living on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland for years. Both of us are expats from Tasmania, but I only moved as far as Victoria. We are cousins as well but didn’t know that until after we had been friends for some time. Jeanette moved to my school, Sorell Area School, in 1966, when we were in Grade 4. Later, through our parents, we discovered that our grandfathers were brothers. It was Tasmania, after all.

Sunday, 28th January

The adventure kicked off on a scorcher of a Sunday as Jeanette whisked me away from the Sunshine Coast airport to the cool refuge of the Top Spot motel, my sanctuary for the next few days. Just like old times, we were immersed in hours of conversation, before we headed off on a five-minute drive to Jeanette’s place. She had prepared dinner in advance; meatballs in a tasty tomato-based sauce with pasta, sour cream, avocado and grated cheese. In an effort to offset a few calories, we decided to go for an evening twalk. We walked on a scenic riverside path along the Maroochy River,, meandering under the bridge, talking non-stop all the way and back. I was quite exhausted when Jeanette dropped me back at Top Spot after the day’s activities.

Calories burned in twalking for one hour

talking, fast talk – 40

walking, slow walk – 143


twalking, one hour – 183 calories burn

Monday,  29th January

Jeanette picked me up bright and early, and we set off to Mooloolaba, one of the beautiful beach suburbs of Maroochydore.   The weather was beautiful. Hot and sunny – and, I nearly forgot – humid. Oh so humid. I was sweating before I even got into the car.  Together, we twalked to the spit, almost a sensory overload with the symphony of sights, sounds and scents that capture the essence of coastal beach life. The spit itself, is a narrow strip of land between Mooloolah River and the ocean beaches.

Next stop was Alexander Headlands where we tried to cool off with an iced drink: iced chocolate for Jeanette and iced coffee for me. Nice drinks but they didn’t do the trick. So it was time to strip down to the bathers and head to the almighty waves. And when I say waves, I mean huge, unforgiving waves that knocked us to the ocean floor, and left us struggling to stand up again. But I should have known that. Jeanette did warn me it was a surf beach after all and she prefers to swim in the safety of a pool. I must say the water temperature was a good 10 degrees higher than the beaches of Melbourne.

Playing Russian roulette with the waves made us both very hungry so we had lunch at the Alex Surf Club. Jeanette’s recommendation was a nice, healthy hash brown, bacon, egg, and chutney all shoved into a wrap and washed down with coffee. I gave it a ten out of ten.

On the way back to Top Spot, we took a twalk around my local area. It seems I chose my accommodation well. But it was just luck really. I went for budget rather than beauty. Everything I needed was located within a short walk.

After the morning’s activities, I needed to head back to  Top Spot for some. rest. It wasn’t long before I heard the hum of Jeanette’s car pulling up in  front again. In the back seat, she had her adorable little granddaughter, Paige, sitting in her car seat. Paige,  with her pageboy haircut and shiny brown eyes looked such an angel sitting there pretending to be shy. 

We had Fish and Chips with Paige at Cotton Tree. Our planned ice cream stop at McDonald’s took an unexpected turn as the ice cream machine was out of service. Despite being only three years old, Paige surprised us with her composure, not shedding a tear at the disappointing news. If I’d been three years old, I’m sure I would have cried.  As we drove away, Jeanette suggested an alternative – buying a box of ice creams from Aldi.”

Tuesday, 30th January

The day kicked off with morning tea at a nearby café, bringing together  three generations of wonderful women. Jeanette, the wise and caring matriarch, Juanita, her sophisticated daughter and the captivating Chloe , the daughter of Juanita. As we savoured our coffee and cakes, we delved into stories from  a bygone era – camping adventures with baby Juanita and then again as 10 year old Juanita, and a heap of ancedotes about life in Tasmania raising our children as single parents. Reflecting on the morning, I hope we didn’t bore Chloe too much, because these stories were from  times before she was born.

After morning tea,  I spent the rest of the day at Jeanette’s.  The torrential downpour that had started overnight, continued relentlessly throughout the day. It was big, fat, wild and at times, sideways rain that was hard to see through. I lounged  on Jeanette’s comfy couch all day, interrupted only when she insisted on giving me a foot spa. With the foot spa bubbling away, I reclined  and listened to my audio book.  I dozed off  but didn’t mean to. But what with the rain outside beating against the walls and on the roof, I couldn’t help it. Although I liken it to a wild storm, it was oddly  soothing. I woke myself up with a snore, only to find Jeanette peacefully asleep in her fave chair.

The Nanna naps gave way to the sizzle of  Singaporean sausages on the  dinner plate. This was one of Jeanette’s many experimental meals.  She loves experimenting in the kitchen and I was very happy to be her taste tester.

We made a quick post-dinner visit to  Ebony, Jeanette’s younger daughter, along with her gorgeous brood of two, Alistair and Paige.  As another beautiful day drew to a close, Jeanette chauffeured me back to Top Spot.

Wednesday, 31st January

Jeanette went to work in the morning so I seized the opportunity to hit the shopping centre where I indulged in a great coffee outside Woollies Supermarket. Jeanette picked me up from the centre  after she finished work and we headed to the nearby Sunshine Plaza and tucked into Yum Cha for lunch.

Later, as the evening approached, the atmosphere grew livelier with the arrival of Ebony, free from the demands of parenthood for one hour 15 minutes. That was just enough time for Ebony to let her hair down over a meat chop, mash and cabbage. After dinner and Ebony’s departure, Jeanette proposed a twalk. Since it was only a suggestion, we looked at each other and said, ‘Nah, let’s just talk’.”

Thursday, 1st February

The day dawned with a tropical feast as Jeanette delivered  breakfast brimming with fresh paw paw from Ebony’s tree, mangoes, blueberries, and yogurt. Seated at an outdoor table in front of Hot Spot  in the balmy weather, we still hadn’t run out of things to talk about.

On the way to the airport, Jeanette swung by to pick Juanita up We had just enough time for a coffee before it was time for me to board my flight. It was a brief but a beautiful holiday, full of twalking adventures that I will remember for years to come.

Thanks Jeanette, Juanita, Ebony and families for such a great time and for taking such great family photos.

Also, thanks to Lochlainn Riordan from Unsplash for the feature photo.



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