Sunshine Coast Activities
MORE ACTIVITIES THAN YOU CAN DREAM OF - One of the great things about the Sunshine Coast is that you can do as much or as little as you like. It's home to a number of exceptional attractions and activities both man made and natural. In order to make the most of your visit we have outlined 45 things for you to enjoy in the region.
If you don’t get time to complete the whole 45 on your first visit, we look forward to welcoming you back to the Sunshine Coast.
Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah www.australiazoo.com.au
Crikey! There is no other zoo like Australia Zoo. With plenty of wildlife action every day including exciting croc shows, knowledgeable zoo keepers to chat with and lots of drop-dead gorgeous animals that can’t wait to get up close and personal with YOU! Open 7 days from 9am – 5pm.
Bird’s eye view
Start your day floating at dawn in a hot air balloon above the majestic Glass House Mountains or finish the day with the adrenalin-pumping thrill of tandem skydiving over Caloundra, Coolum or Rainbow Beach. For more bird’s eye views try parasailing off the Carlo Sandblow on the Cooloola Coast or take a silent glider flight.
Bag a bargain at the markets
Bring a recyclable bag and spend some time at one of our local, hinterland or seaside markets. Stock up on the freshest produce, specialty fare and original creations. “Make it, bake it, grow it or sew it” is the motto of the famous Eumundi Market, held each Wednesday and Saturday.
Wednesday: Eumundi Markets Thursday: Cooroy Community Market RSL Hall, Maple Street Saturday: Eumundi Markets, Big Pineapple Growers Markets, Yandina, Dagun and Nambour Farmers Markets Sunday: Noosa Farmers Markets, Noosa Marina, Caloundra Bulcock Street and Country Market, Cotton Tree, Peregian Beach (1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday), Imbil and Maleny
Caloundra Coastal Path
This coastal pathway stretches 25 km along some of the most scenic shorelines on the Sunshine Coast, at Caloundra. It is a continuous coastal link from Golden Beach in the south to Point Cartwright in the north. With sights such as a lighthouse, lakes, creeks and surf beaches, this scenic trail is a perfect way to get out and about and explore Caloundra’s natural beauty.
Big Kart Track
Steve Irwin Way, Landsborough P: +61 7 5494 1613 www.bigkart.com.au
Looking for action? Big Kart Track has got it all! Straights, bends, chicanes and hair-raising hairpins. Big Kart Track is the largest commercial go-kart track in Australia. The track is 1.2 km in length and 8 metres wide. Pit your wits and challenge your friends to a race on Australia’s fastest Go-Kart track!
It is the perfect venue for group bookings and team building with 50 karts available. Open 7 days from 9am - 5pm Sunday to Thursday and 9am - 10pm Friday and Saturday.
Dine out in style
With surf, sun and tranquil hinterland as the backdrop, the pursuit of fabulous food is high on the agenda on a Sunshine Coast holiday. With many menus featuring local produce, you can literally taste your way around the Sunshine Coast. Try an award winning restaurant, fish ‘n’ chips fresh from the trawlers or enjoy a classic Aussie Meal at one of the many Surf Clubs - whatever your taste buds crave, you’ll be sure to be satisfied.
Dive the Ex-HMAS Brisbane
Mooloolaba www.scubaworld.com.au www.sunreef.com.au.
Dive the site of one of Australia’s most distinguished warships. The ex-HMAS Brisbane has grown into an impressive artificial reef and lies at a depth of 27 metres off the coastline of Mooloolaba. Beautiful all year diving conditions and ease of access have made the former destroyer one of Australia’s most talked about dive sites. ScubaWorld and Sunreef hold permits to dive the site.
Cooloola Wilderness Trail
Found in the Great Sandy National Park the Cooloola Wilderness Trail, is an excellent 2-4 day camping trip with multiple walking tracks to choose from. There are five campsites available along the route. The track was created in 1986 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the rescue of Eliza Fraser. It is an approximation of the route followed by Eliza.
Coast the region by Harley Davison
For the ultimate two-wheel, wind-in-your hair adventure climb aboard a Harley Davidson and cruise the hills and valleys of the scenic hinterland. Why not drop into a local winery, cheese factory or art gallery along the way?
Cruise the waterways
Cruise away on a picturesque river cruise exploring some of the natural wonderlands and harbours of the Sunshine Coast. Multiple operators can help you explore the Noosa Everglades, Noosa and Mooloolah Rivers and Pumicestone Passage in Caloundra.
Cycle the Noosa Trail Network from Kin Kin
Set off on one of six picturesque hinterland trails that make up the Noosa Trail Network. Choose to walk, horse ride or mountain bike or for more adventure, why not combine a few trails together?
Dive with Grey Nurse Sharks Cooloola
Add a little more adrenalin to your dive by visiting Wolf Rock, one of the few places in the world where you can dive with large schools of grey nurse sharks. Wolf Rock is a formation of four volcanic pinnacles found north of Double Island Point and is considered to be one of Australia’s top ten diving destinations.
Create your own itinerary through one of the designated forest drives of the Mary Valley or join a 4x4 adventure tour to the Great Sandy National Park. Catch the ferry from Tewantin and visit Noosa’s North Shore for some 4WD action along a 50 kilometre beach highway. A choice of camping or luxury accommodation is also available.
Glass House Mountains
Climb, abseil or simply take in the spectacular view of the Glass House Mountains. Steeped in Aboriginal Legend, the Glasshouse Mountains are a series of spectacular volcanic plugs rising dramatically from the coastal plain.
Great Sandy National Park
Visitors can cross the river to camp, fish, ride a horse or join a camel trek in the Great Sandy National Park. Four-wheel drive vehicles can continue along the 50-kilometre stretch of beach to Double Island Point and the Teewah Coloured Sands.
Hire a boat
Be your own captain and round up the crew for a fun day out on the water with friends or family. Boats can be hired from a number of locations across the Sunshine Coast including the Maroochy & Noosa Rivers, Caloundra, Rainbow Beach & Tin Can Bay. One day not enough? Then hire a house boat from Tin Can Bay or Rainbow Beach Marinas and explore the Great Sandy Strait at your own pace.
Horse Riding on the beach
Enjoy horse riding along some of Sunshine Coast’s famous beaches including Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach.
Giddy Up! Caloundra Racing
Experience the glamour and excitement of thoroughbred racing at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club. This is an excellent day out with friends and family. Twilight racing is held on Saturdays and afternoon racing on Sundays.
Feed the Dolphins at Tin Can Bay
Tin Can Bay is one of only three places in Australia where you can hand feed the rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Feed the wild dolphins at the water’s edge as part of a tour from Rainbow Beach or self drive to Tin Can Bay. Feeding starts at about 8am and continues until approximately 11am (unless the dolphins decide to leave beforehand).
Find a hole in your diary
Tee off against spectacular scenic backdrops and test your skills at one of the Sunshine Coasts five championship golf courses. Choose from Greg Norman designed Club Pelican, Twin Waters or Hyatt Regency Coolum - the home of the Australian PGA championship, Peregian Springs (members only) and Noosa Springs.
50 Pioneer Road Yandina P: +61 7 5446 7100 www.gingerfactory.com.au
Visit the home of Buderim Ginger and experience the authentic tastes of Queensland. Spend the day enjoying the delicious flavours, fabulous shopping and educational tours or let the kids chase the gingerbread man around the globe on the Overboard ride. The Ginger Factory is now also home to the Superbee Live Bee Show and The Buderim Ginger Cooking School. Open 7 days, 9am to 5pm, Free Admission – fees apply for tours and rides.
Indulge in a local drop
Meander through some of the hinterland’s most stunning natural settings and pop in to a number of gorgeous boutique wineries, located in the Blackall Range, Kenilworth and Traveston areas. Cellar doors include Flame Hill Vineyard, Blind Man’s Bluff, Dingo Creek Vineyard, Little Morgue Winery, Maleny Mountain Wines and Maroochy Springs.
Improve your culinary skills at Spirit House
Learn to cook at one of the Sunshine Coast’s famous cooking schools and impress your friends at your next dinner party. Classes are scheduled at Spirit House and The Ginger Factory in Yandina, On the Ridge in Kureelpa and Amytis Gardens Retreat & Spa in Kiels Mountain.
The Sunshine Coast pristine waterways and beaches provide a perfect playground to venture out on a kayak. Take a guided kayak tour of the Noosa Everglades or Caloundra’s Pumicestone Passage Marine Park or hire your own!
Established in 1976, Landsborough Museum is one of the largest social history museums between Gympie & Brisbane. Exhibiting memorabilia, documents, photographs and stories of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples whose heritage can be linked to this region. Open from Wednesday – Sunday 9.00am to 3.00pm.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
148 Mountain View Road, Maleny www.mary-cairncross.com.au
Wander through the 52 hectares of subtropical rainforest at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. A remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, the Reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal life which promises to delight with its tranquillity and beauty.
Mary Valley Rattler
Old Railway Station Tozer Street, Gympie www.thevalleyrattler.com
All aboard! - “The Valley Rattler” steam heritage tours run every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesdays. The Rattler’s spectacular journey begins at historic Gympie Railway Station and travels through the scenic Mary Valley, stopping at the fully restored, landscaped and original stations of Dagun, Amamoor, Kandanga and Imbil - where good, old fashioned country hospitality can be enjoyed.
Meet the growers
Meet the producers, stock up on fresh food or buy handmade creations at the local farmers markets? Every Saturday at the Nambour Showgrounds and every Sunday at Noosa AFL grounds, the farmers markets sell fresh, locally grown, organic and seasonal produce, freshly baked bread, preserves, smoked meats, herbs and spices and plants. Or why not join a tour or venture out at your own pace along the Noosa Food Trail and sample some of the best local food and wine at farm gates, cellar doors, and eateries?
Jet Ski on Pumicestone Passage
P: 0434 330 660 www.caloundrajetski.com.au
Jet Ski along the pristine waters of the Pumicestone Passage Marine Park on a fully instructed and guided eco tour with Caloundra Jet Ski. No licence is required. Experience the freedom of gliding your machine along mangrove lined waterways & channels, past protected wetlands, birdlife and uninhabited islands, while taking in views of the iconic Glass House Mountains.
Tours available include the 40 min ‘Lighthouse Reach’, the popular 80 min ‘Glass House Twister’ and the full-on 3 hour ‘Toorbul Express’. We promise not only thrills and excitement, but also unsurpassed natural beauty, isolation and a real Jet Ski adventure journey. It’s SERIOUS RIDING and SERIOUS FUN.
Location, location, location - Mt Tinbeerwah
My favourite space on the Sunshine Coast is the secluded and scenic Mt Tinbeerwah. This photo was taken after a short climb to the top of the Mountain from the car park. One of the Sunshine Coast’s secluded lookouts; it provides 360 degree views of the coastline and hinterland. Make it even better by watching the sun set with a bottle of wine. Just marvellous.
Queensland Air Museum
Caloundra Aerodrome, Pathfinder Drive, Caloundra www.qam.com.au
The Queensland Air Museum is a fascinating collection of all aspects of aviation heritage with special emphasis on Australia and Queensland. The museum is comprised of over thirty aircraft with various displays and other aviation memorabilia. Open daily 10am - 4pm.
Relax in a day spa
Indulge and recharge at one of the Sunshine Coast’s soothing day spas. Hyatt Regency Coolum, Noosa Springs, Crowne Plaza Pelican Waters, Sheraton Noosa Resort and Novotel Twin Waters all provide a serene environment and a selection of spa treatments in their onsite day spas. To sample a local boutique spa, visit Amytis Gardens Retreat & Spa (Kiels Mountain) or Ikatan Spa (Doonan).
Shop up a storm
Indulge in some holiday retail therapy. Choose from dazzling boutiques and specialty stores found on Noosa’s Hastings Street and Mooloolaba Esplanade. Find something truly unique at the outdoor markets or in the quaint Hinterland village of Montville, or enjoy an all-in-one retail precinct at the Sunshine Coast Plaza.
Spot a koala in Noosa National Park
A short stroll from Noosa’s fashionable Hastings Street you’ll find the sublime Noosa National Park, one of Queensland’s few coastal national parks. Perfect for bushwalkers, nature lovers, picnickers and surfers. Stroll through the park and spot resident koalas dozing in the trees, swim or surf at coves and beaches found around the scenic headlands, and retreat into the cool forests of the inland tracks.
Step back in time with a Silent Movie
3 Factory Sreet, Pomona www.themajestictheatre.com.au
Take in an original silent movie at the Majestic Theatre in Pomona, built in 1928 and regarded today as the world’s only continuously running silent movie theatre. Silent movies are shown 2-3 times per week and are sometimes accompanied by Ron West, a living legend who plays the eight rank theatre organ.
Sunshine Coast Gallery Trail
The Sunshine Coast is home to many quality art galleries that showcase the work of leading local, national and international artists and craftspeople. Pick up your copy of the Sunshine Coast Gallery Trail brochure from your local Visitor Information Centre and explore these exceptional galleries.
Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk
As one of the 6 designated Great Walks in Queensland why not challenge yourself to complete the 58 km Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk? If a leisurely pace is more your style book yourself into a local bed and breakfast as many will drop you at the beginning of the walk and pick you up four hours later at the end of the first section. However you choose to take it on you will enjoy spectacular views of the hinterland and sub-tropical rainforest.
Surf and sail
Take on the role of student and sign up for surf or sail class. Try your hand at a learn to surf lesson at one of the many beach locations across the Sunshine Coast with waves perfect for beginners. Learn to put up your sail and enjoy the views off the magnificent Mooloolaba coast.
The famous Ettamogah Pub & Aussie World
Bruce Highway, Palmview www.aussieworld.com.au
The Aussie World family fun-park is reminiscent of the old Australian fairgrounds and has over thirty rides and games, guaranteed to please every one of all ages!
While you’re there, have your photo taken in front of the Ettamogah Pub – the most photographed pub in the world! It has an interesting history and a bar and grill upstairs that serves up favourite Aussie meals. Look out for the 1927 Chevy truck on top of a bright red roof just off the Bruce Highway – you can’t miss it! Open 9am – 5pm everyday
Take a Gondola to dinner
One of the most romantic ways to spoil your loved one is to cruise the Noosa River in a Gondola at Sunset. Arrive at dinner in style or simply enjoy a sunset sipping on champagne.
Take in the calm behind the coast - Visit the Hinterland
The Sunshine Coast hinterland stretches from the world-heritage listed Glass House Mountains, through the Blackall Range and up to the scenic and unspoiled Mary Valley. Home to stunning views, rainforest walks, fresh produce, local wines, cheeses, fine arts and crafts and cosy B&Bs and cottages it is worth not only a day trip but a getaway in its own right.
Tell the kids to ‘Get Lost’!
Tanawha Tourist Drive, Tanawha Valley www.bellmaze.com
Bellingham Maze is a unique outdoor maze and puzzle attraction with activities for the whole family. The main attraction is the giant living hedge maze but with a picnic area and aviary housing around 100 beautiful birds, it is also a great place for a family picnic. Open 7 days from 9am – 5pm.
Throw in a line (Go Fishing!)
The calm waters of Mooloolaba Spit and Golden Beach are perfect for kids to make a splash & learn to fish. Try your hand at surf fishing at the Inskip Peninsula Recreation area and Noosa North Shore. Or head out on a deep sea fishing charter trolling for snapper, coral trout, marlin and mackerel. The river mouths of the Noosa and Maroochy Rivers are also the perfect spot to hire a boat and drop a line.
From June to November experience the majestic migration of some 8,000 humpback whales off the Sunshine Coast shoreline. Join Steve’s Whale One at Mooloolaba or view the migration from various viewing points across the Sunshine Coast including Point Cartwright, Noosa National Park and Coolum.
Visit a World Heritage Listed Icon
Fraser Island begins just off the tip of the Sunshine Coast. It is accessible as a day or overnight trip from Noosa or with your own 4WD from Noosa & Rainbow Beach. Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island steeped not only in Australian history but natural beauty that will leave you breathless.
Visit a Surf Club
After a day enjoying the beach & soaking up the sun, kick back and enjoy a cool beverage at one of the many beach front Surf Clubs and immerse yourself in the Queensland coastal lifestyle.
The Wharf, Mooloolaba P: +61 7 5458 6226 www.underwaterworld.com.au
UnderWater World is a multi-award winning all weather tourist attraction located at the Wharf, Mooloolaba. Take a journey to another world at Queensland’s largest Oceanarium and aquarium. Be enticed by over 5,500 sea creatures! See sharks, sting rays, seals, otters and so much more, as you are swept over four thrilling, interactive levels. Be amazed by the billabongs, coral reefs, rock pools, QLD’s best seal show, and our world-famous 2.5 million litre Oceanarium tunnel.
You can also book ‘a once in a lifetime‘ experience like a Behind the Scenes Tour, a Seal Swim, Seal Encounter or Shark Dive!