Sunshine Coast things to do: 50 top ideas
THERE'S no end of things to do on the Sunshine Coast. It's not just about beaches, there's plenty of places to visit from Noosa to Caloundra and west to the hinterland.
Here's 50 things worth giving a go.
1. GRAB A BARGAIN AT THE MARKETS
Bring a recyclable bag and enter shopping heaven at one of our local, hinterland or seaside markets.
Stock up on fresh local produce, specialty fare and original creations.
"Make it, bake it, grow it or sew it" is the ethos of the famous Eumundi Market.
SUNSHINE COAST MARKET GUIDE
Wednesday: Eumundi Markets
Thursday: Cooroy Community Market RSL Hall, Maple Street
Saturday: Eumundi Markets, Lake Kawana Markets, Landsborough Markets, Pomona Country Markets (2nd and 4th Saturday), Yandina Country Markets, Big Pineapple Growers and Artisans Market.
Sunday: Caloundra Bulcock Street and Country Farmers Markets, Cotton Tree Street Market, Imbil, Maleny, Maroochydore Sunday Markets, Noosa Farmer's Market, Noosa Marine Village Market, Peregian Beach Markets (1st & 3rd Sunday)
For more information check out this site
2. SHOP UP A STORM AT SUNSHINE PLAZA AND BEYOND
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 Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore.
3. HORSE RIDING
Experience the thrill of horse riding on beautiful white sandy beaches on Noosa North Shore with Equathon.
Our horse riding tours offer horses and trails suited to everyone from beginners to the experienced.
If you'd like to let the kids have fun without mum and dad Kiah Park Horse riding camp offers
1/2 day to 7 day camps.
4. COAST THE REGION BY HARLEY DAVIDSON
For the ultimate wind-in-your hair adventure climb aboard a Harley Davidson or three wheeled trike.
Choose from an adrenalin pumping ride or a more sedate cruise through spectacular scenery.
5. QUEENSLAND AIR MUSEUM
Caloundra Aerodrome, Pathfinder Drive, Caloundra
See a fascinating collection of all aspects of aviation heritage with special emphasis on Australian and Queensland history.
The museum has over forty aircraft with various displays and other aviation memorabilia.
Open daily 10am-4pm.
6. DAY AT THE RACES
Sunshine Coast Turf Club, Caloundra
Experience the glamour and excitement of thoroughbred racing at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club.
Enjoy an exciting day out with friends and family with racing on Sunday afternoons, selected Friday evenings in the warmer months and special race days throughout the year.
7. RELAX IN A DAY SPA
From Romanesque-inspired aqua treatment pools to exotic Balinese retreats, Sunshine Coast day spas provide a serene environment and use quality products.
Try onsite spas at Palmer Coolum Resort, Noosa Springs Golf Resort and Spa, Pelican Waters Golf Resort and Spa, Sheraton Noosa Resort, Spicers Clovelly Estate and Novotel Twin Waters.
For a truly unique Balinese spa experience, visit Ikatan Spa at Doonan.
8. FIND A HOLE IN YOUR DIARY
Tee off against spectacular scenic backdrops at one of the Sunshine Coast's championship golf courses. Choose from Twin Waters Golf Club, Palmer Coolum Resort; the home of the Australian PGA championship, Peregian Springs, Pelican Waters or Noosa Springs Golf Resort and Spa.
9. THE CALM BEHIND THE COAST
Explore quaint villages along the Blackall Range, through the Glass House Mountains and the scenic Mary Valley.
Charming townships such as Mapleton, Montville, and Maleny offer stunning views, rainforest walks, fresh produce, local wines, cheeses, fine arts and crafts, and cosy B&B's and cottages.
10. WATCH THE SUNSET
Join the locals for a drink in a surf club or in one of the many alfresco beachfront restaurants or grab a picnic basket and rug and find a spot along a river or park and watch the sun sink into the horizon at the end of the day.
11. SUNSHINE COAST ART 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 Art Gallery Trail brochure from your local Visitor Information Centre and explore these exceptional galleries.
World famous beaches with perfect views over the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The Sunshine Coast's pristine surf beaches stretch for miles with plenty of choices in flagged and patrolled areas from safe swimming with family friendly waves to beaches that will appeal to surfers and body boarders.
Please remember to always swim between the flags.
13. GO CAMPING
For lovers of camping, fishing, surfing, bushwalking and beach walking, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect spot to connect with nature.
The natural beauty and breathtaking landscape is complimented with a wide selection of camping options from beachfront to rainforest surroundings or at one of the many Sunshine Coast Holiday Parks.
Pick up all of your camping gear at Camping Country Australia.
14. JOIN IN FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
The Sunshine Coast has a calendar of impressive and diverse activities, unique events and experiences including food and wine festivals, music festivals, world class sporting events, theatre performances and shows.
For more information on our events, go to www.visitsunshinecoast.com.au/events
15. GET ADVENTUROUS
Time to tick off an item on your bucket list!
Surf, cycle, abseil, skydive, hike, dive, wakeboard, sail, kayak, kitesurf,horse ride, jet ski and more.
16. SEE THE SIGHTS
Let the experts show you around. Hop aboard a guided day tour to explore the Sunshine Coast region.
17. LET US ENTERTAIN YOU
Singers, actors and comedians from around the world strut their stuff at a variety of venues including The J Noosa, Nambour Civic Centre, Nambour Arthouse Cinema, Lake Kawana Community Centre and The Events Centre, Caloundra.
18. SUNSHINE COAST MUSEUM TRAIL
Take a unique cultural tour of history and heritage and re-live the Sunshine Coast's past.
Pick up a trail map at a Visitor Information Centre.
19. OPALS DOWN UNDER
Educational activities, opal cutting demonstrations, hunt for gemstones in the 'Scratch Patch' and learn about the world's most fascinating gemstone, the opal.
20. KINGS BEACH PLAYGROUND
Designed with optimum shelter and shade, Kings Beach foreshore offers picnic and BBQ facilities, flying fox playground, interactive water features, and an adult and children's ocean front seawater swimming pool.
Complete with a bustling promenade lined with cafes, restaurants and shops and a stage structure which holds various outdoor entertainment.
21. BIG KART TRACK
Steve Irwin Way, Landsborough
Looking for action? Big Kart Track has got it all from straights, bends, chicanes and hair-raising hairpins.
It is the perfect venue for group bookings and team building with 50 new faster karts available.
Like all the major tourist attractions on the Coast it is open daily.
22. SEALIFE MOOLOOLABA
The Wharf, Mooloolaba
SeaLife Mooloolaba is a multi-award winning all weather tourist attraction.
Be enticed by over 5,500 sea creatures including sharks, stingrays, seals and otters as you explore eight unique zones.
View the world-famous 2.5 million litre Oceanarium tunnel and interact with animals in Behind the Scenes Tours, seal swims, encounters and kisses, shark dives, see jellyfish and a world first otter encounter.
23. ETTAMOGAH PUB & AUSSIE WORLD
Aussie World family fun-park is reminiscent of an old Australian fairground with over thirty rides and games including new thrill rides the Redback, Giant Slide and
While you're there, have your photo taken in front of the most photographed pub in the world!
Look out for the 1927 Chevy truck on top of a bright red roof just off the Bruce Highway - you can't miss it!
24. MEDIEVAL TIMES
Sunshine Castle, Bli Bli
Prepare for excitement, enchantment and education as you explore the castles moat, towers, drawbridge, medieval displays and exhibitions.
Open daily, the castle also caters for group visits, functions and special events including Opera held in the Great Hall several times a year.
25. AUSTRALIA ZOO
Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah
There's no other zoo quite like Australia Zoo.
With plenty of wildlife action every day including exciting croc shows,knowledgeable zoo keepers to chat with and lots of dropdead gorgeous animals that can't wait to get up close and personal with YOU!
Also on site is the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital that runs five tours daily and the new open-range Africa exhibit.
It's Africa exhibit takes you to another land.
26. PLAY, CLIMB AND HIDE
You will have hours of entertainment at two of the Sunshine Coast's best attractions.
Top Shots Fun Park has mini golf courses, blaster boats, a vertical trampoline, inflatable water slide and an indoor rock climbing wall.
Or you can tell the kids to get lost amongst the giant living hedge at the amazing Bellingham Maze.
27. MALENY DAIRIES
A working farm, where you can see the baby animal pen, pat a baby calf, have a go at milking cows, and see where milk is processed and bottled.
Everyone will enjoy the wide open spaces and opportunity to taste test the award winning products.
28. CRUISE THE WATERWAYS
Join a cruise or simply hop on a ferry to discover the picturesque natural surroundings of the Sunshine Coast river systems.
Multiple operators can help you explore the Noosa Everglades, Noosa, Maroochy and Mooloolah Rivers or spot dolphins and dugongs in the Pumicestone Passage in Caloundra.
29. HIRE A BOAT AND THROW IN A LINE
Hire a boat and round up the crew for a fun day out on the water.
Boats can be hired from a number of locations across the Sunshine Coast including the Maroochy and Noosa Rivers, Caloundra, Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay.
The calm waters of Mooloolaba Spit, Golden Beach and the river mouths of Noosa and Maroochy Rivers are the perfect spot to hire a boat and drop a line.
Try your hand at surf fishing at the Inskip Peninsular Recreation area and Noosa North Shore.
30. GO DEEP SEA FISHING
Don't be at the next barbecue talking about the one that got away!
Head out on the deep sea fishing charter in the company of experienced crew members and chase snapper, coral trout, marlin and mackerel and of course the famous spanner crab.
31. DIVE THE EX-HMAS BRISBANE
Dive the site of one of Australia's most distinguished warships, the ex-HMAS Brisbane.
The area has grown into an impressive artificial reef and lies at a depth of 27 metres.
PADI certified divers can book direct with ScubaWorld and Sunreef.
32. FUN ON THE WATER
Join one of many fully accredited instructors along the coast to learn how to surf, windsurf, stand up paddle or kite surf in a fun and safe environment!
If you prefer the motorised variety, hire a jetski or experience the thrill of jumping waves on a jet boat.
33. KAYAK & CANOEING ADVENTURES
The Sunshine Coast's pristine waterways and beaches provide a perfect playground to venture out on a kayak or canoe.
Take a guided tour of Caloundra's Pumicestone Passage Marine Park, the Noosa Everglades, Noosa River or open oceans around the Noosa National Park or hire your own and follow the Maroochy River Trails map.
34. WHALE WATCHING
The Wharf, Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba From June to November experience the majestic migration of some 8,000 Humpback Whales.
Join Whale One whale watching tours that depart from Mooloolaba, or join Liquid Getaway for tours which run twice a day from Mooloolaba.
Alternatively join Storeyline Tours for a day trip to see the whales at Hervey Bay.
35. GO WAKE CABLE PARK & BARRA FISHING
David Low Way, Bli Bli
Master knee boarding, skurfing, skiing or wakeboarding in a safe and friendly environment with qualified instructors or endeavour to catch one of the most sought after fish in the world - the Barramundi. Suncoast Barra Fishing Park, offers 3 lakes; Barra Creek, Big Boys Pond and Mixed Species Pond.
36. MARY CAIRNCROSS SCENIC RESERVE
148 Mountain View Road, Maleny
Wander through 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest, a remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range.
The reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal species which promises to delight with its tranquillity and beauty.
Entry is by gold coin donation.
37. NATURE LOVERS
Nature lovers are spoiled for choice with access to nine National Parks.
Escape to the cool refuge of cascading waterfalls at Buderim State Forest Park, Kondalilla National Park, Mapleton Falls and Gardners Falls.
Take a refreshing dip in a water hole, picnic under tall eucalypt forest or meander on one of the many walking trails.
38. SUNSHINE COAST HINTERLAND GREAT WALK
Experience 58km of world class walking trails in the scenic Blackall Range on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk.
Designated as one of the six Great Walks in Queensland, you can choose from half-day stroll to full-day walks and extended overnight adventures.
Some local bed and breakfast operators offer drop off/pick up services for overnight walkers.
Maps can be purchased at the Visitor Information Centres.
39. SPOT A KOALA IN NOOSA NATIONAL PARK
A short stroll from Noosa's fashionable Hastings Street you will find the sublime Noosa National Park, one of Queensland's few coastal National Parks.
Stroll through the park and spot resident koalas dozing in the trees, swim or surf at coves and beaches found around the scenic headlands, or retreat into the cool forests of the inland tracks.
40. FRASER ISLAND - WORLD HERITAGE LISTED ICON
Rich in diversity and natural beauty, Fraser Island begins just north of the Sunshine Coast and is accessible as a day orovernight trip.
Join a tour that departs from all over the coast or hire a 4WD and navigate the sandy roads.
As the world's largest sand island with a World Heritage listing, a visit to Fraser Island is a must on any itinerary.
41. GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS
Steeped in Aboriginal Legend, the Glass House Mountains are a series of craggy volcanic plugs rising dramatically from the coastal plain.
There are a number of panoramic lookouts as well as accommodation and dining options where you can sit and soak up the mystical beauty.
42. VISIT A BOTANIC GARDEN
Picnics, walks, sculpture gardens, lakes - be transported to peaceful surroundings of magnificent native gardens set amongst older forest bushland at Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens or Noosa Botanic Gardens located on the shores of Lake McDonald.
43. DISCOVER THE COLOURED SANDS
Join a 4WD tour or take your own to discover the brilliant coloured sands.
Drive along the beach on the North Shore,to this outstanding natural attraction of multi-coloured cliffs providing the perfect backdrop to 12 km of coastline which stretches between Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point.
Dozens of sand colours can be seen on this stretch of beach, with some of the striking sand cliffs towering to a height of 200 metres.
44. 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.
Try an award winning restaurant,seafood fresh from the trawlers or enjoy a classic Aussie meal at one of the many Surf Clubs - whatever your taste buds crave, you are sure to be satisfied.
Get outdoors and explore one of the many parks and beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
Pack a picnic or throw some prawns on the barbie and get together with friends and family.
46. IMPROVE YOUR CULINARY SKILLS
Impress friends at your next dinner party with skills learned from one of the Sunshine Coast's famous cooking schools, Freestyle Escape, Spirit House, The Long Apron at Spicers Clovelly Estate, Tamarind Cooking School at Spicers Tamarind and Travel and Gourmet Passion.
47. INDULGE IN A LOCAL DROP
Enjoy a local drop at boutique wineries etched throughout the hinterland such as Flame Hill Vineyard, Dingo Creek Vineyard and Maleny Mountain Wines.
Or if you prefer a local brew, visit the Sunshine Coast Brewery cellar door or restaurant and taste a variety of beers from traditional, to specialty hand-crafted styles.
48. MEET THE GROWERS
The Sunshine Coast is a gourmet paradise, always fresh,often organic produce, is grown, prepared or sourced locally.
Pick strawberries at Strawberry Fields in Palmview,taste the difference of Noosa Red tomatoes, or select fresh seafood from trawlers at Mooloolaba Wharf or try a number of award winning cheeses at Kenilworth and Maleny cheese factories.
49. VISIT A SURF CLUB
Situated along the beachfront and securing some of the best vantage points on the Sunshine Coast, plan a visit to an iconic surf club starting in Caloundra through to Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headlands, Maroochydore, Coolum, Sunshine Beach and Noosa.
Enjoy a cool beverage and a delicious meal while watching the surf roll in from your perch on the balcony.
50. DISCOVER YANDINA'S FOOD ATTRACTIONS
Ginger Factory, Nutworks and The Chocolate Factory Pioneer Road, Yandina Educational tours, shopping, taste testing and rides, the Superbee Live Bee Show and The Overboard ride has it all at the Ginger Factory.
Across the road is Nutworks, boasting the health benefits of the macadamia nut, as well as putting chocolate and confectionary production on display, with delicious samples on offer.