Who doesn’t want to visit a place called the Sunshine Coast! Nothing sounds more enticing to me than the promise of sunshine on the coast. Straight away I think of golden sand beaches and the sun glinting off the ocean.
Well this place does exist, and I can tell you that it 100% lives up to its name, with sunshine almost guaranteed all year round. And it’s only just over a one-hour drive north of Brisbane, Queensland’s capital.
Miles and miles of pristine beaches, some less crowded than others; laid back coastal towns; lush rainforest; and the opportunity to come face to face with some of Australia’s most famous wildlife, are all reasons you’ll want to include this stunning part of Australia on your next visit.
Before you get stuck into my list of things to do on the Sunshine Coast, you’ll need to have a think about where to stay. Right in the heart of the Sunshine Coast is the Twin Waters Resort. Surrounded by water, this slice of paradise on the sunny coast has accommodation to suit most budgets and is well decked out with everything you’ll need. The stylish serviced apartments accommodate the needs of all travellers including rooms with separate bedrooms and living spaces, as well as kitchens and dining spaces for larger groups or families.
Right, so let me show you some of things you can see and do while visiting the Sunshine Coast. Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this article to tell me if you’ve been to the Sunshine Coast before and what you’d recommend others see and do.
A wander down Noosa’s famous Hasting Street is a must when visiting the Sunshine Coast. Lined with trendy boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, it’s lively morning, noon and night. Sit in a side-walk cafe and people watch, browse the boutiques for a new cossie (Aussie slang for swimmers) or grab an ice cream and take a stroll. And just a stone’s throw from the street is stunning Noosa Main Beach, one of the best under the radar beaches in Australia.
Noosa National Park
You can walk right off the end of Hastings Street into the pristine Noosa National Park with not one but five popular trails leading you to secluded beaches through a lush scenic rainforest backdrop. A great thing to do is grab some picnic supplies in Noosa and walk to one of the beaches in the park to sit and enjoy the peace and spectacular views.
Just a short drive south-west of Caloundra brings you to one of the most stunning inland spots on the Sunshine Coast, the Glasshouse Mountains. Take a relatively easy 2.8km walk up Mount Ngungun for spectacular 360-degree views or a drive to The Lookout for panoramic views of the mountain peaks. If you can get there at sunrise or sunset, the views are even more incredible!
The Big Pineapple
No holiday in Australia is complete without visiting one of the many ‘big’ roadside attractions scattered around the country. On the Sunshine Coast you can visit the Big Pineapple. This 16m fibreglass pineapple is located on the highway and can’t be missed as you drive north. Stop for a selfie but don’t forget to grab some pineapple treats for the drive while your there.
Buderim Forest Park
This 45-hectare park is home to one of the most stunning waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast, Buderim Falls. It’s an easy walk to the falls and takes you through some pretty amazing rainforest. This is a great place to visit if you are limited on time as it can easily be explored in under 20 minutes. If you have more time, bring a picnic and enjoy the peaceful BBQ area too.
Credit: Visit Sunshine Coast
You can’t go to the Sunshine Coast without spending some time on the beach. With over 100km of beach to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding your own little patch of golden sand to relax on. All the big towns on the coast have their own beaches, Noosa, Maroochydore and Caloundra included. Head between the towns for smaller more secluded beaches like Coolum and Mudjimba beaches. You can venture into the coastal national parks to get away from the cars and visit the secret beaches only accessible on foot.
There a few markets on the Sunshine Coast but by far the best are the Eumundi Markets, located west of Noosa in the hinterland. These markets are held every Saturday and Wednesday and are one of the largest artisan markets in Australia. From bric-a-brac, to handmade goods, an abundance of food and great local entertainment, it is more than your average market.
Just a one hour relatively easy but steep walk up Mount Coolum will give you the best views of the Sunshine Coast. Looking out to the coast, it is totally worth the 181 metre climb up to enjoy the views. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife as you climb.
Stretching from Pelican Waters in the south to Tewantin in the north, this 9km coastal pathway is a great way to stretch your legs and walk off all that holiday eating. You’ll find locals and visitors walking, jogging and cycling, taking in the stunning coastal views.
High on the bucket list of most international visitors to Australia is to see some of our unusual wildlife. And one of the best places to do that is right here on the Sunshine Coast. Australia Zoo was founded by the late Steve Irwin and is still run by his family. At the zoo you’ll be able to get up close with kangaroos, koalas, crocs and many other Aussie creatures.
This small town in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is the perfect place for foodies to get their fix of local produce. Local providores are in abundance in this laid-back town. You’ll have the chance to tour local farms, taste the local produce and maybe buy a few things to take home for family and friends.
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Over to you!
What of this list of things to do on the Sunshine Coast are you most keen to see and do?
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Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.