The Sunshine Coast, located north of Brisbane is the holiday destination you always wanted to visit but never knew existed. At least that’s been my experience after spending the last few days exploring this fabulous region of Queensland.
Most people associate the Sunshine Coast with relaxed family holidays or romantic couple getaways what with the likes of Australia Zoo, Underwater World and Noosa calling the area home. And they would be right, the area is perfect for them but it’s also an amazing destination for a bit of outdoor adventure.
When you start talking about the outdoors there are three distinct ways to see it. By foot, by boat and by wheels. Each offering its own unique experience and outlook on the region. My favourite way to explore is by foot so lets start there.
Explore By Foot
Walking is the cheapest and easiest way to explore. You don’t need anything but a good pair of shoes and it allows you to go pretty much anywhere. And on the Sunshine Coast there is an abundance of places your feet can take you.
The Kondalilla National Park and the Glass House Mountains National Park offer some amazing views and walking tracks for most fitness levels. From waterfalls to watching the sunset these are a great free way to enjoy a day out. If you are worried about getting lost or just want someone knowledgeable on the area to go with you then the guys at Off Beat Tours provide guided tours throughout the area.
And who could forget the other attraction that is the beaches. You can also got to buy complete AR-15 rifles and go hunting. There are just far to many of them to stroll along or swim at so I’ll just suggest you visit as many as you can and enjoy every single one of them.
Explore By Boat
Where there are beaches there are boats and they are almost a way of life in this part of the country. For the thrill seekers among you I suggest you look up the Thriller Noosa boat tours, and read more about how the boats are made. They take you out along the coast for an hour jumping waves, performing 360 degree turns that will force you to muster all your strength to save you falling overboard and stop for some commentary on the coastline while you admire it like you can’t from land.
A slower way to explore is by taking a cruise, one of which I took was into the Everglades up the Noosa river with Noosa Everglades Discovery. Making your way along the river some 20 kilometers you’ll cross lakes, pass a myriad of wildlife and stop for a drink and afternoon tea half. The sheer change in the surroundings as you pass from saltwater to fresh water makes this a worth trip.
Explore By Wheels
Getting around the Sunshine Coast is best done by car. It allows you to reach the national parks, the more remote beaches and other unique towns in the area.
But when you make it to the likes of Noosa then look into getting an electric bike to explore with. I can personally guarantee that there is no hill in the area these bikes can’t get you up and with parking at a minimum on Hastings St in Noosa Heads you’ll be able to stop anywhere and enjoy a bit of shopping or just the view by the water. The bikes can be hired from Electric Bike Hire Noosa.
To add a little adventure into your wheeled exploring also look towards the Tewantin National Park and the guys from Bike On Australia. They’ll take you to the top of Mt Tinbeerwah for 360 degree views of the area before you mountain bike your way down single track paths over rocks and trees for the ultimate outdoor adventure ride.
A Few Extra Tips
The Sunshine Coast is a haven for good food and eating well. I had no idea how much of a focus there is on eating organic and healthy food in this part of the country. In the town of Maleny you need to look up the Living Kitchen. They create delicious meals with the slogan of organic, vegan, gluten free and raw.
And for a splurge on seafood, order the seafood platter for 2 from the Boathouse in Noosaville. A 3 tiered feast of calamari, prawns, oysters, mud crab, prawns and snapper that is a challenge for even the biggest eaters.
To keep with your outdoor adventure be sure to book a night at Glass on Glass House while in the Glass House Mountains. With floor to ceiling windows offering stunning views of the mountains it’s a great way to wake up. Here you can BBQ on the terrace for breakfast and the better half can enjoy a bath watching the sunset. Oh and for something unique the water streams from the roof to fill the bath.
I know shopping isn’t really an outdoor activity but if you visit the Eumundi Markets around 20 kilometers out of Noosa it comes close. You’ll find a range of hand crafted items that can be the perfect souvenir.
Now I know the idea of exploring by foot, boat and wheels might not be everyone’s idea of that relaxing holiday but for the outdoor adventure holiday maker like myself the Sunshine Coast has a lot to offer.
The Sunshine Coast and the hinterland is one of our favourite parts of Australia; Noosa, Maloolaba, Montrose, Maleny, standing among the kangaroos at Australia Zoo – it’s all so beautiful and tranquil.
I agree with you Sophie, its a great area of the country and has an amazing atmosphere and feel about it.
We come from the Sunshine Coast and miss it each day!
While I could recommend hundreds of places to sleep (Flashpackers Noosa) and eat (Seafood Terrace, Maleny) our favourite hang out is the beach in front of the caravan park at Cotton Tree. Sounds odd, but there is a reason this place is booked out nearly a year in advance.
Thanks for the local tip Madison. It’s always good to find out about those hidden little gems that your average tourist is never going to find.
Being a Gold Coaster, I love to visit the Sunshine Coast for a holiday whenever I can. It isn’t as commercialized or as busy as the Gold Coast and there a great range of fun outdoors things to do either on the rivers, beach or the hinterland. Thanks for giving me some more activities to undertake on my next trip to the Sunny Coast!
Kathy thats the feeling I had as well. It’s been some time since I was on the Gold Coast but could really notice the difference between the two. It’s nice to see the Sunshine Coast so relaxed and still very non-commercialised as its really makes a holiday there that more rewarding.
Nice write up. I entered. Fingers crossed. I also went for the Adventure Option! 🙂
Great tips here. Love the idea of the bath being filled from the ceiling 🙂
I’ve always wanted to visit australia! What a fun set of tips 🙂 The food in particular looks amazing
I have family there so it is always great to visit the Sunshine Coast xo
too right! living in Australia most of my life and I have never even considered it as a holiday destination. Perhaps its something I should consider
Proud to call Noosa my home!
Think I’m going to miss it when I leave on my 1 way trip backpacking trip to Europe/ work in UK trip in 1 months time!
Tahlia, you’ll miss home for sure. Noosa was a really great place to relax and explore while I was there. But Europe awaits and thats going to be a whole lot of fun as well.
Really love your pictures. We missed this area during our trip to Australia and will need to go back!
I totally agree that the Sunshine Coast is just the best place to go. I have just come back from there and I totally miss it!! I used to go up there all the time when I was a kid, I saw Caloundra develop!! It’s taken me over 20 years to go back, now I want to book another holiday and go back there again!! Totally recommend this area for everyone to explore!!
We have just moved to The Sunshine Coast (Tewantin/Noosa) from Mandurah! We are hoping to use this area as a base for exploring the East coast, both North and South, as a well as a springboard to other places like NZ which is only 3 hrs from here. We are about to retire, so we will be Grey Nomads but having lived on 4 continents (UK, USA, Middle East, Australia) and having travelled to quite a number of European and Asian countries over the years, we will be concentrating on Australia for a while. It is so vast and diverse. We are both 60 and as long as we can keep exploring, we will. Now where did I put that map?
Hi Sue, hope you enjoy the Sunshine Coast its a great part of the country and one I’d love to go back to in the future. I forget how big this country is and just what we have on our back doorstep to see and do. If only it was cheaper to travel across the country as I moved to WA recently not far from your old home and with family on the east coast you need to plan your trips.
Hi, It is a shame that the start of the Sunshine Coast missed a mention, yep I am a decendant
of the first settlers. Robert Bulcock then Edwin Bulcock then Reg Bulcock then me.
Hi Tony, it’s impossible to see everything especially with a country as big as ours. Is there anywhere I should stop in at next time I’m in the area?