A Treasure Trove of Must-Do Sunshine Coast Activities

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Posted 2023-09-04 by Elainefollow
Here's a bit of interesting trivia for the Sunshine Coast - recently released tourism data has disclosed that the Sunshine Coast had more domestic visitors during 2020 than our more glitzy cousin, south of Brisbane, actually did. Not that this should come as a surprise to those of us who actually live on the Sunshine Coast and love to call this stretch of paradisiacal wonder, home.

Since the 'bug' bit, more and more people are relocating and calling the Sunshine Coast home, whilst many more are visiting and discovering this spectacular region for the very first time, prompting my treasure trove of must-do Sunshine Coast Activities.


Ricks Garage & Diner in Palmwoods , started its life as a petrol station and workshop, and with creative genius over the years, has metamorphosed into one of the most popular retro diners in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast.

For the best humungous-sized burgers, old-school milkshakes and award-winning coffees, a visit to Ricks Garage & Diner also ensure a smorgasbord of foot-tapping entertainment, from Rockabilly nights to Moonshine Cruising and $1 Wings Wednesdays to Honky Tonk nights.

Banana Bender Pub , formerly known as the Ettamogah Pub, can be found at Aussie World and has to be the Sunshine Coast's newest quirkiest pub, offering a totally different, but uniquely Australian experience and more in-keeping with our beloved Sunshine Coast lifestyle.

The majestic Imperial Hotel is the focal centrepiece of the little hinterland village of Eumundi, welcoming locals and visitors since its first day in 1911. With gorgeously colourful and creative decor, funky murals and an eclectic array of colourful furnishings, this quaint Queensland hotel draws you in, like a moth to a flame, to experience its magical allure.


While everybody who visits is quick to point out the natural scenic beauty of the Sunshine Coast region, there is a great deal of extraordinary murals and public artworks, that reflect the essence of the community and form part of the Sunshine Coast's identity. Public art is popping up all over the region and the Ten Must-See Public Artworks as well as the Coolum Beach Public Art Trail are just a few suggestions for art lovers to find their artistic fix in the great outdoors.

Caloundra at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, is emerging as an urban creative hub. Boasting nine creative street artworks on the Downtown Caloundra Street Art Trail , outdoor art lovers can go on an easy 1.7km exploration trip, down laneways and through the back alleys of Caloundra. The nine creative artworks showcase local history, colourful tales and in-depth expressions by some of the most talented local and national Australian street artists.

Visitors to the vibrant, quirky little hinterland town of Eumundi will discover creativity everywhere. Take an easy walk on the Eumundi Street Art Trail to discover artistic flair spilling over into the streets and lighting up nooks and crannies, creatively enhancing the personality of a much-loved town.

The good news for art lovers is that public artworks and trails are totally free to explore and our furry family members can participate too.


The great Aussie icon, Australia Zoo, is the usual 'go-to' destination when it comes to spending the day with animals of the wild, but did you know that on the Sunshine Coast, we have another zoo, the privately-owned animal sanctuary, Wildlife HQ . The boutique-sized Wildlife HQ sanctuary is located at the iconic Big Pineapple and is home to native and exotic animals from all around the world.

Wlldlife HQ also offers animal lovers the unique opportunity to get up close-and-personal with the wildlife, providing an opportunity to get some fabulous photographic mementoes to take home. The animal encounters allows visitors to really connect and fall in love with some cuties, whilst learning about wildlife conservation at the same time. I personally love that one can get through this wildlife sanctuary in the morning or afternoon, allowing time for other adventures.


The Sunshine Coast's rich history is preserved in several renowned homes and museums. Take a journey into a by-gone era at the beautifully preserved Pioneer Cottage in Buderim, circa 1882, which is located on the high end of Buderim and take time to reflect and admire how the early settlers and their families used to live.

Heritage-listed Bankfoot House in the Glass House Mountains was built in 1878. This homestead was part of a coach stop, first established in 1868 on the first Brisbane to Gympie Road and was occupied by the Grigor family until 2002.

Fairview in Maleny , Yandina Historic House and Landsborough Museum are all very impressive examples of old homes filled with memorabilia and charm.

Historical indigenous sites are scattered throughout the Sunshine Coast region, with the region being highly sought after by First Nations People, for the natural resources to be found. For Three Off-The-Beaten Track Indigenous Sites on the Sunshine Coast, please follow the highlighted link for a glimpse into days of old.


If you are a bit over visiting the beach (as if!) and are yearning for lush green surrounds and perhaps a dog-friendly bushwalk thrown in, the Sunshine Coast has pockets of greenery all around and sometimes one can find them in the most unexpected locations.

Allow the sounds of nature to embrace you at the twenty-three acre Eric Joseph Foote War Memorial Sanctuary on the eastern slopes of Buderim Mountain.

With four walking tracks, ranging from easy to difficult, eighty plus recorded species of local and migratory birds, undercover gazebos, electric barbecues and picnic tables, a day out at this Memorial Sanctuary is well worth a bookmark. And … our leashed four-pawed pals love the environment too. Water and very new contemporary toilet facilities, with wheelchair access, are also available.

Take a 4km return walk down memory lane on the Buderim Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Walk . In the early 1900s, the community in Buderim was thriving with farms producing exceptional quality fruit and timber. With roads less than perfect, transportation to the main centre of Woombye was either by horse or wagons and bullocks. Shipping via the rivers and creeks to the Maroochy Ports proved tedious with all the sandbars, threatening the delivery of perishable produce in good condition. Effective and reliable transportation to the main Queensland Rail Train line in order to gain access to the Brisbane Markets was imperative. And voilà, along came the Buderim/Palmwoods Tramway Route, commencing operations in 1914.

Bring your own water and doggy on a leash, to appreciate the historical markers every one hundred metres or so - a fun educational trail for the whole family to treasure.

Another awesome find is the Mountain Creek Recreational Trail , a bush and cycle trail delightfully tucked away in the heart of Buderim. This very inviting shady circuit has two loops, roughly resembling a figure of eight. The approximate four kilometres, a very easy grade walk or cycle, takes nature lovers along the creek, through the wetlands and onto tall open forest trails.

Children learning to cycle will love the relatively flat pathways of the Mountain Creek Recreational Trail and our doggos, on a leash, also love the sniff 'n' tell outdoor experience.


The Sunshine Coast region is truly blessed to play host to these majestic mammals of the deep every year between July and November when the gentle Humpbacks are either returning with their newborn calves or travelling to safer waters to have their young.

a) For landlubbers who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, here are my suggested Five Top Tier Whale Watching Locations on the Sunshine Coast ;
b) For those more adventurous, looking for an on-the-water lifetime experience, boat trips with Whale One may be pre-booked online here ' Whale Watching on Whale One ';
c) And for the absolute brave-hearted amongst us, consider an immersive oceanic swim with these incredible mammals of the deep. The 'swimming with whales' season runs from July through to October and bookings can be arranged, via Whale One online here and Sunreef Mooloolaba online here .

'Beautiful one day, perfect the next' is an apt slogan for our little slice of heaven on earth!

Images courtesy of the author, unless otherwise indicated

98010 - 2023-06-12 06:27:25


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