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Top Ten Fun Things to Do on the Sunshine Coast

Home > Sunshine Coast > Adventure | Beaches | Family | Outdoor | Lists
by Elaine (subscribe)
Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published August 13th 2016
Kick back, chill-lax and dust off your hiking boots
1. Immerse yourself in all things 'wet''

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Fishing or Kite Boarding, image: Elaine de Wet


Whether you are looking for fun on, in or under the water - surfing, swimming or cruising - you will find it on the Sunshine Coast. Experience the adrenaline rush as you sail, jet ski or waterski through the pristine waters, or skim across the waves on a kite board. Rent a tinny or book a charter and take the whole family on a fishing expedition, or get to know the local fauna and flora as you paddle board or kayak around one of the Region's lakes; or go diving down to the wreck of the ex-HMAS Brisbane to experience the stunning array of fish.

2. 'Chill-lax' at one of the safe and inviting beaches

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Chill-lax at one of the many safe beaches, Image: Elaine de Wet


Kick back and find a secluded spot on the beach to lie back and soak in the sunshine with a good book; or a family-friendly spot where the children can put their construction skills to the test and build sandcastles. If you're into surfing, boogie-boarding or swimming, the surf breaks are some of the best - the Sunshine Coast has over one hundred kilometres of pristine coastline and dozens of safe beaches, so you've definitely come to the right place.

3. Find 'inner-peace' by getting in touch with Mother Nature

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Catch a Sunset, Image: Elaine de Wet


With ancient volcanic peaks, tranquil rainforests, breathtaking waterfalls and unparalleled waterways - Mother Nature has surely smiled on the Sunshine Coast with it's awe-inspiring natural beauty. Sit back and enjoy the waterfalls and crystal clear creeks or meander through the rainforests. You have a great choice - Kondadilla, Mapleton, Buderim Forest Park plus many more; or travel along the coastline and catch a sunset in one of the many spots one can find on the coastal path.

4. Dust off your hiking boots

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Dust off your Hiking Boots, Image: Elaine de Wet


Challenge yourself on the volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains or Mount Coolum National Parks. If you are visiting for a few days, the 58km Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk will definitely test your fitness levels as well as expose you to some of the most scenic areas on the Sunshine Coast.

5. Four-wheel drive on the sandy highway of the Great Beach Drive

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Four-wheel Drive on the Sandy Beach, Image: freephotoguides.com


Perhaps you prefer something a little more adventurous, then why not do a four-wheel drive and head to the Great Sandy National Park where you can drive along the shoreline all the way to Rainbow Beach to see the coastal cliffs and coloured sands, cast in a fishing line and, if you're lucky, catch dinner. A vehicle permit is required to drive on the sand in this area and certain places have camping restrictions, so be sure to check these details before you set off on your great adventure.

6. Entertain your children at the local Attractions

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Moreton at the Ginger Factory, Image: Elaine de Wet


There are so many Attractions on the Sunshine Coast to choose from - the children will love Australia Zoo where they can get up close and personal and learn all about the native wildlife. UnderWater World is another great venue for the children to see hundreds of fish and sharks from the deep, including some very cute seals. We also have the Big Kart Track, Aussie World, The Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, Top Shots Fun Park, Sunshine Castle and Queensland Air Museum - so much to see and so little time.

7. Tantalise your tastebuds with local fresh seafood

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Fresh Fish straight from the Trawlers, Image: www.morguefile.com


Mooloolaba is home to one of the busiest ports on the east coast of Australia, where you can enjoy the freshest seafood straight off the trawler. Whatever your fancy, Mooloolaba prawns, oysters, swordfish, lobster or crab - at the end of Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba, the catch of the day is waiting for you.

8. Meander through the local markets

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Meander through the Markets, Image: www.morguefile.com


As you meander through the many markets in this part of Queensland, you'll soon realise why the Sunshine Coast ranks as one of the top market destinations in Australia. With Eumundi Markets, Caloundra Street Fair or Cotton Tree Markets (a few of what is on offer), you are guaranteed to find something appealing.

9. Self-drive through the Hinterland

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Scenic Look-outs, Image: Elaine de Wet


Pack a picnic, and set off to enjoy stunning views of lush green valleys and majestic mountains of the Blackall Range Tourist Drive and discover quaint villages and scenic lookouts from Mapleton, Maleny, Montville through to the Glass House Mountains and Kenilworth.

10. Create holiday envy

Top Ten Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, surf, swim, jet ski, waterski, fishing, kite board, sun tan, build sand castles, hiking, waterfalls, Great Beach Drive to Rainbow Beach, Australia Zoo, Ginger Factory, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Big Kart Track, fresh seafood off the trawlers, local markets, self-drive through the hinterland
Be the envy of family and friends, Image: www.morguefile.com


Photograph everything you see and do and post on your social media sites so that your friends and family can see what they're missing out on.
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Why? Make the Sunshine Coast your next holiday destination - it has so much to offer, and more!
When: Anytime you need to kick back, chill-out and de-stress!
Where: Sunshine Coast and surrounds
Your Comment
It's a good list Elaine. It's the hinterland that would attrack me. I love your cheeky "holiday envy" point.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|5681) 459 days ago
I love waterfalls and nature, so I'd head straight for those hills! Great article Elaine.
by Paula McManus (score: 3|2664) 452 days ago
Thanks for the compliment Elaine!
by Kate Blake (score: 2|721) 459 days ago
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