Visiting the Sunshine Coast will certainly leave you with a certain kind of glow. Not only can you look forward to fantastic Sunshine Coast weather, no matter what the month, friendly locals, delicious food, great Sunshine Coast beaches, and the chance to learn to surf (once in a lifetime, you’ll surely agree), but there are also many things to see and do whilst you’re there.
To save you having to trawl through endless information on the Internet, let’s group together some of the best things to explore and experience during your time in this sunny part of the country. Remember to grab your camera, so you can take plenty of Sunshine Coast pictures!
1. Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast is without a doubt one of the most famous zoos in the world. Packed with animal experiences, education, conservation, and a really exciting vibe, this zoo is famous for being the brainchild of Steve Irwin, and his family still run it to this day. Kids will love Australia Zoo, so it’s the ideal place to visit as a family, but it doesn’t discriminate on age, as even the biggest kids will adore exploring this natural world, including the wide range of Sunshine Coast wildlife.
Did you know: More than 1000 animals live at Australia Zoo
2. Ginger Factory
Not just a factory, but a whole entertainment world, packed with rides, shopping experiences, food tasting, and of course, an educational look into how ginger products are made. If you love ginger, this is the place for you, and a hugely popular spot to visit on the list of Sunshine Coast attractions. Add Ginger Factory to your list
3. Sunshine Coast Markets
There are countless markets around the coast, however, the 7 below are the best to shop.
- Nights on Ocean. | Maroochydore
- Yandina Markets. | Yandina
- Noosa Farmers Market. | Noosa
- Peregian Beach Markets. | Peregian Beach
- Kawana Waters Farmers Market. | Kawana
- Marcoola Market. | Marcoola
- Eumundi Markets. | Eumundi
Eumundi Markets are one of the most famous to check out. You could also visit some of the various farmers’ markets around the area, and try some delicious, fresh-made products, such as cheese or honey. Located in the beautiful scenery, the markets are vibrant and busy places to head to, and you’ll come away with many souvenirs.
4. Gympie Historical Museum
Gympie is a town and a locality in the Gympie Region, Queensland, Australia.
Gympie is famous for its goldfield. It contains a number of historic buildings registered on the Queensland Heritage Register. Everyone finds gold mining quite interesting, and this museum is dedicated to the former booming industry of the area. You can find out all about it, check out some cool artefacts, and enjoy refreshment in the cafe too.
Gympie have a very interesting history. James Nash came to Australia with one of the European settlers. He reported the discovery of ‘payable’ alluvial gold on 16 October 1867. When Nash discovered gold in Gympie, Queensland was suffering from an economic crisis. Nash probably saved Queensland from bankruptcy. A memorial fountain in Gympie’s Park honours Nash’s discovery.
The Gympie Gold Rush Festival celebrates the event today. The Gold Rush Festival holds 10 days of cultural events in October.
5. Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve (Mountain Rainforest)
Who doesn’t want to walk through a rainforest? This 55-hectare reserve consists of subtropical rainforest. The Cairncross reserve has an area of 530,000 square metres and reaches a peaked canopy of 440 m. Strangler figs and fungi are some of the environmental elements that the rainforest needs to survive. The red-legged pademelon can be seen easily in the forest. The main species of tree is the Australian red cedar.
The Sunshine Coast, QLD has several beautiful, lush rainforests within its borders, and this particular choice allows you to wander through on a guided tour, enjoying the knowledge from your guide and identifying interesting and unique wildlife, flora and fauna. Have your camera ready for this one! In terms of Sunshine Coast activities, you must do, this is one of them.
Animals include 139 birds including the wompoo fruit-dove, brown cuckoo-dove, tree-creepers, thornbills, scrub-wrens, green catbird as well as 11 different marsupials, 3 bats, 20 lizards, 14 snakes and 14 frog species
6. Maleny and Gerrard’s Lookout
Gaze out to sea and over the beautiful natural scenery of Gerrard’s Lookout in Maleny. This is the ideal antidote to a busy vacation, and a chance to breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the sights before you, and of course, take plenty of photos whilst you’re there. As you can see, the Sunshine Coast tourism industry really relies upon the natural habitat, and handily there is plenty of it!
7. Sunshine Coast Vineyards and Breweries
Of course, the rolling hills and wide-open spaces of the Sunshine Coast certainly lend itself to the ideal location for many vineyards, where you can enjoy wine tasting, and learn more about how wine is made and how the grapes are grown. It goes without saying that you can also purchase a bottle or two of locally produced wine, to take home as a souvenir! Flame Hill Winery is just one of the great spots to check out, and a great fun thing to do on the Sunshine Coast.
If wine isn’t your tipple of choice, and you’re more of a beer kind of guy or girl, then there are many breweries around the area too, where you can find out how beer is made, and again, check out a few samples for yourself. Copperhead Brewery is one of the most popular breweries to visit in the area. Check out the below list of best wineries & breweries
- Flame Hill Vineyard | Montville
- Maleny Mountain Wines | Maleny
- Land & Sea Brewery | Noosa
- Brouhaha Brewery | Maleny
- Bonsai Brewhouse | Cooran
- 10 Toes Brewery | Maroochydore
- Your Mates Brewing Co | Moffat Beach
- Sunshine Coast Brewery | Kunda Park
On the banks of Lake MacDonald you will find Noosa Botanic Gardens. The gardens are spread over 8 hectares of land and contain some of the most exotic and beautiful plants and flowers you will ever set eyes upon. The scent in the air is captivating, and this is a very relaxing and chilled out place to spend a few hours.
9. Point Perry Lookout
There is a reason that this spot is often the site of Sunshine Coast weddings and celebrations – it’s because it’s so downright beautiful! Located on Coolum Beach, looking directly out to sea and over the stunning lands surrounding it, this is a place to sit in the sun and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. Point Perry is often a stop-off on many Sunshine Coast tours.
10. Linola Macadamia Farm
With over 4000 macadamia trees, this is the number one spot in the Gympie region for macadamia nut production. As the land slopes upwards towards the Great Dividing Range, the scenery becomes dramatic, and the fertile land is ideal for farming. Here you can learn about the work that goes on at the farm, walk around the picturesque grounds, and of course, sample macadamia or two!
11. Cooloola Berries
There is something rather special about strolling through a strawberry field! The smell, the nature all around you, it’s special, to say the least! Cooloola Berries in the Gympie region is a place you can pick berries and have them delivered straight to your plate in a delicious and healthy snack. Of course, the land in this area is very natural and extremely photogenic!
They grow three types of berries
- Camarosa Strawberry: Camarosa is rectangular in shape, succulent and perfect for desserts
- Gaviata & San Andres Strawberry: Gaviata and San Andres are conical in shape, firmer and perfect for fruit platters
- Ruby Gems Strawberry: Ruby Gems are a traditional favourite of high sugar content and round in shape
In Mooloolaba, you will find the iconic and world-famous Sealife Mooloolaba. A great day out for all the family and for anyone interested in marine life, you can learn all about the creatures who call this part of the world home, and you can get to visit some of them too. There are regular events going on across the year, and many conservation projects to learn about.
Sea Life Sunshine Coast presents seal shows and wildlife information talks and has hands-on marine displays. Shows at the park include:
- Seal Shows in the Seal Stadium
- Stingray Reef talks
- Ocean Tunnel Tours
- Touch Pool
- Jellyfish Tours
- Behind the Scenes Tours and much more!
When you add in the delicious food, beaches, great hotels, and a really friendly, welcoming vibe, it’s no wonder why so many people head to the Sunshine Coast every single year.