Top 10 Best Things to Do in Sunshine Coast: Your Ultimate Guide

Welcome to the Sunshine Coast, where the endless sun meets captivating culture. If you’re plotting your next adventure or deciding on a weekend activity, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do when you visit the area. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, nature lover, or history buff, we’ve got something just for you. So take some notes, and don’t forget to add these Top 10 Things to Do in the Sunshine Coast:

1. Bask in the Sun of the SC’s Best Beaches

If you’re longing for the perfect beach day, we recommend starting your adventure at one of the Sunshine Coast’s spectacular beaches. These sandy havens offer breathtaking views, warm waters, and an array of activities like volleyball, frisbee, and sunbathing. You might wonder, “What are the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast?” Well, sit back and let us whisk you away on a tour of the stunning coastline.

Noosa Main Beach

First off, if you’re looking for a classic beach experience, then we suggest you head to Noosa Main Beach. It’s patrolled by lifesavers, and offers gentle waves, making it ideal for families or for those of you looking to learn surfing. Plus, it’s just steps away from Hastings Street, where you can indulge in boutique shopping and dining.

Mooloolaba Beach

Now, if you’re into art, we recommend a trip to Mooloolaba Beach. Besides its beautiful stretch of sandy beach and clear waters, it’s just a short drive from the Mooloolaba Esplanade, which boasts the innovative SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium and the Mooloolaba Surf Club, an iconic heritage building in the area.

Kings Beach

Finally, there’s Kings Beach at Caloundra. This is an all-around winner with its surf beach, oceanfront saltwater swimming pool, and its kid-friendly water fountains and playgrounds. Plus, it’s near the Caloundra Art Gallery and Caloundra Lighthouses, historic monuments that add a touch of cultural richness to your beach visit.

So whether you’re a surfer, a swimmer, or a sunbather, the Sunshine Coast beaches offer a bit of something for everyone – including a dash of art, history, and culture. 

2. Splash into Water Adventures: SUP or Surf

If adventure activities and catching waves sound appealing to you, consider taking surfing lessons. The Sunshine Coast is renowned for its stellar surfing spots, perfect for both beginners and seasoned surfers alike.

When you’re ready to take a chill ride along the waves, you can grab a stand-up paddle (SUP) and glide through while you enjoy the sunset. But if you’re looking for a break from the beach, hop on a boat cruise or try your hand at kayaking. You’ll have the chance to explore the beautiful ocean and river settings and maybe even spot some dolphins or turtles along the way. 

3. Venture into the Hinterlands: Bushwalking Treks and Trails

If your idea of a perfect day involves nature, we suggest venturing on a bushwalking trek in one of the many national parks on the Sunshine Coast. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the symphony of native birds, and marvel at the stunning flora that thrives here.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the lush green Sunshine Coast hinterland. With several national parks and nature reserves, you have so many options to choose from. You can hike the Glass House Mountains or explore the Noosa National Park, where you can spot koalas, dolphins, and even whales during the migration season.  

4. Indulge in the Cafe Culture

The Pallet Espresso Bar | Sunshine Coast Coffee

When it comes to the Sunshine Coast, the coffee scene is just as sun-kissed and vibrant as its beaches. Whether you’re craving a robust, heart-warming espresso or seeking a cool, refreshing iced latte, there are gems tucked away in every corner ready to serve you the perfect cup.

Pallet Espresso Bar at Mooloolaba

If Mooloolaba is your next stop, we suggest making a detour to Pallet Espresso Bar. This unique nook, crafted from wooden pallets by barista Johnie Stark, promises not just an exquisite coffee but also an assortment of treats that are gluten, dairy, and refined sugar-free. It’s the perfect place for grabbing your takeaway coffee before a beach day!

Address: Shop 2/161 Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba

Opening Times: Mondays to Fridays 6:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Saturdays 6:30 AM to 1:00 PM

Compound at Coolum Beach

If you’re heading to Coolum to hit the waves, then we recommend you hold off your caffeine cravings for top-quality roasts of Padre Coffee at Compound. Nestled just a block away from Coolum’s bustling hub, you can enjoy Compound’s welcoming ambiance while enjoying its fantastic espresso bar, a collection of vintage surf apparel, age-old boards, and an endless exchange of friendly chatter.

Address: Shop 23b/15 Heathfield Rd, Coolum Beach

Opening Times: Mondays to Fridays 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Saturdays 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Husk and Honey at Nambour

Then, there’s Husk And Honey, a Nambour treasure renowned for its outstanding coffee. If you have dietary restrictions, you’ll find comfort in their gluten and grain-free menu, which boasts freshly baked treats, all-day breakfast and lunch options.

Address: 18 Queen Street, Nambour

Opening Times: Mondays to Fridays 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Saturdays 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM

So next time you’re there, don’t forget to experience the local coffee culture and treat yourself to some great coffees you’ll ever taste. You won’t regret it!

5. Explore the Region’s History

When considering an educational yet fun-filled activity, why not immerse yourself in the rich history of the Sunshine Coast? Explore heritage buildings, enlightening museums, and engaging art galleries that tell the fascinating story of this vibrant region.

Sunshine Coast Art Gallery Trail

Start your journey at the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery Trail, which boasts an impressive collection of contemporary and traditional art pieces. This trail is a vibrant showcase of local and international artists, spread over 16 unique venues. If art captivates you, then wandering from gallery to gallery across the Sunshine Coast should be high on your list. 

Heritage Buildings

When it comes to heritage buildings, the Sunshine Coast doesn’t disappoint. You can visit the iconic Bankfoot House, the oldest surviving residence in the district, which offers a glimpse into life in the 1860s. This carefully preserved property serves as a heritage precinct and interpretive centre, showing you a remarkable collection of historical documents and photographs.

If you’re into military history, then we recommend visiting the Kenilworth Soldier’s Memorial. This monument is more than just a tribute to the region’s servicemen and servicewomen; it’s a tangible piece of the Sunshine Coast’s past, showcasing the area’s rich contribution to the country’s defense efforts.

6. Tick Off the Top Tourist Attractions

Ensure you visit the region’s iconic tourist attractions. From the majestic Glass House Mountains to the lively Eumundi Markets, these spots offer a slice of the Sunshine Coast’s diverse offerings.

Noosa National Park

Sunshine Coast is home to some of the greatest coastal bush walks in the country. So if you’re in the mood for adventure, then we recommend the Noosa National Park. This is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, giving you a spectacular blend of coastal scenery and diverse wildlife. Whether you fancy hiking, surfing, or spotting unique wildlife, this place is your playground.

Australia Zoo

One of the top things to do as a tourist on the Sunshine Coast is to visit the zoo. If you are a wildlife lover, then the Australia Zoo is a must-visit. This is the home of the late conservation hero Steve Irwin. The zoo gives you the exciting opportunity to enter the heart of Australia’s wildlife. From cuddling a koala to feeding a kangaroo, there are endless animal encounters you can enjoy. You can go solo, bring friends, or even your whole family!

The Big Pineapple

Whether you’re a history buff or a food and wine lover, you can’t miss The Big Pineapple. This iconic and heritage-listed attraction is one of the highlights of the Sunshine Coast. It boasts a wildlife sanctuary, unique food and wine experiences, and if you’re daring enough, there’s even a treetop challenge waiting for you. All these attractions and activities all in one amazing place!

Eumundi Markets

If exploring local culture and community is more your style, we suggest you head to the Eumundi Markets. These markets are among the best and most vibrant hubs for arts, crafts, local produce, and delicious international food. You’ll get a true sense of the local community and craftsmanship.

7. Enjoy Scenic Drives

Sunshine Coast Hinterland: One-Day Self-Drive Itinerary | Travel Australia  Your WayWhen you’re planning a relaxing activity with stunning views, we suggest packing some snacks and setting off on a scenic drive along the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Trust me, it’s an experience that you’ll never forget. Admire the rolling hills, vast oceans, and beautiful towns that make up this glorious region.

Starting off, the Hinterland Tourist Drive is a true feast for the senses. This winding journey will take you through the beautiful Glass House Mountains, drenched in aboriginal history, and on to the charming towns of Maleny and Montville. You can stop at the iconic Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve for a rainforest walk with breathtaking views of the mountains. Along the way, pop into the local galleries to witness the vibrant local arts scene.

4 road trips you need check out - Visit Sunshine Coast

For the ocean lovers out there, the Coastal Way is the route for you. From Caloundra to Noosa, this drive offers endless sea views, golden sand beaches, and cute coastal towns. Be sure to stop at the Noosa National Park for a beachside picnic.

8. Go Extreme: Skydiving, Helicopter Tours and Flying Adventure

Searching for adrenaline-pumping action? Then you can try skydiving or a helicopter tour over the Sunshine Coast. Experience the thrill of soaring through the sky while feasting your eyes on the breathtaking landscape below. There’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to get your heart pumping. 

9. Make a Toast at the Wineries

Now, if you fancy a glass (or two) of good wine, then the Sunshine Coast in Queensland is certainly a place for you to explore. It’s not just the beaches and wildlife here, it’s the vineyards that are just as captivating!

Flame Hill Vineyard and Restaurant

We suggest you start your vineyard voyage with Flame Hill Vineyard and Restaurant. Located in Montville, this place isn’t just about the wine, it’s about the whole experience. The stunning views of the hinterland and the coast, paired with their estate-grown wines, are simply divine. They also serve farm-to-table cuisine, and you know what they say: “If the wine is fine, then the food is divine!”

Maleny Mountain Wines

Next up is Maleny Mountain Wines. This charming winery is known for its unique and inviting Barrel Tasting Room – a giant wine barrel that’s hard to miss! Here, you can sample an impressive array of wines while learning about the winemaking process. And don’t forget to check out the breathtaking Glass House Mountains while you’re there.

Famous Wine Tours

Whether you’re a connoisseur or a casual sipper, you may want to consider a wine tour. Companies like Mystic Mountain Tours and Cork ‘n Fork Tours take you on a journey through several wineries, offering you a chance to taste and learn about various wines while soaking up the beautiful scenery. These tours also often include a stop at local attractions like art galleries, heritage buildings, and historical monuments, giving you a taste of its rich culture along with its wines.

So, whether you’re into bold reds, crisp whites, or sparkling varieties, the Sunshine Coast’s wineries have something for every palate. Cheers to that!

10. Stroll along Hastings Street

Lastly is Hastings Street, the heart of Noosa, a place where you can enjoy a perfect mix of the laid-back beach culture with upscale dining and shopping experiences.

Now, if you’re wondering why Hastings Street is a must-visit, then consider this: It’s a bustling promenade lined with trendy boutiques, art galleries, and alfresco dining spots, all nestled just a stone’s throw away from the pristine Noosa Main Beach. 

Additionally, Hastings Street is renowned for its fantastic dining scene. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual beachside lunch or an elegant fine dining experience, you’ll find a place that hits the spot here. And, if you’re in the area on a Sunday, we recommend exploring the Noosa Farmers Market, where you can get a taste of the region’s freshest produce and homemade treats.

What’s Next?

So, whether you’re a beach lover, adventure seeker, or culture enthusiast, the Sunshine Coast has something for everyone. Plan your ultimate getaway and explore all that this beautiful region has to offer. Now that you’ve discovered the top 10 things to do on the Sunshine Coast, it’s time to start exploring. And if you’re on the lookout for the best budget-friendly accommodations, then make sure to check out the The BEST 10 Nightlife in Sunshine Coast QLD Australia.


What is the Sunshine Coast known for?

The Sunshine Coast is known for its stunning natural beauty, charming coastal towns, and laid-back beach vibe. The area boasts some of Australia’s best surf spots, pristine sandy beaches, and lush hinterland, including the Glass House Mountains.

What is the best time to visit the Sunshine Coast?

The best time to visit the Sunshine Coast is during the autumn months (March to May) when the weather is comfortable – not too hot or cold. This time of year experiences less rainfall than the summer months, and the ocean temperatures are still warm enough for swimming.

Is the Sunshine Coast good for families?

Yes, the Sunshine Coast is excellent for families! The region offers a wide range of family-friendly attractions, like the Australia Zoo, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, and the Big Pineapple. The safe, patrolled beaches are perfect for a day of fun in the sun, and the hinterland offers great walks and picnicking opportunities.

What are the best beaches on Sunshine Coast?

The best beaches on the Sunshine Coast vary depending on your preferences, but some notable mentions include Noosa Main Beach, Mooloolaba Beach, and Kings Beach in Caloundra. These beaches are known for their beautiful sand, great surf, and family-friendly amenities.

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