The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful coastal area about one hour’s drive north of Brisbane. Beaches, hinterland, rivers, bush, forest, and villages merge to form an area of scenic beauty that makes the Sunshine Coast a very popular holiday destination. This Sunshine Coast travel guide has it all, just search Sunshine Coast travel using the search box above or use our site map for complete Sunshine Coast information. We live here we know the Sunshine Coast so do explore it all with us. To help you the team lists a few of the things to do on the Coast that have struck our attention. There is a lot more so please do explore the Sunshine Coast Guide the site for Sunshine Coast visitors and locals.
Sunshine Coast car rental is easy using the search below. Just find the best deal, book and all done! Pay once you take the car and of course choose which location is best for you to start. If you are flying into Brisbane airport renting a car at the airport and driving up is a cost-effective option. Sunshine Coast airport is convenient for many of the resorts along the coast.
It has daily flights to Melbourne and Sydney and from there you can get connect with domestic and international flights. A shuttle bus runs regular services from Brisbane Airport along the coast and there are various other shuttles, bus and coach services that operate between the major towns and resorts.
Obviously no visit to the Sunshine Coast would be complete without a few days spent on the beach. However, travel a little inland and a whole other world awaits an easy to do with one of the many Sunshine Coast tours. If you can’t tear yourself away from the sand then Noosa National Park is the perfect compromise. It is actually a coastal park and you can explore some of the trails and walks without losing sight of the sea.
If you’re going to jump, you might as well do it in a beautiful location! The Sunshine Coast offers tandem jumps with qualified and experienced divers who will do their best to make your experience as fun as it will be unforgettable. Jump, freefall then glide to a soft landing on the area’s golden beaches. If you are brave enough to open your eyes on the way down, be stunned by the spectacular views from your one-of-a-kind vantage point!
Sunshine Coast weather
January is the hottest month – but also the wettest – with average daily maximum temperatures of 28.8C. Humidity can be high, up to 70 percent in high season, but falls away once Autumn arrives. Rain falls mainly during Summer months, as much as 300mm, but drops off to as little as 40mm in June and July. Rainfall records tumbled throughout 2010 and again in January 2011 when in excess of 474mm fell in 12 days to break the previous wet record set in 1996.
And the arrival of the La Nina weather pattern saw the Sunshine Coast’s days of sunshine drop by 21 percent. That month’s total rainfall of 691mm broke the previous record high fall for December of 498mm that had stood since 1926. In contrast, Winter months are sunny, mild and dry and still great for swimming and enjoying the many superb beaches on offer.
July is the coldest month, with an average daily maximum of 20.9C and a minimum of 10.2C. Termed as the low season, this time of year has become increasingly popular with tourists from cooler winter states in the south. The hinterland around Maleny and the Glasshouse Mountains also enjoys a wonderful climate, although these small communities enjoy distinct seasons. Temperatures are around 3-4 degrees cooler in winter and 2-3 degrees in Summer, with less humidity and fresher evenings than on the coast.
Sunshine Coast Family Attractions
The famous Ettamogah Pub, with attached small theme park and free entry, is a good stopping point on the Bruce Highway and has the advantage of selling some of the cheapest petrol in the area. Attractions include mini-golf, roller coaster, carnival fairground, giant Ferris wheel, fun luge, dodgem cars, and specialty shops. Frizzo Road, Bruce Highway (07 5494 5444).
The Bellingham Maze is a surprise that awaits you. A challenging hedge maze, brain-teasing puzzles, delicious Devonshire Teas, mini tile mazes, huge walk-through aviary. Take the family to “get lost” in this living hedge maze with 2-meter-high rows of fragrant cypress pine hedges.
Big Kart Track
Drive around what is claimed by the owners to be Australia’s fastest and longest go-kart tracks at 1200m or ride the Bungy Bullet where you can be shot 50m into the air in just over a second. Located at Old Brisbane Road, Landsborough on the route to Australia Zoo, open every day from 9- 5 and until 10 pm on Saturday. An action deal that combines 30 minutes of a go-kart with a Bungy bullet ride. Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive, Landsborough (07 5494 1613).
Big Pineapple Plantation
Read about the changes happening to this Sunshine Coast icon
The world’s largest high tech Ginger processing plant with historic cane train through native rainforest and gardens. The ginger shop sells the biggest selection of ginger produce in the world. Enjoy the magical adventure ride on “Overboard, Adventures of a Stowaway”. 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina (07 5446 7100)
The Sunshine Coast has long been known for its Macadamia nuts. You can visit the Macadamia Factory which is located opposite the Ginger Factory in Yandina (07 5472 7777) and experience the nut processing operation and sample the many flavored nuts in the tourist shop.
Ski and Skurf Cable Water Ski Park
Water ski using a cable or enjoy watching.
The Sunshine Castle at Bli Bli
The Sunshine Castle at Bli Bli castle opened in 1973 is a mock medieval castle featuring a dungeon, medieval armory, tower block, and collection of 350 dancing dolls representing 57 countries. Relish the views from the 24-meter high tower. The only castle of its kind in Australia. Children can enjoy the Castle treasure hunt. Medieval feasts and theatre nights are organized. 292 – 296 David Low Way, (07 5448 4477).
Top Shots Adventure Park
It offers mini-golf, rock climbing, blaster boats and a giant vertical trampoline, great for kids. Open all day until late evening and located at 2 Allora Drive, Maroochydore (07 5442 7007)
Valley Rafter Railway
A scenic 80km steam rail journey along the Mary Valley. Departs on Sundays (10 am) and Wednesdays (10.00 am) arriving back at Old Gympie Station at 4 pm. Along the way stop at Kandanga, Imbil, and Dagun and enjoy good old fashioned country hospitality. The journey starts at Old Railway Station, Tozer Street, Gympie (07 5482 2750).
The Sunshine Coast covers a large area from Caloundra in the south to Noosa in the North and a beautiful hinterland. Do read more and explore.
Australia Zoo established by the late Steve Irwin, offers visitors wildlife action and entertainment beyond any other, priding itself on promoting hands-on interactive experiences with pythons, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, tigers, elephants, and many more intriguing and awesome animals.
The wildlife action is endless with 14 LIVE wildlife shows daily. Set on over 70 acres of Australian bushland with more than 1000 animals, Australia Zoo into your ultimate destination. Australia Zoo is located an easy one hour drive north of Brisbane or an hour drive south of Noosa along the Glasshouse Mountains Tourist Drive, Beerwah. Australia Zoo is easily accessible by car, coach or train. Catch the FREE Courtesy Coach which can pick up from Noosa, Coolum, Maroochydore, Alex Headlands, Mooloolaba and Caloundra, however bookings are essential. For a full day of action and adventure check out Australia Zoo, it’s the wildest show on earth!
The largest oceanarium in the Southern Hemisphere is located at The Wharf, Mooloolaba and has almost 20,000 sea creatures, an 80-meter walk through the tunnel. Shows take place during the day. A number of shows are held during the day Stingray talk and feed; Seals behaving badly; Otter presentation; Crocodile talk and feed; Seals behaving badly; Oceanarium talk; Stingray talk and feed; Otter presentation; Working with seals; Crocodile talk; Stingray talk and feed; Otter presentation; Seals behaving badly and Stingray talk and feed. The Wharf, Mooloolaba, (07 5444 8488).
You will begin the experience by getting up close and personal with one of the seals for a fishy seal kiss (including photo). This is followed by a behind the scenes tour of Seal Cove that journeys through the food preparation area to the seal habitats. You will then take the plunge for a 15-minute interactive swim and play with the gorgeous seals. This experience also includes entry to the aquarium so after your seal swim you can spend some time looking at more of the underwater world.
The famous Eumundi market operates every Saturday and Wednesday morning. Over 250 exciting stores offer handicrafts local produce and many other delights. A policy of careful selection of stallholders ensures only the best items and crafts are available for purchase.
The Original Eumundi Markets was founded in 1979 by two local artists who came up with the idea of starting an ‘artisans and farmers’ markets in the European style. Eumundi township has long been a drawcard for people wanting to live a more simple life, away from the mad rush of city life and as such has some amazingly gifted artists, craftspeople, writers, spiritualists, and poets, just to name a few. The original ethos behind this massively popular market is “we make it, bake it, grow it, sew it”, and that continues today, and you won’t find anything mass-produced or not aligned to this belief that was set over 30 years ago.
There are now over 600 stalls within the market precinct and has an average of over 1.6 million visitors annually, from all over the world! It certainly is a market to delight the senses. Foodies will be in their element with seafood, laksa, paella, quality coffee and chocolate, old fashioned ginger beer and lemonade, freshly baked bread, locally made cheeses and much more.
For those of you who are into collecting fine things, you’ll find handmade toys, sculptures, crafted furniture, hand-blown glass, and exquisite jewelry. There are homewares, beautiful fabrics, clothing, shoes, and bags, as well as organic skincare, hair care, and cosmetics. Brilliant local talent entertains the crowds with a variety of music covering the whole spectrum, world music, tribal rhythms, jazz, country, and blues. Take a break from shopping and sit back with a bite to eat, a refreshing drink, and absorb the sights and sounds around you.
Sunshine Coast Beaches
Sunshine Coast has many great beaches that stretch the length of the coast. Besides the weather, the lifestyle, and the people the pristine beaches of the Sunshine Coast are a major attraction. Choose from beaches with family-friendly waves to beaches that will get even the most experienced surfer excited by the powerful surf.
The Sunshine Coast’s white surf beaches stretch for miles. The coastal towns of the Sunshine Coast from Caloundra to Noosa are perfect for a relaxing beach holiday.
The range of beaches on the Sunshine Coast is enormous. From the open waters of Rainbow Beach through to the white sands at King’s Beach at Caloundra which is a unique combination of a surf beach with a saltwater swimming pool. The calm waters of the Mooloolaba Spit and Golden Beach are perfect for kids. Popular surf beaches include Alexandra Headlands, Coolum, Peregian, Marcus Beach, Sunshine Beach, and Noosa Heads.
Sunshine Coast patrolled beaches:
Twin Waters Resort
Sunshine Coast Wineries
The recent investment in vineyards on the Sunshine Coast is now paying off and some excellent premium wines are being produced. These boutique vineyards have cellar door tastings and personalized tours. A number of companies offer tours. Sunshine Coast has a number of boutique wineries and vineyards producing award-winning wines. The vineyards are in the cooler hinterland areas of the Blackall Range, Kenilworth, and Traveston.
Winery and Gourmet trail
You will be picked up from your door and taken to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland for a day of relaxation and indulgence. Start the day with refreshments of your choice at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve overlooking the panoramic Glasshouse Mountains or perhaps take the time to walk in the subtropical rainforest before going to Maleny Mountain Wines to sample quality wines in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Wineries on the Sunshine Coast include:
7 Acres Winery , Forest Glen 07 5445 1198
Blind Man’s Bluff Vineyards 07 5472 3168
Big Barrel Vineyard and Winery, Maleny 07 5429 6300
Dingo Creek Vineyard, Traveston 07 5485 1731
Glastonbury Estate Wines, Eumundi 07 5442 8557
Eumundi Winery and Vineyard 07 5442 7444
Glastonbury Estate, Eumundi 07 5484 9106
Little Morgue Winery, Yandina 07 5441 5951
Settlers Rise Winery, Montville 07 5478 5558
Dingo Creek Vineyard, Traveston 07 5485 1731
Kenilworth Bluff Wines, Kenilworth 07 5472 3723
Maleny Mountain Wine, Maleny 07 5429 6300
Maroochy Springs Wines. Eumundi 07 5442 8777
Noosa Valley Wines, Doonan 07 5449 1657
Settlers Rise Winery, Montville 07 5478 5558