Adventure | Beach | Food and Wine | Road Trip 25 May 2017

5 Things To Do In The Great Outdoors on the Sunshine Coast

Holidays in Queensland were made to be spent enjoying the great outdoors. Slather yourself in SPF50+, pack those bathers, bring your camera and don’t forget the family when you make tracks for a relaxed vacation by the coastal calm of the Sunshine Coast. 

There are dozens of amazing things you can do along the coast from north to south, and here are five slightly more unusual ideas for ways to enjoy the spectacular nature, wildlife, waters and beaches that make the Sunshine Coast so unique.

Try stand up paddle boarding at Cotton Tree

Ever tried stand-up paddle boarding? If not, don’t fear. It’s a super fun outdoor activity that’s great for beginners as well. You just need to find the right size board for you, and tranquil waters to glide around in. Cotton Tree is arguably the best spot on the Sunshine Coast for this purpose as the water at the inlet is super still and perfectly protected from rolling ocean waves. The experts from Ocean Addicts hire out boards and provide lessons if you need some extra guidance. If you’re looking for a bit more adventure you can also paddle over to the river mouth and catch a few waves, or book in for a SUP yoga session and flex it out on the water.

Go koala spotting in Noosa National Park 

The gorgeous shady coastal walk around the headland at Noosa National Park all but guarantees you the chance to see a koala in the wild. With 30 to 40 koalas calling the eucalyptus trees here home, you’ve got a solid chance of spying one up in the treetops. Start your walk in the National Park car park or try around the toilets at Tea Tree Bay where sightings are most common. But even if you don’t spy a furry friend munching on eucalyptus, the landscapes here are so spectacular that you’ll still walk away with a grin on your face. Finish the day with a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Hastings Street before heading back.

Couple going down the peak of the Tea Tree Bay at Noosa National Park in Queensland

Hike up Mount Coolum

As one of the Sunshine Coast’s ancient volcanic domes, created about 26 million years ago, Mt Coolum is an easy must-do hike that rewards with spectacular views over the countryside and coast. A reasonable level of fitness is needed for the climb, which takes about 45 minutes to get to the top, and 30 minutes to return to the car park. The first part is relatively easy before the track becomes quite steep as you swap bushland for traversing the rock face. Once you reach the top, 208 metres above sea level, you’ll feel fairly smug while soaking in views that stretch from Double Island Point to Caloundra. 

Hikers tracking Mount Coolum with spectacular views over the countryside and coast of Double Island Point to Caloundra

Eat Fish & Chips at Mooloolaba Spit

Every local knows there’s nowhere better for a good fish and chips than the Mooloolaba Spit. Head straight for the docks to pick up delicious fresh seafood from the source. Fisheries on the Spit at Mooloolaba was voted best fish and chip shop in Queensland, so order a mix of fresh prawns and battered barramundi and take your catch of the day over the waterfront for a feast. Find a spot on the sand or the picnic tables in the park and enjoy a budget-friendly alfresco meal as the sun sets.

Delicious fresh prawns from the Mooloolaba spit in Queensland

Take the 4WD up Rainbow Beach

Head north to enjoy the spectacle of the coloured sands at Noosa North Shore on the way to Double Island Point. With lush national parks on your left and the sparkling ocean on the right, it's a beautiful day trip from Oaks Seaforth at Alexandra Headland. 4WD access is via a short ferry ride over the Noosa River from Tewantin. Make sure you venture up at low tide to get the most time and the nice firm packed sand for the ease of driving off-road. Permits are required to drive on the beach between Noosa and Rainbow Beach, so be sure to grab one online before you take off.

Couple strolling along the shoreline enjoying the spectacle of the coloured sands at Noosa North Shore

Sparkling ocean at Alexandra Headlands in Queensland