Sunshine Coast

On the Sunshine Coast, the only thing more refreshing than the water is the lifestyle. With its endless beaches, lush rainforests and easy smiles, it’s a place where you will feel like a local from the moment you arrive.  

By the beach

Choose your patch of sand from over 100 kilometres of pristine coastline – stretching from Caloundra in the south to Noosa and the rainbow sands of the Cooloola coast in the north – and soak up the warm sunshine and laid-back atmosphere.

  • Paddle into the home of longboarding with a surf lesson at Noosa’s Main Beach.
  • Hire a boat, kayak or stand-up paddle board and cruise the calm waters of Pumicestone Passage or one of the many lakes and inlets.
  • Build sandcastles, eat fish and chips, or just lay back with a book on Mooloolaba Beach.
  • Swim, ride and run your way through a triathlon, marathon or fun run with the best views on the coast.

Hinterland charm

From rolling surf to rolling hills, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is full of natural beauty, cosy cafes and boutiques waiting to be discovered.

  • Be entertained by local artists and stock up on arts and crafts at Eumundi Markets.
  • Take in the view from the Glass House Mountains or wander through national parks and trails.
  • Pair local cheese and wine in Maleny or treat yourself to high tea and antique shopping in Montville.

Sample the ‘Sunny Coast’
With award-winning restaurants, food trails, vibrant food festivals and bustling  farmers markets, the Sunshine Coast is one giant celebration of food and wine. 

  • Tick off your foodie bucket list with beachfront and rainforest restaurants worth travelling for.
  • Sample just-picked strawberries and fresh-caught seafood at an outdoor farmer’s market.
  • Create your own cuisine at one of the many cooking schools.

 

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Mapleton Forest Reserve

Mapleton, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
In Mapleton Forest Reserve, Mapleton Forest Drive winds through deep forest, past Cooloolabin Dam, to Point Glorious lookout where great coastal and hinterland views await. Picnic at the Mapleton day-use area near Cedar Creek’s headwaters or camp at Gheerulla Creek. (Bring a fuel stove or firewood). From the day-use area, enjoy an easy walk through blackbutt forest. Go on the forest drive and stop to enjoy the Bonyee walk through piccabeen palm groves to a large bunya pine. Registered and licence motor bike riders can enjoy the 26 kilometre special purpose Gheerulla motor bike track. At Point Glorious, enjoy the view or practise abseiling. From Delicia Road Conservation Park, enjoy a two to four day Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great! Walk circuit.
Free Entry
Currimundi Lake (Kathleen McArthur) Conservation Park is a natural gem which has survived despite its proximity to Sunshine Coast developments. A pocket of the wallum heath which once covered much of coastal southern Queensland thrives on Lake Currimundi’s northern shore. This type of coastal heathland is rich in plant species, many of which attract birds and insects seeking food and shelter. Wander down the track from Coongarra Esplanade through the park to the beach. After the first 130 metres of wheelchair-accessible track, pause at the lake lookout. Spot the spectacular yellow-spiked flower or knobbly seed pods of the wallum banksia. Walk quietly, looking and listening for wrens, finches and honeyeaters such as the noisy friarbird.

Ex-HMAS Brisbane Conservation Park

Mudjimba, Sunshine Coast Area
Dive the Brisbane and experience this historical treasure and budding environmental wonder. The ex-HMAS Brisbane Conservation Park is an artificial reef and dive site off the Sunshine Coast, and is set to become one of Australia's premier dive attractions. This is the only former Navy dive wreck in Australia offering divers the unique opportunity to explore both the forward engine room and the boiler room. A former missile destroyer, the HMAS Brisbane, was scuttled 2.8 nautical miles east of Mudjimba Island on 31 July 2005 to begin its new life as the 'anchor' attraction for dive tourism in Southern Queensland. Divers can explore the 133 metre former warship and view different areas of the ship. Access holes allow passage into the ship's interior, where divers can swim through living and sleeping quarters used by the crew during the ship’s service from 1967 to 2001.

Noosa Heads Coastal Track

Noosa Heads, Noosa Area
Free Entry
Spectacular views can be seen from several lookouts along the track. You will also see coastal rock formations such as the Boiling Pot and Hells Gates. Beaches include Tea Tree Bay, a pandanus-lined sandy beach, the more rocky Granite Bay, historic Winch Cove and the sweeping Alexandria Bay. Koalas frequent the gum trees along this walk and honeyeaters are often seen in the flowering shrubs next to the track. Out to sea, frolicking dolphins and migrating humpback whales are sometimes seen by the keen observer.

Conondale National Park

Conondale, Noosa Area
Free Entry
Conondale National Park forms the heart of an extensive area of unspoilt mountain scenery in the Conondale Range. With magnificent forests, deep gorges and spectacular views, this park and the adjacent State forest offer scenic drives, picnic areas and a choice of four grassy camp sites near rainforests and mountain streams. Walks range from a short stroll beside crystal clear streams, to challenging hikes including to Mount Allan fire tower or along the four-day 56 kilometre Conondale Range Great Walk. It is a picturesque and ecologically important area, protecting the habitats of many rare and threatened animals, including several species of frogs and the seldom-seen yellow-bellied glider. Access is via gravel roads suitable for conventional vehicles with care. In wet weather, roads may be closed. The scenic drive starting on Booloumba Creek Road has several creek crossings that are only accessible by high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles. Allow at least 90 minutes for the scenic drive and extra time for picnics and bushwalks. Birdwatchers will enjoy Little Yabba Creek, while mountain bike and horse riders can explore the park and forest along vehicle tracks.

Mount Ngungun Summit Walking Track

Beerwah, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Named by Cook during his epic voyage along Australia's east coast, the Glass House Mountains are rhyolitic volcanic plugs left by volcanic activity millions of years ago. This area has special significance for the Gubbi Gubbi Aboriginal people. The Mount Ngungun summit walk begins in open forest with a fern understory. Part way up the mountain there is a great view of Mount Tibrogargan and the track passes a small rock overhang. The summit provides spectacular close-up views of nearby volcanic peaks-Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah-and a 360° panoramic view of the coast and hinterland. The 2.8 kilometre track is classed as a grade 4 walking track. Visitors need a moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear. Take plenty of drinking water and wear a hat and sunscreen. Allow about two hours to complete the walk. Caution: Track passes close to cliff edges-supervise children closely. Take extra care around the summit area in wet weather-rocks become very slippery. Walk carefully to avoid dislodging rocks-they might hit walkers or climbers below you.

Amamoor State Forest

Amamoor, Gympie Area
Free Entry
Amamoor State Forest produces some of the finest hoop pine in Queensland. More than 120 bird species have been sighted in its riverine rainforests and plantations of hoop and bunya pines. Enjoy a drive through the forested valley to walk through the forest along trickling creeks and streams. From Amama day-use area, take the Platypus walk (300 metres return) to a viewing platform for a chance to see a platypus. The rainforest walk at Cedar Grove features huge red cedar and fig trees. Cedar Grove and Amamoor Creek camping areas have large flat sites. In August, the annual National Country Music Muster takes place here.

Kondalilla National Park

Montville, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Named after the spectacular Kondalilla Falls, where Skene Creek drops 90 metres into a rainforest valley, this park is a cool mountain retreat and an important refuge for many native animals and plants. The park takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning 'rushing waters'. Five rare and threatened frog species as well as the rare bopple nut, a species of macadamia plant, are found here. Birdwatchers and nature photographers love this park, with its views, rainforest and wildlife. Enjoy a picnic at Kondalilla Falls day-use area. Stroll along the easy 1.7 kilometre Picnic Creek circuit or take the more challenging 4.6 kilometre Kondalilla Falls circuit, with about 100 steps and views of the falls. If you are feeling fit, you can enjoy a section of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, starting from Baroon Pocket Dam picnic area (near Lake Baroon) and walking to Kondalilla Falls picnic area (11.7 kilometres one way) or continuing on to Flaxton walkers' camp, a bush camp provided especially for walkers, (a further 4.6 kilometres one way).

Glass House Mountains National Park

Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Craggy volcanic peaks, rhyolite plugs, rise abruptly above the scenic landscape, a rolling green patchwork of pine plantations, bushland and cultivated fields. The Glass House Mountains were named by Lieutenant James Cook as he voyaged up the Queensland coast in 1770. They are spiritually significant to the local Aboriginal people and are listed on the Queensland and National Heritage Registers as a landscape of national significance. In this park, remnants of the open eucalypt woodland and heath vegetation, which once covered the coastal plains, provide a home for an interesting variety of animals and plants. Visit the interpretive centre in the Glass House Mountains township. Drive to the nearby Glass House Mountains lookout in Beerburrum State Forest for views of the multiple peaks. Enjoy a picnic at the base of Mount Beerwah or Mount Tibrogargan. Take the easy Western Boundary walk at Mount Beewah or try a slightly more challenging walk such as the Tibrorgargan circuit or Mount Beeburrum track for great views. If you are a fit, experienced walker with rock climbing skills, tackle the Mount Ngungun summit track. The summit routes on Mounts Ngungun and Tibrogargan are also suitable for roped sports for experienced and well-equipped climbers.

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve comprises 55 hectares of National Estate listed subtropical rainforest overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains. A remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, the Reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal life which promises to delight with its tranquility and beauty. Step back in time in their Rainforests Through Time display, take a relaxing walk along their rainforest tracks, have a picnic or barbecue, or relax at the Cafe.
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