100 things to do on the Sunshine Coast
There’s a lot more to the Sunshine Coast than just its endless (and spectacular) beaches.
This list of 100 things to do is a year-round guide to inspiration. See how many you can tick off your list!
1. Grab dinner to go as you check out the funky stalls and live music at Nights on Ocean markets in Maroochydore, held every second Friday night of the month from 5pm to 9pm.
2. Do an op shop hop along Aerodrome Road in Maroochydore to hunt for some vintage goodies (we highly recommend the Salvos’ retro corner).
3. Take a dip at each of the sandy and rocky beaches along the Noosa Heads Coastal Track in Noosa National Park. Keep your eyes on the treetops to spot snoozing koalas along the way. Check out how to explore the national park here.
5. Devour a creamy injectable doughnut topped with your favourite chocolates or candy from Sunshine Sunshine Espresso, tucked into the back streets of Currimundi.
6. Stop in at Australia’s biggest and best art, craft and produce market, Eumundi Markets, held every Wednesday and Saturday of the year.
7. Get up early and climb Mount Coolum to watch the sunrise. It’s worth every one of those steep steps!
8. Taste-test one (or all) of the five best degustation restaurants on the Sunshine Coast.
9. Hand-feed kangaroos, take a silly snap with a giraffe, ride a camel or go a morning walk with a tiger at Australia Zoo.
10. Take advantage of the free admission and visit The Ginger Factory in Yandina. While you’re there, hop aboard ‘Moreton’ the ginger train for a tour of the gardens.
12. Try the newest contender for the tastiest fish and chippery on the Sunshine Coast, Saltwater, right on the Mooloolah River at Mooloolaba. Think a Hamptons-style, casual (but licensed) seafood restaurant that’s both aesthetically and appetite-pleasing.
13. Take an afternoon stroll at Point Cartwright and watch the sun set behind the hinterland.
14. Dodge laser beams in a game of Virtual Reality at Laserzone in Warana (a 10-minute drive from Mooloolaba).
15. Listen to some tunes while the kids check out the circus workshops and craft activities at the Caloundra Music Festival held every September.
16. Channel your fast and the furious side on the Big Kart Track in Landsborough – the largest commercial go-karting track in Australia!
17. Grab a coffee from Salvage Design in Warana and browse their beautiful range of vintage, up-cycled and pre-loved furniture and home decor.
20. Pick strawberries fresh from the at Strawberry Fields in Palmview. While you’re there, try a scoop or two of the cafe’s homemade ice-cream.
21. Get your rockabilly on and order the famous BEST BURGER at Ricks Garage retro diner in Palmwoods.
23. Spot humpback whales on a luxury cruise with Whale One from June – November every year.
24. Or better yet, get all up in the action and go swimming with them on a day trip with Sunreef Mooloolaba.
25. Order fresh prawns straight off the trawler at the Mooloolaba Fish Markets and head over to the beachfront to lay out a picnic blanket and enjoy your haul.
26. Board the M.V. Noosa Queen for a sunset cruise along the Noosa River.
27. Feast on a cultural banquet of music and arts at the Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival in August.
28. Nab yourself a treehouse booth and get munchin’ on some vegan tapas washed down with a few herbal-infused cocktails at Elixiba in Maroochydore.
29. Treat yourself to a day of pampering at Ikatan Day Spa in Doonan.
31. Check out the local talent at Open Mic night at Solbar in Ocean Street, Maroochydore, on every Wednesday.
32. Buckle your seat belts for an adrenaline-pumping ride with Mooloolaba Jet Boat.
33. Hire a BBQ pontoon from Swan Boat Hire in Maroochydore and enjoy some shrimp on the barbie (okay maybe just some steaks and sausages) as you cruise down the Maroochy River.
34. Tee-off at Pelican Waters Golf Club, followed by drinks at the restaurant’s deck bar.
35. Go horse riding along the beach with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides.
37. Travel back to medieval times at the Sunshine Castle Bli Bli. The daily treasure hunts are a treat for the kids!
38. Take your time browsing through the boutique shops along Hastings Street in Noosa Heads, stopping for a coffee with a beachfront view at one of the many cafes.
39. Get a taste of Lebanon at Zahtar in Maroochydore‘s Ocean Street.
40. Take a romantic interlude on the Noosa River in a stylish, private gondola with Gondolas of Noosa.
41. Appoint yourself chief taster, book an Uber and check out the coast’s best craft breweries.
43. Bounce, slip and slide your way to physical exhaustion at the Aqua Fun Park at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.
44. Take an underwater adventure and explore the four volcanic pinnacles near Double Point Island on a scuba diving tour with Wolf Rock Dive Centre.
46. Kick it old school on date night and go bowling at Suncity Tenpin in Alexandra Headland.
47. Hire a front-runner from O Boat Hire and head out for a day of fishing through the Noosa River channels. (Fishing gear’s included!)
49. Go back in time when you catch a silent film at Queensland’s longest-running operational film theatre, the Majestic Theatre in Pomona.
50. Get your adrenaline pumping doing loop-the-loops and rolls in an aerobatic stunt plane at Sunshine Coast Aero Club at the Sunshine Coast Airport.
52. Kick back with delicious cocktails, comfy couches and great music at The Bison Bar in Nambour.
53. Explore Mooloolaba’s canals by kayak with Hire Hut.
54. Go on a canoeing and camping safari through the Noosa Everglades.
55. Fill up on a tasty Thai lunch while sitting on a picturesque red pontoon, built on a calm pond and nestled in a bamboo grove, at The Spirit House in Yandina.
56. Enjoy scenic views of Mooloolaba on a seafood lunch cruise with Coastal Cruises Mooloolaba.
57. Get your retail therapy fix with this ultimate shopping guide to the Sunny Coast.
58. Visit the Queensland Air Museum in Caloundra to channel your inner Maverick or Goose and see more than 65 restored aircraft from various decades. Time your visit with one of their Engines Alive Days – on in January, April and September – for even more grunt!
59. Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon listening to live jazz and sipping on sangria at The Piano Bar in Maroochydore.
60. Browse the amazing collection of vintage and designer clothing and antiques at the Collective Haus in Yandina.
61. Tuck into pizza and pasta with a view of Mooloolaba Esplanade and beach at Augello’s Ristorante & Pizzeria.
62. Stock up on sweet treats at the chocolate and candy shops while you stroll along Montville‘s main street.
63. You’ll be giving Kelly Slater a run for his money when you learn how to master the waves with Coolum Surf School.
64. Pick up some fresh fruit, cheese, dips and a Sunflower Hotel smoothie from the Kawana Waters Farmers Markets on a Saturday morning and head to La Balsa Park for a picnic.
65. See Caloundra from new heights when you land on the beach with Sunshine Coast Skydivers.
66. Have a beach barbie with your friends and family at one of the best outdoor BBQ spots on the Sunshine Coast.
67. Feast on chicken wings at Alex Bar and Grill’s Wednesday Wing Nights in Alexandra Headland.
68. Pour your own beers at Taps in Mooloolaba.
69. Take part in a guided meditation session at the Chenrezig Institute in Eudlo.
70. Ignore TLC and DO go chasing waterfalls at Kondalilla National Park.
71. Who said the Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore was just for shopping? Hire one of their paddle boats and kill some time exploring the natural waterway.
72. Fill up on gyoza, sushi rolls or a bento box at Cherry Blossom Tree on the Riverwalk at the Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore.
73. Explore the smooth waters of Pumicestone Passage and narrow mangrove-lined marine channels into the tranquil Tripcony Bight on an epic jet-ski tour in Caloundra.
74. Learn how to kneeboard, wakeboard and ski at the skate park on water at Bli Bli Watersports Complex.
75. Whet your appetite with a mouthwatering burger and onion rings from Betty’s Burgers in Noosa. Make sure you leave room for dessert – their ‘concrete’ homemade custard ice-cream creations are worth the drive alone.
76. Spoil yourself to a bed and breakfast getaway at Sunrise Cottages (formerly Monbii Cottages) in Montville.
78. Jump, bounce and flip your way through the Big Boing Indoor Trampoline Park in Birtinya.
79. Forget about sleeping in and make your way to the Caloundra Street Fair on a Sunday morning all year round. Delicious coffee, fresh juices, homemade sweet and savoury treats are all on the menu.
80. Pencil in some well-needed downtime filled with healthy food, self-care, just the right amount of exertion, and permission to breathe with this DIY holiday detox guide.
81. Get set for when the Mary Valley Rattler breathes to life in a cloud of smoke on a historic train journey into the Mary Valley.
82. Listen to some sweet beats by the beach at Peregian Originals! Held every second Sunday of the month.
83. Explore the art gallery trail from the beach through to the Hinterland.
84. Hand-feed dolphins at Barnacles Dolphin Centre and Cafe in Tin Can Bay.
85. Dig into a yum cha banquet at Embassy XO in Sunshine Beach on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 12pm – 2pm.
86. Grab your mates for a game of barefoot bowls at one of the bowls clubs along the coast.
87. Walk, run or ride the Caloundra Coastal Walk that stretches from Pelican Waters around to Currimundi Lake.
88. Take off on a scenic seaplane flight from the Maroochy River (in a genuine warbird) for a bird’s eye view of the coast.
89. Stop… coffee time! Head to The Velo Project in Mooloolaba and order a sweet or savoury crepe to go with your caffeine hit. Bring your little ones too so they can enjoy a babyccino and the outdoor play area.
91. Indulge in some fine dining at Ebb Waterfront Restaurant in Maroochydore. The uninterrupted views of the Maroochy River might impress, but their lunch deals will knock your socks off.
92. Book for the three-course seasonal dinner at Homegrown Cafe in Palmwoods, held on the first Saturday of the month and featuring culinary creations made with the best local seasonal produce.
93. Grab the girls for high tea at Flaxton Gardens in Montville. Beautiful views of the hinterland and a delicious selection of sweet and savoury treats comin’ atcha.
94. For the best in locally grown, made, designed and created, check out the Peregian Beach Markets held on the first and third Sunday of every month.
95. Explore the best hidden coffee spots on the Sunshine Coast.
96. Calling all vegans and vegetarians – you HAVE to try the delicious organic goodies at Greenhouse Cafe in Caloundra. Keep an eye out for their daily specials! (They have been known to make peanut butter and jelly pancakes. Just sayin’.)
97. Kick start your weekend with dinner and cocktails at Little Miss Saine in Buddina on Friday nights.
98. Order the seafood platter for two at Noosa Boathouse and see if you can smash through all three tiers.
99. If you have a mega sweet tooth, head to TOME Coffee Shop in Ocean Street Maroochydore and try their scrumptious (and addictive, you’ve been warned) cakes and doughnuts.
100. Don’t forget your camera when you explore over six kilometres of walking paths and stunning scenery, and get up close and personal with exotic birds from all over the world at Maleny Botanic Gardens.
Is there anything you think we’ve missed? Tell us in the comments below.
*This post was originally published in 2015 and updated in December 2017.