10 things to do on the Sunshine Coast when it rains
Yes, it’s called the Sunshine Coast for good reason, getting one of the highest amounts of sunshine per day anywhere in the world. But sometimes… not so much.
You could do as the locals do and make the most of it: surf Noosa’s sheltered bays, wonder at the hinterland waterfalls or hit the water fun parks. But we’ve got some extra tips and tricks up our raincoat sleeve to keep you busy for days. Rain, what rain?
WHET YOUR WHISTLE
Can you think of any better rainy day activity than a craft beer tour? The Sunshine Coast punches well above its weight in craft beer houses and breweries. We don’t know why, but we’re not complaining either.
Sunshine Craft Beer Tours is your go-to way of exploring the local breweries from the coast to the hinterland so you can sample unique beers not available anywhere else in the world, all while someone else does the driving!
YOU LUCKY DUCK
Yep, you lucked out if it’s raining on a Saturday or Wednesday.
With a mantra of ‘rain, hail or shine’ The Original Eumundi Markets are something you can count on no matter what the weather. It’s the biggest artisan market in Australia (perhaps even the world, who knows!), so you’ll find handcrafted everything from fashion to homewares and food, glorious food with many market areas under cover.
We’d suggest making extra time for exploring the cafes, boutiques and galleries of the historic township, and the Eumundi Heritage Centre built in 1911. Best of all, exploring is free! Want more cheap-as ideas? Head over this way.
HOLEY MOLEY GUACAMOLE
You’ll be wishing it’d keep raining after you discover Maroochydore’s entertainment precinct. There’s not just one, but TWO tenpin bowling alleys plus Holey Moley Mini Golf: it’s putt-putt, but not as you know it. Think tunes, cocktails, The Simpsons and more crazy ways to putt a ball than you poke a tee at.
Across the road, Sunshine Plaza has you covered (literally) for a movie and gaming arcade – and over 240 speciality shops.
More games please? Arcade Box at Noosaville will take you back to the future with retro video games and pinball machines.
IN THE SPIRIT OF THINGS
Masterchef-wannabe? Take your dining next level with a cooking class at Spirit House Yandina or The Cooking School Noosa. From modern Asian to Indian, Italian and Mexican, this could be one trip around the world where you don’t even need to step outside!
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Broken Arrow is an 18m indoor archery range in Nambour. Yes, indoors! It’s open every day except Monday, with lane and equipment hire for an hour, including technique and safety induction. It ain’t broke, but it’s definitely fix’n the rainy day blues!
Got you feeling like a superhero? Check out Nambour’s Urban Fiction. It’s the Sunny (hehe) Coast’s only dedicated comic book store with tabletop gaming and video game lounge area.
TAKE ONE FOR THE FAMILY
One of the best things about having kids, is you get to act like one too!
Bounce your way around at Big Boing trampoline park, climb the walls at Rockit Climbing Gym, roll your way around Caloundra Rollerdrome indoor skate, or tag it out at Laserzone.
You can take your pick on any rainy day… they’re all open 7 days a week and the kids will love you for it. Bonus points!
The Wharf, Mooloolaba has recently been refurbished with a whole lotta dining options so we’d suggest a grub crawl is on the cards!
Start with crispy eggplant fries at Rice Boi Asian street food then head to the Hamptons-style Saltwater Fish and Chippery for bargain fish and chips or El Bigoton for something Latin inspired. And no, we haven’t forgotten about the drinks either. The Dock has 52 beers on tap while art-deco themed Boston Shaker is all about the cocktail. The laid-back Chances bar is perfect for families incorporating a kids play area… which is just a win/win really.
Still raining? The Wharf Marina houses Sea Life Sunshine Coast where you can spend hours getting to know the locals like turtles, seals, sharks and stingrays. Or if the sun gods have turned in your favour, head to The Booking Box for a Padre Coffee (roasted in Noosa) and check out the river cruises, fishing charters and other tours on offer.
MAGNIFICENT FLYING MACHINES
Skies may be grey, but you’ll be set for takeoff at Caloundra.
Queensland Air Museum displays rare aircraft including the only collection of WWI flying machines in the country. Check out early fighter aircraft as well as a full-size replica of the first craft to achieve powered, controlled flight.
Got kids? There’s interactive displays, a play area and ‘Herbie’, a real helicopter kids can climb into and ‘fly’. How’s that for a rainy day photo op?
Fancy yourself sleuth-worthy enough to crack the escape code? Escape Room Caloundra has four interactive adventure rooms for you to unravel with 2-6 friends and find your way out.
Each room presents a different scenario (Time Travel, Conspiracy Theory – you get the drift) at varying degrees of difficulty, and kids can play as long as there’s an adult in the room.
You’ll need at least a couple of hours to experience this one and the puzzles change every few months so you can keep coming back for more!
ART TRAILS TOUR
It’s no secret the Coast has a thriving arts scene, and this could well be your perfect opportunity to check it out. The Sunshine Coast Art Gallery Trail will guide you through everything from private to public art galleries plus visual art events and current exhibitions. You’ll also get the low-down on artisan galleries and studios – from printmaking to glasswork and sculpture.
Two of our fave galleries are Caloundra Regional Gallery and Noosa Regional Gallery, showcasing local, national and international artists, regular hands-on workshops and free admission.