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Top 10 Must-See Attractions on Sunshine Coast

9 mins read
View of Granite Bay, Noosa National Park, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

The Sunshine Coast is a picturesque strip of paradise in Queensland, Australia, known for its pristine beaches, lush hinterland, and relaxed atmosphere. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, the Sunshine Coast offers a myriad of attractions that cater to all interests, from nature lovers to foodies and everyone in between. If you’re planning a visit or simply looking for what to do on the Sunshine Coast, this guide will lead you through what to see on the Sunshine Coast, which is guaranteed to make your experience unforgettable.

1. Noosa National Park

Ariel shot Noosa National Park
Aerial view of Noosa National Park

One of the region’s natural jewels, Noosa National Park, offers breathtaking coastal scenery, diverse wildlife, and a network of walking tracks that allow you to explore its beauty. Follow the coastal path to Hell’s Gates from the main park entrance for spectacular ocean views. Keep your eyes peeled for koalas perched in eucalyptus trees, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a pod of dolphins or even migrating humpback whales from the lookout points.

Coastal Walks and Wildlife Encounters

The park’s coastal walks are a treat for the eyes and a haven for wildlife encounters. The park is home to a variety of bird species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Don’t forget to visit the fairy pools and natural tidal rock pools that are perfect for a refreshing swim.

2. Mooloolaba Beach

Sun coming down a Mooloolaba Beach

Sunset at Mooloolaba Beach – Photo by Spencer Samaroo on Unsplash

Mooloolaba Beach is a vibrant stretch of coastline that offers crystal-clear waters and white sandy shores. It’s a favoured destination for both swimmers and surfers, with its patrolled beach providing a safe spot for a dip. The esplanade along Mooloolaba Beach is lined with trendy cafes, boutiques, and restaurants, making it a great place to relax after a day in the sun.

Seafood and Shopping

Mooloolaba is also known for its fresh seafood, so be sure to stop by the Mooloolaba Fish Market to grab some local catch. The area’s shopping opportunities are not to be missed, with a range of stores offering everything from high-end fashion to beachwear and souvenirs.

3. Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo
Koalas at Australia Zoo

Made famous by the late, great Steve Irwin, Australia Zoo is a must-visit for animal enthusiasts. Known as the home of the Crocodile Hunter, the zoo offers an immersive experience with a range of wildlife encounters and shows. From feeding kangaroos to watching the famous croc show, there’s plenty to see and do.

Conservation and Interactive Experiences

The zoo is heavily involved in conservation efforts, and a visit here not only promises a day of fun but also supports these important initiatives. The zoo’s interactive experiences allow you to get up close and personal with various animals, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

4. Eumundi Markets

Eumundi Markets
The entrance of Eumundi Markets

Eumundi Markets are a treasure trove for those looking to discover locally made art, crafts, and produce. As one of Australia’s premier artisan markets, it’s a vibrant hub of activity where you can find unique items and enjoy live music and street performances.

Artisan Goods and Gourmet Delights

The market is an excellent place to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts or indulge in gourmet delights. With an emphasis on handmade and sustainable products, you’ll find everything from fashion and jewelry to skincare and delicious food.

5. Montville Village

Heaps of fun toys for kids in the fun and games store in Montville
FUN & GAMES STORE Montville – Photo by Lynnette Greenslade on Unsplash

Nestled in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Montville Village exudes charm and history. This quaint mountain village offers panoramic coast views and is dotted with galleries, antique shops, and quaint cafes.

Heritage and Scenic Views

Montville’s heritage buildings and scenic views make it a photographer’s dream. Whether you’re exploring the local art scene or simply enjoying a coffee with a view, Montville is a delightful escape from the beachside bustle.

6. Glass House Mountains

Glass House Mountains
Glass House Mountains – Photo by Michael on Unsplash

The Glass House Mountains are a group of eleven ancient volcanic peaks that rise dramatically from the coastal plain. These natural landmarks offer a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and abseiling.

Adventure and Aboriginal Heritage

The mountains hold significant cultural importance to the local Aboriginal people, and many of the peaks have walking trails that lead to breathtaking lookouts. For the less adventurous, scenic drives around the mountains provide ample opportunity to appreciate their grandeur.

7. Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World

Scarlet Macaws
Photo by en:User:Cburnett

The Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World is a serene oasis that showcases an extensive collection of native and exotic plants. The well-manicured gardens are a peaceful retreat, with countless spots to sit and contemplate nature’s beauty.

Floral Splendor and Avian Encounters

The adjoining Bird World offers an interactive experience with a variety of bird species, from parrots to finches. The aviary tours are guided, allowing you to learn about the birds while walking among them.

8. Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk

For those seeking a more active adventure, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is a 58.8-kilometer trail that winds through the Blackall Range. The walk can be tackled in sections or as a multi-day trek.

Natural Beauty and Challenging Trails

The trail offers stunning views of waterfalls, rainforests, and the occasional scenic vista of the coast. It’s a challenging but rewarding experience that showcases the diversity of the Sunshine Coast’s landscapes.

9. Caloundra Coastal Walk

Drone view of Point Cartwright Lighthouse
Drone view of Point Cartwright Lighthouse

Caloundra Coastal Walk is a scenic seaside path that stretches from Golden Beach to Point Cartwright. It’s ideal for a leisurely stroll, a morning jog, or a bike ride, with plenty of spots to pause and soak in the ocean views.

Beaches and Boardwalks

The walk takes you past several of Caloundra’s beautiful beaches, cafes, and parks. The well-maintained boardwalks and pathways make it accessible for all ages and fitness levels.

10. Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden

For a tranquil experience away from the coastline, visit the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden. These gardens celebrate the native flora of the Sunshine Coast, with meandering paths leading through different ecosystems.

Indigenous Plants and Sculpture Garden

The garden also features a sculpture garden, where art and nature blend seamlessly. It’s a quiet place to reconnect with nature and enjoy the subtropical climate of the Sunshine Coast.

Explore the Top 10 Things to See in the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is a region rich in natural beauty and cultural experiences. This top 10 list of must-see attractions only scratches the surface of what to do on the Sunshine Coast. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a foodie, or someone who appreciates the simple pleasures of a beachside sunset, the Sunshine Coast has something for everyone. Plan your visit and discover why this slice of Queensland is a beloved destination for travellers worldwide.