16 Best Things to Do Sunshine Coast - 2021 Guide

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Extending across 45 kilometres of coastline in South East Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is a popular tourist destination for Australians and international travellers alike.


As the name implies, the Sunshine Coast enjoys an almost constant smattering of sunshine and a mild, subtropical climate. Featuring a healthy mix of both natural environments and human-made sites, the list of things to do Sunshine Coast offers can seem endless. With a plethora of fun things to do on the Sunshine Coast, we guarantee there will be something to do for every type of traveller.


Providing a relaxed atmosphere compared to the more glamorous ‘Goldie’, the Sunshine Coast boasts pristine sands and untouched beaches. Extending from Caloundra to Noosa North Shore’s sands, the Sunshine Coast is a perfect destination for those seeking to avoid the crowds.


For first time visitors, understanding what to do in Sunshine Coast upon your initial visit can seem daunting. Don’t worry; with some of the best stretches of coastline in Australia, we guarantee the Sunshine Coast will offer the perfect holiday. Without further ado, let’s look at our list of the 16 best things to do Sunshine Coast.


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16 of the Best Things to Do on the Sunshine Coast


The Sunshine Coast is famous for its mild weather and the expansive coastline of golden beaches. Therefore, some of the best things to do Sunshine Coast are near the water.


1. Learn to Surf


Have you really been to the Sunshine Coast if you haven’t tried your hand at surfing? Experiencing a new destination or travelling is the best time to open yourself to new experiences.


Group lessons or private lessons are plentiful on the Sunshine Coast, providing everything you need to hit the water with confidence. If you’ve never surfed before, start with popular private surf lessons in Noosa, where the waves are gentle and perfect for beginners. For experienced surfers, the good news is that the Sunshine Coast is home to some of Australia’s best surf breaks. Surfing the famous waves is one of the most fun things to do on the Sunshine Coast for keen surfers.


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2. Go Kayaking


What better way to explore the canals and streams of the Sunshine Coast than from within them? Enjoy uninterrupted views of the river banks and watch marine animals swim right beneath you in the stunning waters of the Sunshine Coast. If you’re not keen on kayaking solo, kayak day tour operators will welcome you almost every day of the week!


3. Snorkel & Dive Beneath the Surface


Year-round warm water and mild conditions render the Sunshine Coast an excellent destination for snorkelling and diving. Get up close and swim among the abundance of exotic fish, prehistoric turtles, stingrays, eels, wobbegongs, and even dolphins, if you’re lucky!


The Sunshine Coast hosts a multitude of marine creatures and vibrant coral banks. Snorkelling is one of the most fun things to do on the Sunshine Coast for kids and families who can explore the fascinating marine world that lies just beneath the surface of the water. Be sure to snorkel on a bright and sunny day. Luckily for experienced divers, the Sunshine Coast is home to one of the world’s best wreck sites, Ex-HMAS Brisbane. Explore the decommissioned guided-missile destroyer and the habitat that grows around it with the Ex-HMAS Brisbane Double Dive experience.


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4. Visit the Famed Australian Zoo


If you’re bringing the whole family along, one of the most fun things to do on the Sunshine Coast is to visit the Australia Zoo.


The ultimate wildlife adventure, Australia Zoo, is home to over 1,200 animals. From Aussie favourites to African Savannah and South-East Asia exhibits, this zoo is sure to be a popular one for every visitor, young or old. Be sure to attend one of the live animal shows in the Crocoseum to get your heart racing. Australia Zoo is one of the most family-friendly things to do Sunshine Coast and will take up an entire day. Don’t have a rental car? No problems. Get your Australia Zoo return transfer sorted before you go!


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5. Eumundi Markets


Bursting into a hubbub of activity every Wednesday or Saturday, the Eumundi Markets brings more than 1.6 million people each year to an otherwise sleepy hinterland town.


Operating for over 40 years, visitors can expect an eclectic mix of designer clothing and jewellery, arts and crafts, organic produce and plants, home products and ware, skincare and natural therapies and toys. As one of the most popular Sunshine Coast things to do outside of the water, the Eumundi Markets is a rite of passage for most visitors.


6. Go on a 4X4 Adventure


The Sunshine Coast is an outdoor adventurer’s haven. Boasting various freshwater and beach camping spots, those who dare to venture beyond the mainstream sites will find some of the most secluded and untouched places in Australia. A 4x4 adventurer playground, many locations offer beach driving access along the coast. Choose a private 4x4 hire and create your adventure. Alternatively, spend a few days on a 4x4 Safari adventure on the stunning Fraser Island. If you’re an epic adventurer at heart, this tour belongs on your things to do Sunshine Coast list.


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7. Everglades Cruise


Experience the untouched Noosa Everglades on a peaceful cruise through the mirror-reflective waters of Noosa’s upper river. Alternatively, get the blood pumping with a Noosa Everglades Guided Kayak Tour. Our experienced tour operators will guide visitors through the river, taking a refreshing dip and sailing home if conditions are right. Arguably one of the most tranquil things to do Sunshine Coast, an Everglades cruise can be enjoyed by adventurers in kayaks or from the comfort of a boat.


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8. Spot Wild Dolphins


The Tangalooma 2 Day Island Wild Dolphin Resort & Eco Tour is a fully guided Safari that most travellers can enjoy. Spot dolphins in their natural habitat as they cruise and play through the water in their pods. Enjoy several adventures, from marine park wildlife spotting, nature walks and hikes. Visit the stunning Moreton Island and enjoy an overnight stay in Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort. Wild Dolphin tours are one of the best things to do Sunshine Coast for families that is an unforgettable experience!


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Whether you’re an avid bushwalker or a daring rock climber, the Sunshine Coast is bursting with natural beauty. If you’re wondering what to do in Sunshine Coast, the National Parks need to be added to your itinerary.


9. Climb Mount Coolum


No visit to the Sunshine Coast is complete without a visit to Mount Coolum. Set back from the famous Coolum surf beach, Mount Coolum is a popular hiking trail for keen bushwalkers. Throughout the weekend, Mount Coolum hosts a variety of bushwalkers on its well-trodden tracks. If you’re wondering about the best things to do Sunshine Coast, Mount Coolum, and the surrounding township is a beautiful place to start.


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10. Noosa National Park


And, of course, the Sunshine Coast’s glistening gem, Noosa National Park. With over 15 kilometres of hiking tracks with snippets of dazzling ocean views, the Noosa National Park is a popular one for a good reason. The coastal path is one of the most regularly visited sections of the track, beginning at the information centre, winding through the headlands, edging on secluded beaches and scaling past rock formations.


Lined with native banksia, spiralling pandanus trees, and fresh-smelling eucalyptus, Noosa National Park’s walking tracks are among the top things to do Sunshine Coast. If you prefer to live life in the fast line, get yourself some wheels to explore this incredible national park. There are both half and full-day bike rental options for visitors to cruise through the park.


While you’re at the Noosa Headlands, don’t miss Alexandria Bay. With a dramatic sweep of golden sand, Alexandria Bay is rarely crowded and has irresistible sparkling water. We hope you packed your bathers because you’re going to be tempted to cool off in the sheltered waters. However, Alexandria Bay is an unofficial nudist beach, so if you’ve got sensitive eyes with you, it may not be one of the best things to do Sunshine Coast.


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11. Glass House Mountains


The Glass House Mountains are one of the best things to do Sunshine Coast for the entire family. This track has something for walkers of every age and fitness level. For a more leisurely walk, head over to Mount Beerwah. For those seeking something more challenging, Mount Ngungun and Mount Beerburrum are popular picks among fellow tourists.


12. Gardners Falls


If you’re looking for Sunshine Coast things to do that involve freshwater, Gardners Falls have got you covered! An easy, short walk on a mostly downhill, a sealed path will bring you to the scenic waterfall. Lined with well-loved rope swings, Gardners Falls is a famous swimming hole among locals (don’t tell them we told you!). It’s one of the most fun things to do on the Sunshine Coast for all families.


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13. Mount Tibrogargan


Lastly, the Sunshine Coast hiking pinnacle; Mount Tibrogargan. Mount Tibrogargan is a very challenging climb with steep and near-vertical sections. Even if you’re an enthusiastic bushwalker, this summit shouldn’t be attempted by anyone without rock climbing experience. Be prepared to scramble to a challenging yet rewarding summit.


14. Kondalilla Falls Circuit


The Kondalilla Falls Circuit will bring you through the rainforest valley to a stunning emerald rockpool. Featuring a large picnic area with tables and BBQ facilities, it’s one of the best things to do Sunshine Coast for groups or families. The circuit provides a round-trip through the luscious rainforests and is easily one of the most scenic things to do Sunshine Coast.


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Food and wine – now we’re talking! And, if you’ve made it this far down in the article, you deserve a glass of red (or four). If you’re still wondering what to do in Sunshine Coast, all we have left to advise is; eat!


15. Sunshine Coast Markets


The Eumundi Markets aren’t the only bustling station in town for travellers looking to peruse and pick up souvenirs. The Sunshine Coast hosts a variety of markets, including farmers markets and artisan markets. Skip the pre-getaway supermarket trip and head to a farmer’s market to stock up instead of local produce. We guarantee you’ll be able to taste the difference when you select produce straight from the farm to your table. You’ll likely save money from grocery shopping and will support a local farming business while you’re at it – it’s a win-win!


Friday Night Markets

The Marcoola Markets are held every second Friday of each month, whilst the Twilight Markets Caloundra operate on the last Friday of each month.


Weekend Markets

Arriving at the weekend? The Kawana Farmers Market operates every Saturday morning, whilst the Fishermans Road Markets in Maroochydore operates every Sunday morning.


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16. Sunshine Coast Winery Tours


If wine were an extreme sport, the guides at Scenic Wine Tours would be high-performing athletes. Scenic wine tours are available in Australia’s fastest-growing wine region, nestled in the Sunshine Coast hinterlands. Explore vineyards, discover how wine is made uniquely in each destination, and meet the vineyards’ owners on a scenic wine tour. If you’re more of a city person, our city winery tour and wine tasting is perfect for you! Learn about how City Winery makes wine, the vineyards they buy grapes from and the people who own the vineyards, all whilst sipping on a six-glass tasting.


Not really a wine-o? No bother. Jump in on the XXXX Brewery & Alehouse Tour. We’ve got the perfect tour for you to discover the legend of XXXX, all while enjoying a delicious brew (or two).


Explore the Sunshine Coast on your Next Adventure


Ok, you should now be an expert on all the best things to do Sunshine Coast. Now that you know the Sunshine Coast is brimming with adventure waiting to be explored, it’s time to book your next vacation! With so many Sunshine Coast things to do for all types of visitors, there’s never been a better time to book. Speak to one of our experienced and helpful tour operators to find out more regarding what to do in Sunshine Coast upon your arrival!


We look forward to seeing you there.