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Sunshine Coast attractions and experiences your family will love

01 Aug 2018

No matter the season, the Sunshine Coast delivers fun in the sun in spades! Visit once, or come back time and time again, and create unforgettable family holiday memories.

Looking for the perfect destination for your next family holiday? Well check out this amazing list of theme parks, local attractions, wildlife encounters, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences and you’ll see why the Sunshine Coast is THE PLACE YOU NEED TO SEE! 

Cuddle up to the wildlife

Kids love nothing more than seeing their favourite animals in the flesh and Australia Zoo at Beerwah certainly delivers! Take a picture of your little ones with the zoo’s roving animals, learn about wildlife conservation with free wildlife shows, and make all their dreams come true with an exciting range of animal encounters. If your kids just love monkeying around, why not take them to Wildlife HQ near Nambour, to meet some real primates! Offering close encounters with all kinds of native and exotic species including tamarins, sun bears, meerkats and marmosets, Wildlife HQ is an intimate zoo, perfect for families.

Koala cuddles at Australia Zoo
Koala cuddles at Australia Zoo

Get racing at the Big Kart Track

For something a little more ‘racy’, don a helmet and grip the steering wheel on Australia’s largest commercial go-kart track, Big Kart Track at Mooloolah. Come rain or shine, this exhilarating all-weather course will produce a serious adrenalin rush for you and the kiddies! And with special racing options for kids under 12 including double-seater karts, kids and their mums and dads can experience full-throttle thrills together!

Push the pedal to the metal at the Big Kart Track.
Push the pedal to the metal at the Big Kart Track.

Coast cruisin’ 

Pack your waterproof camera and capture A-Grade Instagram shots of pristine sand bars and crystal-clear waters on your cruise through one of the many stunning waterways on the Sunshine Coast. Choose from sunset cruises on the Pumicestone Passage with Caloundra Cruises, a delicious lunch or dinner cruise with Mooloolaba Canal Cruises, wildlife spotting tours with Cruise Maroochy, a Noosa River eco-system cruise with the Noosa Ferry Cruise Company or fishing cruises with Sunshine Coast Afloat. For something really unique, create a custom aquatic adventure with expert tour guides Ocean Adventure and Experientia.

Cruise over coastal blue waters
Cruise over coastal blue waters

Adrenalin assault at Aussie World

With a motto like “Fun’s Our Thing”, Aussie World promises to deliver an unforgettable, thrilling fun park experience for all the family. With rides like Speed Stars, The Plunge, Dark Rebel, Redback, Space Shaker and Booma Zooma, you know you’re bound to experience an adrenalin overload!  And they haven’t forgotten the littlies either with rides and shows aplenty, perfect for tiny tots! Once you’ve exhausted the tribe, why not enjoy a pub lunch at Sunshine Coast fave, and iconic Palmview landmark, The Pub at Aussie World.

If fun’s YOUR thing, visit Aussie World
If fun’s YOUR thing, visit Aussie World

Saddle up for a ride on the beach

Giddy up! Make memories to last a lifetime by cantering along the beach and through the shallow waters of Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach on one of Rainbow Beach Horse Rides' beautiful horses. See the coloured sands and even spot dolphins and whales from a unique vantage point on horseback and grab a unique family photo complete with a stunning Sunshine Coast backdrop!

Bareback beach rides at Rainbow Beach
Bareback beach rides at Rainbow Beach

Have a whale of a time

Between July and November, more than thirteen thousand humpback whales make their annual journey to Antarctica - with many stopping to enjoy the warm waters off Mooloolaba. It’s the ideal time for an unforgettable close encounter of the humpback kind! Sunreef offer an amazing Swim with the Whales experience and Whale One and Sunshine Coast Afloat offer not-to-be-missed Whale Watching tours. It’s just a lickety-split 10 minute ride from the marina to pods of breaching, fin-slapping whale action! 

Image: Migration Media
An unforgettable swim with the whales experience. Image: Migration Media

Strike out at Spinners Bowling and Bar

More than just bowling alleys, Spinners Bowling and Bar in Caloundra and Maroochydore are a total entertainment experience! With seriously cool Facebook connectivity, individual bowler photos, video jukeboxes and big screen TVs, you can keep the kids ‘spinning’ for hours! And adults rejoice for Spinners is fully licenced. It’s even decked out with plenty of arcade games to keep the young ones occupied long after the pins have been packed away.

Topple ten pins at Spinners
Topple ten pins at Spinners

Birds! … and botanical gardens

Looking for something a little more educational? Bird World at the Maleny Botanic Gardens is guaranteed to capture the kids attention! While you relax and enjoy the waterfalls, colourful plantings and spectacular views of the Glasshouse Mountains, the kids will go nuts in the incredible bird aviary which is a haven for over 600 birds from around the world including Australian cockatoos, lorikeets, parrots, macaws and finches. Enjoy a fascinating presentation on the colourful native and exotic birds, but beware – they are very likely to land on your shoulder!

Meet exotic macaws at Bird World. Image: Allan Dixon
Meet exotic macaws at Bird World. Image: Allan Dixon

Go Ginger!

Get a real buzz at the Superbee Live Bee Show at the iconic Ginger Factory in Yandina. Learn all about life in the hive before tasting mouth-watering samples in the honey shop. Board a lifeboat and follow the Gingerbread Man on a voyage around the world and be entertained by over 250 handmade puppets. And of course, you’ll see LOTS of ginger! Take their Factory Tour and discover how ginger is grown and then transformed into THE most delicious ginger treats you can imagine!

Indulge your taste buds at the iconic Ginger Factory
Indulge your taste buds at the iconic Ginger Factory

Take a dive at Sea Life

Have you ever wondered what’s really lurking at the bottom of the ocean?! Explore the depths of the ocean and marvel as sharks, rays and reef fish swim right over you in the underwater tunnel at Sea Life in Mooloolaba. Touch sea creatures in the tidal pool, see mesmerising marine life displays, and discover something ‘fishy’ at Seal Island show. Roll up your sleeves and become a Marine Biologist for the day. And for the real adventurers, the Seal Swim and Seal Encounters allow you to get up close with some of the coast’s most adorable sea creatures!

Experience life under the sea at Sea Life
Experience life under the sea at Sea Life

Be A-Mazed!

Stretch your mind as you stretch your legs at this brain-teasing, maze-themed, outdoor fun attraction. Bellingham Maze at Tanawha has a range of mind-boggling mazes including the main attraction - an 80x80 metre living, lilly pilly hedge maze. Your challenge if you choose to accept it, is to reach the main tower in the middle of the hedge maze, seeking out dwarfs and completing quizzes along the way. Try the scrabble challenge in the timber maze, climb the rope maze and tee off at the mini golf course.

Take a mind-boggling challenge at Bellingham Maze
Take a mind-boggling challenge at Bellingham Maze

Hit the waves

With water temps ranging from 26 degrees in the summer to 21 degrees in the winter, any time is a great time to hit the surf break at a Sunshine Coast beach. BYO board or hire from Golden Beach HireExperientia Sunshine CoastKite Thrills, Ocean Adventure, or Bills Boat & Bike Hire and go stand up paddle boarding in CaloundraCurrimundiCotton Tree or Noosa. Never been to surf school? No worries! Coolum Surf School, Noosa Learn to Surf, and Epic Ocean Adventures can help you conquer some of the best right-hand breaks in the country. 

Hang ten and enjoy the endless summer fun
Hang ten and enjoy the endless summer fun

Climb a mountain, swim in a waterfall

Time for an outdoor adventure? Take your pick of the iconic Glass House Mountains, remnants of volcanic activity that occurred over 25 million years ago. Instagram favourite Mt Ngungun is our pick for a family hike. Tackle the coastal track and swim in the picturesque waters of Noosa National Park. Hike the 800m track to the summit of Mount Coolum and see 360 degree views of the Sunshine Coast. Or head to a Sunshine Coast Hinterland National Park with lush green rainforests, stunning waterfalls and crystal clear rock pools – perfect for a swim on a hot summer’s day! 

Become the king of the mountain Credit: Jason_Charles_Hill
Become the king of the mountain Credit: Jason_Charles_Hill

Moo! Milk a cow or two

Head into the high country and take a farm tour with Maleny Dairies in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The kids will love learning about the journey of milk – indisputably a childhood favourite! Meet gorgeous Guernsey gals, lend a hand to milk the cows, cuddle a calf and feed the furry farm animals. Before you visit take a sneak peek at the farm online through their #cow cam – shot through the eyes of Millie the tour cow!

Lend a hand to milk at cow at Maleny Dairies
Lend a hand to milk at cow at Maleny Dairies

Feel the sand between your toes

No trip to the Sunshine Coast would be complete without a trip to the beach! Find idyllic calm beaches, perfect for the littlies, at Bulcock Beach, Currimundi Lake, Cotton Tree and the Noosa River. Surf beach lovers, boogy boarders and tanning-tragics will fall in love with coast favourites Kings Beach, Mooloolaba Beach, Coolum Beach and Noosa Main Beach. Make sure you add these highly recommended stretches of sand, sea and sunshine to your family’s (sand) bucket list!

Experience over 300 days of sunshine each year – Noosa Main Beach
Experience over 300 days of sunshine each year – Noosa Main Beach

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