20 bucket list experiences on the Sunshine Coast

byGemma Westacott-16 Jul 2020

Tick those ‘once-in-a-lifetime' experiences you've always dreamt about off your Bucket List as you enjoy a relaxing break on the Sunshine Coast.

Reinvigorate your love for life as you experience those things you've always wanted to do but wouldn’t normally have time for. All within easy reach, you can pack many of these thrilling experiences into one action-packed escape, or keep coming back until you've completed your wish list!

1. Swim with the whales

Sunreef Mooloolaba offers the breathtaking opportunity to swim with some of the world's most majestic creatures in the ocean during whale season, from July to early November on the Sunshine Coast.

Swiming with whales with Sunreef Mooloolaba

2. Go deep sea fishing

Replace any talk about "the one that got away" with photographic evidence of the prize catches you'll land on a deep sea fishing excursion with Sunshine Coast AfloatDeep End Fishing Charters in Mooloolaba or Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures.

Deep sea fishing with Sunshine Coast Afloat

3. Climb an iconic Glass House Mountain

Take your pick of the iconic Glass House Mountains that are remnants of volcanic activity that occurred over 25 million years ago. Choose from Instagram favourites Mt Ngungun or Mt Tibrogargan, or keep coming back until you've ticked them all off your list!

Climb the Glass House Mountains

4. Go horse riding on a pristine beach

Giddy up! Make memories to last a lifetime by cantering along the beach and through the shallow waters on one of Rainbow Beach Horse Rides' beautiful horses or discover Lake Weyba with Noosa Horse Riding

Go horse riding on a beach, or in the water

5. Taste the Sunshine Coast's thriving craft beer scene

The craft beers here on the Sunshine Coast are considered amongst the best in Australia. The craft breweries, found in both obscure and picturesque locations along the coast and in the hinterland, have become destinations worth a visit! Discover the scene for yourself on your next visit.

If beer isn't your thing, local gin distilleries have been popping up all over the place too. Check out Fortune, tucked inside Noosa’s Land & Sea Brewery, or visit the newly opened Sunshine & Sons at the Big Pineapple.

6. Get involved

Step it up a notch by actually taking part in one of the Sunshine Coast's top sporting, arts or cultural events. Run your heart out in the virtual 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon or let your creative side shine by attending an arts workshop. Check out our What’s On page to find out what is coming up!

Join in on one of many events on the Sunshine Coast

7. Learn a new cooking skill

Up your culinary game by learning from the master chefs at Sunshine Coast's top cooking schools. Add some spice to your life with a Thai cooking lesson at The Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking School or Spicers Tamarind, or embrace your oriental side with Cooking School Noosa. If you're down Caloundra way, spice things up at a Red Hot Chilli Pepper cooking class.

Learn new cooking skills

8. Get back to nature

Set up camp in Conondale National Park where you can bird spot, hike or swim in the crystal clear  waterfalls. Ever tried camping on the beach? The beautiful Double Island Point is great for exploring natural wonders. Rainbow Beach is a must-see. Be inspired by the natural wonders of the Sunshine Coast

9. Learn to surf

Have your own Julian Wilson moment and learn to surf at his local beach with Coolum Surf School or head up to Double Island Point with Epic Ocean Adventures and learn to surf on the longest right-hand break in the world. 

Coolum Surf School.

10. Walk the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Create your own adventure by walking the 58km, four-day Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. You’ll come across some amazing views, creeks and spot native wildlife along the way.

Go for a hike

11. Skydive

We won’t call you crazy for jumping out of a perfectly good plane over Coolum Beach with Skydive Noosa or Currimundi with Sunshine Coast Skydivers. Be awestruck by the views.

Take the leap

12. Hike a national park

Hike the coastal track and swim in the picturesque waters of Noosa National Park. You may even spot one of the local dolphins, turtles or even a koala.  Or head to a Sunshine Coast Hinterland National Park featuring  lush green rainforest, waterfalls, rock pools to swim in, and wildlife - it's a nature lovers’ paradise. 

13. Wine and dine

Tantalise your tastebuds and indulge in an award-winning  gourmet meal at one of the Sunshine Coast’s top restaurants. It wouldn’t be called a bucket list if you didn’t take the time to treat yourself.

14. Watch the sunrise and sunset over the water

Rise early and watch the magic of sunrise over the ocean at any of the Sunshine Coast's beautiful beaches. You can also enjoy sunset from a few select spots on the coast, such as Cotton Tree and Point Cartwright.

Watch the sun rise
Watch the sun rise

15. Paddle a natural wonderland

Marvel at the reflections are you paddle across the tranquil waters of the Noosa Everglades. One of only two everglade regions in the world, ours has the added benefit of being home to 44% of Australian bird species.

Paddle the Noosa everglades

16. Enjoy a relaxing round of golf

Golfers are spoilt for choice on the Sunshine Coast with world-class resort and public access courses set alongside stunning national parks and natural waterways, just minutes from the beach. Explore championship courses at Pelican Waters, Twin Waters or Noosa Springs or check out one of the local 9 or 18-hole courses at Beerwah, Caloundra, Buderim, Mt Coolum or Maleny. 

Golf on the Sunshine Coast
Golf on the Sunshine Coast

17. Enjoy a picnic with a view

Enjoy a day out with your loved ones, with a delicious picnic by the beach or in the Hinterland where you'll be able to enjoy amazing views. If you need a hand with set up, Deep Love Picnics and Sunshine Coast / Noosa Picnics have you covered.

A picnic at the beach

18. Make a furry or slick new friend

Feed a giraffe, get close to a cheetah or pat a rhino with one of the 23 exhilarating animal encounters on offer at Australia Zoo. Wildlife HQ also offers a range of different animal experiences, including popular primate, reptile and meerkat encounters. Or dive in and swim with seals at Sea Life Sunshine Coast in Mooloolaba.

Swim with seals at Sea Life Sunshine Coast

19. Try stand-up paddle boarding

BYO SUP craft, or hire from Golden Beach HireExperientia Sunshine CoastKite Thrills, Ocean Adventure, or Bills Boat & Bike Hire and go stand up paddle boarding in Caloundra, Currimundi, Cotton Tree or Noosa.

Try SUPing

20. Climb Mount Coolum

Tick this massive monolith off your list. Hike the 800m track to the 208m summit of Mount Coolum's impressive dome, where you can enjoy 360 degree views of the surrounding coast and Hinterland.

Enjoy the views from Mount Coolum

Where to stay

The Sunshine Coast boasts a wide choice of accommodation options with everything from 4.5 star resorts to luxury hinterland cottages. Check out our current hot deals.

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