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11 immersive encounters to jump right into

byCory Gale-16 Sep 2016

Well beyond the Sunshine Coast’s stellar beaches is a host of immersive encounters that should be on your bucket list. Here are 11 experiences to round out an excellent Sunshine Coast itinerary.

1. Swim with rescued seals at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast. While you’re here, you can also dive or snorkel with sharks and the other marine creatures that call this beachside aquarium home.

SEA LIFE Mooloolaba
Learn, explore and interact with marine life (include these very cute rescue seals) over 16 amazing and unique zones

2. Feed a giraffe, cuddle a koala, and be a zookeeper for a day, while contributing to conservation every step of the way. In fact, for a gold coin donation take a peek behind the scenes at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, which has treated almost 65,000 animals.

3. Spot an elusive platypus on a Mary River kayak tour. These little monotremes (egg-laying mammals) are very shy so make sure to keep your eyes peeled! Imbil, the largest village in the lower Mary Valley, is a floral paradise at this time of year with beautiful jacaranda trees in full bloom.

Mary Valley Kayaking
Discover the tranquility of the Mary Valley on an early morning kayak tour

4. Take a 4WD along Australia’s Great Beach Drive, or swap the four wheels for four legs and experience it on horseback. Riding a horse along Noosa North Shore or Rainbow Beach will be an adventure full of memorable, jaw-dropping moments

5. Get out and explore the Sunshine Coast’s whale highway on the brand new Wild One – a high-speed whale-watching vessel. And, of course, it doesn’t get any better than the humpback whale swim that thrills nature lovers from July to October.

Whale One Mooloolaba
See the magnificent humpback whales on a Whale One cruise

6. Lock your eyes on birds from around the world. Noosa Everglades is home to 44 per cent of Australia’s bird life (yes, that’s more than Kakadu). Kanu Kapers, The Discovery Group and Noosa Ferry Cruise Company can get you right among the birding action.

The Noosa Everglades
Just add water!

7. Sample the flavours, sights and sounds of the Sunshine Coast at Australia’s largest artisanal markets, The Original Eumundi Markets. Explore more than 500 stallholders every Wednesday and Saturday.

8. Go behind the scenes at The Ginger Factory – the world’s largest producer of confectionery ginger! The bee demonstrations inspired by flowering ginger are fascinating, as is the new ginger beer range.

9. Hike among ancient mountains and sub-tropical rainforests with trickling waterfalls. Tropical Treks lead small group tours around the plentiful and naturally beautiful pockets of the Sunshine Coast.

Mount Ngungun
The sun sets at Mount Ngungun, Glass House Mountains

10. Release your inner kid at Sunshine Coast’s amusement parks. At Aussie World there’s even a pub to squeeze in a brew and some Mooloolaba prawns between mini golf, dodgem cars and retro rides. Big Boing, Top Shots and Bellingham Maze also hit the fun-ometer.

11. 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.

Go Kart Track
Experience adrenalin-fuelled fun at Go Kart Track!

 


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ByCory Gale

In 2015 I swapped the red, desert sands of outback Australia for the golden shores and spectacular hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. The astounding mix of natural beauty, combined with a blend of sophistication and casual coastal vibes, is a match made in heaven. As a very proud Western Australian, I’m extremely well-travelled. It gets in your blood at an early age when you grow up in one of the most isolated cities on the planet. I can honestly say that this place is SPECIAL! I love all things tourism, aquatic and social media. If you don’t find me on Instagram or watching Aussie rules football, I’ll be at the beach. Follow me on my #VisitSunshineCoast meanderings.