Bucket list experiences on the Sunshine Coast

02 Oct 2020

Tick those ‘once-in-a-lifetime' experiences you've always dreamt about off your Bucket List for real on a Sunshine Coast escape. 


Visiting the Sunshine Coast for an epic event and not sure what to do with your spare time? Don't worry, we have you covered! From tree-swinging, to real local brewery hopping and of course enjoying the incredible expanses of beach and hinterland, here's an awesome list of things to do on the Sunshine Coast - for real!

Forge an ancient connection 

Take to the sea with Saltwater Eco Tours to learn about the Sunshine Coast's rich cultural and indigenous heritage. Journey aboard the tradition vessel, Spray of the Coral Coast, with local Indigenous storytellers who share stories, traditions and culture of the Kabi Kabi people of the Sunshine Coast. 

Get onboard!

Of course the Sunshine Coast is famous for it's beaches, but there's more to see than just the surf! If you feel like snorkelling with turtles, exploring the underwater or even trying your hand at scuba diving, Sunreef are your team! For an unforgettable fishing experience, you'll land prize catches on a deep sea fishing excursion with Sunshine Coast Afloat or Deep End Fishing Charters in Mooloolaba.

Climb to great heights!

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! Mount Coolum is a real tough family favourite, make sure you give this one a go for unparalleled views of the coastline. 

JetSki on a pristine beach

Looking for some action and adventure? Make memories to last a lifetime by cruising through the pristine Pumicestone Passage with Caloundra Jetskis. Spot the incredible Glasshouse Mountains from the water, and enjoy an action packed adventure you will not forget! 

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. Be shown the best of the best with Josh from Craft Beer Tours, who stops in for a beverage at Maroochydore's 10 Toes, Brouhaha in Maleny, Your Mates Kawana and many more spots around the coast.

If beer isn't your thing, local gin distilleries and wineries have been popping up all over the place too. Check out Flame Hill Vineyard in the rolling hills of Montville, or visit the newly opened Sunshine & Sons at the Big Pineapple.

Get involved for real

Step it up a notch by actually taking part in one of the Sunshine Coast's top sporting, arts or cultural events. Explore the arts on the Sunshine Coast or let your creative side shine by attending a workshop or pottery class.

For those who appreciate the arts, Caloundra is quickly becoming a creative hub on the Sunshine Coast, so we recommend grabbing a coffee from our friends at Drift and exploring the street art before heading to see what's exhibiting at Caloundra Regional Gallery. Keep tabs on our What’s On page to find out what is coming up! 

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. If you're down Caloundra way, spice things up at a Red Hot Chilli Pepper cooking class.

Get back to Nature

Set up camp in Conondale National Park where you can bird spot, hike or swim in the crystal clear waterfalls. The beautiful Kenilworth and Mary Valley are great for exploring natural wonders - even by kayak. After exploring, hiking and kayaking your way through the hinterland, a must visit is Kenilworth Country Bakery, famous for their increidble donuts, coffee served in donuts and 1kg donut challenge - for real! 

Coolum for the adventurers

Have your own Julian Wilson moment and learn to surf at his local beach with Coolum Surf School. From beginners to those more experienced, a day out surfing at Coolum beach is sure to leave you refreshed and rejuvenated! If you've given surfing your best go, make sure you check out the epic Aqua Fun Park Coolum! The biggest aqua park on the Sunshine Coast, a day at the park is full of slides, stacks and fun for all ages. 

Walk the 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. For those wanting a bit less of a challenge, head to a Sunshine Coast Hinterland National Park for a shorter stroll and be surrounded by lush green rainforest, waterfalls, rock pools to swim in, and wildlife - it's a nature lovers’ paradise. 


We won’t call you crazy for jumping out of a perfectly good plane over Coolum Beach with Skydive Sunshine Coast.  Enjoy the views of Mount Coolum and the aqua waters of the bays, Marcoola, Yaroomba and main beach on your way down. If you wouldn't mind checking out Caloundra, Bribie Island and Currimundi from the sky, Sunshine Coast Skydivers will take you for a skydive on the south end of the coast, landing at Currimundi. 

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. The Wharf at Mooloolaba is creating quite a name for itself with top spots like Rice Boi, Il Vento and Spero offering delicious meals and drinks. If you're close to the CBD, we recommend visiting The likes of Junk and Corbins along Ocean Street and the newly refurbished Sunshine Plaza for shopping and dining options. 

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. Make sure you've checked out what nearby spots are serving coffee early, and start your day the best way possible. 

Watch the sun rise

Enjoy a bit of Sunshine Coast Nightlife

There is always something happening on the Sunshine Coast, from twilight markets to live music and delightful cocktails. Check out the latest new hotspot, NightQuarter for an abundance of delicious food and drink options. Ocean street in Maroochydore and Mooloolaba are always a good option for those partying into the night, or for something more casual you can check out our 7 picks for sunset sips. 

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 check out one of the local 9 or 18-hole courses at Beerwah, Caloundra, Buderim, Mt Coolum or Maleny. 

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 Gather by Bonnie do exquisite picnic baskets, heroed by local produce. Make sure to check out some of the best local fromageries like Maleny Food Co and Kenilworth Dairies if you want to build your own exquisite platter. 

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.

Try stand-up paddle boarding

There is no better way to enjoy a calm day at the beach than cruising along the clear waters of the Coast. The top SUP locations for those not so experienced are Cotton Tree Maroochydore, Currimundi and Happy Valley Caloundra. Don't have your own SUP craft? We've got you covered! You can hire from Golden Beach HireExperientia Sunshine CoastKite Thrills, Ocean Addicts, or Bills Boat & Bike Hire. Most of these hire stores also have kayaks and other water craft - so take your pick!

Take to the skies!

The Sunshine Coast is becoming the hotspot for action and adventure, and our friends at The Big Pineapple are not missing a beat! Swing through the incredible rainforest behind the pineapple, and enjoy the climbing and challenges high above the forest floor with Treetops Challenge. Need to try whats new? The Sunshine Plaza has introduced Next Level, a highropes adventure park that swings over the waterways and has challenges for all skill levels!


Where to stay

The Sunshine Coast boasts a wide choice of accommodation options with everything from 4.5 star resorts to hinterland cottages. Book your accommodation here. 

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