Discover the Sunshine Coast in a week

09 Oct 2020

Day 1 – Uncover treasures of the Hinterland 

Hop in your car and get ready for a real Sunshine Coast adventure!  

From the minute you enter the Sunshine Coast Hinterland you will instinctively slow down and start to take things easy. And with verdant rolling hills that are eclipsed by the iconic peaks of the Glass House Mountains, you won’t be able to help but take a step back and take in the view! 

On your way through the lush landscape of the Blackall Range, stop in for a gourmet snack at Maleny Food Co. The team here offer picnic baskets packed with a selection of local cheeses, dried fruit and crackers - perfect to pick up and savour at a nearby waterfall. 

Just a short drive from Maleny Food Co you’ll find Gardners Falls, a wonderful bush setting complete with rockpools and rope swings for the more daring. It’s the perfect place to set up a picnic, wade in for a dip and enjoy the lush greenery. 

After exploring the rainforest, head to Maleny’s Brouhaha Brewery to try their locally crafted beer featuring flavours of the Sunshine Coast! Brouhaha are famous for their Strawberry Rhubarb Sour which is made using farm-fresh Sunshine Coast strawberries – definitely a must-try!  

For a spot of shopping drive to nearby Montville, a quaint and picturesque Sunshine Coast Hinterland town where you will find chocolate shops, small boutiques and beautiful views. 

If you are feeling up for a bit of a hike, The Glass House Mountains’ peaks are calling for you. Mount Ngungun is one of the most popular and easy hikes and is a spectacular place to watch the sunset as it offers sweeping views across the Hinterland.   

Day 2 – Immerse yourself in the Coastal Lifestyle 

Start your day the way locals do with a coffee and breaky from The Pocket Espresso Bar in Moffat Beach. Hot tip – try the savoury muffins! Take the scenic coastal walk from Moffat to nearby Caloundra and Golden Beach, where it is time to hit the water. 

With stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and jet skis for hire you’re all set to explore the pristine Pumicestone Passage; a shallow and iridescent blue body of water between Bribie Island and Queensland mainland. You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled; the passage is teeming with wildlife including turtles, dolphins and dugongs (seasonal). 

For lunch, stop off at the newly opened Greedy Gringos for a taste of Californian-style tacos before driving to Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter. Spend the afternoon getting up close with some of Australia’s most iconic animals including koalas, kangaroos and wombats, as well as an array of African and South East Asian animals while learning about wildlife conservation. 

Head back to Alexandra Headlands to catch a stunning Sunshine Coast sunset and watch the local surfers lap up the last waves of the day.  

In the evening discover The Wharf Mooloolaba, which boasts a variety of dining options, bars and pubs. A popular local eatery is Rice Boi, which features mouth-watering Asian fusion meals and fresh cocktails. The Dock is also loved by Sunshine Coast locals with its waterfront views and relaxed vibes.  

Day 3 - Head out on a real adventure  

Start your day at The Velo Project, one of Mooloolaba’s most loved breakfast spots, before heading back to The Wharf  for an ocean adventure with Sunreef Mooloolaba.  

Sunreef offer amazing snorkelling and diving tours to Mudjimba Island and HMAS Brisbane, where you can get up close to turtles, fish and beautiful corals.  

If you prefer to view the ocean from above, experience a once in a lifetime flight with Paradise Seaplanes. Flying high above the Sunshine Coast, Paradise Seaplanes will take you on a scenic flight over stunning beaches, lush hinterland and blue waters. Each seat on the plane has panoramic windows, so make sure you bring your camera for this experience!  

In the afternoon, make your way to the Ginger Factory and go behind the scenes to learn how ginger is grown, harvested and transformed into a delicious range of ginger products on the Ginger Factory Tour.  Jump aboard Moreton, the Ginger Train, and enjoy a tasty lunch looking out into beautifully landscaped gardens. We recommend saving room for the ginger ice cream – it’s delicious. 

Spend your evening relaxing and enjoy dinner at Harry's on Buderim. Harry’s is an iconic restaurant positioned on the edge of the Buderim Forest Park that offers contemporary Australian cuisine to be enjoyed in the setting of a 140-year-old, heritage-style homestead. The wide veranda sets the scene for an authentic outdoor Queensland dining experience whilst offering stunning views of the rainforest. 

Day 4 - Delve into Coolum Beach and Noosa  

Start your day off with an early morning hike up Mount Coolum. The walk to the summit takes about 45 minutes and offers unbeatable sweeping views across the coast and out to Mudjimba Island. 

Afterwards pop in to the Coolum Surf Club for some breakfast. This iconic surf club features some of the best ocean views on the Sunshine Coast, or if you’d prefer to be ‘in the view’, then grab some take-away and enjoy from one of the many viewing platforms at Tickle Park. 

Head north to the pristine Habitat Noosa where you can experience the Noosa Everglades – one of only two everglades systems in the world. Embark on an Everglades Eco Safaris tour which offers an unforgettable wilderness cruise into one of Australia’s most pristine regions. Swim in tea tree infused waters, canoe through the mirrored waterways or simply relax in this unique natural environment.  

In the evening explore Noosa’s iconic Hasting Street, home to fairy-lit walkways, boutique shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars. For dinner try Bistro C on the beachfront where the menu is inspired by the fresh local produce of the Sunshine Coast. Signature dishes include caramelised pork belly, coconut chicken salad and calamari that will melt in your mouth. 

Day 5 - Embark on a Craft Brewery Tour 

A trip to Queensland's Sunshine Coast is not complete without indulging in some of the Sunshine Coast’s craft breweries! With more than 15 craft breweries across the coast, there’s no better way to visit them than by joining a tour with Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours. Meet local brewers, get behind the scenes of a working brewery and taste locally crafted beer and cider.  

For dinner, head to the Surf Club at Sunshine Beach. With uninterrupted views of the ocean from their seaside deck and seafood dishes that will make your mouth water, you can’t go wrong. 

Day 6 - Discover Rainbow Beach 

Start your day with breakfast at Thomas Corner Eatery in Noosaville. The café has a bright modern ambience and a relaxed holiday vibe. The menu changes regularly, taking full advantage of what the Sunshine Coast region produces from the hinterland to the sea 

Head north along the Bruce Highway to the pristine and picturesque town of Rainbow Beach. Rainbow Beach is nestled between Fraser Island, the Great Sandy National Park and the expansive Pacific Ocean. Here you'll discover an adventure playground with striking natural beauty, including Carlo Sand Blow and the coloured sands.  

From there join Epic Ocean Adventures for a journey along the Great Beach Drive – one of the longest beach drives in the world and accessible only by 4WD. Stop along the way at Double Island Point, where you can do a Dolphin View Kayak Tour or Stand Up Paddle Eco Tour. Double Island Point is one of the Sunshine Coast’s best kept surf and wildlife secret. Here you’ll find tropical, warm waters year-round, long empty surf breaks and a buzzing hub of wildlife. Bottlenose dolphins, Humpback whales (seasonal), turtles, rays, and many different bird species are all frequently spotted here. 

Once back in Rainbow Beach enjoy one the most memorable sunsets of your life at Carlo Sand Blow; a unique "moonscape" sand mass that covers more than 15 hectares. With an elevated vantage point, you’ll have unparalleled views of the coloured sands of Rainbow Beach, as well as the coastline from Double Island Point to Inskip Peninsula and the southern tip of Fraser Island.  

Day 7 - Discover the magic of the Mary Valley 

Rise, shine and make your way to Gympie to discover the magic of a bygone era aboard the historic Mary Valley Rattler. The Rattler’s 46-kilometre round trip commences at the restored Historic Gympie Station and travels to the quaint Mary Valley community of Amamoor before turning the locomotive for its return to Gympie.  

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Rusty Rails Café at the Mary Valley Rattler station before making your onward journey home.