Take the road less travelled on your next break and try something a little different. Here are 13 unexpected things to do right here on the Sunshine Coast.
See the Sunshine Coast from above
You'll be on a high long after you've touched down from a flight in a genuine Wilga warbird seaplane with Paradise Seaplanes at Maroochydore. The flights take you over some of the Coast’s most stunning and varied landscapes in a plane that is especially designed for observation – with more glass than a helicopter! These planes were first built in the 1950s as an observation plane for the military.
Ride the night at Aussie World
Theme parks are always fun but they are even better at night! Every now and then (usually in school holidays) Aussie World opens its doors so you can have a completely different 'in the dark' experience. Whether you're spinning through the night on the Redback or venturing through the dark and notorious Mayhem Maze, this is sure to add a new dimension to your experience. The next Aussie World Ride the Night is Saturday 28 September
Sample the freshest Cider
Have you tasted a traditional apple cider that could be mistaken for wine? Sunshine Coast Cider produces a champagne-style sparkling Brut + Cider Methode Traditionelle from all local produce that you won’t find anywhere else in Queensland! This delicious drop is made using the same method used to make famous French Champagne. Click here to find a local stockist.
Let your creative juices flow and get your hands dirty at the Pottery Studio in Nambour. Here is a place where you craft pottery pieces either by hand or experiment using a pottery wheel. The studio provides all the tools necessary to get you started in hand-building with clay, and their amazing staff are on-hand to get you started and answer any questions throughout the process.
Indulge in a first-class plant-based meal
Alejandro Cancino, of ex-Urbane fame, moved to the Coast to open up his own vegan café – Lola’s Pantry – last year and will soon launch Australia’s first vegan degustation-only restaurant in Noosa called Phyto. The plant-based creations from this award-winning chef will leave your tastebuds craving more with even the most committed carnivore satisfied.
Have a serious animal encounter
Sure, you can cuddle a koala but have you ever thought about relaxing with a red panda? At Wildlife HQ these cute creatures are considered pretty lazy, spending most of the year lying on branches with their arms and legs dangling, keeping cool in the shade. Come the cooler months though, they spring to life and this means you can also get up close and snap a photo with your red panda to cherish and remember forever.
Discover a hidden bar
There are endless spots to enjoy a quintessential holiday cocktail from Caloundra all the way up to Noosa but why not uncover a cool bar hidden in the back alleys, off the main drag. In Maroochydore, keep your eyes peeled for the palm trees wrapped in fairy lights and you have found Kiki Bar. Browse the cocktail menu while you munch on some complimentary truffle popcorn at this chic spot.
Head inland to Nambour and make yourself at home at the Bison Bar. Sink into one of the cosy couches with a cocktail served in a vintage glass and prepare to be entertained by a line-up that runs from drag queen bingo to flamenco dance performances.
Cats and coffee
Cat lovers and coffee addicts, we have the purrfect news for you. At the Cat Retreat Café, you can get up close with resident kitties and enjoy a tasty treat while you’re at it. This is one cat cafe where you’re strongly encouraged to snuggle while you sip on your latte.
Taste your ‘Fortune’
The Sunshine Coast now has a distillery to call its own. Fortune is tucked inside Noosa’s Land & Sea Brewery and launched earlier this year with a gin, a vodka and a white malt whiskey on the menu. Fortune takes influence from a bygone era of refinement and adventure, and the cocktails reflect this style – think classic negronis and gin fizzes.
Join the craft beer movement
With 16 local breweries popping up over recent years, the craft beer scene is thriving here on the Sunshine Coast. From beachfront brewery, Moffat Beach Brewing Co to Copperhead Restaurant & Brewery up in Cooroy and out to Brouhaha in Maleny there is a cold beer that has your name on it. If you’re a non-beer drinker, prepare to have your mind changed with some really creative brews that don’t even taste like beer.
Go chasing waterfalls
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is spoilt with waterfalls just waiting to be discovered but a little bit closer to the coast, before you enter the Hinterland region, you’ll find a hidden jewel: the beautiful Serenity Falls (Buderim Waterfall). A short and easy walk takes you through the Buderim Forest, along a creek, to lead you to beautiful cascades and waterfalls.
Shop for something different
If quaint and quirky vibes are right up your alley, head to Montville for some shopping. Along with art & craft galleries and quirky cafes, the Clock Shop is definitely something to experience. From magnificent grandfather clocks to sleek modern models this shop is packed to the brim with truly marvellous clocks. Their specialty is cuckoo clocks; walls and walls of cuckoo clocks of all sizes to choose from.
Whale watching of a different kind
Seeing majestic humpback whales breach in the wild is an incredible experience all of its own but add reclining on the Sunshine Coast’s newest luxury catamaran and suddenly this is an experience you will never forget. With a maximum of 12 people on board Elite Sailing’s whale watching charter, you will feel like you have the ocean – and the whale sightings – all to yourself.