20 bucket list experiences on the Sunshine Coast

20 bucket list experiences on the Sunshine Coast

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

20 bucket list experiences on the Sunshine Coast

Reinvigorate your love for life as you experience those things you've always wanted to do but wouldn’t normally make 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 - for real! 

1. Forge an ancient connection 

saltwater eco tours

saltwater eco tours

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. 

2. Go deep sea fishing

fresh fish on a deep see fishing charter

fresh fish on a deep see fishing charter

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 Afloat,  Deep End Fishing Charters in Mooloolaba.

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!

4. 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!

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 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.

6. 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. Check out our What’s On page to find out what is coming up!

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

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 Kenilworth and Mary Valley are great for exploring natural wonders - even by kayak

9. Learn to surf

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!

10. 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.

11. Skydive

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

12. Hike a national park

Hike the great walks and spot some incredible wildlife, the hinterland has a variety of hikes for beginners taking a leaisurely stroll to those wanting more of a challenge. 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.

15. 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. 

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

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 Gather by Bonnie do exquisite picnic baskets, heroed by local produce.

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 ZooWildlife 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.

19. Try stand-up paddle boarding

BYO SUP craft, or hire from Golden Beach Hire, Experientia Sunshine Coast, Kite Thrills, Ocean Addicts, or Bills Boat & Bike Hire and go stand up paddle boarding in Caloundra, Currimundi, or Cotton Tree.

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.

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.