Finding things to do on the Sunshine Coast certainly isn't hard but discovering off-the-beaten-track alternatives to the usual suspects is just so much more satisfying.
Mountain Biking hero
Here are some Sunshine Coast spots that may have flown under the radar on previous visits but are worth a look.
Peregian Beach, just south of Noosa, has a personality all of its own and offers much to its visitors beyond the amazing sandy beach.
The village town square makes for a natural centre around which shops and restaurants are the places to visit once you have had your fill of the beach.
What better way is there to complete the day by getting your groove on at an open-air concert and celebrating the end of your ideal Sunday? On the second Sunday of every month get down to the live music event held in Peregian Beach Park - Peregian Originals. The whole family is welcome, the more the merrier! (dogs on leads included).
Known to locals as Mt. Peregian, Emu Mountain is an easy walk up a fairly rutted path and a leisurely pace will see you at the top in about 20 minutes. There isn’t much natural shade so this walk is best done early morning or late afternoon.
Currimundi Lake is an aquatic playground! This spot has it all - shady trees which hang over the beach (it doesn’t matter if you forget the beach umbrella!), calm and mostly shallow water for paddling in, and a vast expanse of sand for digging in.
As you gaze out over the lake, you’ll see families rowing boats, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and swimming. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can hire kayaks and stand up paddle boards from a surf shop situated right on the beach front.
When the sun starts to dip, that doesn’t mean your day is over. On the third Friday of each month, the Currimundi Twilight Markets pop up on the foreshore of the lake. With a variety of tasty street eats vendors and food trucks there is bound to be something to suit any taste.
Caloundra is home to its very own mountain bike trail.
Pack the mountain bike and head to the Ben Bennett Botanical Park at Caloundra to discover 12km of track winding around the forest, complete with man-made bridges, jumps and seesaws for adrenaline junkies to wile away the afternoon.
This network of trails has a very unique feel given that it has over 50 built timber features to ride some of which will challenge even the most experienced rider, while at the same time riding with the beginner in the family.
Found in the upper Mary Valley, Kenilworth may be small but it packs a punch when it comes to things to do.
The historic town was built beside the meandering Mary River and has a booming dairy industry and your first stop should definitely be Kenilworth Country Food and Cheese Factory to sample some of the very best cheese, yoghurt and ice cream.
For a peek into the past, the delightful Living History Museum features an old-fashioned schoolroom and other displays dealing with the area’s history.
Strap on the hiking boots and take on a section or all of the nearby Conondale Range Great Walk. Situated in the Conondale National Park, formerly known as Kenilworth State Forest, highlights include the popular Gold Mine walk and Strangler Cairn art sculpture by British artist Andy Goldsworthy.
Make it a complete staycation and rest your head at Kenilworth Boutique Accommodation - the perfect base from which to explore even more.
The Maroochy River and Wetlands Sanctuary is one of the best kept secrets on the Sunshine Coast. Home to an entire ecosystem of native flora and fauna, there is much to see and learn about.
Within this wetland, life thrives in land on the edge of the sea, flooded by freshwater and salty tides.
The Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary boardwalk - almost a kilometre long - passes through eucalypt, rain and mangrove forest down to the river.
There are over one hundred and eighty birds that have been identified in this area which include bush birds, raptors, water birds, pigeons, doves, ground-dwellers and night birds. Your stroll is definitely enhanced with the calls and songs of the chirpy residents.
It is important to note that in this environment, mosquitos are plentiful so cover up and pack the bug spray.