Fun in the sand at Alexandra Headland
With two weeks of warm weather and fun ahead (plus plenty of post-school energy to burn!), we’ve gathered a perfect pocketbook of activities to keep you and your family busy while the classrooms are quiet. Here are nine things to do on the Sunshine Coast these September holidays:
Visit Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
Mary Cairncross Scenic Resort and rainforest walk.
Good to know: Get there early to grab a barbecue spot or picnic table – this is an extremely popular spot in the school holidays!
Native wildlife, an epic rainforest, and sweeping views of the Glasshouse Mountains combine at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve in Maleny – the perfect spot to spend the day with the kids. Oh, and did we mention there’s a playground, a Rainforest Discovery Centre, and picnic shelters to cook up a barbecue lunch? Make sure to be on the lookout for shy pademelons and wallabies grazing between the trees and see if you can spot any frogs or rare spiny crayfish hiding in the bubbling streams. We recommend spending the morning strolling the trails beneath the cooling rainforest canopy, before cooking up lunch at the gas barbecues in the spacious recreation area nearby. Let time slip by in the afternoon at the Discovery Centre, where you’ll find a special viewing deck to marvel at the Glasshouse Mountains, plus enjoy entertaining, multi-sensory learning experiences.
Night Zoo tour at Wildlife HQ
Where: Woombye (near Nambour)
Wildlife HQ (at the Big Pineapple), Woombye
Good to know: If your kids are under 15, they’ll need to be accompanied by an adult for this one!
It’s time to take the traditional school holiday zoo visit up to the next level! Venture out into the Night Zoo, hosted by Wildlife HQ, near the Big Pineapple. Here, you’ll get to see the nocturnal residents coming out to play – whether it be Tasmanian Devils, African Wild Dogs, Red Pandas, Maned Wolves, or other night-time wanderers! Starting at 6:30pm on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll be taken on a 90-minute guided twilight tour of the Zoo, starring all the creatures that are normally sleepy during the day. The memories and photos from this experience will make for an exciting anecdote for the kids to share when they return to school!
Go to the Aqua Park at Bli Bli
Where: Bli Bli
Good to know: Spectators have free entry!
Bli Bli Water Park
With the warmer spring weather in the air, our thoughts are turning back to the water! The Aqua Park at Bli Bli is the perfect antidote to any extra energy your kids have left to burn – plus, they can bring their friends along! With 50 minutes of fun up your sleeve, you’ll be in for an adventurous morning (or afternoon) of tackling the inflatable slides, blast bags, bouncers and more across the Bli Bli Watersports Complex. If you don’t want to join in, you’ll find plenty of shaded spots to relax and watch the action from the shore. Plus, what epic holiday fun isn’t complete without an ice-block from the onsite café?
Be a Zookeeper for a Day
Australia Zoo, Beerwah
Good to know: Kids participating in the Khaki Explorer program (4-6 years old) can have an accompanying adult join in for for the fun!
If your kids are wildlife-lovers and want to experience some behind-the-scenes action of zookeeping, be sure to book in the Zookeeper for a Day experience at Australia Zoo in Beerwah (part of the Sunshine Coast hinterland). While activities vary depending on the season, past entertainment has included scrubbing the shells of giant tortoises, learning about animal training techniques, touring the wildlife hospital and koala encounters... all topped off with a delicious lunch and exclusive photo of your child with a Zoo animal. Better yet, there’s programs for a range of age-groups – whether your kids are as young as four, or old as sixteen... so no one misses out!
Go strawberry picking at McMartin’s Farm
Where: Bli Bli
Strawberry Picking at McMartin’s Farm
Embrace the fresh spring air and venture along to McMartin’s Strawberry Farm in Bli Bli for the ultimate strawberry-picking experience – it is peak season after all. Here, you’ll get to wander between along the field, searching for fruity gems, before making your way back for a scoop of award-winning strawberry ice-cream. There’s also the option of picking your own mandarins (when available), buying strawberries straight from the fridge, or enjoying some scones while the kids have fun on the playground.
Book a farm visit at Eagle End Farm
Good to know: You can’t just turn up to Eagle End Farm – farm visits must be booked in advance.
If spring is the season for animals, then we’ve got the perfect school holiday treat for you and your family. Situated on an idyllic hinterland property in Reeseville, near Landsborough, Eagle End Farm is home to some very friendly alpacas, donkeys, ponies and peacocks! Booking a farm visit here is a must-do if you’re keen to meet some furry friends, or even enjoy a picnic lunch (made with local produce, of course).
Go fishing at Golden Beach
If the sky is clear and the breeze is gentle, dust off the fishing rods and lures in the garage and head over to Golden Beach in Caloundra for a fishing adventure. Will you pick up a dusky flathead hiding beneath the waves, or even a silvery whiting flitting in the shallows? Whether you prefer a catch-and-release philosophy (or are looking for a freshly caught dinner!), this is sure to be a day of fun for the whole family... even if the fish manage to evade capture! Set up camp along the shore with snacks, and sand-buckets (for those who aren’t fishing fans!), lay out some towels... and watch the action unfold.
Find all the BIG things on the Sunshine Coast
Where: Sunshine Coast
The Big Pineapple, Woombye
Good to know: To see the Big Chair, you’ll have to pay an entry fee to Maleny Botanic Gardens.
It’s time to bring out the checklist and go on the hunt for the Sunshine Coast’s BIG things! While we all might think of the Big Pineapple when it comes to naming GIANT features of the Sunny Coast, did you know there are several other big things? We’re talking about the Big Barrel in Maleny, the Big Pelican in Noosaville, the Big Chair in Maleny and the Big Macadamia Nut in Woombye (part of the Treetop Challenge near the Big Pineapple). Jump in the car and get ready to tick these massive landmarks off your list. With plenty of photo opportunities along the way, your kids will officially have the BIGGEST bragging rights about their travels when they return to school. Make sure to tag @visitsunshinecoast in your social media feed – you might even get featured on our main page!
Sunset fish and chips at Mooloolaba Beach
Family Picnic at Mooloolaba Beach (Mooloolaba Spit Beach)
Nothing says school holidays like a special dinner on the beach! Take your pick of prime sunset viewing spots on Mooloolaba Beach, unwrap your parcel of crunchy fish and chips, and settle in for the show. As the twilight thickens, the kids can run free across the sand, have a dip in the water, or run wild on the pirate ship playground just behind the beach. For the classic fish and chips we all know and love, we suggest heading to Fisheries on the Spit to place your order. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty fisherman’s basket, a family pack or something more, school holiday feels will be sure to prevail as the kids squeeze sauce over their chips and watch the stars emerge over the sea.