Australia Zoo, Beerwah
From swimming with humpback whales, cosying up with a craft beer in one of our epic breweries or escaping to the hinterland for a tranquil retreat - there’s so much beauty to explore and incredible experiences to tick off this winter.
Dig out your diaries and start carving out some time for these awesome winter activities on the Sunshine Coast.
Go swimming with whales
Swimming with Whales
During winter, you’ll be sharing our big blue front yard with humpbacks as they migrate north - so why not score a front row seat and watch in awe as they dance and frolic in the sea. The crew at Sunreef Mooloolaba will take you deep into the ocean, letting you get up close and personal with these gentle giants. Running for four hours, they’ll equip you with a wetsuit, snorkel and fins and then let mother nature and the whales decide the rest of the journey. If you’d prefer to stay dry and rugged up, Sunreef and Sunshine Coast Afloat also offer incredible whale watching experiences that will provide ‘pinch me’ moments aplenty.
Go on a Craft Beer Tour
Moffat Beach Brewery tour
The Sunshine Coast has well and truly earned its title as Australia’s Craft Beer Capital - with a slew of award-winning spots dotted along the coastline and nestled in the hinterland. The perfect winter activity, head to a taproom, order a tasting paddle and settle in for a cosy afternoon. Loads of them have onsite restaurants slinging tasty meals (think: Mooloolaba prawns, towering burgers and pizzas), plus live music, so you can really make a day of it. You can sip your way around the region with this craft beer trail, or book yourself a spot on one of these awesome tours.
Book a Hinterland escape
Scandi at Maleny
If curling up by a crackling fire and sipping vino in the middle of the rainforest sounds like the ultimate winter escape - then book in some annual leave and make tracks to the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Spend your days hiking through lush Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve and the Glass House Mountains, have a picnic by hidden waterfalls and fall asleep to the sound of native birds and babbling creeks. Check out some of our favourites - Scandi at Maleny, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, Spicers Clovelly Estate and Lillypilly’s Cottages and Day Spa.
Eat your weight in cheese
Kenilworth Dairies, Kenilworth
Did someone say cheese? If you’re a lover of all things creamy, gooey and oozy then we have just the winter activity for you. Pull on some stretchy pants, grab a picnic basket and head to Kenilworth Dairies. Grab a cheesy melt or avo and halloumi on sourdough at Poppa’s Cafe and then grab some cheesy goodies to go from the Cellar Door. A scenic 45 minute drive through the hinterland you’ll find Maleny Cheese and Maleny Food Co. where you can choose from more than 300 local and international cheeses plus gelato and baked goods.
Go artistic with a sip n paint session
Rug up on a cold winter’s night, gather your mates and flex your creativity with a trip to Frida’s Sip n Paint in Mooloolaba. The luxe studio is nothing like your high school art classroom, think: chandeliers, chic timber benches and fancy glassware for you to pour your BYO bubbles and booze into. You can also bring along any nibbles you want, yes that means you can bring an epic cheese board to showcase your goodies from Kenilworth. You’ll be set up with your own paints and canvas as an instructor guides you step by step to create your very own masterpiece that you can take home with you.
Cuddle a koala at Australia Zoo
Koala cuddles at Australia Zoo, Beerwah
There’s no better way to warm up in winter than with a cuddle… from a koala - it’s just how we do things on the Sunshine Coast. Head to Australia Zoo and you can have a snuggle with a cute Koala, get a pic or two and learn about these adorable creatures from the knowledgeable keepers. Want more animal encounters? You can also mingle with red pandas, rhinos, meerkats, wombats, lemurs and otters.
Up your skills with a cooking class
A sure fire way to bring the heat this winter is with one of the Sunshine Coast’s best cooking classes. Learn a new skill, taste some decadent dishes and have a laugh with your mates while chopping, flipping and sautéing your way to a tasty meal. Learn how to blend spices at Red Hot Chilli Pepper Cooking School, master the yakitori grill at the Tamarind Cooking School, and whip up Thai curries, stir-fries and plant-based feasts at Spirit House.