Updated Nov 2023
For the animal-lover
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to animal experiences on the Sunshine Coast. With both Australia Zoo (Beerwah) and Wildlife HQ Zoo (Woombye) offering encounters, you can take your pick from meeting and greeting a range of furry, spiky and feathered friends.
Whether you’re wanting to cuddle with a koala at Australia Zoo or get up close and personal with a capybara at Wildlife HQ... it’s up to you!
If you’re looking to combine native fauna and classy accommodation, there’s also the option of booking a couple of nights in the Paperbark Glamping Tents at Habitat Noosa Everglades Eco Camp. Here, wild Grey Kangaroos are regularly spotted nibbling at the grass right outside the front deck.
For a Saturday morning you’ll never forget, book a tour with QCamel in Bell’s Creek (approximately 25-minutes from Caloundra). On this picturesque camel farm, you’ll get to experience a unique ‘camel cuddle’, sample camel milk, and capture some beautiful photos to remember the day by.
For the adrenaline superhero
Paradise Seaplanes. Credit: Dean Saffron
Send your loved one into the skies for an invigorating flight over the coastline and hinterland with Paradise Seaplanes (as part of their Noosa to Glass House Mountains Adventure). The journey will see them soar across the dense subtropical forestry below, with glimpses out to the sparkling Pacific Ocean.
If you know someone who’s always up for a challenge, book a tandem paragliding experience with SEQ Paragliding. Alongside experienced instructors, you’ll have the opportunity to fly across some of the most beautiful parts of the Sunshine Coast.
Want to get out on the waves? There’s no better time than summer to learn how to carve up our spectacular ocean than with Coolum Surf School. Private lessons with this family-owned business run for 90 minutes, and include all equipment – just bring yourself!
For something a bit out-of-the-box, zip up the wetsuit and enjoy a snorkel-with-turtles swim with Blue Tortuga Adventures. Explore the majestic underwater coral formations around Mudjimba Island and meet the beautiful creatures that swim beneath the surface... all alongside an experienced guide.
For someone who needs to unwind
Give the gift of relaxation this Christmas in the form of a rejuvenating pamper session with Noosa Springs Spa, Ikatan Day Spa, or Asante Day Spa. With a range of facials, massages and more on the menu, there are plenty of options to soothe any tired shoulders, faces or limbs from a hectic 2023.
Something for the whole family
Rainbow Beach Horse Rides
Saddle up for a horseback adventure on the sand with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides alongside your partner and kids (must be over 12). Led by an experienced team, you’ll get to explore a pristine strip of Rainbow Beach (without any vehicles to disrupt the ride). There’ll also be plenty of opportunities for photos!
Not so keen on riding on a horse? We suggest hopping in a kayak and heading out on a Dolphin Kayak Tour with Epic Ocean Adventure for the ultimate eco-friendly combo of nature and fun!
The Ginger Factory, Yandina
A perfect addition to the Christmas cocktails or New Year’s Eve drinks is a bottle of Sunshine & Sons’ gin. We suggest opting for the Pineapple Parfait for a super local twist of fruit salad flavours that pays homage to the Big Pineapple.
You can also grab some crystallised ginger from Buderim Ginger, some roasted garlic macadamia nuts from Nutworks (also Yandina), and a block of rocky road from one of the Noosa Chocolate Factory’s stores to make your own mini food hamper.
Pottery for the Planet
Check out the gorgeous Christmas bundles of sustainably crafted, local ceramics from Pottery for the Planet. Stock up your loved one's kitchen with trendy condiment bowls, build a breakfast bundle, or select from their collection of mini vases. You'll be spoilt for choice.
This year, treat the coffee-lovers in your family to the Festive Blend - Vintage 2023 from Montville Coffee, which will be available from early December. You'll find this blend has moreish notes of 'velvety chocolate, lightly roasted hazelnuts and vanilla', making for a delightful cup of festive sunshine!
Alternatively, make your way to the Eumundi Markets to explore the treasure trove of stalls filled with locally-made goodies. You never know what you might find...