From free-range fun in national parks and lazy family picnics by freshwater swimming holes, to thrilling rides at leading attractions and close up animal encounters—the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a wonderful holiday destination with plenty of fun activities to keep the whole family entertained.
Australia Zoo at Beerwah is the home of the Crocodile Hunter and features more wildlife and entertainment than you can poke a stick at. With more than 1,200 animals to see and stacks of free shows daily, it's chock-a-block full of wildlife action and adventure. The Zoo has special activities planned for children during school holidays and kids will love the chance get hands-on with cuddly koalas, waddling wombats, slithering snakes and cute kangaroos.
Don't miss Australia Zoo's crocodile presentation in the Crocoseum at 12 noon
Perfect for young children, the Ginger Factory has fascinating tours, a cane train ride young children will love, and a café to refuel after a day of adventure. Take time to wander the gardens and be sure to visit the delicious retail precinct where you can take away some famous goodies. The Ginger Factory is open seven days a week and offers free entry for all.
Sweet times at the Ginger Factory in Yandina
Hinterland walking trails
Take a break from technology and immerse yourself in the stunning natural wonderland in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Visit Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve for a step back in time. The reserve has a level walking track which is ideal for kids who'll love the discovery centre, walking through the ancient rainforest and spotting local wildlife. There are some beautiful short walks to Kondalilla Falls, where you can take a dip in the local watering hole, pack a picnic and enjoy a day exploring nature.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve and Discovery Centre in Maleny
Gardners Falls in Maleny has a number of shallow rock pools which and ideal for smaller children who just want to splash about. Older teens and adults can follow the bubbling waters downstream where the pools increase in size and enjoy a freshwater swim in the largest pool underneath the falls. This is a great spot to spend a lazy afternoon. The rockpools are fringed with grassy areas and shady native forest making it the ideal spot for a family picnic.
Wildlife HQ, located at the iconic Big Pineapple in Nambour, is home to over 100 species of animals from around the world and Aussie favourites including koalas, Tasmanian devils, dingos and kangaroos. There are more than 20 close-up animal encounters available including "zookeeper for a day" that the kids will love. Immersed in a beautiful rain forest setting, Wildlife HQ is a fun, affordable, family-friendly day out on the Sunshine Coast.
Family fun guaranteed at Wildlife HQ
Prepare yourself for rides, excitement and imagination galore, at Aussie World. Jam packed with a variety of rides, from rollercoasters to dodgem cars, giant slides to Ferris wheels and mazes - they have it all. Stop by the café for lunch, explore the gift shop and keep an eye out for exciting events the whole family will adore.
From toddlers to teens, there's something for everyone at Aussie World
Maleny Dairies farm tour
Head into the country at Maleny Dairies for a farm tour or even a tractor ride. Learn about the journey of milk, from milking the cows all the way to bottling and everything in between. Get up close to one of their gorgeous Guernsey gals, meet a calf and feed the animals (Tip: 'springers’ are fed at 10am). After your tour, take time to explore the farm a bit more and enjoy the beautiful countryside over a coffee. Better yet, pack a picnic and make use of the BBQs. Before you visit take a sneak peek at the farm online through their cow cam!
Kids will love the chance to see the cows up close and watch them being milked
Big Kart Track
Kids (and adults) will thrill to the fun of driving a go kart at Big Kart Track. There are some awesome racing options for kids under kids under 12 years of age. There is a double-seater kart so you can drive the kids around yourself and let them enjoy the ride, and single-seaters for more experienced kid drivers to take the wheel themselves.
Thrills and fun at Big Kart Track
Maleny Botanic Gardens & Birdworld
Meander through Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, some of the most exquisite gardens in Queensland featuring a panorama of waterfalls, ponds and colourful plantings. Bring a picnic for the family to enjoy by one of the many lakes, let the little ones climb on the big chair that overlooks the Glass House Mountains, or stroll the aviary and enjoy a fascinating presentation on the colourful native and exotic birds which are very likely to land on your shoulder.
Maleny Botanic Gardens & Birdworld