If you think you know all the Sunshine Coast has to offer, think again. The Sunshine Coast’s hidden gems (according to the locals)
From the Noosa Everglades to Moffat Beach, secret spots lie within reach across the Sunshine Coast and the locals have all the intel.
We have rounded up the indoor fun, the outdoor adventure and everything in between, so your next Sunshine Coast escape is bound to offer up new experiences.
1. There is just something special about watching the sunrise over the beach with a good coffee, and luckily for us – with over 100km of coastline – there are spots galore to choose from. Watch the day unfold over Old Woman Island at Mudjimba with a brew from High Tide, spot the surfers at Moffat Beach - coffee from The Pocket Espresso in hand - or rise with the sun at Sunshine Beach with your caffeine fix from Entity Coffee – the choice is yours!
2. Tucked away in the hinterland at the foot of Mt Cooroora, it’s the gin at Pomona Distilling Co that draws you in, but you will want to stay for the lunch! With a paddock to plate ethos driving the kitchen, you will enjoy a range of tasty food with an Asian twist – like a Korean Parmi.
Pomona Distilling Co, Pomona, Noosa Hinterland
3. With so much coastline and a picturesque Hinterland to explore, there is no better way than by air. See all the stunning nooks and crannies you never knew existed with Oceanview Helicopters . You can’t beat a bird’s-eye view of the Glass House Mountains!
4. Did someone say the highest adventure course in Australia? Where do we sign up! The Treetop Challenge at the Big Pineapple will have you gliding, sliding and precariously balancing through the treetops.
Treetop Challenge Sunshine Coast, Woombye
5. So much more than just a garden, Maleny Botanic Gardens & Birdworld is a delight for the senses. Not only are there over six kilometres of walking tracks all of which take in the Glass House Mountains views, there is also an aviary full of 700 native and exotic birds that you can definitely get up close to.
Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World
6. Riding a horse on the beach is definitely a bucket-list experience and you can do just that with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides. Don’t just picture yourself on the pristine, wide open sands of Rainbow Beach with the wind in your hair, make it a reality.
Rainbow Beach Horse Rides, Rainbow Beach
7. Don’t drink wine from a barrel, drink it IN a giant one! There's no way that you could miss The Barrel on the way into Maleny. Inside there is plenty of local wine and beer to taste and if you head out the back, you will find what could arguably be one of the most scenic spots in the heart of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, with stunning views of the Glasshouse Mountains.
The Barrel at Clouds Vineyard, Maleny
8. There is a magical waterway here on the Sunshine Coast. Head down to Bills Boat Hire and grab a kayak or a stand-up paddle board and discover the Pumicestone Passage for yourself. Stretching for 35 kilometres, from Caloundra’s tail end to Deception Bay, this ecological estuary features an array of marine life such as dugongs, dolphins, and turtles, and is a bird-watchers wonderland.
Bills Boat Hire - Caloundra
9. Is there anything better than an ice cream after a day at the beach? Gelato Rumba at Bulcock Beach makes the delicious desserts on site and there are over 40 flavours to choose from so everyone walks away happy.
10. Did you know that The Big Pineapple shares its lush terrain with one of the best, yet little-known zoos around? Wildlife HQ is home to over 250 animals from around the world and boasts one of the largest collections of primates in Queensland. You will also get to see Queensland’s only Sun Bear, Maly, here.
Wildlife HQ (at the Big Pineapple) Woombye
11. Tucked away in the new Maroochydore CBD is an eatery that will take your tastebuds on a holiday. Dive into the Asian fusion, street food-style menu at Giddy Geisha that includes ocean trout roasted in tom yum paste, Hervey Bay scallops served with umami butter and a house made yuzu, chili and salt condiment, and grass-fed beef in a Thai crying tiger dish.
12. Zoom along with the most spectacular views when you head out with Caloundra Jet Ski. It’s the best of both worlds, adrenalin alongside Glass House Mountain views with an eco-tour of the Pumicestone Passage.
13. Learn about how ginger products are made, jump on Moreton, the Ginger Train, for a tour, learn about the busy working life of bees and to top things off, soak up ginger-flavoured ice-cream – all with a visit to The Ginger Factory in Yandina.
The Ginger Factory, Yandina
14. With ‘secret’ in the name, you know a dining experience at Secrets on the Lake is going to be special. Tucked away in the lush rainforest right on the foreshores of magnificent Lake Baroon in Montville, not only are you treated to panoramic views of water, mountains and rainforest but the food is top-notch too.
15. If you're looking for a different way to explore the spectacular Noosa countryside, then jump on your mountain bike and hit the Noosa Trail Network! Plan your day and visit a couple of the picturesque hinterland towns the trails link up with. There are lots of scenic sections, cute cafes and places to stop for wine and craft beer. Don’t be daunted by distances, there is something for everyone from 5km to 40km for the more adventurous. Hike a bike with Bike On!