6 Things To Do On The Sunshine Coast After You've Been To The Beach

Posted by Stephanie Mikkelsen on Thursday, July 20, 2017

Think of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and what springs to mind? Lolling around on stretches of silky sand, topping up your tan, wading into the waves... but then what? Well, we're here to let you in on a little secret: there's so much more to the Sunny Coast (that’s local lingo, don’t you know) than the beach. Inland, a world of soaring mountains, winding everglades and adrenalin-pumping adventure awaits. To show you just why you should get out and explore, we've rounded up six of our top must-dos... plus our hot tips on where to stay. 

When you have a head for heights

What to do:

Take flight in a seaplane for a sight-seeing experience like no other. Paradise Seaplanes operates out of Maroochydore and offers a selection of aeronautical expeditions, from soaring over Mooloolaba Harbour and down to the Caloundra coast, to flying over Noosa National Park and Lake Weyba. To up the thrill factor, you can even opt to have a ‘doors off’ experience, which is exactly what it sounds like: a flight where the plane’s doors have been left behind.

Where to stay:

The Duporth Riverside is a beautiful resort that has the best of what the Sunshine Coast offers: a peaceful riverside setting, hinterland views and a location smack-bang in the heart of the shopping and entertainment precinct. There are one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments available, and each share in the river and ocean views. Apartments have a spacious lounge, well-appointed kitchen and a generous balcony. When you’re not out and about, the resort has plenty to keep you occupied: a heated spa, steam room, gym and a range of dining options on your doorstep.



When you want to hit the open water

What to do:

For an up-close encounter with the giants of the deep, head out on a whale-watching expedition. The Whale One cruiser docks at Mooloolaba Wharf and is kitted out with wrap-around decks, roomy cabin areas, a licensed bar and plenty of undercover seating (it’s still a good idea to pack sunscreen though). Whale One offers a handful of tours – whale-only watching cruises, sunset trips and marine discovery trips – and even has transfer options available.

Where to stay:

The up-and-coming little sibling to Noosa, Mooloolaba is fast becoming the ‘it’ location on the Sunshine Coast. Oceans Mooloolaba Beach is the best place to take advantage of this buzz, thanks to their position on the Mooloolaba Esplanade. This standard-setting resort has a range of apartments available, but if it’s something super snazzy you’re seeking, look up (literally) to the Ocean’s luxury penthouses. For those with the whole gang in tow, Australia Zoo and Eumundi Markets are nearby.



When you want to whip up a feast

What to do:

To keep your stomach happy and pick up a thing or two, make for the cooking school at Spirit House. The classes focus on Asian cuisine and have been designed to suit all tastes and cooking levels; even if you don't know your lemongrass from your lychee, you can still get involved. For those who can’t handle the heat of the kitchen (or just have no interest in cooking), Spirit House has a superb restaurant set in tranquil tropical surrounds. 

Where to stay:

The name of this property gives away the main highlight of this spectacular coastal home - the view. It’s little surprise really, given that Grandview Coolum boasts a hillside perch on one of Coolum’s most exclusive streets. The interiors here are bright and fresh, with splashes of colour dotted throughout the living spaces and bedrooms. What truly makes this property a scene-stealer though is the 12-person private spa set in its own garden pavilion. From your front door at Grandview Coolum it’s only 450 metres to the beach; the esplanade is also close at hand.



When you want to get out of the city

What to do:

Tearing yourself away from the Sunshine Coast’s beaches doesn’t have to be a bad thing, especially when it gives you the chance to discover a region you might not have known even existed: the Noosa Everglades. Jumping into a canoe or kayak is the best way to explore the ‘glades and can be done with a guided tour or on a short self-guided sojourn. There are trips suitable for all fitness levels and how long you choose to spend in this beautiful part of Queensland is up to you. Be warned though: you may want to stick around for a while.

Where to stay:

Lake Weyba is one of Noosa’s best-kept secrets, and a stay at Noosa Lake House is an easy way to make the most of this picturesque setting. This architect-designed bolthole is tucked away close to the lake’s shores, and is an exclusive getaway for a peace-seeking couple. The house has an open-plan lounge, dining and kitchen together with a contemporary master suite and marble-clad bathroom. There are lake views from every room and kayaks are provided for those itching to hit the water. The property also boasts a tennis court and a large outdoor ozone spa.



When you want hills and hiking

What to do:

Prepare to pull on your walking boots and hit the hills, because the Glass House Mountains area is begging to be explored. Within the Glass House Mountains National Park there are more walking tracks and lookouts than you could poke a compass at. Prefer hooves to hikes? There's a series of dedicated horse-riding trails, too. Adrenalin seekers can also get their kicks from rock-climbing or abseiling. When you’ve had your fill of nature (it may take a while), it’s only a short drive to Beerwah, Mapleton and Montville.

Where to stay:

If the view from Glass on Glasshouse was a person, it’d be a supermodel – it’s that good-looking. The property has three glass pavilion cottages (designed by an award-winning architect, thank you) with floor-to-ceiling windows, eco-friendly fireplaces and free-standing bathtubs. Oh, and let’s not forget those views: each cottage looks across to the 25-million-year-old volcanic cores of the Glass House Mountains. These immaculate accommodations make the perfect retreat to rest weary feet and soothe tired muscles after a day of exploring the neighbouring national park.



When you want to take the plunge

What to do:

There’s something truly special about ditching the beach or pool (don’t worry, it’s not permanent) for a freshwater dip. The water at Gardener’s Falls near Maleny is cool and refreshing, and the setting couldn’t be more picture perfect. To get to the falls, you’ll need to head out on a gentle bush walk that follows Obi Obi River. When you arrive you’ll find a series of child-friendly rock pools and a larger pool, complete with rope swings, for the more daring. On dry land, there's a smattering of picnic tables where you can refuel.

Where to stay:

A hideaway shaped like two dodecahedrons sounds like it’s been pulled straight from the pages of an Ian Fleming novel, but that’s exactly what you can expect from Lost in Leela, a four-bedroom home unlike any other you’ve ever seen. The house is tucked away among the tree canopy and is divided into separate spaces. One sphere has been designed for living and is centred around a sunken pit, complete with woodfire; the second houses four bedrooms. If that wasn’t tempting enough, Lost in Leela boasts wrap-around decks, a swimming pool and a six-hole golf course.