What To Do In The Sunshine Coast
Looking for what to do in the Sunshine Coast? Here are the top tips on best nature walks, three secret places only the locals know about, best ways to relax and must dos.
The Three Secret Places On The Sunshine Coast That Only The Locals Know About
- Secret Sunset Spot: Mount Tinbeerwah is 15 minutes from Noosa Heads in the Tewantin National Park. Walk up in the late afternoon to watch the sun go down on another gorgeous Sunshine Coast day.
This is an easy 1km hike to the top and when you get there you’ll have panoramic 360 degree views of the northern end of the Sunshine Coast.
There are picnic tables and toilet facilities at the summit. Summit. Ha Ha. See how we just made you feel like you were about to scale Mount Everest?
- Secret Beach – Away from the well known main beaches of Mooloolaba, Noosa and Caloundra there are dozens of others which you are probably not aware of.
Of these, Shelly Beach, at Caloundra is the best. The beach is small and unpatrolled but it is exposed; so the sea isn’t calm.
What makes this because beautiful is the craggy scenery, its fascinating rock pools and the fact that you might just have it all to yourself.
- Secret Waterfall – You’ll find Artists’ Cascades five kilometres into Conondale National Park near Kenilworth which makes for a 10km round trip.
This journey therefore will take you approximately 4 hours return to complete. Six days if you don’t take a compass. If that doesn’t put you off, then you’ll be rewarded with a swim in one of the best waterfall and swimming spot combos on the Sunshine Coast.
You’ll be taking many pics – guaranteed!
Four Must-Dos When On The Sunshine Coast
- Eumundi Markets : We remember visiting this quirky arts and crafts market over twenty years ago – and – if you weren’t wearing tie-dye or had dreadlocks – you kinda felt out of place.
Fast forward to today and the Eumundi Markets have grown incredibly but the ‘Yes it’s patchouli, join my drum circle and let’s live off the grid’ vibe remains.
There are now over 1000 stalls, fabulous food choices, extraordinary live music and you are bound to fall in love with an original artwork here or find an unusual hand-made jewellery item that you just have to have.
The markets are open until around 2pm every Wednesday and Saturday – regardless of the weather.
- The Maroochydore to Mapleton Drive: One of the best things about the Sunshine Coast is that, when you’ve had enough of the beach and the surf, you can point your car west and within 15 minutes you are driving in the Hinterland and along winding country roads.
The scenic drive that takes you from Maroochydore to Mapleton via Bli Bli Road is spectacular. When you arrive in Mapleton, you will have 180 degree panoramic views of the Sunshine Coast.
Relax with a beer at the Mapleton Tavern, a historic pub located 400 meters above sea level on the edge of the Blackall Range and enjoy the views that are – pretty much – to die for.
- Have an in room massage or day spa treatment: Ripple is one of many services that offer massage and spa treatments on the Sunshine Coast. The difference is they come to you.
Lazily go through their massage and beauty services menu and pick something delicious that you know you’re going to love and that you well-deserve.
Give them a call on 0438 567 906 and an address. Their therapists will find their way to you and soon there will be a knock on the door.
They give massages in some wonderful and diverse locations – from high-up in a Penthouse overlooking the Pacific Ocean, to romantic mountain cabins in Montville to a sunny, quiet back porch in the suburbs surrounded by the scent of Night-blooming Jasmine.
- Ashbern Strawberry Farm: Eat your own strawberries! Sorry no. Pick. Pick your own strawberries. Ashbern Farm is open to the public five days a week during the (yummy scrummy in my tummy) strawberry season which runs from October to May.
Admission is free and you only pay for the strawberries you pick. Make a day of it and stay for lunch too. On the menu at the Farm’s Cafe you’ll find the usual cafe fare as well as Devonshire Teas and their signature home-made ice-cream.
The Farm offers tours as well and there are picnic areas and play areas for the children too.
The Top Three Nature Walks On The Sunshine Coast
The Japanese have a word for it – Shinrin-yoku. It means ‘Forest Bathing’ and it requires no loofah and mercifully, no nakedness. Shinrin-yoku describes the practice of taking short, regular walks
in nature for the purpose of improving one’s well being.
Forest Bathing all began in the early 80s as an initiative of the Forest Agency of Japan and is now a keystone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
Studies and research back it all up and show that spending time in forest environments promotes lower concentrations of cortisol (the stress hormone), lowers the pulse rate, lowers blood pressure and, as you’d expect, is far more beneficial to us than strolling in a city environment.
One of the best things about nature walking is that it is free and delightfully uncomplicated. Just take along drinking water, a hat, sunscreen, a fully charged cell phone for maps (because it’s awkward having to eat your friends) or in case of an emergency and you’re set.
Here are our top three Sunshine Coast Shinrin-yoku picks:
1. The Glass House Mountains National Park – The walking tracks in this National Park suit beginners that have zero hiking experience as well as the more experienced hikers. The tracks lead you through green, open forests towards lookouts that offer some pretty impressive panoramic views.
There are some challenging summit routes for the masochists and these include steep cliffs as well as opportunities to rock climb and abseil – but that’s not really necessary. The aim is to simply Forest Bathe not wrestle – so we’re all for keeping it cruisy.
2. The scenic trails of the Mooloolah River National Park take you through the Melaleuca Swamp where Princess Fiona and Shrek honeymooned, then via open forests and along a river bank where – at dawn and at dusk – you’re likely to see platypus at play.
As if that weren’t enough to entice you, the park is also home to five different species of butterfly, including the endangered Richmond Birdwing butterfly. If you’d like to make a weekend of it, the Moolloolah River National Park also has camping sites with toilet facilities, picnic tables and barbecue areas too. We lied about the Honeymooners – but it’s true – they’d love it.
3. Noosa National Park – Forest Bathing in Noosa National Park is nothing short of spectacular. The coastal scenery is breathtaking and the park is a massively important refuge for native wildlife including koalas, ground parrots, glossy black-cockatoos and a rare species of nocturnal amphibian called the Wallum Froglet.
Nwah! When walking along the tracks that offer views across the sea, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins playing in the surf and families of manta rays gliding along the coastline. Noosa National Park has barbecue areas, frequent information posts and toilet facilities as well.