With its stunning beaches, lush tropical rainforest and enviable climate, it is little wonder the Sunshine Coast is a popular tourism destination. And, as one of Australia’s four recognised biospheres, the region is overflowing with opportunities to immerse yourself in nature. If you’re keen to get active on the Sunny Coast, here’s a list of our favourite haunts and operators. Earmark it ready for your next adventure holiday!
Hike the Glass House Mountains
About one hour north of Brisbane, this World Heritage Listed collection of distinctive volcanic peaks and its surrounds offers an abundance of short to half-day walking tracks which suit all levels of fitness and activity. Take in the scenic view from the lookout in Beerburrum State Forest or scramble up to the top of Mt Tibrogargan (not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced). For a guided tour, the folks over at The Hike Collective offer a small group 7.5km hike showcasing the very best that this stunning national park has to offer.
"Take in the scenic view from the lookout in Beerburrum State Forest or scramble up to the top of Mt Tibrogargan."
Get out on the ocean
Whether it’s surfing, kayaking, boating or stand-up paddleboarding, there are plenty of opportunities to inject a little sea adventure into your Sunny Coast holiday. You’ll find ample water craft rental places along the more populated beaches in each of the towns. If you’re headed to Noosa or Rainbow Beach, Epic Ocean Adventures are the go-to people for spotting the local dolphins, whales, turtles and ray on either their stand-up paddle or kayaking tours.
Horse ride Rainbow Beach
There’s nothing quite as magical as taking in the beach on horseback and there’s no better place to do it than Rainbow Beach. The quiet horses and qualified guides from Rainbow Beach Horse Rides will guide you along this world-renowned beach to explore the coloured sands, natural bushland and unspoiled coastline. From May to early October, you’ll often see whales and dolphins swimming just offshore.
Explore the Everglades
One of only two Everglades systems on the planet, this haven for native flora, fauna, birds and marine life is a natural wonder not to be missed. The best way to explore it is to get out on the water. Take a tranquil cruise down the mirrored waterways on the purpose built eco boats from Habitat Noosa or hop into one of Kanu Kaper’s kayaks for either a guided or self-guided tour.
"Take a tranquil cruise down the mirrored waterways of the Noosa Everglades on a kayak or the purpose built eco boats from Habitat Noosa Everglades Ecocamp."
Pop over to K’gari
Also known as Fraser Island, K’gari is the world’s largest sand island and offers unique landscapes, mangrove forests, crystal clear lakes and sprawling beaches. The World Heritage Listed destination is 123km long and – with the exception of a few resorts – is only accessible via 4WD. You can hire one and explore yourself or jump on a guided tour – there are plenty to choose from. With so much to see, you’re best dedicating at least a few days to K’gari.
Snorkel or dive the ex-HMAS Brisbane
Once a serving Royal Australian Navy warship, now home to a lively artificial reef, the ex-HMAS Brisbane sits at the bottom of the ocean about 9km offshore Mooloolaba beach. An oasis for marine life, marvel at the brightly coloured coral, watch the schools of fish dart about and spot turtles, octopus and sea snakes. While divers can weave in and around the remnants of the ship, snorkelers have to suffice exploring as best they can from the water surface. A permit is required to access the conservation park so opting for a guided tour is a good option.
Image credits: Tourism and Events Queensland