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Whether you are seeking action and adventure, a romantic dinner for two, or quality time with the kids, the Sunshine Coast has it all. There are plenty of wonderful Sunshine Coast things to do if you are artistic, active, travelling as a family, an incurable romantic or a fan of fabulous food.

Sunshine Coast Artist Getaway

Even if you arrive at at your Fried Mudd clay making workshop feeling unsure and tentative or simply saying “I’m not creative – I don’t know where to start”, you will finish up with a work of art by the end of the class. Sign up for the Goddess Workshop and create a gorgeous goddess for your garden or make a chicken with personality plus in a half day beginners course.

The Sunshine Coast is a haven for artists such as James McKay who has been exhibiting in galleries throughout Australia and Southern Africa for the past decade. James loves to share his love of painting, especially when helping novice watercolourists capture the landscape he loves so much. Since James Cook first named the Glass House Mountains back in 1770 they have been a favourite subject for painters. Now it’s your turn.

Fried Mudd gallery
Fried Mudd Pottery Studio
Glasshouse mountains painting
A first-time watercolourist captures the beauty of the Glasshouse Mountains

Sunshine Coast Active Getaway

The Sunshine Coast has some of Australia’s best beaches so you would be crazy not to plunge into that crystal clear ocean at least once. Go for a swim at Sunshine Beach or take a surf lesson with former world champion Merrick Davis, who runs Noosa Learn to Surf. For more watery fun you can hit the waves at Oz Ski Resort, the Sunshine Coast’s only man made fresh water ski facility, explore Pumicestone Passage with Caloundra Jet Ski

Or you could try your hand at SUP (stand up paddleboarding). Group lessons on Noosa Sound cost $55 or, if you already know how to SUP, you can hire a board and head off on your own. Noosa is home to one of Australia’s oldest and most visited national parks or you could visit Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve at Maleny which is spread across 55 hectares of rainforest. It offers a beautiful and serene space to go for a walk or trail run surrounded by towering trees and loads of native wildlife.

Mary Cairncross Reserve
Go trail running at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

Sunshine Coast Foodie Getaway

Whether you’re craving tapas, seafood, Italian or cocktails by the sea, you’ll find it here. Join the crowd at Sum Yung Guys, one of the hottest new restaurant on the Sunshine Coast. Here you can dine on Gangnam Style beef, mandarin cured swordfish, or sticky XO beef cheek with pickled onions and crispy noodles. Bookings are essential, even if you are dining midweek, as this place is hot, hot, hot! 

Bistro C on Noosa’s beachfront is one of the coast’s most romantic spots to watch the sun go down. Order a Sea Haze cocktail and sit back and relax as suntanned beach goers wander along the Noosa boardwalk. For a sexy night out, head up the road to Locale, an Italian restaurant with the brooding good looks of an Italian lothario. Local produce features heavily on the sophisticated Italian menu which has large and small share plates and an impressive array of pizzas.

Sum Yung Guys
Hang out at Sum Yung Guys

Sunshine Coast Romantic Getaway

The Sunshine Coast really is beautiful one day and perfect the next when you’re there with someone special. Connect with nature at Ikatan Spa, a Balinese-inspired oasis with freestanding treatment rooms surrounded by gardens filled with birdsong. You could also take a relaxing country drive through the hinterland to Spicers Tamarind Retreat which offers an indulgent escape with private pavilions dotted amongst the gumtrees.

Sign up for a morning class at the on-site cooking school then sit down and enjoy your culinary creations with a glass of wine followed by a massage at Spa Anise. Gardners Falls is the perfect spot for a picnic and located just a few steps from your accommodation. For a touch of Hollywood glamour, you and your partner can cruise Noosa’s waterways in a 1940s style speedboat. If you are looking for the perfect way to propose, book a romantic picnic and she’s sure to say yes.

Romantic picnic
Tee pee picnic with Getaway Pantry

Sunshine Coast Family Getaway

It’s hard to go past the fun of a day at the beach when you’re holidaying with children but the Sunshine Coast offers plenty of other ways to keep the kids entertained. Under 13s will love the rides at Aussie World, a family-friendly fun park at Palmview that is easy on the wallet. Rollercoaster fans come here from around the world to ride the Wild Mouse, an original wooden coaster from the 1930s. Rumba Beach Resort is great for families. If you enjoy spending time on the water, Swan Boat Hire at Maroochydore hire out snazzy little runabouts, canoes, kayaks and aqua bikes. 

Take a trip back in time at The Ginger Factory at Yandina, an iconic Sunshine Coast attraction that has been entertaining families for over 40 years. You can also visit the Queensland Air Museum at Caloundra. Here you will find a restored Ventura bomber, an F1-11 and a huge Caribou transporter which is left open for visitors to explore. On open cockpit days it is possible to sit in the F1-11 and relax in General MacArthur’s DC-3. If it’s too cold for swimming, there are plenty of things to do in winter and also if there is wet weather on the Sunshine Coast.

Disclosure: The writer has visited as a guest of the Sunshine Coast and also loves coming here on holiday with her family. 

Heading to the Sunshine Coast? We’ve got lots of helpful information to help make this your best trip yet including accommodation reviews for Eumarella Shores Noosa Lake Retreat Review, Oceans Mooloolaba, Rumba Beach Resort, Seahaven Noosa, King Parrot Retreat, On the Beach Noosa, Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort and Peppers Resort & Villas Review. We’ve also reviewed Australia Zoo Review, Kanu Kapers Everglades Tours, SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, Sails Restaurant Noosa, Noosa helicopter tours, Noosa Oceanrider, Noosa Dreamboats, and Betty’s Burgers Noosa. Don’t miss our tips for Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Things to Do for Active Travellers, The Best Restaurants at Mooloolaba, The Ultimate Guide to Noosa, Things to do at Mooloolaba, Healthy Noosa Holidays, Where to Find the Best Views on Hastings Street, and How to Plan Your Noosa Honeymoon.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.