Road Trip from Brisbane to The Sunshine Coast
It’s less than a two-hour road trip from Brisbane to The Sunshine Coast, but the region is so jam packed with fun-filled activities… that it may take you at least a week to get back!
The perfect destination for a holiday, it has pristine beaches, rugged mountains, bustling markets, unique wildlife, charming mountain villages and laid-back coastal towns.
There is no doubt that you will quickly find places you don’t want to leave right away, which is why a campervan hire from Brisbane is a popular choice for travellers. A campervan allows you freedom to move at your own pace, as you explore this phenomenal piece of Queensland.
To assist you with planning your next Sunshine Coast road-trip, here is a list of some MUST DO activities.
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This quaint mountain village is filled with charming art galleries, cellar door wineries, boutique shops and cosy cafés.
Browse through the Clock shop and marvel at the German inspired chalet, that sells authentic Cuckoo Clocks made from Black Forest wood, beer steins and music boxes.
There are several hand-crafted sweet shops here, selling delicious artisan treats like fudge, hard boiled candy, and chocolates.
As if this these aren’t enough reasons to visit, the Kondalilla National Park is right on its doorstep, home to various rock pools, native wildlife and the spectacular Kondalilla Falls. The full circuit to get to the rockpools takes around one and a half hours, but is well worth it for wonderful view, unspoiled nature, and delightful swimming spots.
Needing no introductions, this zoo is world renowned thanks to the infamous Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin. The Irwin family are fierce wildlife warriors, dedicated to the conservation of animals.
The species here are both exotic and native, ranging from Giraffes, Elephants and Rhinoceros to Echidnas, Koalas and Wombats… and a LOT in between. There are well over one thousand animal residents at the Zoo, which also has a hospital for injured wildlife.
You will want to spend a full day here, the exhibits are huge, and distances between them are also quite vast – but with well-maintained paths, great maps, and helpful signage.
Maleny Botanic Garden & Bird World
These beautiful gardens are privately owned and very impressive, spanning seven hectares of rolling greenery. Backdropped by the nearby glasshouse mountains, and dotted with waterfalls, terraces, and thousands of plant species.
Golf Buggy’s are available to hire, taking you around the many kilometres of pathways, through various themes, such as the rose gardens, oriental garden or rainforest walk. There is also a café on site, to purchase snacks and drinks.
The Bird World aviary is situated beside the Garden, and if you must choose between the two, you simply can’t miss the chance to explore this animal sanctuary.
Filled with a plethora of birdlife, from tiny finches to huge colourful parrots, the inhabitants of the aviary have all been adopted, after either being neglected or surrendered by their previous humans.
Guides will take you through the enclosures and introduce you to the residents, you may even have a cheeky feathered friend introduce themselves… especially if you’re wearing something shiny.
The iconic Eumundi Markets have been running since 1979, and open twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays, regardless of the weather.
This dynamic outdoor market is a favourite for locals and visitors alike, with an abundance of food stalls, hand-made arts and crafts, jewellery, and souvenirs. Not to mention the selection of local produce, desserts, jams, preserves and herbal remedies available to purchase.
There is no shortage of ambience either, the markets are frequently showcasing local musicians and street performers.
Queensland’s answer to New South Wales’ Byron Bay, Noosa is a laid-back, chic, and incredibly scenic spot on The Sunshine Coast.
Noosa National Park is one of the region’s most popular drawcards, containing beautiful flora and fauna, whilst being fringed with white sand beaches and turquoise water. It’s not uncommon to see a variety of wildlife, both on land, and in the water – including koalas, glossy black cockatoos, turtles, and dolphins.
The plant life is just as lovely along this coast, a mixture of mangroves, grass trees, as well as hoop and kauri pines in the rainforest pockets of the national park.
After a long day of exploring national parks, and swimming at the plethora of beaches … Hastings Street is the go-to place for food, drinks, boutique style shopping, and coffee.
Noosa’s little sister, Coolum is a smaller version, with just as much to offer, and absolutely worth a visit.
Coolum Beach is the towns main hub, with the adjacent esplanade here containing a variety of restaurants, cafés, and a few miscellaneous shops as well. The Hot Chilli Bean Thai Café is especially fantastic and offer either takeaway or dine in options.
To the south, there are rock pools, sandy bays, and surf beaches, or you can head to Mount Coolum and climb the to the peak – approximately a one hour round trip easy grade walk. The 360-degree views from the top, sweep across to Point Cartwright, Buderim, the Glasshouse Mountains, the Blackall Ranges, Noosa Heads and the Pacific Ocean.
A family favourite, Aussie World is a mid-size theme park in Palmview, about 45 minutes south of Noosa. Once you pay the entry fee, the thirty or so rides inside the park are free to use as many times as you like.
These include the pirate ship, the plunge (where you’re sure to get splashed), and the spinning dingo racer. Or for less thrills, the ferris wheel, giant slide, or 18-hole mini golf.
There is also a sideshow alley, which costs extra, and has typical carnival games like laughing clowns, bust-a-balloon, and lucky ducks, where every player wins a prize.
Aussie World regularly hold events here too, so it is always worth checking their website in advance to see what’s on. In the past they have held food festivals, Halloween nights and Summer Beach Parties.