Day Trip Destinations on the Sunshine Coast
Living in Brisbane, we get the best of both worlds. We have all of the conveniences of living in a big city, but we are also extremely fortunate to live within two hours’ drive of some amazing beaches, national parks, mountains and theme parks. Heading north from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast presents each of these environments to explore as a single day trip destination. Choose the type of experience you are looking for and check out our suggestions for awesome day trip destinations on the Sunshine Coast.
Sand and Sea
Many Sunshine Coast beaches are perfect for families, being less busy than their Gold Coast counterparts. Check out these patrolled, family friendly (and some dog friendly) beaches for your next beach day trip.
- Kings Beach
- Golden Beach
- Bulcock Beach
- Dicky Beach
- Alexandra Headland
- Coolum (Dog friendly)
- Peregian Beach (Dog friendly)
- Sunshine Beach (Dog friendly)
- Noosa Heads (Dog friendly)
- Rainbow Beach
- Mudjimba Beach
For some real sand exploration, the Sunshine Coast also offers the Great Sandy National Park in Noosa Heads (Cooloola). Incredible coloured sand cliffs, huge sand dunes and unspoilt beaches adjoin paperbark swamps and towering forests, as well as freshwater lakes and the upper Noosa River. Many scenic trails exist at Cooloola, so there’s sure to be a suitable one to discover with your Brisbane family. Access with assistance for the disabled is available here and there is also a picnic area and public toilet facilities. Information centres situated at Tewantin and Rainbow Beach will be able to offer you further information.
The Sunshine Coast has some truly fantastic parks and playgrounds for Brisbane Kids to explore. Be sure to check out Grahame Stewart Park, Maroochydore Rotary Park, Pierce Park, Pioneer Park and Russell Family Park for awesome play areas and other great features.
The Maleny Botanic Gardens aren’t free to enter; however, covering over eight acres and being situated within the scenic Glass House Mountains, they are definitely worth a visit. Rare cycads, roses and azaleas provide a beautiful backdrop to the several kilometres of easy walking paths that lead to a gorgeous lookout. There are several shady spots with tables and seating within the gardens to enjoy a picnic with your Brisbane Kids. The Maleny Botanic Gardens can be found at 233 Maleny-Stanley River Road in Maleny and are open from 9am until 4:30pm every day except Christmas day and New Year’s Day. For more information, visit http://www.malenybotanicgardens.com/.
The multiple green spaces of the Sunshine Coast provide a chance to explore the tracks through the rainforest and other forest plantations with your Brisbane Kids whilst on the lookout for some of the many species of native wildlife, flora and fauna.
The Amamoor State Forest in Amamoor houses hoop and bunya pine plantations, as well as riverine rainforests, creeks and streams. Spot a platypus on the Platypus Walk, or marvel at the massive figs and red cedars along the rainforest walk at Cedar Grove. This area is also home to the National Country Music Muster annually in August. Amamoor State Forest has barbeque facilities and a picnic area, access with assistance for the disabled and public toilet facilities.
Currimundi Lake (Kathleen McArthur) Conservation Park in Caloundra provides ample opportunities for bird-watching within its coastal heathland environment. A wheelchair-accessible track leads to a lake lookout, where your Brisbane Kids will be able to see many native plants and wildlife. Currimundi Lake Conservation Park features access with assistance for the disabled and public toilet facilities.
Noosa National Park at Noosa Heads is an oasis right in the heart of Noosa. With areas of pine rainforest, woodlands and wallum heaths, the park is home to wildlife galore; including koalas, frill-necked lizards and black cockatoos. Walking tracks criss-cross the park, with tracks suitable for a variety of levels of ability. This area offers some great views of the ocean along the shoreline of Noosa Heads. There are picnic areas and public toilet facilities in Noosa National Park.
The Sunshine Coast hinterland features many of its own national parks and reserves. Most feature amazing lookouts; some with views out to Moreton Island and further.
Delicia Road Conservation Park (Linda Garrett Park) in Mapleton on the Blackall Range is a wildlife refuge and home to many species of birds and other native animals such as the great barred frog. The park contains several walking trails and is featured on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. Delicia Road Conservation Park has public toilet facilities.
Glass House Mountains National Park is a spiritually significant area to the local aboriginal people and includes Mounts Ngungun, Beerwah and Tibrogargan, with all three summits featuring on walking trails within the park. Some rock-climbing skills are required to reach those peaks, however there are many other waling tracks suitable to less experienced hikers. Be sure to take in the view from the Glass House Mountains lookout, which can be driven to. The Glass House Mountains National Park has access with assistance for the disabled, a picnic area and public toilet facilities.
Kenilworth Forest Reserve is situated in the Conondale Range and is highlighted by incredible views. The reserve contains plantations and forests, as well as deep gorges, streams and waterfalls. The reserve is also home to many rare native plants and wildlife. Facilities include access with assistance for the disabled, picnic areas and public toilets.
Kondalilla Falls National Park in Montville has an amazing waterfall that is particularly breathtaking in the summer wet season. The national park houses lush rainforest and eucalypts, divided by gullies, creeks and falls. Several tracks lead through the park, including a section of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. Picnic areas and public toilets can be found within Kondalilla Falls National Park.
The Sunshine Coast hinterland also houses many small towns that are perfect for visiting on a day trip with your Brisbane Kids. Some friendly places to visit include – Maleny, Montville, Eumundi (check out the Eumundi markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays) and Kennilworth.
If your Brisbane Kids are looking for more excitement and action, then plan a day trip to one (or more) of the Sunshine Coast’s great theme parks! Our top ten theme parks on the Sunshine Coast includes –
- Aussie World and the Ettamogah Pub
- Australia Zoo
- Bellingham Maze
- Big Kart Track
- The Big Pineapple and Queensland Zoo
- Sunshine Castle
- The Ginger Factory
- Laserzone Sunshine Coast
- UnderWater World SeaLife Aquarium
If a day trip is simply not long enough, why not take a look at the best of Sunshine Coast for Kids – places to stay, places to eat, and other places to discover.
We are constantly adding to our collection of Sunshine Coast destinations for Brisbane Kids. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them at [email protected] For even more ideas for day trip destinations on the Sunshine Coast to explore with your Brisbane Kids, visit http://www.visitsunshinecoast.com.au/.