If you have a Brisbane Kid with an interest in history, it may be worth a visit to Sunshine Castle on the Sunshine Coast, formerly known as Bli Bli Castle.
Over the past 10 years, Sunshine Castle have shifted the focus of its displays and exhibits to a medieval museum, complete with spectacular swords, armour and shields.
Things to do at Sunshine Castle
The Sunshine Castle treasure hunt for kids is a great way to see the best the castle has to offer, and learn a little about medieval history at the same time. After entering and paying admission, you can follow the clues as you navigate your way through the castle. At the end of your successful quest, children can choose a treat from the king’s treasure chest. There’s also plenty of great photo opportunities along the way!
The castle also offers a self-guided tour which you can follow, and covers the following areas:
- Castle courtyard with the king’s table, fireplace, pillory, stage and moat
- Reception hall with the original Xena throne from the TV Series and a working ballista
- Great hall for the king’s feasting nights with his trophies and exhibits
- Castle dungeon
- Battlement look out in the circular tower
- Visit the castle chapel (old ferry master hut)
- Lookout tower with view from the coast to the hinterland
- “Outside the castle” display – depicting life outside castle walls
- Interactive armour display – allowing you to touch and try on some authentic armour
- Relics of the dancing dolls, toy and doll museum, fairytale diaramas and model train railway
- Castles of the world display in the gallery, castle seige and James Cook’s travel displays
- International bow and arrows display and a unique master carved nativity scene
- History shields with detailed information about the exhibition highlights and history
Sunshine Castle cafe and gift shop
The castle gift shop is well worth a look, as it stocks a variety of toys and gifts that are not commonly found in big chain/department stores. There’s also lots of themed products – books, toys and puzzles – for children that are interested in knights, medieval times, fairytales and fairies. It is difficult to emerge from this area without purchasing something! In the same area is the Sunshine Cafe, which serves a variety of kid-friendly food and drinks, including fairy bread and smurf (blue) milkshakes.
A brief history of Sunshine Castle
Originally built in 1972 by a local Scottish couple to house their fairytale and doll collections, the castle has grown over time and has had three owners and three names – Fairytale Castle, Bli Bli Castle and now Sunshine Castle.
The castle, now more than 40 years old, continues to enjoy views of the Maroochy River and the surrounding cane fields, as well as sprawling suburbia.
It’s also become a popular venue for holding corporate events, weddings, children’s birthday parties, and even hosts concerts for the Underground Opera Company.
Please note that many areas of the castle are not pram or wheelchair accessible.
For more information about the castle, including admission fees and school holiday activities, please visit the Sunshine Castle website.