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Things To Do On The Sunshine Coast In Australia

The Sunshine Coast is a region of coastal land situated north of Brisbane that encompasses beach resorts, surf spots, and national parks. During a weekend trip in May, my friends and I drove two hours north from Brisbane to Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast. If you want to visit the Sunshine Coast I recommend flying into Brisbane and renting a car. You can rent a car at age 21 in Australia and reach the Sunshine Coast much more directly and efficiently than you would by taking public transportation.

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Noosa Heads, Queensland

Noosa Heads is a can’t miss destination for things to do on the Sunshine Coast. The coastal town has a small downtown full of unique restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and Noosa National Park, which is one of the most beautiful and relaxing beaches I’ve visited. This area is mostly populated by families and retirees, making it feel like a true getaway.

Noosa National Park in the Sunshine Coast, Australia

There is a coastal walk beginning at the beach that will take you past several scenic lookouts and ends at the famous Fairy Pools. These pools aren’t marked but are easy to find because of all the people swimming in them! The Fairy Pools are essentially just large tide pools, but are so refreshing and fun to swim in! The coastal walk took us about two hours round trip.

Exploring the Fairy Pools in Noosa, Sunshine Coast
Exploring the Fairy Pools in Noosa, Sunshine Coast

Since Noosa is located two hours away from Brisbane (and up to 4 hours if you’re taking public transportation), I recommend staying a night! We stayed at the Nomads Noosa Hostel and loved it. This hostel has a beach vibe, parking, an awesome happy hour, and is located within a 5 minute walk to the downtown and beach!

Pro-tip: My number one restaurant recommendation for this area is Cafe Le Monde on Hastings Street for dinner.

Beerwah, Queensland

Crickey! You can’t leave Australia without visiting Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo —Home of the Crocodile Hunter! The zoo is located in Beerwah, Queensland, which is exactly an hour from both Noosa and Brisbane. Since my group had rented a car, a stop here fit perfectly into our schedule as we made our way from Noosa down to Brisbane.

Pro-tip: If you aren’t renting a car for this trip, you can take a day trip to the zoo with a transfer from Gold Coast. Or, you can take a day trip to the Australia Zoo from Brisbane

Visiting the Australia Zoo is one of the things to do in the Sunshine Coast
Visiting the Australia Zoo in the Sunshine Coast

Key Information About The Australia Zoo

If you are studying abroad in Australia there is a concession on admission! We paid $47 AUD which I thought was a good price for all that the zoo had to offer. Regular adult tickets cost $59 AUD. I would set aside at least a half day for the zoo.

The zoo is spread out over 1,000 acres. The best part? No animals are in cages and the zoo is designed like an animal sanctuary. I was most impressed with the Africa area as there was a savannah “exhibit” that literally looked like the wild. Giraffes, rhinos, and zebras were all roaming freely together in a giant field that you could take a safari through!

Visiting the Australia Zoo in the Sunshine Coast
Visiting the Australia Zoo in the Sunshine Coast

Lastly, everyday at noon the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Show takes place in the Crocoseum. The Irwin family still runs this show. Don’t miss the massive crocs!

I hope this post inspires you to one day visit the Sunshine Coast, or if you are planning on studying abroad in Sydney, I hope you find this post helpful as you prepare for the semester of a lifetime!

Looking for more Australia content? Check out my blog post covering all things Gold Coast, Queensland!

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Things to do on the Sunshine Coast


  1. September 7, 2023 / 11:23 PM

    I might be a little biased because I live there, but I think the Sunshine Coast has some incredible drawcards. The beaches, quite rightly, grab the headlines, but the hinterland and its rural areas are pretty cool too. Have you been to Montville or Kin Kin? It’s hard to believe you are in the same region when you go to them. They are both so lush and beautiful.

  2. March 10, 2024 / 7:14 PM

    Haven’t been to these spots yet… will add it to my list!

  3. March 11, 2024 / 7:26 AM

    This engaging blog article vividly illustrates the allure of exploring the Sunshine Coast, providing practical tips and captivating anecdotes from the author’s own adventures. The personal experiences shared evoke a sense of wanderlust, encouraging readers to immerse themselves in the region’s natural wonders and vibrant culture. After reading, I’m inspired to plan my own Sunshine Coast expedition, eager to uncover its hidden gems and scenic delights.

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