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Things to do in Noosa with Kids

Whether you’re planning a weekend or a week long trip on the sunny coast, there is so no shortage of super fun things to do on the Sunshine Coast with kids.  Some of the best Sunshine Coast things to do include swimming in the gorgeous beaches, walking through stunning hinterland, visiting some great family friendly attractions and loads more.

Whether this is your first time to the Sunny Coast or your tenth, if you’re planning a visit and needing some inspiration for things to do at the Sunshine Coast that the kids will just love, then you should definitely read this article.  In this kids activities, Sunshine Coast guide, I’ll cover all the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast for kids, as well as essential information such as location and where applicable, opening hours, and ticket prices.

Now all you need to do is decide which of these things to do with kids on the Sunshine Coast will make it to your shortlist!

Talk to other families about their tips on visiting the Sunshine Coast and join our Queensland Travel Facebook Group. 

Main Image Credit – Thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

This post may contain compensated links.  Please refer to my disclaimer here for more information. 

The Fun Things to do on the Sunshine Coast with Kids

In the things to do with kids – Sunshine Coast guide below, I’ve provided a comprehensive guide of everything to do.  Please note where prices are mentioned they were correct at the time of writing and may fluctuate depending upon changes to currency conversion and rate increases.  To check the rate in your local currency, click here. 

I’ve also included a map showing where all the below tourist attractions are located.  This will make it easier when planning your itinerary as well as determining the best location to stay.

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

One of the best Sunshine Coast attractions for families is Australia Zoo.  Australia Zoo is one of Australia’s most well-known zoos thanks to the late Steve Irwin, who is also known as the Crocodile Hunter. 

Some of the animals on display include Australian Lizards, Freshwater and Saltwater Crocodiles, Koalas, Birds of Prey, Kangaroos, Red Pandas and tigers.

There are a variety of animal presentations on during the day including tortoises, otters, koalas, birds of prey and crocodiles.  The main show during the day is the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.  This show is held only once a day in the Crocosuem and is not to be missed.  You will see and learn about giant snakes, experience freeflight birds and a snapping croc feeding demonstration – definitely one of the Sunshine Coast activities to experience. Check the presentation times on arrival.

Location:1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 5pm 
Price: $61 Adults | $37 Kids | $180 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Click here to book discounted tickets online.

Aquaduck Sunshine Coast

Not sure whether to explore the Sunshine Coast by land or sea? Why not both?! Aquauck let’s you do so with it’s amphibious build.

Explore the Sunshine Strip, Mooloolaba Beach and the Esplanade on land… before splashing into the water to cruise up Mooloolaba River, spotting wildlife and having a nosey at the mega mansions lining the canals.

A pretty cool experience… which gets even better when on water. Kids are invited to see what it’s like to be the captain. They will love driving the Aquaduck in the captains seat and will even be awarded their very own Aquaduck Captain’s Certificate!

Location: Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba (in front of SEALife)
Opening Hours: Tour departs daily with set departure times
Price: $42 Adult | $32 Kids | $138 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Click here to book tickets online.

Explore Noosa Everglades

Things to do in Noosa with Kids

There are only two everglades systems in the world… Noosa and Florida. However, you can only swim in Noosa… as Florida has alligators!

The Noosa Everglades are known as the River of Mirrors because of the amazing reflections in the water. It is made up of a 60km stretch of pristine waters, magnificent flora and fauna and narrow waterways.

Seeing as there are no alligators, what better way to explore than on a canoe or cruise boat. If you prefer to provide the paddle power, the Eco Safari Cruise and Canoe could be what you’re after. Alternatively, if you would like to sit back and relax, the Scenic Cruise Tour with Lunch could be more your style. Both tours include lunch.

Whatever option you choose, you’ll enjoy exploring this unique diverse ecosystem as a family.

Location: Noosa Everglades
Opening Hours: Tours depart on different days/times, check the links for more details
Price: Eco Safari Cruise and Canoe: $145 Adult | $105 Kids | $475 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Click here to book tickets online.
Scenic Cruise Tour with Lunch: $259 Adult | $179 Kids – Click here to book tickets online.

QCamel Dairy

If you’re after things to see and do on the Sunshine Coast for the kids, why not heat to QCamel Dairy, where as well as getting a behind the scenes tour of the farm you can get a cuddle with the cute and gentle camels. QCamel is a camel dairy where the milk is used to make a range of products including soap, chocolates, yoghurt and feta.

This is one of the Sunshine Coast kids activities that is educational – but, in a fun way! Kids will learn about ethical and sustainable farming practices, whilst also getting to nuzzle up to the camels, it’s a win/win!

Location: Beerwah
Opening Hours: First & Third Saturday of every month – 10am to 12pm
Price: $35 Adult | $15 Kids | $100 Family Pass (2A+3C)

Big Kart Track

Go Karting - Sunshine Coast

The Big Kart Track is the largest commercial track in Australia and here there is something for the older kids, and adults!  These karts go up to 70km/hour and are super fun!

The Big Kart Track is 1.2km in length and is suitable for those over 152cm and aged at least 12 years.  Unfortunately the kids track suitable for 3+ years is currently closed due to restrictions, however check back as this is sure to change.

So if you do have older kids who have a need for speed, the Big Kart Track is one of the hair-raising things to do, Sunshine Coast has on offer. If you have smaller kids tagging along, there is a café and viewing deck to watch all the action!

For older kids who like cars, Big Kart Track is definitely one of the best attractions on the Sunshine Coast.

Location: 2310 Steve Irwin Way, Landsborough
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 9am to 5pm | Friday & Saturday 9am to 10pm
Price: Varies but starts at $45 for 15 minutes for the Big Kart Track

DownUnder Submarines

Stay dry as you dive up to 30 metres underwater in Australia’s first ever tourist submarine! Kids will love the underwater world, seen from viewports where they can spot marine life and learn about the submarine.

The tour starts with a 20 minute cruise to the dive site, where can enjoy views along the Mooloolaba River on the outside deck. Once at the dive site, you will head inside to the air-conditioned cabin where you will experience the exciting world of the underwater for around 40 minutes. Your experienced guide will also provide commentaries on the sub-sea features and submarine details, before heading back to the Fisheries to disembark.

Children older than 2 years (taller than 90cm) are welcome to enjoy this experience… and we think they will love it… and you!

Location:  “DeBrett Fisheries”, 21 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba
Opening Hours: Tours depart Tue, Sat, Sun at 9am and 1pm and Thu 9am and 11am
Price: $253 Adult | $143 Kids

Aussie World  

Aussie World

While much smaller than the Gold Coast theme parks, Aussie World certainly makes up for this in the fun to be had, no queue lines and ticket prices are much cheaper!  One of the fun Sunshine Coast attractions for kids.

There are over 18 Aussie World rides and attractions spread out over 15 acres.  All your family favourite rides are here including chair plane, Ferris wheel, dodgems, giant slides, swimming ship, carousel and teacups.  There are also a few thrill rides for the older kids and gentle rides for the tiny tots.

As well as rides there is roving entertainers, Professor Bogglesworth’s Illusionarium, horror house (must be over 12 yo), water play area (bring swimmers and towels), mini golf, sideshow alley, crazy mirrors and arcade games.  

As there is something for everyone, Aussie World is one of the all inclusive family things to do, Sunshine Coast has. You’ll have delighted toddlers, happy kids and smiling teens… well, maybe not smiling, but you know they’re smiling on the inside.

Location: 1 Downunder Drive, Palmview
Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 4pm   
Price: $44 Adults + Kids | $158 Day Pass (any combination of adults/kids) | Kids under 3 FREE

Pick Your Own Strawberries

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

One of the cool activities on the Sunshine Coast for the family is picking your own strawberries.  Even if they don’t like eating them, just letting the kids stroll around the strawberry patch and picking them is fun in itself.

Plus the strawberry patches always tend to have great little cafes on site where you can get a range of yummy treats, like strawberry ice cream, scones with strawberry jam and much more.  They are also great places to come for a picnic.

There are a few places on the Sunny Cast where you can pick strawberries such as McMartin’s Farm at Bli Bli and Rolin Farms at Elimbah, Sunshine Coast. Family activities that involve food are usually a big hit… you just have to try keep the strawberries out of the kids mouths until the bucket has been weighed and paid!

Just keep in mind that strawberry picking is seasonal and is only available between June to October.

Location: 105 Sports Road, Bli Bli or 124-190 Rutters Road, Elimbah
Opening Hours: During strawberry season, usually daily from 8.30am to 4pm.
Price: You are charged just for what you pick, although there is usually a minimum charge of 1kg.

Bould Move

If it’s raining, the kids are going stir crazy and you’re wondering what to do? Sunshine Coast Bould Move is the newest indoor bouldering centre. With a dedicated kids wall, your little ones will be challenged as they test their problem-solving skills and build their climbing skills.

So don’t let the rain ruin your holiday, get the kids energy our at Bould Move, whilst you join them, or watch from the café.

Location: 24 Innovation Parkway, Birtinya
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 5am to 9pm | Saturday & Sunday 8am to 8pm
Price: $30 Adults | $20 Kids – Kids under 4 FREE

Take a Scenic Drive

With such gorgeous landscapes from the coast to the hinterland, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to take the family on a scenic drive.  No matter where you go you’ll find plenty of stunning lookouts, picnic areas, as well as interesting attractions and shops to stop in along the way.

Of course you can make up your own scenic drive, but if you need some inspiration on where to go, here are a few suggestions:

Blackall Range (Tourist Drive 23): Many say this is the most scenic drive on the Sunshine Coast.  This drive takes you through various little townships including Montville, Mapleton and Maleny all with spectacular views across the valley and out to the coast.  

Glasshouse Mountains (Tourist Drive 24): This is gorgeous drive taking you through the Glass House Mountains National Park where you can see the various volcanic mountains rising from the ground.  

Sunshine Coast Coastal Drive: To see the Sunny Coast’s beautiful beaches, stick to the coastal roads as best you can.  You’ll pass some of the most beautiful beaches in some quiet coastal towns, as well as your more popular beach suburbs like Caloundra, Coolum and Mooloolaba.  Along the way, there are some great lookouts, picnic areas and of course some beautiful places for a swim.

Kings Beach, Caloundra

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

When it comes to things to do on the Sunshine Coast for free – look no further than the gorgeous, stunning beaches – like Kings Beach in Caloundra.  Kings Beach is the main beach of Caloundra and has some great facilities to make it a great day out for families with kids of all ages.

One of the most interesting things about Kings Beach is that it is home to an ocean pool which has shade sails, a lap pool, kids’ area and disabled access. The best thing – it’s completely free!!  Plus being a pool, it’s great for little ones not too keen on the surf.  But for the bigger kids, there is also a fantastic surf beach here as well.

Another great thing to do at Kings Beach is to walk along the foreshore.  There is a fantastic walking track (part of the Coastal Pathway), which takes in some spectacular coastal views and you can walk for miles and miles. 

Kings Beach also has a great playground, picnic area, BBQ facilities, water fountains to play in and easy access to shops, cafes and all necessary amenities for a great day at the beach.

Like all of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast, Kings Beach can get busy during peak periods, including school holidays and therefore parking can be a challenge. However, arriving earlier in the day will certainly help; also, outside school holidays! 

Other beaches at Caloundra include Bulcock Beach, Golden Beach, Shelly Beach, Moffat Beach and Dicky Beach.  Plus there is also the gorgeous Currumindi Lakes – so there is no shortage of places to swim at Caloundra.

If you’re looking for free things to do in Sunshine Coast that the whole family will enjoy – why not get wet at Kings Beach Caloundra.

Written by Erin Parker, from Go Camping Plus

Find out more about things to do in Caloundra here, or if you want to stay in the area, you can check out our guide to the best accommodation in Caloundra here.

Walk or Ride along the Coastal Pathway

For those families feeling super energetic, why not see how much of the Coastal Pathway you can explore.  Whether you walk it or ride it, the Coastal Pathway is a gorgeous way to take in some of the Sunshine Coast’s most beautiful scenery.  The Coastal Pathway stretches all the way from Bells Creek at Golden Beach in Caloundra, right up to Coolum in the north – 73km long! We’re not saying to do it all, but part of it will be some great family fun, Sunshine Coast has on offer.

Play a Round of Mini Golf

Mini golf is such a great family activity no matter what the age of your kids.  There are a few different places you can play mini golf on the Sunny Coast including Holey Moley at Maroochydore or Maroochy River Mini Golf at Bli Bli.

If it’s raining and you’re looking for some indoor activities Sunshine Coast has, then Holey Moley is your best bet. Have all the fun, whilst staying dry!

Location: Holey Moley, Big Top Shopping Centre, 12 – 20 Ocean Street, Maroochydore
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10am to 10pm | Friday & Saturday 10am to midnight
Price: $12 Adults | $10 Kids | For 9 holes (30mins)

Stay at an Awesome Family Resort 

The Sunshine Coast has some super awesome family resorts.  Of course the Sunshine Coast has a range of different accommodation options and you can read our guide on where to stay on the Sunshine Coast with family here.

However if you’re looking for an awesome family resort which as some great facilities for the kids a few to consider are Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort, Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort and the Noosa RACV Resort.

If you’re after Sunshine Coast kids activities at the resorts, these 3 options have a great range, including awesome swimming pools, water parks, playgrounds and more.

Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

The Maleny Botanic Gardens are gorgeous!  These privately owned gardens cover an area of 18 acres and are surrounded by rainforests with fantastic views across the Glass House Mountains.

Throughout the gardens, there are 6 km of walking paths which take you through a range of terraced gardens full of gorgeous colourful plants and exquisite landscaping, as well as past multiple waterfalls and lakes. For little tired legs, make use of the electric golf buggy’s (at a cost).

The gardens are also home to Bird World.  Walk through aviaries home to over 700 native and exotic birds from all over the world.  Join a one hour guided tour where you can learn more about these lovely birds, and perhaps even have your photo taken with one on your shoulder… definitely one of the fund things to do in Sunshine Coast.

There is a cafe on site or the grounds are perfect for a picnic.

Location: 233 Maleny-Stanley River Road, Maleny
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 4.30pm
Price: Gardens Only = $18 Adults | $5 Kids | $41 Family Pass (2A+2C)
Gardens and Aviary = $39 Adults | $20 Kids | $98 Family Pass (2A+2C)
Kids under 3 FREE – Click here to buy tickets online.

Maleny Cheese Factory 

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

If you love cheese, then a visit to the Maleny Cheese Factory is an absolute must!  Sample a range of different cheeses and yoghurts and take a peek at where the magic happens from the expansive viewing platforms inside the working dairy factory.  Grab yourself a delicious cheeseboard to share with the family and glass of wine to enjoy at their café while enjoying the stunning views across the hinterland.

Location: 1 Clifford St, Balmoral Ridge
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 3pm

Maleny Dairies Farm Tour

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

On your Sunshine Coast holidays for kids, be sure to come and visit the Maley Dairies and take a guided tour.  Tours take 1.5 hours, where you’ll be given a brief overview of the farm as well as some great activities.

Activities during the tour include things like getting to pet and feed the baby farm animals, watch the cows being milked (only on the afternoon tours), see the factory where the milk is processed and bottled.  At the end of the tour, you’ll also be able to sample some delicious milk products which are made at the farm.

After your tour, you can also take a tractor ride around the paddocks.  This is perfect if you’re looking for some great toddler activities, Sunshine Coast offers.

Location: 70 McCarthy Rd, Maleny 
Opening Hours: Daily (except Sundays) 10am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm
Price: $14 per person – Kids under 2 FREE

Explore a National Park

If you’re wondering what to do in Sunshine Coast, did you know there are more National Parks in the Sunshine Coast than in any other region in Queensland – so there is plenty to do and see outdoors in nature.  The National Parks are home to some stunning waterfalls, gorgeous creeks, ancient rainforests, spectacular vistas and just all round great places to take the kids for a day out.   

Here is a list of the some of the best National Parks you can explore on the Sunshine Coast:

  • Mapleton Falls National Park: Not be confused with Mapleton National Park, this park is located just past Mapleton.  Here you’ll find a range of short walks including a walk to the lovely Mapleton Falls and a viewing platform over the stunning Obo Obi Gorge and Mary River Valley.
  • Conondale National Park:  Just past Maleny, this park has a range of short and long walks where you can see deep gorges, ancient rainforests, waterfalls and incredible views.  Don’t miss the stunning Booloumba Falls walking track and Queensland’s tallest tree!
  • Glass House Mountains National Park:  This park is made up of a range of towering volcanic peaks among a pine plantation.  There is a range of walking tracks, mountain bike tracks, rock climbing routes and even horse riding trails. Popular walking tracks include Mount Ngungun and Mount Tibrogargan.  There is also a visitor centre to check out too.
  • Noosa National Park:  There is a range of walks here that take you past a variety of native wildlife and some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever see!  It’s also nice and close to Hastings Street so you can grab a bite after you’ve worked up an appetite.
  • Great Sandy National Park:  This park includes two sections being the Cooloola section from Noosa up to Rainbow Beach and then the section on Fraser Island.  The park is a great one for the 4WD enthusiasts and the area is full of stunning beaches, massive sand dunes and a range of freshwater lakes and creeks.
  • Kondalilla National Park: Located in Montville and home to the 4.7 km Kondilla Falls Circuit, where you can see the Kondalilla Falls, rock pools and freshwater creeks.  
  • Mount Coolum National Park: A climb to the top of Mount Coolum is a popular activity – the views from the top are amazing!
  • Mooloolaba River National Park:  On the banks of the Mooloolaba River this is one of the few coastal rainforest areas remaining on the Sunshine Coast.  Here you will find a range of short walks and could even spot a platypus if you come at dawn or dusk.
  • Mary Cairncross Reserve:  While not a National Park, we couldn’t leave Mary Cairncross Reserve off this list.  This scenic reserve is close to Maleny and has a range of walks through the gorgeous tropical rainforest.  There is also plenty of BBQ facilities, a playground and a café too.  Also stop into the discovery centre while you’re there.

It’s time to get off the screens, breathe in that fresh air and discover the beautiful national parks, one of the great bonding family activities Sunshine Coast offers.

Hike to a Waterfall

While the National Parks we mentioned above have some amazing waterfalls, there are a few waterfalls well worth checking out, that are not in a National Park – check them out below.

  • Gardners Falls in Maleny – where you can swim in one of the various rock pools; there are also plenty of grassy spots, making it perfect for a picnic. 
  • Another waterfall worth checking out is Wappa Falls. These falls in the Jack Harrison Park, just past Yandina, which is set around the Wappa Dam.  It’s a short walk to the Wappa Falls which flow from the dam into the Maroochy River.  
  • The Buderim Conservation Park – also home to the gorgeous Buderim Falls as well as a lovely forest with a range of walking tracks and viewing platforms.  Here you will also find a range of BBQ facilities and picnic tables.

If you’re looking to get the kids exploring their natural environments, waterfalls are always a winner. Kids always love cascading water, and if they can dip their feet, this is an added bonus. Visiting the waterfalls is definitely one of the things to do with kids Sunshine Coast is known for.

Amaze World

Maze - Sunshine Coast

Amaze World is a magical world and another one of the fun Sunshine Coast things to do with kids – it’s a great day out for the whole family.

Bellingham Maze is the main attraction, it is a massive star shaped 80m by 80m Lilly Pilly hedge maze.  Families need to make their way to the middle where there is a wooden lookout which helps you not only appreciate the magnitude of the size of the maze but also help you figure your way out.  There are also a few gnomes and coloured letters on poles to help solve some riddles along the way.

If you’re still up for a bit more of challenge, there are also a few different smaller mazes to try out too, like the Tyre Maze, the Ropes Maze, the timber Scrabble Maze and more.  Also don’t leave without having a round of mini golf, or a play in the nature playground and water play – there are so many kids activities Sunshine Coast Amaze World has onsite. Plus, there is also a café or you can enjoy a picnic.

Location: 274 Tanawha Tourist Dr, Tanawha 
Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 4pm
Price: $29.70 Adults | $24.30 Kids | $99 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Click here to buy tickets online.

Contributed by Daneen from Camper Van Road Trips

Sea Life Sunshine Coast

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

Another one of the best kids attractions, Sunshine Coast, offers families is SeaLife at Mooloolaba.  This is the perfect place to come for families who want to see marine life up close.  The award winning Sunshine Coast aquarium is fantastic for kids with loads of hands on experiences, displays and shows across themed zones.

The main attraction at Sea Life is the Ocean Tunnel.  The tunnel allows you to see marine life swim by you and above you as you wander through.  The tunnel is full of sharks, stingrays, turtles and fish.  The kids will also love the tidal touch pool, which as the name suggests allows the kids to touch starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

There are a variety of animal presentations on during the day including seals, stingrays, ocean tunnel tour and jellyfish.  Check the presentation times on arrival.

So if rain is threatening on the Sunshine Coast, indoor activities are the way to go. And whilst the animals may be wet, the whole family will stay dry at the all weather visitor attraction; SeaLife.

Location: Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba
Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
Price: $36 Adults | $24.80 Kids – Kids under 2 FREE – Click here to buy tickets online.

If you’re looking at staying in Mooloolaba, click here for our full guide on the best family accommodation in Mooloolaba.

Spend the Day at Mooloolaba

As well as SeaLife, Mooloolaba has a great beach area and is an ideal spot for a day trip or as a longer stay and a must visit for families with kids.

Mooloolaba Spit Beach is one of the safest beaches for families on the Sunshine Coast because of its sheltered cove which is over-looked by a 32m lighthouse. It’s an ideal beach for paddling, wave jumping, snorkelling, boogie boarding and even for kids learning to surf. 

Also, just 15 minutes up the road are Alex Corner beach and the Pandanus lookout, which are great for kids who love rock pools. At low tide, the rocks here are home to hundreds of sea creatures and the beach here provides a good place to launch SUP boards. 

Despite its coastal location, Mooloolaba has several parks. The Alex Bluff Foreshore Park, La Balsa park & Cotton Tree park boast BBQs, picnic, ball and bike areas and expanses of grass and playparks.  

The Esplanade is by far the most popular area in Mooloolaba for alfresco dining and there are loads of family friendly options including Crumbed or Naked, Lemon and Thyme, Spice Bar (for sit down meals) and CK Coffee Bar and Wholefoods.

From the Spit area, you can go whale and dolphin watching, swim with whales, take canal cruises and rent jet skis and SUP boards. 

If you’re looking for one of the free, fun things to do Sunshine Coast has on offer – heading to Mooloolaba for the day could be just what you’re after.

Contributed by Emma from Journey of a Nomadic Family

Whale Watching

Whale Watching - Sunshine Coast

As mentioned above, Mooloolaba is a great place to go on a whale watching tour.  Every year between July to October, the whales are passing by the Sunshine Coast as they make their way from Antarctica to warmer waters and then back again towards the end of the season. Most people say that the best time to spot a whale from land is in July.

Tours usually go for a few hours with your choice of a morning or afternoon tour.  You can take a cruise out from Mooloolaba or even Noosa. There is also the opportunity to swim with the whales!  What a fantastic experience this would be!  

If you don’t fancy taking a whale-watching cruise then you can spot these gorgeous creatures from a few places around the Sunny Coast including Dolphin Point in Noosa National Park, Point Perry or Point Arkwright in Coolum and Moffat Headland at Moffat Beach. 

Seeing the whales, whether from a cruise or from land, is one of the top things to do on the Sunshine Coast. Activities for families can sometimes be hard to find, however we reckon all kids will love seeing the whales.

Click here for information about the various tours.

Take a Relaxing Cruise

Cruise - Sunshine Coast

Even when it’s not whaling watching season you can still take a relaxing cruise around the Sunshine Coast.  There is a range of options available from a relaxing sightseeing cruise around Caloundra, a lunch or sunset cruise and the Mooloolaba waterways or even a Noosa Everglades cruise where you’ll see a range of different landscapes. This is one of the great water-based activities Sunshine Coast has available.

Prices and departure points vary – click here for more information and pricing.

Jet Boating

Now if a relaxing cruise is a little too boring for your kids, then why not take them jet boating. This is without a doubt one of the fun things to do in the Sunshine Coast!  Things to do for families that like to get the adrenaline pumping, will love flying over the waves, the wind blowing their hair, sea spray misting your eyes… these faster cruises will get you out in the ocean quickly and give you the opportunity to see dolphins.  

Prices and departure points vary, so click here for more information.

Caloundra half-day Jet Ski Tour

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

Another way to get the adrenaline pumping is to go jet skiing.  Go on a jet ski tour with the guys from Caloundra Jet Ski Tours as well as having a blast it’s a great to explore the area too.   The 4 hour guided tour takes you the entire length of Bribie Island to Pumicestone Passage, twisting and sliding through the narrow mangrove lined channels to really experience the local waterways. No license is required and pricing is per jet ski which fit up to 2 adults and 1 child, meaning you can get value for money here.

Keep in mind age minimums do apply, so check the link above for more information.

Wildlife HQ

If you are visiting the Big Pineapple, stop in at Wildlife HQ, located next door.  Wildlife HQ (often referred to as the Big Pineapple Zoo) is home to native and exotic animals from around the world including koalas, dingoes, snakes, crocodiles, sun bears, red pandas and meerkats.

You will be able to get up close and personal with the animals, by booking either an animal feeding encounter or animal photo session. And if you just try to escape the animals, you can’t, even at the café there is a Cotton Top Tamarin exhibit right next to you – immersive dining at its best!

Location: 76 Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 4pm
Price: $36 Adults | $22 Kids | $99 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Kids under 3 FREE.

Big Pineapple

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

Australia is known for it’s ‘big things’ – big banana, big prawn, and of course the Big Pineapple. At this point in time the Big Pineapple is currently undergoing renewal and transformation under a master plan. Whilst you won’t be able to enter the Big Pineapple, you will still be able to have your photo taken outside with this national tourism icon… which if we’re honest, is what it’s mostly about!

However, if you’re here, you may as well check out the Wildlife HQ (above) and Treetop Challenge (below), which are located on the same site. Three awesome things to do in Sunshine Coast for families in the one location!

Location:76 Nambour Connection Road, Woombye
Opening Hours: Anytime for photos
Price: FREE

Sunshine Coast TreeTop Challenge

Tree Top - Sunshine Coast

If you’re looking for cool things to do on the Sunshine Coast with the kids, how about the Treetop Challenge.  This is the highest adventure course in Australia, which has you suspended through the rainforest while you make your way through 100 different challenges.

The obstacle course includes 12 massive flying foxes and zip lines up to 120m.  And don’t worry, there are 6 different courses to choose from, so if you have any little ones, then you can start with the easy course.  Just keep in mind that there is an age and height minimums for some of the courses.

If you’re looking for activities for kids, Sunshine Coast Treetops Challenge will exhilarate and excite all children (from age 3+).

Location: 76 Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 5pm – with set session times
Price: $65 Adult | $55 Kids | $220 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Click here to book online.

Chillax at Cotton Tree

Cotton Tree along the banks of the Maroochy River is the perfect place for a quiet chilled out break with the kids.  Either book into one of the various self contained apartments or better yet book into the Cotton Tree Tourist Park which is located right on the banks of the river  (read our full review here).

Cotton Tree is an excellent place for families, you have the calm waters of the river for swimming, kayaking or standup paddleboarding.  Then just around the corner, you have the surf at Maroochydore Beach.  Plus the area has a range of playgrounds and cafes, to keep the kids entertained while you enjoy a cuppa. And on the weekends, one of the fun things to don on Sunshine Coast is to enjoy the Sunday markets, with fresh local produce, ripe for sampling.

Click here for our full guide on where to stay at Maroochydore and Cotton Tree.

Sunshine Castle

If you’re after things to see on the Sunshine Coast which are a little different, then how about the Sunshine Coast Castle.  This medieval themed castle which is complete with a moat, turrets, towers and a draw bridge, is full of a range of historical displays that the kids will just love.

Discover the castle on a mini self-guided tour with access to the Courtyard, Dancing Dolls, Fairytale walk and Model Train display. Finishing at the coffee counter and toyshop, where you can listen to the kids asking you to buy every toy in the shop!

Location: 292-296 David Low Way, Bli Bli 
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm | Sunday 10am to 3pm
Price: $8 General Admission per person

Burn off some Energy at an Aqua Park

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

For some super fun things to around the Sunshine Coast, take the kids to burn off some energy at an Aqua Park.  The Sunshine Coast has two – there is the Blast Aqua Park at Coolum or the Bli Bli Aqua Park.  

The kids (and parents) will have tonnes of fun as they jump around on these inflatable obstacle courses in the water.  There are slides, jumping platforms and more all connected.

As the Aqua Parks are outside on the water, this activity is one the the things to do on Sunshine Coast during the Summer months.

Location: Blast Park – 60 Junction Dr, Coolum Beach | Bli Bli Park – 367 David Low Way, Bli Bli
Opening Hours: Hours vary – check directly with parks – but generally open 7 days during the warmer months and weekends only during the winter months.
Price: $20 per person per 50 minute session, price decreases when multiple sessions are booked.

Hang Out at Coolum Beach

Coolum: Family Holiday Accommodation Coolum

Another gorgeous Sunshine Coast beach to either spend the day or a week, is Coolum Beach.  Coolum Beach is gorgeous with a wide sandy beach and the ocean is perfect for surfing and boogie boards.

Coolum has a main strip of shops which includes a few cafes and a couple of beachy type clothes stores.  Plus thanks to the dog friendly beach and tourist park, it’s also a great place to come for those families that don’t want to leave their furry friend at home.

Click here for our full guide on where to stay in Coolum.

Climb Mount Coolum

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

One of the most popular things to do while staying in Coolum is to climb Mount Coolum in the Mount Coolum National Park.  This giant mass of rock rises 208m and from the top, you have some fantastic 360 degree panoramic views across the area.

Although it’s only a 1.6km return walk, allow around 1.5 to 2.5 hours to complete the track – this also allows for a few rests along the way and some time to really enjoy those views from the top.  The walk to the top is rather steep but more than doable for most active children, though may not be one of the things to do with toddlers Sunshine Coast offers – unless you want to carry them most of the way!

The walk gets super hot in summer, so avoid the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s hottest.  And make sure you take plenty of water, and lather up the suncream.

The Ginger Factory

Ginger Factory - Sunshine Coast

It can be a bit tricky if you have little ones and are looking for Sunshine Coast things to do with toddlers, but the Ginger Factory is a great place for kids of all ages.  There are a variety of attractions here including a guided tour of the Buderim Ginger Factory tour where you’re shown how ginger is grown, harvested and made into a range of products as well as getting to sample a few products too.

Other attractions here include the 116 year old historic sugar cane train taking you through 9 hectares of lush tropical gardens, the Live Bee Show and honey tasting, and the Overboard Boat ride where you board a boat and follow the gingerbread man on an adventure. 

The Ginger Factory has a large cafeteria area as well as numerous playgrounds suited for different ages.

Location:50 Pioneer Road, Yandina. 
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 4.30pm
Price: Varies depending on attractions. Click here to book tickets online.

Eumundi Markets

With over 600 stalls, the Eumundi markets Sunshine Coast is said to be Australia’s biggest art and craft market, selling a range of handmade crafts and delicious local produce.  You will find everything here from jewellery to clothes, toys, coffee, cakes, fruit and vegetables and stacks more.

Before you head back to Caloundra, stop at the playground at nearby Dick Caplick Park, just beside the markets.

Location: Napier Road, Eumundi.
Opening Hours: Wednesdays 8am to 2pm | Saturday 7am to 2pm
Price: FREE

Go Kayaking on the Noosa River

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

Noosa is a fabulous destination on the Sunshine Coast to visit with kids and in my view, one of the top 10 things to do on the Sunshine Coast without a doubt is to take the kids kayaking on the Noosa River is a great option.

The Noosa river mouth estuary is full of wildlife. Paddle through the mangroves, hop out and explore the sandflats and keep an eye out for all manner of wildlife – from birds to stingrays, crabs and fish.

The best time of day to go kayaking is early morning when the water is flat, the wind hasn’t picked up and the birds are out and about catching their breakfast.

Kayak Noosa rent high quality double touring kayaks which are perfect for families with kids. They are very stable, comfortable and the small sails make the trip a lot easier if the wind picks up. You can rent a kayak and paddle independently or head out with a tour guide.

Noosa is great all year round, with the warmer months from September to March ideal for water-based activities. 

Of course the Noosa River is also ideal for swimming, as are the other beaches in the Noosa like Main Beach and all the gorgeous beaches in the Noosa National Park.

Contributed by Rachel Rodda from Coffee Wise

Click here for our full guide on things to do in Noosa and you can click here for our tips on where to stay in Noosa with family.

Explore the Noosa Coastal Walk

When it comes to free things to do on the Sunshine Coast, in fact just one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast overall – the Noosa Coastal Walk is high on the list! 

The most popular version of the walk starts at Noosa National Park Car Park (Noosa Heads) following the coast for 1.3 km to Dolphin Point along with a beautiful stroller friendly path. 

Flashes of blue ocean shine magically through the trees and you could even spot a Koala. Try easy access surf breaks and dolphins and whale spot from the lookouts. Set up for the day or picnic at delightful beaches like Little Cove and Tea Tree Bay. 

Return to Noosa from Dolphin Point or continue on the rough 1.4 km gravel bush track to the plunging views of Hells Gates, looking down to the Instagram-worthy fairy pools en-route. 

From Hells Gates most walkers do return to Noosa, but it is easy to continue south along gorgeous Alexandria Beach and over the headland to Sunshine Beach for 2.7 km of wild untamed Australian coastline. 

It’s another 1.2 km along one of the best Sunshine Coast beaches to the new Sunshine Beach Surf Club and your bus back to Noosa. 

The southern shore of the Noosa River is another place for families to explore, either on foot, bicycle or on the Noosa Ferry.

Contributed by Jan from Budget Travel Talk

Go Fishing

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

If you’re a family that likes to fish, then you’re in luck as there are numerous places to go fishing on the Sunshine Coast.  There are rivers, creeks, lakes and of course beach fishing too.

I’m not a fisherman, but I hear that around the Sunshine Coast you’ve got a good chance of catching bream, flathead and whiting from the creek and dart, mulloway and tailor from the beach.

Some of the great places to go fishing include the Maroochy River, the Noosa River, the Mooloolah River, the rocks at Point Cartwright and the Mooloolaba Wharf just to name a few.

So what are you waiting for? Get casting with the kids and see what you can hook! This is one of the great free activities for kids Sunshine Coast offers.

Learn to Surf

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

If your kids love the ocean, why get them to take it up a notch and get them to hang ten with some surfing lessons.  If you’re a beginner, you can learn too… what an awesome thing to learn while on the family holiday. Two-hour lessons will see you taught the fundamentals of how to catch and ride waves. Don’t worry about wetsuits and boards, these are included in the course cost – just bring your sense of fun!

Location: Noosa Beach
Opening Hours: Daily for 2 hours at 10am and 2pm
Price: $75 Adults | $65 Kids (check age/height restrictions before booking) – Click here to book tickets online.

Go Camping

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

The Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to go camping.  Whether you prefer to be beachside, in a tourist park with great facilities or in a quiet spot in the hinterland, the Sunshine Coast offers all different kinds of campgrounds perfect for all sorts of campers. Kids will love getting back to nature as they pitch in, pitching a tent or rolling out a swag and enjoying the simpler lifestyle camping brings.

Click here for a list of some of the best camping spots on the Sunshine Coast.

Go Skydiving

Image Credit – Tourism and Events Queensland

If you want to see the Sunshine Coast from a whole other perspective you can even go skydiving!  Yep you can go tandem sky diving from 10,000 to 15,000 feet above the Sunshine Coast and land right onto the beach. Definitely not for the faint hearted, and also not for children. Participants need to be aged 16+ to experience this activity.

Location: Sunshine Coast Airport, 4 Kittyhawk Cl, Marcoola
Opening Hours: Daily with set departure times
Price: $259 per person – Click here to book tickets online

Mary Valley Rattler Train Experience

Mary Valley Rattler - Sunshine Coast

A unique way to see the Sunshine Coast is onboard the Mary Valley Rattler, a beautifully restored old steam train.  The kids will love this railway journey which leaves from Gympie and takes you through the scenic Mary Valley.  There is also a Station Museum which is well worth checking out too.

The round trip takes 3 hours and is great fun for the entire family – and if you’re looking for free activities for toddlers Sunshine Coast has, the Mary Valley Rattler train experience is free for under 2’s.

Location: The Historic Gympie Station, Tozer Street, Gympie
Opening Hours: The train departs at 10 am on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Price: $65 Adults | $35 Kids | $175 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Kids under 2 FREE – Click here to book tickets online.

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I hope you enjoyed this guide on all the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast with kids.  If you need more help planning your Sunshine Coast trip, click here for all our different Sunshine Coast guides.  We also have a guide on where to stay on the Sunshine Coast here.  

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