Noosa holidays with kids makes for the perfect family getaway. Located 90 minutes drive north of Brisbane on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Noosa is home to the best Sunshine Coast beaches and in fact, some of the best beaches in the world. These postcard perfect beaches are ideal for families with their blue, transparent, calm waters and perfect white soft sand. With so many gorgeous beaches to choose from, many of the best things to do in Noosa with kids revolve around the water.
In addition to its beaches, Noosa also offers fantastic walking paths through the Noosa National Park and is also an easy drive away from some of the top Sunshine Coast attractions. Whether you are off for a Noosa long weekend or a week long holiday, there are plenty of Noosa activities for families.
This post covers everything you need for your Noosa family holiday. The post includes the best things to do in Noosa with kids, the best family accommodation Noosa has to stay in Noosa, family friendly restaurants and tips on getting around Noosa.
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- 1 Best Things to do in Noosa with Kids Map
- 2 Things to do on Noosa Holidays with Kids
- 2.1 Hire a Boat and explore the Noosa River
- 2.2 Go Swimming
- 2.3 Go Ride a Wave Surf Lessons
- 2.4 Kayak Noosa River
- 2.5 Catch a Movie at the Event Cinemas Noosa
- 2.6 Try SUP Boarding
- 2.7 Explore Noosa by Bike
- 2.8 Visit a Noosa Playground
- 2.9 Noosa Everglades Boat Cruise
- 2.10 See the Views from the Laguna Lookout Noosa
- 2.11 Hire a Jet Ski
- 2.12 Explore the Noosa National Park (Headland Section)
- 2.13 Go Shopping
- 2.14 Visit the Noosa Sunday Markets
- 2.15 Noosa Botanic Gardens
- 2.16 Noosa Jetboating
- 2.17 Noosa Dolphin Safari Cruise
- 2.18 Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures
- 3 Things to do Around Noosa for Kids
- 4 Where to Stay in Noosa with Kids
- 5 Getting to Noosa
- 6 Getting Around Noosa
Best Things to do in Noosa with Kids Map
Below in this things to do Noosa guide, I’ve provided a comprehensive list of the best things to do and what to see in Noosa. Please note that all prices mentioned 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.
To help with planning your Noosa itinerary, I’ve also provided this handy map below, which shows you where all the different attractions are. Zoom in and out for a better view.
Things to do on Noosa Holidays with Kids
In no particular order, here all our suggestions on the fun kid’s activities Noosa has.
Hire a Boat and explore the Noosa River
With so much to explore around the Noosa River, the best way to do it is by boat. This would have to be one of my all-time favourite Noosa activities. It’s great fun taking the family cruising the Noosa River and down the various canals around Hastings Street. Anchor the boat wherever you find a great swimming spot, maybe even your own deserted beach.
Why not pack a BBQ lunch and cook up a feast on your boat. There are various sandbanks in the mouth of the Noosa River, so find one that looks good and anchor up.
As you can see from the photo above, the mouth of the Noosa River is crystal clear. It is also fairly shallow in parts, making it superb for the kids to go swimming. Make sure you bring the kids snorkelling gear too, so they can check out the various fish.
Don’t have a boat? Don’t worry, you can hire one; you don’t even need a boat license. There are all sorts of boats you can hire along the Noosa River such as little polycraft boats or the BBQ pontoon boats.
The polycraft boats are great for small families and are perfect little fishing boats. These boats fit up to 5 people and come with a dry compartment for you to put your food and drinks in. The BBQ pontoon boats are great for larger groups or for those wanting access to a BBQ on board. These boats seat 12, have heaps of comfy seating, an esky (bring your own ice) and even a speaker so you can listen to your favourite tunes.
Exploring the Noosa River by boat is one of the best things to do in Noosa, kids will love it!
Location: Gympie Terrace, Noosaville and you can’t miss them
Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 4pm
If you visit Noosa with kids, you will no doubt spend a lot of your time swimming. Luckily there is no shortage of gorgeous places to go swimming in Noosa. Here is a quick run down of some of the places to go in Noosa for a swim:
Noosa River: Don’t make the same mistake I did when I first came to Noosa and automatically think the Noosa River is a brown and murky river – this river is gorgeous! There are numerous sandy spots to enter the calm waters along the river banks and there is plenty of sand for the littlies to build sandcastles. The closer you get to the river’s mouth, the more clear the water becomes until it is crystal clear as you can see in the above image. It is a perfect spot for snorkelling too – one of the great things to do in Noosaville.
Noosa Main Beach: The featured image for this article is of Noosa Main Beach. A gorgeous beach with gentle waves, right off the famous Hastings Street strip with the lush green trees of Noosa National Park in the background. This beach has lifeguards on duty, ensuring when you’re swimming at the beach in Noosa, kids are safe!
Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve: If you don’t have a boat to access the mouth of the Noosa River, then your best bet is to reach the beaches from the shore of the Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve. Here you will also find Noosa Dog Beach which, as the name suggests, is a dog friendly beach – probably the most stunning dog beach in the world! There is also a surf beach within the reserve, just up from Noosa Main Beach.
Noosa National Park Beaches: The very best beaches in Noosa are found in the Noosa National Park. See below for more information about these stunning beaches.
Go Ride a Wave Surf Lessons
Surf lessons are another one of the fun things to do in Noosa for families – particularly those with older children. There are a few Noosa surf schools that teach safe surfing on Noosa Heads.
‘Go Ride a Wave’ have qualified surfing coaches and provide everything you need for the lesson – including wetsuits and boards. Lessons take place in waist deep water with gentle waves and absolutely no prior experience is necessary, making this one of the great Noosa kids activities.
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.
Kayak Noosa River
Kayak Noosa River with the family. It’s a great way to explore the Noosa River and really get up close and personal.
Again, our friends at Jetty 17 hire out single or double kayaks along the Noosa River. Take the kayaks out to one of the several sand bar islands located around the Spit and enjoy a swim in the beautiful waters only accessible by boat or kayak. The water is calm and not difficult to navigate at all, making this a fantastic family friendly activity for everyone to enjoy.
For something a little different, you could also take out a Noosa water bike.
Location: Jetty 17, 248 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville
Opening Hours: Daily 8am to 4pm
Price: Starting from $20 per hour
If you’re interested in a guided tour with a 90% guarantee of getting up close and personal with dolphins, then check out this tour with ‘Epic Ocean Adventures’. I have done this tour and had dolphins swim right under my kayak. However, I only recommend this tour to families with older children as you are kayaking out into the ocean and the water can be rough. A few people (including me) capsized, which would be scary for some kids (and adults).
Location: Tours leave from Noosa
Opening Hours: Tours depart daily and are 6 hours duration
Price: All tickets are $141 per person (participants must be aged 7+) – Click here to buy tickets online.
Catch a Movie at the Event Cinemas Noosa
People often ask what to do in Noosa when the weather is wet? Well, one of the things to do in Noosa when it rains is to head to the Noosa Cinemas at Noosa Junction. These cinemas show all the latest blockbusters with discounted family offers on select movies if you’re a Cinebuzz member. Whilst not one of the unique things to do in Noosa, indoor activities do come in handy when it’s raining – so keep this option under your umbrella!
Location: 29 Sunshine Beach Road, Noosa Heads
Opening Hours: Daily from 10am
Try SUP Boarding
If you have ever wanted to try SUP boarding, I highly recommend you give it a try in Noosa. With so many places with calm water, it is the ideal location to give it a whirl and take some lessons. Even if you are a bit more of an expert, there are great spots with gentle waves right up to bigger surf that you can paddleboard.
SUP’ing is one of the things to do at Noosa with older kids or kids who are quite adventurous as they will be maneuvering the board themselves. However, you can always have an adult or older child paddling and a younger one balancing on the front – like we did (see pic).
We grabbed a board from ‘SUP Noosa’. If you want to hire a board for the entire day or week, these guys will even bring it to you completely free of charge!
Location: 17/248 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville
Opening Hours: Daily 8am to 5pm
Price: Board rental from $25 per hour or lessons from $50 per person for 90 minutes.
Explore Noosa by Bike
With so many great pathways around Noosa, it is the perfect location to go bike riding. Exploring Noosa by bike is certainly another one of the fun things to do with kids in Noosa.
If you are from out of town and haven’t bought your own bike, don’t worry – you can hire a bike. The guys at Bike On have a fleet of various bikes (including kids bikes and baby seats) which you can hire from various places across Noosa.
You can even have your bike delivered directly to your Noosa accommodation.
Location: Various locations across Noosa
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm
Price: Adult bikes from $30 per day, kids bikes from $20 per day – Click here for more information.
Visit a Noosa Playground
Noosa holidays for families would not be complete without at least a visit to one of the playgrounds Noosa has on offer – particularly if you’re after things to do in Noosa with toddlers. Unfortunately, there aren’t many great Noosa playgrounds for the kids, but there are a few good ones not to be missed.
One of the best playgrounds: Noosa River Pirate Playground is awesome! Myla loved the pirate playground Noosa when she was small. It’s a great playground because you can combine it with a swim in the river. The Noosa Pirate Park playground is located at the far end of Gympie Terrace Noosaville, towards Tewantin.
Also for the little ones don’t miss the free Tewantin Water Park, which is close to the Tewantin Boat Ramp its a great place for the little ones to run amuck and cool off.
These couple of parks in Noosa will give the kids a chance to burn off some energy and hopefully give you the chance to sit for a minute, or two… if you’re lucky!
…and of course… don’t miss a trip to Noosa without a photo in front of the Big Pelican – so famous is this Pelican that it even featured in an episode of Bluey!
Location: Gympie Terrace, Noosaville
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Noosa Everglades Boat Cruise
Away from the popular Noosa beaches, take a relaxing Noosa boat cruise through the lakes and wetlands of the Noosa River to the start of the Noosa Everglades with Noosa Everglades Eco Safaris. This is perfect if you are looking for Noosa day trips for the whole family. The Noosa Everglades is part of the Cooloola National Park and home to 44% of Australia’s bird species, over 700 native animals and 1365 species of plants… how amazing is that!
There are a range of tour options (see below) in Noosa, family activities don’t get more adventurous than this!
6 Hour Everglades Eco Safari: These cruises take you through the wetlands and into the Everglades. During the cruise, you will stop at Fig Tree Point, an indigenous cultural meeting place and enjoy morning tea at Harry’s Hut which was once home to teams of timber millers. The cruise ends with lunch overlooking the lake at Habitat Noosa.
Price: $130 Adults | $90 Kids – Click here to book tickets online.
6 Hour Cruise ‘n’ Canoe: These tours are as the Everglades Eco Safari (above) however you’ll have the chance to kayak your way from Fig Tree Point to Harry’s Hut.
Price: $145 Adults | $105 Kids | $475 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Click here to book tickets online.
3 hour Serenity Cruise: If you’re short on time, the Serenity Cruise is the perfect option. This tour cruises up the Noosa River, where you’ll enjoy light nibbles along the way.
Price: $79 Adults | $65 Kids – Click here to book tickets online.
See the Views from the Laguna Lookout Noosa
The Laguna Lookout Noosa has is located at the very end of Viewland Drive in Noosa Heads, not too far from the main area of Hastings Street Noosa.
You can drive right up to the Noosa hill lookout or if you are feeling extra keen, you can walk. It’s only around a 10 minute walk from the bottom, but it is very steep and remember during the warmer months, it can get super hot, so bring lots of water if you’re walking.
There are spectacular views from the Noosa lookout. You can see across the Noosa River, the Noosa Northshore and right out to the Glasshouse Mountains.
If you’re looking for Noosa things to do that are free, the Laguna Lookout sure is… but you do get a million dollar view!
Location: 5 Viewland Dr, Noosa Heads
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Hire a Jet Ski
As well as hiring out boats and kayaks, there are plenty of places along the Noosa River to hire a Jet Ski. If you want to hire a jet ski you basically have two options, ride it around the circuit in the Noosa River or join an ocean tour where you will get the opportunity to ride a jet ski in the ocean.
Whilst this is one of the more adrenaline pumping things to do with kids Noosa has on offer, keep in mind there are age restrictions for the driver of the jet ski. However, children can sit at the front with an adult driving… so everyone gets a thrill!
Location: Various places along Gympie Terrace, Noosaville.
Opening Hours: Most places open daily from around 8am
Price: Jet ski hire starts at around $100 per 30 minutes or join an ocean tour from $200 for 45 minutes.
Explore the Noosa National Park (Headland Section)
If you love breathtakingly beautiful beaches then a visit to the Noosa National Park is a must do in Noosa. In my view, the best beaches in Noosa (even the best Sunshine Coast beaches) are inside the Park, making it one of the best Noosa attractions and best things to do in Noosa Heads.
The official entry to the Noosa National Park is along Park Road, not too far from Hastings Street. Here, there is a small car park, picnic tables and toilets and there is even a café. However, be warned, this car park is extremely busy and during peak season it will be difficult to get a park.
You can also access the park from the Sunshine Beach Noosa end, there is no car park here, but you can generally easily park along the street. It does not cost anything to enter the park which is fabulous if you are looking for free things to do in Noosa.
In the Headland section of the park, there are 5 walking tracks, with the coastal track being the most popular. Below is a quick overview of the walks around Noosa National Park, and the great thing is if you’re looking for things to do in Noosa with a baby… most of these tracks are pram friendly!
Palm Grove Circuit: 1 km circuit, allow 15-30 minutes – walk through the rainforest.
Tanglewood Track: 3.8 km one way starting at the National Park entry, meandering through the rainforest and woodlands, finishing at the end of the Coastal Track by Hell’s Gates. Return via the Coastal Track or continue on past Alexandria Bay to Sunshine Beach. Allow 2-3 hours for a return trip.
Noosa Hill Track: 3.4 km circuit, allow 1-1.5 hours – walk through the woodlands.
Coastal Track: 2.7 km one way starting at the National Park entry, walking along the cliff face past the gorgeous Noosa National Park beaches, the best beaches in the Sunshine Coast; finishing at Hell’s gate. The first part of this track is paved and so easily accessible for prams and wheelchairs. This walk is absolutely stunning and if you don’t do any other walks in the park, I highly recommend you at least do some of this walk; it’s easily one of the best things to do around Noosa.
Alexandria Bay: 4.6 km return, starts at Sunshine Beach on Parkedge Road, finishing on the beach at Alexandria Bay Noosa. Allow 1 – 2 hours.
We recently did the Alexandria Bay track from Sunshine Beach followed by the Coastal track, finishing at Hastings Street for lunch. The entire walk took around 4 hours with a few swimming stops. We then took a bus from Hastings Street back to our car in Sunshine Beach.
Keep your eyes out during the walk for some native Australian wildlife. I have heard of people seeing koalas and even echidnas during their walk and we were lucky enough to see this giant monitor during our recent walk. You could easily have missed it as it really blends in with its environment. Any of these walks are definitely one of the top things to do in Noosa.
Noosa National Park Beaches and other Points of Interest
Many of the best Noosa beaches are located within the National Park, and the great thing is they’re relatively easily accessible, so you don’t need to book into any Noosa national park tours – you can explore yourself! Below is a brief overview of the various beaches and a few other points of interest.
Little Cove Noosa (technically outside the park)
Little Cove Noosa is technically located outside the Noosa National Park, but it is only just outside the park, so I thought I might as well include it here. Little Cove is hands down my favourite Noosa beach. It is a stunning cove with calm crystal-clear water, lined with gorgeous lush trees, making it easily one of the most picturesque beaches in all of Noosa.
In my view, the best time to visit Little Cove is at high tide. Unfortunately, there isn’t any beach here at high tide, just small rocks, but the cove fills with water and the ocean is completely flat, making it like a big swimming pool. This makes it perfect for families, as the children can easily swim around without concern for waves.
If you’re after some good Noosa snorkelling spots for the kids, this is a great spot as there are plenty of fish to check out. It’s still a lovely beach at low tide, with a decent beach and gentle waves.
There is no car parking at Little Cove, so you will either have to park around Hastings Street, the National Park or Little Cove’s residential area and walk.
I just love it here at Little Cove; it’s definitely one of my top things to do in Noosa with kids. Pack some snacks, boogie boards, snorkels and sand toys (if it’s low tide) and you can easily spend most of the day here.
Tea Tree Bay Noosa
Tea Tree Bay Noosa is also a stunning beach located in the National Park and is a very close runner-up in being the best beach in Noosa. Like most beaches in Noosa, the water here is crystal clear with soft, gentle waves. Unlike Little Cove, there is a large beach here, perfect for sand play.
Tea Tree Bay is around a 10 -15-minute walk from the National Park car park. It is an easy walk as the path is completely paved, so easy to bring a pram if necessary. The walk is not steep or anything, but little people may complain about the walk. I saw a few people dragging their kids along in one of those wagons, which is a good idea for the smaller kids. I also like that there is no real steep walk down to access the beach.
There are a few different access points, some where you have a short climb over small rocks, but keep walking around until you see the stairs straight to the beach. A day out at Tea Tree Bay is another one of the fantastic things to do in Noosa with kids.
Granite Bay Noosa
Another 15 minute walk from Tea Tree Bay is Granite Bay Noosa – yep another stunning Noosa beach! It will take you around 30 minutes to reach this beach from the Noosa National Park car park. So if you have little kids, Noosa Granite Bay just may be a little too far for little legs.
I haven’t personally swum at this beach, but I have walked past it and it appears similar to Tea Tree Bay. I have swum at nearby Winch Cove though – see below.
If you want the chance of having a beach all to yourself, then take a dip in Winch Cove. The beach is not much bigger than what you can see in the photo above, as to the right is large rock formations with Granite Bay on the other side.
Winch Cove is a little tricky to access with a fairly steep climb down and over rocks and I wouldn’t recommend it for very small children. The beach itself is absolutely stunning.
The waves are a little stronger here than the other beaches I mentioned, but they are still perfect for children. This is also a great spot for snorkelling as we saw a variety of fish in the crystal clear water.
The Fairy Pools are not officially marked on the track, not sure if this is because it is viewed as too dangerous – it certainly looks that way to me; however the pools are very popular for snorkelling during low tide.
As it is not an official stop in the park, there is no official track down; you will just have to navigate your way down over the rocks. It is around a 35 minute walk from the Noosa National car park, just a little past Winch Cove.
Due to the precarious way in which you have to access the beach, I wouldn’t really recommend this as one of the things to do in Noosa for kids – well definitely not for the very young ones, or even for adults who are unsteady on their feet.
Located about a 40 minute walk from the Noosa National Park car park is Hell’s Gate. This is also the end of the coastal track and usually where people stop and turn around. You can of course keep going to Alexandria Bay and all the way to Sunshine Beach.
From Hell’s Gate there are fantastic views out to Alexandria Bay (see below) and a good place to spot some marine life. With any luck you will see whales (during the migrating season), dolphins and turtles.
Alexandria Bay is a stunning Noosa surf beach and apparently an unofficial nudist beach (although in all my time of visiting Noosa, I have only ever seen one person in the nude)! If you are just interested in visiting Alexandria Bay, it is probably best to access it from Sunshine Beach – it’s only a 15-20 minute walk from here.
For Noosa shopping, head to Hastings Street Noosa. Hastings Street is right behind Noosa Main Beach and is a high end fashion strip, home to international fashion designers as well as local labels. Shoppers will love shopping here or maybe just window shopping if the wallet doesn’t stretch that far.
Along here you will also find some of the best places to eat in Noosa including ice cream parlours, a range of great family friendly cafes and top notch Noosa restaurants too.
My other pick for shopping is along the streets of Noosa Junction. They have some funky little dress shops and great cafes too.
Visit the Noosa Sunday Markets
In terms of what’s on Noosa weekends – the Noosa Sunday Markets is a great event if you enjoy fresh local produce. At the Farmers Markets you will find a variety of products including fresh organic produce, freshly squeezed juices, skincare, nuts, freshly caught seafood, cheeses, freshly baked bread and much more. There is also plenty of food to eat, live music and activities for the kids.
If you’re looking for what to do in Noosa with kids that love their food… you’ve found it at the Noosa Farmers Markets.
Location: Noosa Australian Football Club, 155 Weyba Rd, Noosaville
Opening Hours: Each Sunday from 6am to 12pm
There are also Sunday markets located at the Noosa Marina (around 7km from Hastings Street). These markets are on between 8am and 1.30pm and are set on a lovely deck overlooking the Noosa River. Stalls include locally made arts and crafts as well as fresh produce. There is also live music and entertainment.
Noosa Botanic Gardens
Grab yourself a picnic and take the kids to Noosa Botanic Gardens. These manicured gardens are a lovely place to go explore with the kids. The gardens by the lake are spread out across 8 hectares and feature various walkways, a lily pond and a Greek amphitheatre with fabulous views across the lake.
For the children, there is a great little play area and many native Australian animals call these gardens home, so the kids will love watching the animals too. Don’t forget to look up too as many animals are hidden in the trees.
There are several picnic areas throughout the gardens, so it’s the perfect place for lunch or a snack.
Location: Lake MacDonald Drive, Lake MacDonald
Opening Hours: Always
If you’re a thrill seeker wanting to explore the Noosa coastal scenery then this Noosa jet boat ride is a must. You will love it as you fly airborne through the ocean and over the waves, and with any luck you might even spot some dolphins.
There are two operators in Noosa that do the jetboating tours – Noosa Oceanrider or Noosa Thiller. Oceanrider requires kids to be 10 years old, while for Noosa Thriller, they must be 9 years old. Both operators offer 90 minute tours.
So if the kids are the right age, this is one of the family activities Noosa has on offer that will really get the heart racing for young and old!
Location: Noosa Oceanrider – Noosa Marina, 2 Parkyn Court, Tewantin, QLD 4565
Opening Hours: Multiple tours go most days – check the links below for exact times.
Price: Oceanrider – $75 Adults | $60 Kids | $249 Family Pass (4People) – Click here to book tickets online.
Noosa Thriller – $75 Adult/Kids | $250 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Click here to book tickets online.
Noosa Dolphin Safari Cruise
A beautiful way to explore the Noosa River and the surrounding waterways is on a Dolphin Safari with Ocean Rider. These 90 minute tours take you out around the Noosa National Park Headland in search of friendly and playful local dolphins.
Kids must be at least 7+ to join these tours.
Location: Tours depart from Noosa Marina.
Opening Hours: Tours depart daily at 8am.
Price: $59 Adults | $39 Kids – Click here to book tickets online.
Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures
For the families that love to fish, why not join ‘Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures’ for a fun day out on the water. Not only will you get to go fishing, but it’s also a great way to see the Noosa waterways and see the native birdlife that calls the region home.
With this tour, you’ll have your own professional fishing guide to help you catch various fish such as bream, flathead, whiting, trevally and many other species. You’ll get to pull up a few crab pots as well as taste Queensland Mud Crab or Blue Swimming Crab.
The tour includes all your fishing gear as well as lunch. You’re also welcome to BYO drinks.
Location: Tours depart from O Boat at 222 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville.
Opening Hours: Morning tours depart 8am returning at 12 pm, afternoon tours depart 1pm and return at 5pm.
Price: $89 Adults | $59 Kids – Click here to book tickets online.
Things to do Around Noosa for Kids
The Sunshine Coast is packed with great things to do with the kids (read our guide here on 40 awesome things to do with the kids on the Sunshine Coast), but here are some of our favourite things to do around Noosa.
Visit the World Famous Australia Zoo
If you’re looking for great day trips from Noosa, I highly recommend visiting the world famous Australia Zoo. Australia Zoo is one of Australia’s most well-known zoos, thanks to the late Steve Irwin, also known as the Crocodile Hunter. The zoo is now run by his wife and children, Bindi and Bob.
Some of the animals on display include Australian Lizards, Freshwater and Saltwater Crocodiles, Koalas, Birds of Prey, Kangaroos, Red Pandas and tigers. There are various animal presentations during the day including tortoises, otters, koalas, tigers, birds of prey and crocodiles.
The main show during the day is the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors. This show is held only a 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. I have seen this show multiple times and I still love it every single time! Check the presentation times on arrival.
For an additional charge, there are a range of Australia Zoo animal encounters you can experience. These experiences include getting up close with either meerkats, lemurs, red pandas, rhinos, komodo dragons, giraffe, cheetahs, dingoes, kolas, tortoise, wombats, echidnas, possums or farm animals; have your photo with a cheetah or an eagle; tour the wildlife hospital; walk with tigers or wombats and ride a camel.
Myla just loves visiting Australia Zoo and seeing the various animals. She particularly loves watching the shows to learn more about the animals and funnily enough, one of her favourite things to do is pat a snake!
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.
Whilst much smaller than the Gold Coast theme parks, Aussie World – Sunshine Coast certainly makes up for this in the fun to be had, no queue lines and ticket prices are much cheaper! Definitely add this to your list for things to do near Noosa with the kids.
Located 50 minutes from Noosa, families are guaranteed to have a fantastic day at Aussie World. As they say, “fun is our thing”, and they are not lying! 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 rides 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. The sideshow alley games are $5 a go, or on entry, you can buy a pass for 3 games for $12. I am not sure if every game wins a prize, but every game Myla had a go at, she got a small prize, as did other children I saw playing.
Myla absolutely loved Aussie World, and I loved it because it was so much smaller than the Gold Coast parks. It was easy for us to walk around the park multiple times without being exhausted and having no queue lines; Myla could go on rides multiple times. Some rides she went on 3-5 times each. There are heaps of benches and tables under shady trees for parents to relax whilst the kids go on all the rides.
On a hot day, be sure to bring the kids swimmers and towels as there is a small water play area. It’s nothing too flash but the kids in there were having a blast – Myla easily spent close to an hour in there cooling off.
There is a large café there and like most theme parks, the food is a little overpriced; however there are ways to reduce your food bill. The portion sizes are fairly large, so small children could easily share a meal.
Location: 1 Downunder Drive, Palmview QLD 4553
Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 4pm
Price: $44 Adults + Kids | $158 Day Pass (any combination of adults/kids) | Kids under 3 FREE
The Ginger Factory
The Ginger Factory is another one of the great attractions near Noosa for families. There are various attractions here all with individual pricing, however it is much better value to buy a ticket that covers all attractions – you can compare ticket pricing below.
Ginger Train: take a tour through 9 hectares of lush tropical gardens on the 116 year old historic sugar cane train. Ticket prices are $9 per person or $35 for a family pass.
Ginger Factory Tour: take a guided tour through the Buderim Ginger Factory – see how ginger is grown, harvested and made into a range of products as well as tasting some products. When you first enter the Ginger Factory the guys at the front counter will book you into the next available tour. At the end of the tour, you are given a lovely big tasting plate of ginger flavoured products – I was surprised at how delicious these ginger flavoured products were! Ticket prices are $16 per adult, $12 per child and $60 for a family pass.
Overboard Boat: follow the gingerbread man on an adventure. The ride features over 200 handmade moving puppets. This is a great ride for the younger children – Myla just loved it and insisted we go on it twice. Ticket prices are $13 per person or $50 for a family pass.
Live Bee Show: learn about the workings of a beehive and taste a variety of honey. I think this was our favourite attraction at the Ginger Factory. Learning about the bees was really interesting and of course, tasting all the various honey was good too. When you first enter the Ginger Factory, the guys at the front counter will book you into the next available tour. Ticket prices are $16 per adult, $12 per child and $60 for a family pass.
Playground: there is a basic, small playground here which is only really suitable for small children. It is free to use the playground.
Location: 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 4.30pm
Price: See above for individual pricing, or you can purchase discounted passes here, see below for details.
Factory Tour + Live Bee Show + Tastings: $30 Adults | $20 Kids | $105 Family Pass (2A+3C) – Kids under 4 FREE – Click here to book discounted tickets online
Factory Tour + Live Bee Show + Tastings + Unlimited Ginger Train Ride + Unlimited Overboard Boat Ride: $48 Adults | $40 Kids | $185 Family Pass (2A+3C) – Kids under 4 FREE – Click here to book discounted tickets online
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, including jewellery, clothes, toys, coffee, cakes, fruit and vegetables and stacks more. I absolutely love these markets and at my recent visit I bought up big – buying gorgeous jewellery and a new purse. Perfect for your Christmas shopping… or just because!
The food here is absolutely amazing as well – so ensure you go with a good appetite – you will want to try it all. Before you head back to Noosa, stop at the playground at nearby Dick Caplick Park, just beside the markets.
Location: 80 Memorial Dr, Eumundi – if you don’t have your own transport – Click here to book a bus transfer
Opening Hours: Wednesdays 8am to 2pm | Saturday 7am to 2pm
For families who want to see marine life up close, then a visit to Sea Life, Mooloolaba is a must (previously known as Underwater World Mooloolaba). The award winning Sunshine Coast aquarium is located at Mooloolaba, which is only a short drive from Noosa.
Sea Life, Sunshine Coast is fantastic for kids with loads of hands on experiences, displays and shows across 11 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 love the tidal touch pool, which as the name suggests, allows the kids to touch starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.
Other interactive displays include various touch screen devices where the kids can learn more about the various marine life on display, looking through telescopes and climbing through caves and popping their head up in the centre of the tanks. There are various animal presentations during the day including seals, stingrays, ocean tunnel tour and jellyfish. Check the presentation times on arrival.
For an additional charge, there is a range of animal encounters you can experience. These experiences include diving with sharks, swim with the seals, penguin encounters, birthday parties and behind the scene tours. There is also a 3 level playground that is suitable for the smaller kids.
Location: Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 5pm
Price: $36 Adults | $24.80 Kids – Kids under 2 FREE – Click here to buy tickets online.
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 (below) 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
Wildlife HQ – Big Pineapple Zoo
If you’re 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 Road, Woombye
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 4pm
Price: $36 Adults | $22 Kids | $99 Family Pass (2A+2C) – Kids under 3 FREE
Sunshine Coast TreeTop Challenge
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 Road, 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 tickets online.
4WD Adventure to Fraser Island
While it is well recommended to visit Fraser Island for at least a few days, (read our guide on Fraser Island here), it is possible to visit Fraser Island as a full day tour from Noosa – so if you think you don’t have the time, you do, don’t miss out!
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site, drive the scenic roads of the Glass House Mountains and cross to Fraser Island by ferry for a full day of exploration. Tours include hotel pick-up and drop-offs from Noosa, Morning Tea, picnic style lunch with drinks, experienced tour guides and the 4WD transportation.
Opening Hours: Tours depart around 6am and return around 5.30pm
Price: $195 Adults | $130 Kids – Click here to book tickets online
Click here for more warm holiday escapes in Australia.
Where to Stay in Noosa with Kids
No matter what your budget, there is a great range of family accommodation in Noosa. Below I’ve listed three great budget options.
For even more options on where to stay in Noosa with kids, click here for our full guide on the best family accommodation Noosa has to offer. This guide covers 18 recommendations in great locations, which will accommodate the entire family and won’t break the bank.
The Outrigger Noosa Resort is located opposite the Noosa River, along Gympie Terrace in Noosaville and offers 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.
Facilities at the Noosa Outrigger Resort include not one, but three swimming pools, two which are heated and all pools have spas. It also has a sauna, gym, various BBQ areas and undercover parking.
These apartments can accommodate up to 7 people with three-bedroom apartments coming with two large beds, two singles and a sofa. Two-bedroom apartments have one large and two single beds. All apartments are air-conditioned, include a fully equipped kitchen as well as a washing machine, dryer, free WiFi and balconies or courtyards.
The Noosa Outrigger Resort is located opposite the Noosa River – in the quieter part of Gympie Terrace and offers families excellent value accommodation. It’s also right next door to one of my favourite places to eat – Zachary’s!
Located on absolute waterfront on a beautiful part of the Noosa River, Culgoa Point Beach Resort has 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Another excellent choice for families wanting Noosa beachfront accommodation.
The Culgoa Point Beach Resort has its own private beachfront where you can hire a range of water equipment such as kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Other facilities on-site include a 20-metre lap pool, a children’s wading pool, spa, sauna, half-size tennis court, BBQ facilities – plus you can even use the jetty if you bring your boat.
Apartments can accommodate up to 6 people with three-bedroom apartments featuring a large bed in the master bedroom and two single beds in each of the remaining rooms. Two-bedroom apartments come with one large and two single beds or two doubles and a single bed. All apartments come with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen as well as a washing machine, dryer, free WiFi and balconies with either river or garden views.
For families that want a beachfront property without an expensive price tag – definitely consider the Culgoa Point Beach Resort – this place is just gorgeous!
Located in a somewhat secluded spot, a 5 minutes drive from Hastings Street, the RACV Noosa Resort is an awesome place for families who want all the bells and whistles.
There are so many great kid friendly facilities at RACV – your kids may never want to leave. Here you will find a heated lagoon-style swimming pool with a man-made beach entry as well as a heated swimming pool which has two water slides and a splash park. There is also a playground, heated spa, restaurant, bar, fitness centre, tennis court and onsite parking. There is also a handy free shuttle bus that takes you to Hastings Street.
There is a range of accommodation options here, including suites as well as two and three-bedroom apartments. Some apartments even come with their own private plunge pool or rooftop spas. Two-bedroom apartments come with at least a large bed and two singles, while three-bedroom apartments come with a large bed and four single beds. All apartments have air conditioning, ensuite and main bathroom, fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, dryer, free WiFi and a balcony.
For families that want the best of the best in terms of facilities for the kids will definitely want to stay at RACV Resort. This is a highly rated resort for families and well worth considering for families wanting a resort-style holiday.
Getting to Noosa
Noosa is located in Queensland on the east coast of Australia, 2 hours north of Brisbane. It is part of the Queensland Sunshine Coast. Flights to Noosa arrive at either the Brisbane airport or the Sunshine Coast airport.
From the Brisbane Airport
You can fly direct to Brisbane from various international destinations, or alternatively, you can fly direct from most Australian capital cities.
To reach Noosa from the airport, you can either hire a car and drive or take a shuttle bus. Brisbane to Noosa in a shuttle bus is around $52 per adult (one way). Click here to book at a discount price for families. You can also get the shuttle from Noosa to Brisbane.
You can take public transport also, but it is rather expensive and very time consuming. It will cost around $40 to reach Noosa and take around 4 hours via 2 trains and a bus.
From the Sunshine Coast Airport
The closest airport to Noosa is the Sunshine Coast Airport. As far as I am aware you can only fly into the Sunshine Coast airport from the Australian cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, and Auckland in New Zealand. If you are coming from another city, you will need to fly into Brisbane (see above).
If you do manage to fly into the Sunshine Coast airport, the good news it’s only 35 minutes drive from Noosa. To reach Noosa from the airport you can either hire a car and drive, take public transport or take a shuttle bus. Prices for a shuttle bus starts at $35 per adult (one way). Click here to book discounted prices for families.
Alternatively, you can take a public bus which will take around 1 hour and costs around $6.30.
Getting Around Noosa
To explore all the wonderful Noosa attractions and the other tourist attractions on the Sunshine Coast I highly recommend you hire a car. This is the easiest way to get around when you visit Noosa.
Having said that, with Noosa tourism booming, parking can be rather difficult, particularly during peak season. Even when we have our car with us we do often make use of public transport.
Here is a quick overview of the various modes of getting around Noosa:
Bus: The buses are pretty good in Noosa, with bus stops at all the main attractions and beaches. Find out more about the buses here.
Noosa Ferry: The Noosa Ferry is a great way of getting anywhere along the Noosa River. There are 7 stops between the Noosa Marina at Tewantin and the Sofitel on Hastings Street. The ferry operates daily every 45 minutes between the hours of 9 am to 5.50 pm. Find out more about the Noosa Ferry.
Walk: Any place you want to go will be between 5 to 40 minutes’ walk away – so you can easily walk to most places within Noosa. Just a word of warning that in the Summer months, it can get super hot and pretty unbearable to walk long distances.
I hope you enjoyed this guide on all the best things to do in Noosa with kids. Click here for all the fun things to do on the Sunshine Coast with kids or click here for all our different Sunshine Coast guides.