Tick those once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’ve always dreamt about off your bucket list as you enjoy a relaxing break on the Sunshine Coast.
Whether you want to reinvigorate your love for life, find a new passion, or finally conquer a dream you’ve had for years, the Sunshine Coast is abundant in experiences that will inspire you.
1. Swim with the whales
The Sunshine Coast offers the breathtaking opportunity to swim with some of the world’s most majestic creatures in the ocean during whale season, from July to early November on the Sunshine Coast.
2. Go deep sea fishing
Replace any talk about “the one that got away” with photographic evidence of the prize catches you’ll land on a deep sea fishing excursion.
3. Climb an iconic Glass House Mountain
Take your pick of the iconic Glass House Mountains that are remnants of volcanic activity that occurred over 25 million years ago. Choose from Instagram favourites Mt Ngungun or Mt Tibrogargan, or keep coming back until you’ve ticked them all off your list.
4. Go horse riding on a pristine beach
Make memories by cantering along the beach and through the shallow waters of Rainbow Beach or discover Lake Weyba. Check out Rainbow Beach Horse Rides for more information.
5. Visit a local farm
The Sunshine Coast hinterland is home to an abundance of farms growing a diverse and amazing range of produce. Visit Australia’s first certified organic feijoa farm, Hinterland Feijoas or pick your own strawberries at Cooloola Berries. Spend a day at The Falls Farm wandering through the extensive market gardens, herb gardens, and orchards. For the full farm to fork experience check out The Falls Farm|Seasonal Tastings: Winter event.
6. Participate in an event
Step it up a notch by taking part in one of the Sunshine Coast’s top sporting, arts or cultural events. From iconic sporting festivals, to art workshops to food festivals, the Sunshine Coast has everything on offer to the enthusiastic experience seeker. During August, The Curated Plate will present The Destination Series, a huge line-up of activity-led local experiences.
7. Learn a new cooking skill
Up your culinary game by learning from the master chefs at Sunshine Coast’s top cooking schools. Add some spice to your life with a cooking lesson at Spicers Tamarind Retreat.
8.Get back to nature
Set up camp in Conondale National Park where you can bird spot, hike or swim in the crystal clear waterfalls. Ever tried camping on the beach? The beautiful Double Island Point is great for exploring natural wonders. Rainbow Beach is a must-see. For the serious cyclist, check out this four-day cycling experience with luxury accommodation hosted by the Australian Cycling Academy. Be inspired by the natural wonders of the Sunshine Coast.
9. Learn to surf
Have your own Julian Wilson moment and learn to surf at his local beach with Coolum Surf School or head up to Double Island Point with Epic Ocean Adventures and learn to surf on the longest right-hand break in the world.
10. Walk the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk
Create your own adventure by walking the 58km, four-day Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. You’ll come across some amazing views, creeks and spot native wildlife along the way.
11. Jump on a Jetski
Who doesn’t love the thrill and fun of being on one of the Sunshine Coast’s pristine water bodies, zipping around on a jetski?! Check out Caloundra’s Jetski’s Seafood Safari; a great half day experience for fun-loving foodies
12. Hike a national park
Hike the coastal track and swim in the picturesque waters of Noosa National Park. You may even spot one of the local dolphins, turtles or even a koala. Or head to a Sunshine Coast Hinterland National Park featuring lush green rainforest, waterfalls, rock pools to swim in, and wildlife – it’s a nature lovers’ paradise.
13. Wine and dine
Tantalise your tastebuds and indulge in an award-winning gourmet meal at one of the Sunshine Coast’s top restaurants. It wouldn’t be called a bucket list if you didn’t take the time to treat yourself. Have a look at these one-off chef collaborations happening as part of The Culinary Collective for The Curated Plate in August as well.
14. Watch the sunrise and sunset over the water
Rise early and watch the magic of sunrise over the ocean at any of the Sunshine Coast’s beautiful beaches. You can also enjoy sunset from a few select spots on the coast, such as Cotton Tree and Point Cartwright.
15. Enjoy a relaxing round of golf
Golfers are spoilt for choice on the Sunshine Coast with world-class resort and public access courses set alongside stunning national parks and natural waterways, just minutes from the beach. Explore championship courses at Pelican Waters, Twin Waters or Noosa Springs or check out one of the local 9 or 18-hole courses at Beerwah, Caloundra, Buderim, Mt Coolum or Maleny.
16. Have an indigenous experience
Share in songs and stories of the people. This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in an authentic Aboriginal experience at the TribalLink Cultural Centre, Mapleton.
17. Enjoy a picnic with a view
Enjoy a day out with your loved ones, with a delicious picnic by the beach or in the Hinterland where you’ll be able to enjoy amazing views.
18.Make a furry or slick new friend
Feed a giraffe, get close to a cheetah or pat a rhino with one of the 23 exhilarating animal encounters on offer at Australia Zoo. Wildlife HQ also offers a range of different animal experiences, including popular primate, reptile and meerkat encounters. Check out this great offering by QCamel x Hum Honey called Camels & Canapes. At a grazing table of camel milk, honey and local gourmet canapés enjoy a unique farm experience overlooking a spectacular sunset on the Glasshouse Mountains. You’ll be able to grab a selfie and kiss a camel – they will delight in your cuddles and affection.
19. Try stand-up paddle boarding
BYO SUP craft, or hire from Golden Beach Hire, Experientia Sunshine Coast, Kite Thrills, Ocean Adventure, or Bills Boat & Bike Hire and go stand up paddle boarding in Caloundra, Currimundi, Cotton Tree or Noosa.
20. Climb Mount Coolum
Tick this massive monolith off your list. Hike the 800m track to the 208m summit of Mount Coolum’s impressive dome, where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the surrounding coast and Hinterland.
Where to stay?
The Sunshine Coast boasts a wide choice of accommodation options with everything from resorts to luxury hinterland cottages. Check out our current hot deals exclusive to The Curated Plate. The Sunshine Coast is the perfect getaway for families, couples, a group of adventurous friends or the solo traveller. With direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland, try out this pristine natural oasis on Australia’s East Coast.
Ready to tackle that bucket list? The Sunshine Coast awaits with a huge amount of experiences destined to bring out your inner foodie, nature lover, or thrill seeker. Or maybe a combination of all three. Book your getaway now.
This article first appeared on March 29 here