48 Hours on the Sunshine Coast: Things To Do, Where to Stay & Where To Eat

Things To Do Sunshine Coast where to stay weekend sunshine coast

Ready for a weekend on Australia’s Sunshine Coast? Of course you are! Who doesn’t love to spend time in of the the most beautiful parts of Australia?! Whether you’re looking to pack everything in to one jam packed weekend, or pick your highlights from the Sunshine Coast’s Top Things To Do, we’ve got options and ideas to suit every budget and every style of traveler. From Beach and Watersports,  Hiking to animal encounters, you can build your own itinerary to make sure you get the best from your 48 hours in Queensland. And with recommendations for where to stay and where to eat – we’ll have your weekend break to the Sunshine Coast organized before you know it! 48 Hours  Sunshine Coast Things To Do | Weekend Sunshine Coast Things To Do

Things To Do Sunshine Coast

epic Guide to 48 hours in the Sunshine Coast

– Things To Do, Where To Stay & Where to Eat!

A Guest Post by Brianna Rice from Archives of Adventure

The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful region of Australia, located just north of Brisbane. There is such a wide range of things to do, that the Sunshine Coast makes a great destination for any traveler. Whether you want to relax on the beach, shop until you drop, or take in the surrounding nature, you will certainly not be disappointed with a trip to the Sunshine Coast.

But with so much to do, you may find yourself overwhelmed with options and only 48 hours to fill. I have happily narrowed down the Top 10 Things to do in the Sunshine Coast, to help plan your trip. Things to do sunshine coast

SUNSHINE COAST TOP 10 THINGS TO DO

1. Soak Up The Sun

Sunshine Coast Things To Do

With a name like “the Sunshine Coast” it should be of no surprise that one of the top activities involves lying in the sun! The Sunshine Coast has many great beaches to enjoy, with lovely ocean waters to play in. You can try out bigger beaches like Kings Beach, or smaller, quieter beaches like Peregian Beach. Here are three great beach options to choose from.

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2. Noosa National Park things to do sunshine coast

 Things To Do Sunshine Coast

Located on the north end of the Sunshine Coast, Noosa National Park is a favorite among travelers. There are dozens of walking trails within the park that will reward you with the smells of eucalyptus, stunning scenery, and the chance to spot a koala or two! Make the walk out to the Fairy Pools for some incredible rock pool swimming.

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3. Water Sports at Noosa

 Things To Do Sunshine Coast

Have you been wanting to learn to surf? How about stand up paddle boarding? Noosa Main Beach is an excellent place to learn! This inlet of ocean water is calm and offers small waves for beginners. There are many companies in the area that will teach you these fun water sports. Check out Groupon for discounted lessons! Perhaps you’re a seasoned pro, but aren’t able to bring along your gear. Noosa Main Beach offers board rentals as well.

Love Watersports? Check out other other Amazing Adventure Activities in Australia & New Zealand

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4. Visit Mt. Coolum at Sunrise

 Things To Do Sunshine Coast

Early risers will be well rewarded at the top of Mt. Coolum. The 1.6 kilometer trek from the bottom to the top of the mountain generally takes travelers 30-40 minutes to complete. The summit of Mt. Coolum provides incredible views over the surrounding terrain to the west. Toward the east, you’ll look out over the coastline of the Sunshine Coast, and out toward the Pacific Ocean. Getting to the top of the mountain early means you will be rewarded with an incredible sunrise! Don’t forget to bring a flashlight and good hiking shoes!

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5. Hike the Glass House Mountains

 Things To Do Sunshine Coast

If Mt. Coolum isn’t enough of a hike for you, head south to the Glass House Mountains. With many walking tracks ranging in skill level, this area will leave you breathless from both the walking and the scenery. There are also several summit treks you can take, if mountain climbing is more your style. You can also check out the Lookout Walk for a shorter hike with excellent views. Start at the Glass House Mountains Visitors center for a good map and some great trail recommendations. If hiking isn’t really your thing, bring along a picnic and just enjoy the outdoors!

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6. The Australia Zoo

 Things To Do Sunshine Coast

The Australia Zoo is one of the best zoos I have ever visited. The passion for animals and wildlife education is very present, which makes it a great place for visitors. Australia is known for its unique animals, and you can’t leave without saying hello to a few kangaroos! With plenty of interactive shows, educational talks, and animal encounter opportunities, The Australia Zoo is an amazing place to spend the day. Plus, you get to see Steve Irwin’s world famous crocs!

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7. Eumundi Markets sunshine coast things to do

Sunshine Coast Top Things To Do

Got some cash burning a hole in your pocket? Looking for some great souvenirs to take home? Head on over to the Eumundi Markets! Open every Saturday and Wednesday morning, this huge market will satisfy your craving to shop. You’ll find artwork, toys, clothes, homemade soaps, and locally designed jewelry. If food is more your game, Eumundi Markets will not disappoint. You can purchase lots of fresh foods like produce, breads, smoothies, cheeses, and pastries. Not to mention all the dozens of diverse cuisine options like schnitzels, samosas, vegan burgers, and Hungarian langos. Make sure to visit Eumundi markets with a full wallet and an empty stomach.

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8. The Big Pineapple sunshine coast things to do

Things To Do Sunshine Coast

This has been an iconic attraction in Queensland since the 1970’s. Quite literally, this is a giant pineapple standing 16 meters tall. It is free to photograph, and you can even go inside and climb to the top, making it a cute roadside stop. The Big Pineapple is situated on a pineapple plantation that also features a café and a small zoo. Visitors are welcome to tour the plantation and zoo for a fee, and can even ride a train through the property.

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9. Discover Incredible Waterfalls

Things To Do Sunshine Coast

If you’re in the mood to chase waterfalls, the Sunshine Coast is an excellent place to do so! Kondalila National Park not only offers excellent and picturesque hiking, but some beautiful waterfalls as well. You can also check out Buderim State Park for an easy hike and rewarding falls. Garner Falls are another great option that are easy to get to, and offer excellent swimming and picnicking areas.

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10. Whale Watching Cruise

Things to Do Sunshine Coast

July through November is whale watching season in the Sunshine Coast. For an activity that is a bit more pricey, but very exciting, book yourself a whale watching cruise. You’ll have the unique opportunity to see Humpback whales and Southern Right wales as you cruise along the Sunshine Coast. Many cruise operators have a great policy that guarantees whale sightings, or you get your money back.

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WHERE TO STAY: things to do sunshine coast

Peppers Noosa Resort - Luxury Stay ($200+ per night)


Situated in Noosa Heads, Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas is within easy driving distance of Noosaville and features an outdoor pool. It provides a day spa, as well as a sun deck, free Wi-Fi and a beauty centre.

Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas features a restaurant and a bar where guests are able to unwind at the end of the day with dinner and a drink. Breakfast is available each morning and can be savoured in the comfort of the rooms.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Noosa Sun Motel - Mid-Range Stay ($100-$200 per night)


Located in Noosaville, Noosa Sun Motel is within a 30-minute drive of Sunshine Coast Airport and offers free Wi-Fi and an outdoor heated pool. It is conveniently positioned for guests wanting to sightsee in the area.
Rooms at Noosa Sun Motel come with refrigerators, cable/satellite channels and microwaves. Each provide wireless internet access, tea and coffee making facilities and a private bathroom with a shower.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Tewantin Caravan Park - Budget Stay (<$100 per night)


Situated in Tewantin, Noosa Tewantin Caravan Park is an easy drive from Noosa Heads and offers a kids pool, a heated pool and a playground. It also provides a BBQ/picnic area, a laundry service and a shopping mall.
The fully air conditioned lodgings at Noosa Tewantin Caravan Park have kitchenettes with microwave and refrigerator. They feature a DVD player, wireless internet access and a ceiling fan. Ironing facilities, a hair dryer and a shower are also provided.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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WHERE TO EAT:

If your looking to grab a bite to eat, you’ll be spoilt for choice on the Sunshine Coast. From funky little cafes to some amazing 5* spots, the hardest decision you’ll have to make is how many places can you fit into one visit!

Day-to-Day Eats Where to eat
  • Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co – Awesome Burgers. Simples.
  • Amici Cafe – Relaxed Italian pizzeria with (a sometimes breezy) outside terrace.
  • Bunny Dumplings– Who doesn’t like dumplings and Yum Cha?! Welcome to the Sunshine Coasts favorite dumpling hang out – takeways welcome too!
Luxury Eats where to eat
  • Spirit HouseA restaurant and cooking school that is all about the senses serving contemporary Thai in a rain forest setting.
  • Spice Bar This place has a total Wow factor and is perfect for any occasion. Serving a selection of small Asian plates, this kind of quality comes at a price – but it’s totally worth it!
  • Tides Waterfront – Stunning food with a stunning 270 degree view across the bay (the name gave it away right?!

So there you have it a full run-down of the Top Things To Do on the Sunshine Coast along with suggestions for where to stay and where to eat. I hope you now have loads of ideas for how best to spend your 48 Hours on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, and don’t forget to let me know you’re own highlights once you’re back!

Oh don’t forget to pin and share – I’d really appreciate it!

Things To Do Sunshine Coast   Sunshine Coast Things To Do

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Brianna Rice is from Michigan, USA. She is a traveler, pastry lover, and owner of the blog, Archives of Adventure. Brianna loves discovering unusual places and fitting travel into her ordinary schedule. Through her writing, she strives to inspire others to love the world and to understand that “what is different, is not necessarily bad or wrong.

Follow her adventures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

66 thoughts on “48 Hours on the Sunshine Coast: Things To Do, Where to Stay & Where To Eat

  1. Skye says:

    Great wrap up. We are now based in Brisbane and ventured to the Sunny Coast a couple of weekends ago. So much to see and such a beautiful place. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Efthimis K. says:

    I don’t know what I would choose! There are so many things to do there! I love zoos and whale watching seems so interesting. But there’s one fact. Being Greek, I love soaking up sun!

  3. Kavey at Kavey Eats says:

    I’d love to visit this area, and I’m particularly keen on seeing the natural landscape and meeting some of the cuter wildlife. But is it wrong that I’m TOTALLY excited by the giant pineapple?

  4. Travellingdany says:

    Yes! I’m more than ready! We’ve been trying to plan this for ages, because of hubby’s job that allows us longer periods of vacations when it’s winter in AU! It was a very useful read!

  5. Megan Jerrard says:

    We’re based in Canberra so are considering making the drive instead of catching a flight – there’s so much to do that we’re hoping we can extend past 48 hours and stay on the Sunshine coast for a week! I’m Australian and I’ve never visited Australia Zoo … I think that’s probably a crime! 🙂

  6. Mike Cotton says:

    What a timely article. I’m just beginning to plan my trip to Oz for September. I’ve got friends up and down the east coast but I’ve been looking for some epic landscapes to photograph. The Glass House Mountains look beautiful.

    • Vicki says:

      Hope you have an awesome trip Mike – there really are beautiful and varied landscapes throughout Aus! It’s a photographers dream!

  7. Penny Sadler says:

    Great suggestions! There is so much to do! And thanks for the restaurant recommendations – the Spirit House sounds awesome!

  8. mark wyld says:

    Funny enough Vicki being Australian I have I have never been to the sunshine coast. Actually, i have seen far more of Europe than Australia. The sunshine coast looks great, the weather is excellent and the outdoor activities would suit our kids

  9. Danik says:

    You are really trying to tempt us back to Australia ain’t you Vicki 😉 Love this post and the photos. So want to hit up the Sunshine Coast.

  10. Castaway with Crystal says:

    I think Noosa National Park has my favourite beaches in the world! I just love that you can lat on the sand, look up into the gum trees and maybe even see a koala. I nearly drowned there once but it was worth it 😉

  11. Jenna says:

    So many great suggestions! Whale watching, hiking, SUP, sunrises, waterfalls…it all looks like so much fun! I would love to check out Noosa National Park sometime, too!

  12. Laura says:

    Great guide – have pinned it in case I ever get back to Oz! I missed Noosa when I was there before and I’m gutted – it looks so beautiful!

  13. G&D Blog says:

    Woooh! Thanks for this! My husband and I would definitely check this when we plan to travel to Australia. We love beaches and of course, the Australia Zoo is definitely a must-visit place.

  14. Mike says:

    I think Noosa National Park (especially the water sports) would be my favorite. Either that or watching the sunrise on Mt. Coolum. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Jo says:

    Sunshine coast sounds like my kinda place for sure. Gimme some Vitamin Sea and the surf, I am sold! I def wanna try paddle boarding too. have you done it? It is harder than it looks, I know!

  16. Mar Pages says:

    That pic of the sleepy koala hugging the three is adorable, and iconic. Great itinerary for a weekend of sunshine and the fresh outdoor adventures. And you’ve even managed to include a foodie stop off at Eumundi market. Will have to this guide next time I visit.

  17. Milijana says:

    The Noosa National Park got me immediately, thanks to the smell of eucalyptus and a chance to spot a koala! I can imagine how wonderful the trails can be while having the smell of eucalyptus all around you!

  18. Neni says:

    I adore Australian markets and would love to check this one out as well.
    And of course, hiking. My favourite thing to do while travelling.

  19. Elisa says:

    Never heard about this part of Australia before but with all those hiking options I would not be bored at all. We could arrange something something between this huge pineapple in Australia and the huge kiwi at the kiwi centre in New Zealand North Island, what do you think? 😉

  20. Kerri says:

    This is almost my back yard and I’m proud to say I have done most of these things. Some of them, like walking all the tracks is back on my agenda again, especially getting to the top of Mt Coolum. This time I’d like to do it with my camera to get some sunrise shots. The Noosa National Park is just beautiful and following my recent issue with leeches in the freshwater pools in national parks, I’m more inclined to favour the sea water of Noosa! The Spirit House is one of my all time fave restaurants on the Sunny Coast. They also do amazing international food tours – we went with this to Thailand a few years ago. Brianna has picked the eyes out of the great things to do on the Sunshine Coast !

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Kerri – good to know we have a QLD-ers seal of approval 🙂 I had no idea The Spirit House did food tours too – that would be an incredible experience!

  21. Chrysoula says:

    That is a very comprehensive guide. The Sunshine Coast is a part of Australia I would like to visit and there are many activities to do apart from the beach. I would love to do some hiking and discover some waterfalls. The nature is very nice

  22. Angelica says:

    I love these guides. I have all these ideas for places I want to visit. Australia is at the top of the list, but it’s tough coming up with an itinerary. Always awesome to get recommendations from someone who really knows the area. When’s the best time of the year to go in order to beat the crowds?

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Angelica – the Sunshine Coast is really an all year round kind of destination in terms of temperature and so has a habit of attracting crowds looking for both winter and summer sun, but I would personally avoid Dec – February which are the really humid months!

  23. Mags says:

    I went on a school trip to the Sunshine Coast when I was in high school. The Big Pineapple was a huge hit. I need to go back and explore more now that I’m an adult!

  24. Cameron says:

    Great information about the Sunshine coast. You could probably find me chasing the waterfalls or standing in front of the giant pineapple lol!

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