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Sunshine Coast Day Trips

  • August 16, 2018
  • By 50 Shades
Sunshine Coast Day Trips

I enjoy visiting the Sunshine Coast, not only because it’s where my daughter lives, but because of the variety of things to do and see on the Sunshine Coast. There really is just so much on offer and if you’re willing to jump in your car for the day there are bountiful Sunshine Coast day trips to be devoured.

Here’s where I consider to be the best Sunshine Coast Day Trips:

Sunshine Coast Hinterland

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland towns of Maleny, Montville and Mapleton are all a breath of fresh air and are only around 37 kms from the coast. For an escape from the hot sand and sun, it’s always a cooler change in the hinterland, and the scenery is so lush and green.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

The lush green scenery around Maleny

The small village of Maleny has an abundance of restaurants, cafes and dining options available, both in the town and on its outskirts. But there is also the Maleny Dairies with their farm tours and factory rides. Then there’s Maleny Cheese Boutique Cheeses which is a popular place to buy all sorts of different cheeses and yoghurt products.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Maleny Dairy

You can’t miss the Big Barrel, home to Maleny Mountain Wines and MacLeod Brewing Company. The 8 metre high wine barrel show room offers wine and beer tasting as well as an all day bistro menu filled with local produce from the hinterland region. They also have a lovely garden setting that offers wonderful views of the Glass House Mountains.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Maleny Mountain Wines Big Barrel

Montville is Maleny’s sister town, and the more shopping orientated of the two, with its main street lined with all sorts of different shops. Its location on the range overlooking the Sunshine Coast, makes it a popular place to stop and take photos or have a picnic lunch.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Magnificent views of the Glass House Mountain from One Tree Hill

During your day’s driving stop at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, a remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, just outside of Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The forest is home to a wide array of Australian flora and fauna and is perfect for bushwalking.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Mary Cairncross Reserve Rainforest Walk

For more information on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland visit Department of National Parks  or Sunshine Coast Hinterland Tourism

Noosa Hinterland

You’ll find the lesser-known green hinterland behind the resort town of Noosa, brimming with delightful villages of its own. Quaint country villages like Pomona, Cooroy and Kenilworth all feature new cafes, quirky local sights, and natural trails that will take your breath away. It’s one of the many things to do in Noosa and is only 22kms away.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Views of Mt Cooroora in Pomona

Start the day with a climb up Mt Tinbeerwah, in the Tewantin National Park just 2km west of Tewantin and 10km from Noosa along Cooroy-Noosa Rd. This easy climb offers panoramic 360 degree views of the northern end of the Sunshine Coast over Noosa Heads and the hinterland. The walk to the summit is a 1km return trip from the car park over rocky sediment up to a small sheltered lookout. On the day I was there a small group of abseilers were harnessing up to descend down the rocky cliff face of the western side of the mountain.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Mt Tinbeerwah Walk

A little historic town, that once housed Noosa’s local council, Pomona is set under the watchful eye of the imposing Mt Cooroora. Characterised by its maintained historic buildings such as the Pomona Hotel, the old railway station that now houses an art gallery and the unique Majestic Theatre, that shows silent movies of another era. Pomona is 31kms from Noosa Heads via the country town of Cooroy.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Historic Village of Pomona and Mt Cooroora

Glass House Mountains

Discover the scenically abundant Glass House Mountains 37 kms south of the Sunshine Coast. The scenery will unfold before your eyes as you drive into a series of 14 mountains, including Mt Tibrogargan, Mt Beerwah Mt Coonowrin and Wild Horse Mountain.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

View from The Outlook Cafe

There are a series of walking trails with scenic lookouts such as the Glass House Mountains Lookout Circuit, Trachyte Circuit and Wild Horse Mountains Track. Or if you’re an adrenalin junky there are rock climbing adventures at Mt Tibrogargan and Mt Ngungun.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Farmlands and Mountains on the circuit drive

Otherwise just enjoy the drive as the roads take you through strawberry, pineapple and macadamia nut farms and little townships dotted throughout the region with majestic views of the mountains through your windscreen. Make sure you stop at the Outlook Cafe on the way to the Glass House Mountain Lookout. The cafe has wonderful views of the mango orchard and Mount Coonowrin, and is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack and a coffee.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

More views of the Glass House Mountains

Kondalilla National Park

Drive to the scenic Blackall Range and the Kondalilla National Park, 25 kms from the Sunshine Coast, via Maleny. The park is named after the spectacular Kondalilla Falls, where Skene Creek drops 90 metres into a rainforest valley.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Kondalilla Falls

Kondalilla, an Aboriginal word meaning ‘rushing waters’, describes this park’s waterfall during the summer wet season. More than 107 species of birds have been seen in the park, and 70 species of reptiles and 32 species of frogs have been recorded from the Blackall Range. There are several short walking tracks provided in Kondalilla National Park that are worth a stroll.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Kondalilla National Park Views

Buderim Forest Park

Take a walk amongst nature in nearby Buderim, only 6 km inland. Described as the hidden jewell of Buderim Mountain, the Forest Park provides a nature lover’s boardwalk with viewing platforms through the subtropical rainforest.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Buderim Forest

This 45 hectare secluded oasis is less than a kilometre from the Buderim Village. Buderim Forest Park is a rainforest world of tall trees, ferns, babbling waterfalls, cascades and bird calls. Take the time to wander along the elevated path as it follows the meandering brook through subtropical rainforest and marvel at the dramatic Strangler Figs.

When the boardwalk ends, keep following the trail and the reward is a sensational wander through serene bushland along the creek, past babbling cascades and ultimately to the Buderim Falls.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Buderim Falls

The walking trail has been developed from two entry points. The lower entry is off Lindsay Road via Harry’s Lane, while the second entry point is via Quorn Close, which runs off Lindsay Road at the top of Buderim. To download a map visit Buderim

Cooloola Recreation Park

Cooloola Recreation Park, or Great Sandy National Park, is located north of Noosa and covers the region up to Rainbow Beach. It’s known as the “Great Beach Drive” and is a distance of 102 kms.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Map of Cooloola Recreation Park

However if the beach highway gets a little busy, you can always head inland to a series of four-wheel drive tracks across 61,750ha of variety—beaches, sandblows, rivers, open heath plains and forests.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

The Great Ocean Drive along the Cooloola Coast

Catch the ferry across the Noosa River and four-wheel drive through the park past towering coastal sand cliffs and coloured sands. Fish straight from the ocean, canoe on tranquil waterways, hike through rainforest remnants and across vast sandmass and camp among blooming wildflowers, if you feel inclined.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

The towering red cliffs on the Cooloola Coast

The Great Beach Drive continues north along Rainbow Beach to Inskip Point, where you can catch the barge across to Fraser Island. But exploring Fraser Island is probably best to be left to another day, or maybe several days.

Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Views over the Cooloola Coast

Next time you visit the Sunshine Coast you may look at the region a little differently, as there is so much more to it than the stunning coastline and beaches. You only have to venture a half hour inland to find some of these treasures.

This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset.

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:

and of course me, Kathy from 50 SHADES OF AGE

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By 50 Shades, August 16, 2018 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

  • Lydia C. Lee
    August 16, 2018

    Those vistas are stunning. Lovely shots #Lovinglifelinky

  • Jo Tracey
    August 16, 2018

    It’s certainly a beautiful part of the world. I’m yet to venture out to Cooloola or Pomona, but both are in the Decision Bowl.

    • Kathy
      August 16, 2018

      They are both radically different, but worthy of a day trip. The great beach drive along the Cooloola Coast can get very busy, but it’s a fantastic experience.

  • Natalie
    August 16, 2018

    Beautiful nature and photos. Thanks, Kathy, for sharing.

    • Kathy
      August 16, 2018

      Thank you Natalie. The Hinterland is so lush and green with many national parks, walking tracks and waterfalls. #LovinLifeTeam

  • Vanessa
    August 16, 2018

    If I could not be scared of windy narrow roads, I’d go there. But I can’t beat that fear yet. Stupid irrational brains!! :)

    • Kathy
      August 16, 2018

      A couple of the drives don’t involve windy narrow roads so you would be fine. It’s a gorgeous region to visit. #TeamLovinLife

  • jodie
    August 16, 2018

    Wow…those red cliffs remind us of the rocks here by us!! You always showcase such amazing photos that make me want to travel right out there!!

    • Kathy
      August 16, 2018

      Thank you Jodie. I guess we do have a lot of similarities with our landscapes. I think a lot of people consider Australia to be dry and barren, when in fact it does have some beautiful green forested areas. #TeamLovinLife

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    August 16, 2018

    Kathy what a beautiful part of the world. Something for everyone!

    Your photo of the falls was especially stunning!!!

    SSG xxx

    • Kathy
      August 16, 2018

      It is a wonderful region in Queensland. It always turns up somewhere new every time I visit. #TeamLovinLife

  • Deborah
    August 17, 2018

    Stunning photos Kathy and stunning views. I don’t know the area well but fantasise a little about living somewhere near Maleny next (my last ‘home’) though I’d need to do some research first!

    • Kathy
      August 17, 2018

      It is a stunning region. Maleny is so picturesque and very arty farty. I think you’d fit right in!

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    August 17, 2018

    Well you have convinced me to revisit the area, Kathy.Your photography is stunning and what a wonderful summary of all the area has to offer. We actually had our honeymoon at Alexandra Headland but rarely go north as we have the apartment at Surfers. Thanks for another beautiful showcase of what Queensland and Australia has to offer. xx

    • Kathy
      August 17, 2018

      I know the Gold Coast is hard to beat, but I really enjoy a change of scenery on the Sunshine Coast. It does have a lot to offer. #TeamLovinLife

  • Natalie @ be kibd 2 you
    August 19, 2018

    How beautiful is the falls!!! And I love the gorgeous picture of the cow.

    • Kathy
      August 19, 2018

      Yes they are spectacular and also a beautiful walk. The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is fabulous for a change of scenery. #TeamLovinLife

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    August 19, 2018

    I absolutely love the Sunshine Coast and surrounds. We were up there in February and went up to the hinterland – one of my favourite places. I’ve been to most (but not all) of the places you’ve listed. Beautiful photographs!! :-) #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      August 19, 2018

      I think most of us Queenslanders have visited the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It’s such a refreshing change from the coast.

  • Kaitlyn
    August 20, 2018

    Such a great post, Thanks Kathy for sharing.Those pictures make me remember my hometown in Vietnam. The waterfall looks like the Tranh Waterfall in Phu Quoc, the towering red cliffs on the Cooloola Coast look like the ancient tower in Ninh Thuan Province, and the mountains remind me of Cuc Phuong National Park. It’s right when people say that “Travel more to lover you country more”

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