Hit The Road For The Best School Holiday Hinterland Day Trips FROM the Sunshine Coast
If you’re lucky enough to live on the Sunshine Coast, you know all about the beautiful beaches, stunning ocean views and coastal breezes - but if you haven’t spent much time exploring the Sunshine Coast Hinterland - there’s no better time to start. Here are just a few school holiday day trips Sunshine Coast residents should add to their must-do list!
A day trip from Coolum with fun for the whole family
For this trip, plan to travel on a Wednesday or Saturday and be sure to leave home hungry. Just a short 20 minutes away from Coolum, make Eumundi markets your first stop. Grab a coffee, browse locally made artisan gifts and stock up on gourmet delights to sustain you for the drive ahead.
From Eumundi, follow Eumundi Kenilworth Road and Buckby Road down to the beautiful lookout at Point Glorious. Put on your walking shoes and grab the water bottle for this easy, 3km walk suitable for the whole family. The lookout showcases beautiful mountain landscapes and is one of best lesser-known Sunshine Coast viewpoints.
Once back in the car, wind your way south through the rolling hills towards Wappa Dam. Perfect for families of all ages, this area has a playground, large picnicking areas (remember those treats you bought at the market?) and offers a short bushwalk to Wappa Falls. When you’ve had enough fun in the sun, wrap up your day with the short and easy drive back to Coolum.
Take the scenic route from Caloundra to Kenilworth
For one of the best day trips Sunshine Coast locals can do with the whole family, Caloundra to Kenilworth tops the list. To make the most of this trip, leave Caloundra and head straight for the Kenilworth Country Bakery. Take in the sights of the beautiful, winding scenic drive as you make your way to arguably the best donuts in Queensland!
From Kenilworth, head south for a short drive along State Route 22 to Fig Tree Walk - home to magnificent, 150-year-old Moreton Bay fig trees. Walk off the bakery treats on this 750m rainforest boardwalk while you take in all of the stunning flora and fauna.
When you’re ready to move on, head southeast through the picturesque mountain ranges towards Maleny - the perfect spot to grab lunch and browse the local shops and galleries. If shopping isn’t your thing, head straight to the Mary Cairncross Reserve. This beautiful conservation area is home to The Rainforest Discovery Centre (including the Glass House Mountains viewing platform), the Mountain View Cafe, picnic tables, toilets and a playground.
If it’s a hot day, finish your trip with afternoon fun at Gardners Falls. Only 5 minutes from the reserve, Gardners Falls offers shallow rock pools - ideal for younger children - and a much larger pool underneath the falls for adults and older kids to cool off in. When you’ve had your water fix, head back in the car and enjoy the beautiful scenery as you wind your way back to the coast.
Choose your own adventure with the beautiful Blackall Hinterland Drive
If you’re in it for the drive more than the activities along the way, the Blackall Range Hinterland drive is one of the most phenomenal day trips Sunshine Coast locals and visitors alike can embark on. Starting in Mooloolaba, head down through Landsborough and on towards Maleny. The road meanders through little mountain villages and offers views of valleys, mountains and even the coast on a clear day. This loop allows travellers to stop as little or as often as they’d like as there are loads of cafes, shops, rainforest walks and lookouts as you travel through Maleny, Montville, Mapleton and up to Cooloolabin. There are multiple ways to get back to Mooloolaba but if you’re running short on time, cut over to the M1 from Cooloolabin for the fastest route back.
The choices are endless
Some of the best road trips of all are when you don’t have a plan to begin with. If you have the time, just hop in the car and flip a coin to see where the day will take you. For the best day trips Sunshine Coast has to offer, all you need is an open road and an open mind.