If your New Year’s resolution was to step outside your comfort zone, the Sunshine Coast has just the ticket.
Here you can swim with sharks, teeter 20 metres above the ground on the region’s newest ropes course or plunge into the sea with Aquaduck.
The Sunshine Coast is home to a number of new thrill-seeking experiences, all you have to do is take a leap of faith!
Swim with sharks
Come fin-to-fin with enormous sharks and rays this summer at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast! After a three-year hiatus SEA LIFE’s exhilarating Shark Dive Xtreme experience is back, inviting thrill-seekers to swim with nine different shark species including three huge grey nurse sharks, reef sharks and wobbegong sharks. But don’t fear, the two-hour adventure takes you behind the scenes for a safety briefing and dive training before you take the plunge and find yourself inside the aquarium’s iconic Ocean Tunnel. The daring adventure complements SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast’s Summer of Sharks campaign that celebrates sharks - which are under threat from overfishing, the demand for shark products and habitat destruction - and the essential role they play in our ecosystem. The Shark Dive Xperience is available to guests aged 14+ and costs $290 per person. Visit www.visitsealife.com/sunshine-coast.
Fly 20 metres above the ground on new ropes course
You can now zipline through Sunshine Plaza on Australia’s highest ropes course – Next Level. The course is built above Cornmeal Creek which runs through the centre of the shopping complex and includes seven circuits across four levels of difficulty, including 145 aerial obstacles. The course has more than one kilometre of zip lines, the longest of which spans 135 metres. Guests can also access a 22-metre-high viewing platform that offers impressive 360-degree views of the Sunshine Coast which can be done as a separate activity to the high ropes. Next Level tickets start from $25 for six to 17 years old, $35 for 18 years plus and $5 for the viewing platform. Visit https://nextlevelpark.com.au/.
Is it a bird, is it a boat, no, it’s Aquaduck!
Iconic tourism operator Aquaduck has made its debut splash in Mooloolaba. The amphibious Aquaduck has been operating since 1996 and has now expanded operations to include the Sunshine Coast with 1-hour sightseeing tours exploring Mooloolaba and the Mooloolah River. The tour takes visitors along the picturesque Mooloolaba Esplanade before splashing in for a cruise through the canals and waterways. Journey past Point Cartwright, the popular Mooloolaba fish markets and the glamorous mansions of Minyama Island. While on board, the tour guide and Aquaduck Captain will share stories featuring the history of the region including those from the original owners, beach culture, local produce and wildlife. Tickets cost $30 for children or $40 for adults. Visit www.aquaduck.com.au/sunshine-coast/.
Take surfing to new heights
The Sunshine Coast is known for its surf - Noosa is even home to a World Surfing Reserve - but you don’t always need waves here to catch a break. Sunshine Coast Boardsports invite people to ‘fly above the water’ on Caloundra’s sparkling Pumicestone Passage. Their secret is a Fliteboard, also known as electric foiling. This looks like a regular surfboard on top, but underneath they use a whisper quiet and emission-free electric motor to propel you above the water. Perfect for surfers looking to try something new, or beginners looking to carve it up without waves or the need to paddle out! Private lessons start from $199 per hour. Visit www.scboardsports.com.au/.
Ready to play? Why not stay..
A new luxe glamping retreat has opened on the Sunshine Coast – perfect for those looking for a moment of serenity after a day of adventure. Starry Nights is located on 17 hectares in Woombye in the foothills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Centre-stage of the property are the glamping safari-style suites. Vast in size (75 square metres) and totally designed to showcase the natural setting, features include a king-size bed (with USB chargers), lounge area, kitchenette, a fireplace for cool winter nights, ensuite rain head shower and toilet, and a freestanding bathtub that makes the most of the views. A breakfast hamper of local produce is delivered each morning to cook at leisure, and guests are greeted with a welcome cheese platter with Australian organic sparkling wine. Rates start from $295 per night, including a breakfast hamper. Book direct at www.starrynightsluxurycamping.com.au/.
For more Sunshine Coast adventures, including deals on accommodation and experiences, visit sunshinecoastforreal.com.