Families have become closer during COVID isolation but are now craving the opportunity to take a break.
In line with easing of restrictions in Queensland, the Sunshine Coast has plenty to see and do these school holidays.
So pack away the jigsaw puzzles, crafts and baking; get out of the house and escape to the wide open spaces of the Sunshine Coast.
1. Get Back to Nature
More now than ever, we could do with a dose of good old Mother Nature. For impressive views, lace up the sneakers and get some fresh air with a hike up Mount Coolum or Mount Ngungun, spot a pademelon at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve or marvel at Serenity Falls in Buderim.
2. Immerse in the Aquatic
Don't have your own boat? You're covered with tube and banana boat rides at Oz Ski Resort, learn to hang ten at Coolum Surf School, dive into the Cotton Tree pool or find your own stretch of sand to dip your toes in the ocean at any one of the pristine beaches lining the Coast from Golden Beach in the south to Rainbow Beach in the north.
3. Take a Ride
Take to the Mary Valley trails on a mountain bike with Ride on Mary, get in the saddle with a guided horse trail ride around beautiful Ewen Maddock Dam with Tunnel Ridge Ranch, shoot across the water with Caloundra Jet Ski or you can even take to the skies with Paradise Seaplanes.
4. See Wildlife in Action
Meet the adorable little blue penguins at Sea Life Sunshine Coast or get up close and personal with more than 700 native and exotic birds from around the world at Maleny Botanic Gardens. Crocodiles are back at Australia Zoo or head out on a whale watching cruise with Sunshine Coast Afloat to see the majestic gentle giants of the waters as they migrate north.
5. Bag a Bargain
A hidden treasure on the Sunshine Coast, The Caloundra Street Fair features more than 120 unique stalls and is open every Sunday from 8am to 1pm. And just in time for school holidays, The Caloundra Twilight Markets will re-open on 26 June. With a large range of both food and artisan stalls, this market runs along the Bulcock Beach Esplanade on the last Friday of each month from 5pm-9pm.
6. Tackle a Course
Little ones can be amazed at Bellingham Maze and older kids can get the adrenaline racing around the chicanes at the Big Kart Track. For the ultimate encounter to push your limits, why not visit Australia's highest and most thrilling Adventure Park designed for the entire family aged 8+. Located at the iconic Big Pineapple, the Tree Top Challenge will take you sky-high at 25 metres above the ground with 100 challenges and 12 ziplines suspended across five courses amongst sub-tropical rainforest.
7. Food Glorious Food
With many parks and playgrounds re-opening, savour in the fresh air and sunshine with a picnic of fresh seafood straight from the trawlers at Mooloolaba Spit, indulge in a sweet treat from Fior Di Latte Gelateria at The Wharf Mooloolaba, pick your own berries fresh from the vines at Strawberry Fields or sample a taste of goodness at the Ginger Factory due to re-open on 27 June.
8. Get Eventful
Airwaves:The Drive-In Music Festival bumps into the Sunshine Coast's Nambour Showgrounds next month for three all-ages concerts featuring a new trio of bands each day and an 'outer space' theme.
Fri 10 Jul - The Dreggs, Sahara Beck, Toxic Fox
Sat 11 Jul - The Chats, Bugs, Being Jane Lane
Sun 12 Jul - Pierce Brothers, OKA, Salt & Steel
The Mary Valley Rattler will run a special Superhero Train where you can meet Steam Man and celebrate the first steam train excursion back on the track! Departs Gympie Station at 10am, returns Gympie Station at 1pm and includes on board morning tea, lunch at the cafe, beverage of choice with lunch and certificate of travel.
9. For Mum & Dad
- Set out on a private tour with a small group of family and friends for a Taste of the Hinterland Tour to the vineyards, cheese factory and lunch at a selection of amazing local restaurants with Mystic Mountain Tours.
- Choose from a Coastal Hop, Noosa Brewing Trail or Hinterland ExBeerience to sample some local ales on a frothy Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tour.
- In need of some pampering? Then you can't go past the Teman for Two Package for $360 at Ikatan Day Spa. Includes Baliense Foot Ritual, 60 minute Balinese Massage, complimentary glass of champagne or pot of tea in the gardens before or after treatments.
10. Coming to Play? Why not stay...
Holiday on the water with Caloundra House and Camping Boats
The Flinders Houseboat starts at $500 for 2 days for up to 5 guests or the Hideaway Houseboat starts at $300 for 2 days and can accommodate up to 4 guests.
Find your country calling at Kenilworth Boutique Accommodation
Located in cosy Kenilworth, take advantage of this winter special and save 20% when you stay for 2 nights mid-week (Sunday to Thursday). With plenty of space for the family, just mention Visit Sunshine Coast when booking to receive the discount.
Enjoy a 'Vitamin Sea' treatment at Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort
Escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful 'Vitamin Sea' treatment at Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort. Stay for two nights and receive a $50 food and beverage resort credit for travel between 13 June 2020 and 31 August 2020, prices from $299, available exclusively for new bookings.
Visit Sunshine Coast recommends checking with each operator in relation to opening times and terms and conditions. It is also advisable to book ahead with attractions/tours and dining venues due to limited capacities and to avoid disappointment.
For more information visit: visitsunshinecoast.com