School holiday activities on the Sunshine Coast for every family

With open spaces, beaches, and plenty of things to do for kids, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect spot for Queensland families to spend the school holidays. And such diversity on our doorstep means there’s something for everyone.

Bushwalks? Absolutely.
Animal adventures? For real! 

Here’s some of the best school holiday activities on the Sunshine Coast, to suit every family. 

The animal loving family

First stop for the animal loving family has to be SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, to go on a Junior Penguin Keeper adventure. The Little Blue Penguins are the latest cuties to join SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast and they are sure to delight! Discover cool facts on your way around the aquarium, or take your visit to the next level with a Penguin Encounter where those ages 5+ can hand-feed the cheeky little birds.

No trip to the Sunshine Coast is complete without a visit to Australia Zoo. Meet amazing animals up close, and go behind the scenes to see what it’s like to really be a zookeeper. 

For something more personal, head to Wildlife HQ for over 16 animal encounters where you can get up close with the animals.

Feeding Kangaroos at Australia Zoo / Credit: TEQ

The ‘try something new’ family

On Saturday 19 September, the country comes to the Coast at the Aussie World Bulls & Broncs Rodeo! Watch some of the best competitors from around the country and take advantage of the special two-hour ride pass available from 3pm-5pm for just $15.

For something totally different, why not step back in time with some medieval fun at Sunshine Castle? The Castle’s keep is a fantastic 24 metre high look-out tower and its location at the top of a hill offers stunning views out across the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland.

Or for something sky high, head to Bulcock Beach in Caloundra, where Australasia’s tallest portable observation wheel is staying until 5 October.

The outdoor activities family

A favourite activity on the Sunshine Coast for kids of all ages is Bellingham Maze. The main Hedge Maze is a large, star-shaped living hedge maze made up of more than one thousand Lilly Pillies. Dotted amidst the tropical rainforest garden there’s plenty of smaller puzzles to challenge the family too. 

For some outdoor fun, head to Maroochy River Mini Golf. Experience landscaped humps and hollows, water features and sand traps across 18 holes of awesomeness. Or for a little serenity, why not head into the hinterland and Mary Cairncross Reserve? Stop in at the Rainforest Discovery Centre to find out about the local flora and fauna, then wander through the rainforest to see what you can spot!

Mary Cairncross Reserve / Credit: Tourism Australia

The water loving family

Ever wanted to learn to surf? Now is your chance for real! Coolum Surf School offers surf lessons every day throughout school holidays. The whole family can take a surf lesson together, or parents can drop the kids off and head up to Coolum Surf Club for a bite while the kids have fun in the surf. The school provides all the equipment, including soft, learner style surfboards, wetsuits and sunscreen. 

Learning to surf

September is in the peak of whale season, and the Sunshine Coast is perfect for witnessing these majestic creatures frolic in the warmer waters as they mate and feed their calves. Want to get up close with the whales? Try Australia’s first Swim with Whales experience at Sunreef.

For those preferring calmer waters, head to the stunning Pumicestone Passage. At Bill’s Boat Hire, you can rent Pontoon boats, half cabin and tinnies, kayaks and stand up paddleboards. This pristine stretch of water is part of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and you will have a chance to spot some incredible sea life as you explore.

The adrenaline loving family

The Sunshine Coast has adrenaline-filled fun for all ages. Start your engines and become a race car driver at Australia’s largest commercial track – Big Kart Track. Or push your adventure to new heights on Australia’s highest and most thrilling Adventure Park designed for the entire family. 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.

Treetop Challenge

Prefer two wheels? Why not get on your bikes and take a long ride along the coastal trail stretching right along the Sunshine Coast or explore some of the stunning national parks and state forests.

For family friendly accommodation, and stay and play deals, head to visitsunshinecoast.com.