Best things to do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Are you looking for things to do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland? This article covers all the best Sunshine Coast Hinterland things to do including tourist attractions, places to visit and more.

The Queensland Travel Guide acknowledges the Kabi Kabi people and the Jinibara people, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the Sunshine Coast is situated. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continued spiritual and cultural connections to Country. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

Venturing into the Sunshine Coast hinterland is like stepping into a nature-lover’s paradise, where relaxation and excitement blend seamlessly. Tucked away behind Queensland’s coastal beauty, the hinterland offers a refreshing mix of chill vibes and outdoor adventures.

The Glass House Mountains offer majestic peaks, with awesome hiking trails that treat you to epic coastal views. And then there are the cute towns of Maleny and Montville, bursting with artsy stuff, cool markets and cosy cafes, while the Eumundi Markets are a vibrant mix of art, music and delicious food that show off the hinterland’s creative side. 

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is the perfect place to relax with its serene wellness retreats and spas. Those up for some action will enjoy hiking in the ancient rainforests at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve or you may prefer to eat and drink your way through the local wineries and fancy restaurants.

The region is bursting with incredible things to do! Sunshine Coast hinterland attractions await your next visit, so what are you waiting for? Let’s get into it and uncover all the best things to do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

Main image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

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Table of Contents

Before we get started rounding up the best Sunshine Coast hinterland tourist attractions, to help you plan your itinerary check out the map below. This map shows the location of all the places to visit and things to do covered in this Sunshine Coast Hinterland guide.

While the stunning beaches of the Sunshine Coast are world-famous, the luscious, green hinterland deserves just as much attention. These rolling green hills, cascading waterfalls, vibrant communities, delicious food experiences and natural wonders are all waiting to be explored. 

You can find detailed articles on our site about the following Sunshine Coast Hinterland destinations: 

Eumundi

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Best known for the renowned Eumundi Markets, the picturesque town of Eumundi is so much more than just a market town. With its quaint boutiques and galleries, fascinating historic attractions and incredible food experiences. 

Eumundi offers a range of dining options, including great restaurants serving local produce and casual cafes where you can enjoy a relaxed coffee and cake. Whether you’re exploring the markets, enjoying the area’s scenic natural attractions or indulging in the local food scene, Eumundi can offer something for everyone. 

Click here for our detailed guide on Eumundi 

Maleny

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

If you’re looking to escape to the country to enjoy lush forests, rolling green landscapes and picture-postcard scenery, Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is the place to go. This pretty holiday destination offers the most incredible uninterrupted views, along with delicious local produce, quaint shopping opportunities and a thriving arts scene. 

Click here for our detailed guide to Maleny 

Montville

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Another quaint hinterland town is Montville. Like nearby Maleny, you’ll find luscious landscapes, spectacular views and delicious food experiences. No visit would be complete without exploring Kondalilla National Park with its awe-inspiring lookouts, cascading waterfalls and scenic swimming hole.

Montville is a great year-round destination. In winter, you can snuggle in front of roaring log fires and feast on warming winter dishes made from local produce, and during summer you can make the most of the cooler inland temperatures and get outdoors to enjoy the spectacular landscape and perhaps enjoy a spot of wine tasting and nibbles in the sunshine. 

Click here for our detailed guide to Montville

Mapleton

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

A little quieter and lesser-known than its hinterland counterparts, Mapleton is a hidden historic treasure, a true gem awaiting discovery on your list of places to explore.

This charming hinterland village is surrounded by lush green hills and panoramic vistas that paint a captivating tapestry. Popular among hikers, Mapleton has some great trails and iconic panoramic overlooks. People come here to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the local flora and fauna – it feels like a million miles from the city.

Click here for our detailed guide to Mapleton (Coming soon)

Kenilworth

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Nestled in the heart of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Kenilworth is a charming settlement surrounded by lush green hills and glorious vistas. 

Whether you decide to indulge in treats at the famous Kenilworth Bakery, sample artisan cheeses at the Kenilworth Cheese Factory or browse the markets to pick up home-baked goods, you won’t go hungry during your stay. There are plenty of opportunities to work up an appetite with lots of outdoor activities waiting for you including hiking, kayaking, canoeing and tubing. 

Click here for our detailed guide to Kenilworth (Coming soon)

Glass House Mountains

Glass House Mountains is a friendly little town surrounded by iconic natural attractions. It is also home to one of Australia’s most treasured tourist attractions – no visit to the region would be complete without visiting the world-famous Australia Zoo!

If you’re looking for a family-friendly location with plenty of fresh country air, quaint townships, cosy accommodation plus the option of outdoor adventures (while still being within easy reach of the coast and the city), this is the place for you! It’s also perfect for thrill seekers looking to enjoy the epic, craggy scenery on hikes, rides and climbs. 

Click here for our detailed guide to Glass House Mountains 

Nambour

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

The vibrant countryside town of Nambour is centrally placed so you can explore the whole Sunshine Coast Hinterland region easily from here. Nambour is home to fun family attractions like the Big Pineapple and Wildlife HQ, and there are some fantastic places to eat in Namour, including the iconic Rick’s Diner (are you brave enough to try the giant burger stack?!)

If you love local produce, incredible scenery and natural attractions and a laid-back community atmosphere, Nambour is for you. 

Click here for our detailed guide to Nambour (Coming soon)

Buderim

Nestled ten minutes from the stunning golden Sunshine Coast beaches you will find Buderim – the Sunshine Coast’s oldest town and a real hidden gem. 

This area of outstanding natural beauty is bursting with serene outdoor attractions and sweeping views due to its elevated position on top of an ancient volcanic plateau. 

The Buderim Forest Park and Serenity Falls (also known as Buderim Falls) are among the incredible natural attractions that draw nature enthusiasts and hikers to the area. With a thriving food scene, unique shops to explore and a welcoming community atmosphere, Buderim should definitely be added to your itinerary. 

Click here for our detailed guide to Buderim (Coming soon)

Below we have rounded up the best Sunshine Coast hinterland attractions, things to do and places to visit. Sunshine Coast hinterland itineraries can be created to suit all interests and budgets, so let’s get into sharing the best things to do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland…

1 Enjoy all of the food attractions

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s fertile landscape is bursting with incredible food attractions! 

Whether you’re interested in authentic farm-to-fork experiences, want to shop for small-batch, artisan products, or you’re just keen to eat your way around as many of the foodie experiences you can fit into your visit, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a destination packed with flavours, textures and unique produce. 

Maleny Dairies will be a real highlight of your stay. Join a guided 1.5-hour tour to see how the farm operates and meet some animals. You can even try your hand at milking a cow! After, there is a delicious tasting session and you can pick up plenty of goodies to enjoy back at your accommodation. If you love this, you should also take a trip to Kenilworth Dairies to sample their produce and meet their cows!

Cheese fans will love visiting Maleny Cheese Factory. You can sample many delicious cheeses and creamy yoghurts and take a peek at the working dairy factory. 

Make sure you pop into Maleny Food Co and sample their signature gelato, made with rich and creamy Guernsey milk and cream, and their sorbet made with local fruits and the finest Italian ingredients. You can also pick up more cheese from their fromagerie and other deli goodies that will set you up for your next picnic. 

If you have a sweet tooth, the Maleny Chocolate Co should be on your list of things to do around the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Taste their freshly made, small batch, handmade chocolate. These artisan makers create divine chocolate that almost looks too pretty to eat!

Chocolate Country in Montville is another must-visit stop on your foodie tour! Selling handcrafted, premium Belgian chocolates, this hidden gem is the sweetest of treats for chocolate lovers! 

While we’re on the subject of sweets, you should also pay a visit to Fudgyboombahs – The Home of Montville Fudge! The rich and creamy fudge comes in all kinds of flavours, including vanilla, macadamia and ginger, and chilli chocolate flavour. It’s definitely worth a stop while you’re browsing the Main Street stores. 

For something totally unique, you can’t miss QCamels Dairy. This working dairy farm is a premium supplier of certified organic camel milk and milk products. Known for its nutritional and medicinal properties, camel milk is a delicious alternative to cow or goat milk. 

Support regenerative and sustainable farming with a visit to Falls Farm. Pick up some of their delicious jars of jam, pickles or chutney from their shop. Alternatively, visit the nearby restaurant to discover the best local produce while enjoying a great view from the deck.

There are so many delicious tourist attractions! Sunshine Coast Hinterland truly is a foodie’s heaven and you will definitely be able to stock up your kitchen with tasty treats during your stay. 

Maleny Dairies

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: 70 McCarthy Road, Maleny

Hours: Tours usually occur regularly but are on hold while the experience is redeveloped. In the meantime, you can still purchase their delicious dairy products from the office Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm 

Chocolate Country Montville

Location: 192 Main St, Montville

Hours: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

Maleny Cheese Cafe and Shop

Location: 1 Clifford Street Balmoral Ridge

Hours: Shop open daily from 10 am to 3 pm | Cafe open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm

Cost: Depends on how much cheese you buy!

Fudgyboombahs – The Home of Montville Fudge

Location: Shop 12, 168 Main Street, Montville

Hours: Friday to Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm

QCamel Dairy Farm

Location: Address is confirmed when you book a farm tour ticket 

Hours: Tours operate every Saturday plus more dates during school holidays

Cost: Camel Cuddles Tour $35 Adults | $20 Kids | $110 Family 

Maleny Food Co

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: 29 Maple St, Maleny

Hours: Cafe, store and fromagerie open daily from 8 am to 3.30 pm

Cost: Breakfasts from $15 | Gelato and sorbets from $6 a scoop | Cheese picnic boxes from $50

Maleny Chocolate Co

Location: Unit 4/43 Maple St, Rainforest Plaza, Maleny

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm: 

Kenilworth Dairies

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: 45 Charles St Kenilworth

Hours: Weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm | Weekends from 8 am to 3 pm

Cost: A wide range of goods are available from the onsite cafe and cellar door

The Falls Farm Mapleton

Location: 130 Johnson Road, Mapleton 

Hours: Pickup times Tuesday 3 pm to 6 pm | Friday 3 pm to 6 pm

Cost: A wide range of local produce is available

2 Eat out

You’ll notice a common theme here – the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a foodie’s paradise! Whilst we covered the range of food tourist attractions above, now it’s time to talk about eating out in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland!

You definitely won’t be disappointed because this fertile, lush landscape produces the most incredible fruit and vegetables and there is a real focus on eating fresh, locally grown produce here so you’re going to be able to enjoy some high-quality, fresh, delicious meals during your visit. 

A Flaxton Garden High Tea is unlike any you’ve ever had before. Enjoy treats such as arancini, tempura zucchini and crispy chicken brioche followed by peppermint brownie, and passionfruit cheesecake. A children’s high tea is also available. It will definitely be a lazy afternoon to remember!

If you’re looking for a more indulgent, leisurely option, you could enjoy an immersive culinary experience at the award-winning, French-inspired, The Long Apron. Linger over the al la carte dishes while admiring the stunning scenery. Or perhaps visit Harry’s on Buderim to enjoy the rainforest views from the heritage-style homestead restaurant as you work your way through the seasonal Degustation Menu.

There are hearty cafes to enjoy coffee and cake, including The Edge Cafe at Montville and Glass House Mountains Lookout Cafe (which both have views to die for) and Nambour Social as well as cosy countryside pubs such as Mapleton Public House, Buderim Tavern and Woombye Pub.

If you’re looking to grab some treats for a picnic, Kenilworth Bakeries 1 kg donuts and sausage rolls are a popular choice, but make sure you get in early as they sell out! 

If you adore Asian-inspired food, The Tamarind at Spicers Tamarind Retreat and Piggyback at Palmwoods should both be on your itinerary.

And for those times that you just need a gigantic burger, Rick’s Garage provides the ultimate burgers including ‘The Big One’ which is basically double everything in a giant stack pinned together by skewers to stop it from toppling over!

Feeling hungry yet?!

Flaxton Gardens High Tea

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: 313 Flaxton Drive, Flaxton

Hours: From Wednesday to Sunday

Cost: $50 – $99 Adults | $25 Kids

The Tamarind

Click here for more information about accommodation options

Location: 88 Obi Ln S, Maleny

Hours: Saturday and Sunday lunch served from 12 pm to 2 pm (Bar menu available Monday to Friday) | Wednesday to Sunday dinner from 5 pm 

Piggyback

Location: 1 Koorawatha Lane, Palmwoods

Hours: Daily from 11.30 am to 9 pm

The Long Apron

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: 38-68 Balmoral Rd, Montville

Hours: Dinner Monday to Friday from 5.30 pm to 9 pm | Saturday and Sunday from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm | Lunch Friday – Sunday from 12 pm to 2 pm

The Edge Cafe

Location: 127 Main St, Montville

Hours: Daily from 8.30 am to 4 pm

Mapleton Public House

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: 2 Flaxton Drive, Mapleton

Hours: Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 9 pm | Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm | Sunday from 11 am – 7 pm | Tuesday from 10 am to 7 pm

Glass House Mountains Lookout Cafe

Location: 182 Glass House Woodford Rd, Glass House Mountains

Hours: Daily from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm (sometimes open until 3 – 3.30 pm on weekends if it is busy)

Kenilworth Country Bakery

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: 8 Elizabeth Street, Kenilworth

Hours: Daily from 7 am to 1 pm (or until sold out!)

Cost: $25 1 kg doughnut | $25 1 kg sausage roll

Nambour Social

Location: 59 Currie Street, Nambour

Hours: Daily from 7.30 am to 2 pm

Woombye Pub

Location: 3 Blackall Street, Woombye

Hours: Monday to Sunday lunch from 11.30 am to 2 pm | Sunday to Thursday dinner from 5.30 pm to 8 pm | Friday and Saturday dinner from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm

Cost: Mains from $20

Rick’s Garage

Location: 14 – 16 Margaret St, Palmwoods

Hours: Daily from 11 am to 8.30 pm 

Cost: Burgers from $15

Harry’s on Buderim

Address: 11 Harrys Ln, Buderim

Hours: Lunch Wednesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 2 pm | Dinner Thursday to Saturday from 6 pm | Closed Monday and Tuesday

Cost: Mains from $45 | Degustation Menu $115 for five courses, add paired wine for $58 per person

Buderim Tavern

Address: 81 Burnett Street, Buderim

Hours: Daily from 10 am to late

Cost: Main meals from $20

3 Go shopping

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland offers a range of unique shopping experiences, whether you’re looking for quaint streets to stroll down or you love hunting for unusual and one-of-a-kind stores. 

Maleny’s Maple Street and Montville’s Main Street are not to be missed. You’ll find ample opportunities to pick up souvenirs and gifts to take home, plus it’s a great opportunity to browse the historic buildings and take in the community atmosphere. 

Don’t forget to pause for a pit stop to enjoy coffee and cake as you shop!

There are unique bookshops like Berkelouw Book Barn and Cafe and Buderim Rare Books, vintage stores, antique shops and quirky gift shops aplenty. You’re going to love shopping in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland!

Maleny’s main shopping area

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: Maple Street

Hours: Various

Berkelouw Book Barn and Cafe

Location: 87 Memorial Drive, Eumundi

Hours: Cafe open weekdays from 6 am to 3 pm | Saturday from 6 am to 3.30 pm | Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm | Book shop open 9 am to 5 pm weekdays | 8 am to 4 pm Saturday | 9 am to 4 pm Sunday | Check website for special events and workshops

Buderim Rare Books

Address: Shop 8 / 61 Burnett Street, Buderim

Hours: 9.30 am to 2.00 pm Tuesday to Friday | 9.30 am to 2.00 pm Saturday

Montville’s main shopping area

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: Main Street

Hours: Various

Vintage Treasure Market

Location: 1088 Steve Irwin Way, Glass House Mountains

Hours: Thursday to Monday from 9.30 am to 5 pm | Closed Tuesday and Wednesday 

Cost: Depends how many treasures you find! 

Vintage and Retro Trail

Location: Various stores in Nambour

Affordable on Elizabeth

Location: 4 Elizabeth Street, Kenilworth

Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 9.15 am to 3 pm | Weekends from 8 am to 3 pm

Cost: Prices of their quirky goods vary

4 Visit a scenic lookout

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

You just can’t beat the scenery in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It has to be seen to be believed – with dramatic mountain visas, lush green hills and dense forest, fringed with the golden coastline and rolling surf in the distance. 

Stopping to admire a lookout is the perfect opportunity to pause, get some fresh air and take a break from running around between attractions. 

Here is a quick round-up of the best lookout spots to visit as you’re driving around the Hinterland. There are a lot of them because it’s such a spectacular destination, but you can easily schedule a few stops a day into your itinerary as you’re out and about exploring the region. 

Don’t forget to pack a picnic and make the most of these panoramic views!

  • Gerrards Lookout – Maleny-Montville Rd, Maleny 
  • McCarthy’s Lookout – 563 Mountain View Rd, Maleny
  • Balmoral Lookout – 634 Maleny – Montville Rd, Balmoral Ridge
  • Howells Knob Lookout – 188/216 Reesville Rd, Reesville
  • Maleny Kenilworth Lookout – Curranore Rd &, Maleny Kenilworth Rd, Witta
  • Razorback Lookout – Razorback Road, Montville
  • Narrows Lookout – Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, North Maleny
  • Baroon Lookout – Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, North Maleny
  • Mapleton Lookout Platform – 78 Mapleton Falls Rd, Mapleton
  • Glass House Mountain Lookout – Glass House Woodford Rd, Beerburrum
  • Wild Horse Mountain Scenic Lookout – Glass House Mountains Rd, Coochin Creek
  • Jack Ferris Lookout – Trachyte Ridge, Beerburrum
  • Point Glorious Lookout – Point Glorious Rd, Belli Park
  • Ball Lookout – 230 Eumundi Range Rd, Eumundi 
  • Dulong Lookout – Dulong Road, Kureelpa
  • Whites Lookout -10 Fountain Rd, Buderim
  • Lions Lookout – 111 Burnett Street, Buderim

5 Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo is one of the best things to do! Sunshine Hinterland attractions don’t come any more iconic than this one. 

Made famous by the late Steve Irwin, also known as the Crocodile Hunter, Australia Zoo is one of the best days out in the whole of Australia, not just the Sunshine Coast! 

It’s a big day out where you’ll be treated to live shows (the daily Wildlife Warriors show is not to be missed) and presentations throughout the day. The crocodile show and tiger show are very popular, so ensure you get in early for a good seat.

Come along and see koalas, crocodiles, red pandas, giraffes, tigers, dingoes, snakes, birds, lizards and so much more. 

Australia Zoo also has a waterpark perfect for giving the kids some downtime between seeing the animals (don’t forget to pack swimmers and a towel!)

You can easily spend a full day exploring Australia Zoo and not see everything, so wear comfortable walking shoes. If you’ve got little ones, it’s a good idea to bring a pram with you, but you can hire one or even a pull-along wagon (which is handy if you’re bringing a picnic) when you arrive. 

Australia Zoo is definitely one of the top tourist attractions. Sunshine Coast Hinterland itineraries should all include a visit!

Location: 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah

Hours: Daily 9 am to 5 pm 

Cost: With hospital sneak peek: $61.95 Adults | $41.95 Kids (3 – 14) | $190.95 Family (2A+2C) | $214.95 Family (2A+3C) – Click here to book tickets online

6 Aussie World

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Aussie World is one of those great things to do on the Sunshine Coast for kids. Aussie World is more compact than the Gold Coast theme parks, the lines are shorter and the ticket prices are much cheaper, making it an ideal Sunshine Coast attraction for families. 

There are over 18 Aussie World rides and attractions spread out over 15 acres, so there is plenty to entertain you all day long. Rides include a water flume, Ferris wheel, carousel and teacup rides, but there are also some thrill rides for those daredevils amongst you! 

Because of the wide range of rides, it’s perfect for toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents alike. 

Location: 1 Downunder Drive, Palmview

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm (around Christmas this can be reduced to 10 am to 3 pm)

Cost: Online Adult or Kids $46 (on the door, $49.95) | Online Group of 4 $166 (on the door, $199) | Online group of 5 $208 (on the door, $248) + booking fee

7 Big Pineapple

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Did you know that Australia is full of ‘big things’? For example, the Sunshine Coast is home to the Big Pineapple – a national tourist attraction that features a 16 m tall fibreglass pineapple structure. 

If you’re looking for free activities on the Sunshine Coast to fill a little time, the Big Pineapple is fun and free to enter. Unfortunately, the Big Pineapple Train is currently closed. The area is being reinvigorated with a new master plan, so keep an eye on developments.

Location: 76 Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye

Hours: Daily from 8.30 am to 4 pm 

Cost: Free to enter the Big Pineapple

8 Wildlife HQ

If you have more time to spare while visiting the Big Pineapple, Wildlife HQ is located on the same site as the Big Pineapple and is part of the attraction. It’s worth a visit if you’re looking for things to do on the Sunshine Coast for families. 

Go along to see native wildlife and exotic animals from around the world, including koalas, dingoes, snakes, crocodiles, red pandas and meerkats. It’s a very different experience to Australia Zoo – much more compact and intimate, so it’s great for little ones.  

Location: 76 Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye

Hours: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm. 

Cost: Wildlife HQ entry fees: $39 Adults | $25 Kids (3 – 15)  | $109 Family (2A+2C) 

9 Amaze World – Buderim

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Amaze World is a whimsical wonderland that delights visitors of all ages with its unique blend of interactive entertainment.

One of the highlights of Amaze World is the Bellingham Hedge Maze. This living labyrinth of Lilly Pilly’s will have you twisting and turning as you navigate to the central viewing deck and back out again. Along the way are various riddles and puzzles where you can test your knowledge as you wander through the hedges.

Other fun attractions at Amaze World include a Timber Maze, 18-hole mini golf course, augmented reality and a playground with water play.

Location: 274 Tanawha Tourist Drive, Tanawha

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

Price: Adults $33 | Child (3-15) $27 | Student $30 | Kids under 3 are free | Family Pass (2A-2C) $99 – Click here to book tickets online.

10 Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World

The Maleny Botanic Gardens and Birdworld is a fantastic day out! It’s two attractions in one. Dedicate a morning or afternoon to enjoy one of our favourite Sunshine Coast hinterland attractions.

These privately-owned gardens cover an area of 18 acres and they’re surrounded by lush rainforests with fantastic views across the Glass House Mountains. Enjoy meandering along the walking trails as you take in the stunning plant life, lakes, waterfalls and colourful flowers. You can also hire a golf cart, which is the perfect solution if you aren’t as mobile or have kids with tired legs.

After enjoying the spectacular hinterland views and tropical gardens, you can explore the adjoining attraction, Birdworld. Walk through the aviaries that are home to hundreds of native and exotic birds from all around the world and laugh as the birds peck at your shoelaces (don’t forget to remove jewellery as some of the birds are partial to shiny things!) 

The guided tour teaches you all about the birds in a truly immersive experience, and there are plenty of photo opportunities so you can capture these precious memories. 

This is one of the best things to do in Sunshine Coast Hinterland, so it definitely needs to be on your itinerary. 

Location: 233 Maleny-Stanley River Road, Maleny

Hours: Daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm 

Cost: $40 Adults | $25 Kids (3 – 14) | $105 Family (2A+2C) – Click here to book tickets online

11 Visit beautiful gardens

The Blackall Range that dominates the Sunshine Coast Hinterland provides a rich, volcanic soil, so it’s no wonder the region is scattered with so many beautiful gardens. 

As mentioned above, Maleny Botanic Gardens is a stunning attraction and the highlight really is the picturesque gardens. You could easily spend all day here enjoying the stunning plant life and the spectacular views. 

Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens is another garden worth visiting. Spread across 82 acres, you’ll find eucalypt and riparian forests with creeks and lagoons. There are also themed zones that showcase different plants native to the Sunshine Coast. 

If you get a chance, pop into the Eumundi Sunken Garden. This quiet, green space is a peaceful spot to appreciate the region’s native flora and fauna.

Given the warm climate and fertile landscape, there are some stunning garden attractions to add to your itinerary. 

Maleny Botanic Gardens

Location: 233 Maleny-Stanley River Road, Maleny

Hours: 9 am to 4.30 pm daily 

Cost: $40 Adults | $25 Kids (3 – 14) | $105 Family (2A+2C) – Click here to book tickets online

Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens

Location: 51 Palm Creek Road, Tanawha

Hours: Daily from 7 am until 5 pm from April to October and until 6 pm for the remainder of the year.

Price: Free

Eumundi Sunken Garden

Location: Pacey Street, Eumundi 

Hours: Always open 

Cost: Free

12 Take a cookery class

Because of the region’s focus on high-quality, local ingredients, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a fabulous place to learn to cook. 

Want to learn how to make a la carte international cuisine from a renowned chef? Spicers Tamarind Retreat offers a range of cookery classes where you can learn to make a la carte French, Thai or Italian dishes (check out their website for upcoming classes). You will cook a seasonal menu and get to take home the recipe book along with an apron.  

If hearty home cooking is more your style then book a Mix, Taste, Eat cookery workshop and learn some new skills. Mix, Taste, Eat classes are always such a fun, collaborative experience to enjoy with family or friends.

There are a variety of classes to choose from, whether you prefer to make homemade staples, fresh pasta, or Asian classics. If you’re a total newbie, there are even home cooking basics and food prep workshops.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a wonderful place to come together, make new friends and improve your culinary skills.

Spicers Tamarind Resort

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: 88 Obi Ln S, Maleny

Cost: $225 per person

Mix, Taste, Eat

Location: 29B Mathew Street, Nambour

Hours: Workshop times and days vary, check the website for details

Cost: Workshops cost $50 – $60 per person | Kids workshops are also available during the school holidays

13 Visit a cellar door

There are so many fantastic cellar doors to explore in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. So many that you really need to book a tour so you can appreciate them without needing to drive! 

If you’re keen on craft beer, make sure you visit Brouhaha Brewery in Maleny to taste their seasonal, hand-crafted beers. 

Eumundi Brewery within the Imperial Hotel is another spot to add to your list. Sample their hoppy pale ales through to their rich stouts, all brewed on-site. 

Diablo Co began as a passion project focusing on Ginger Beer made from local ingredients. Over time, it expanded to spirits and liqueurs too. Everything sold is produced locally, and it’s vegan-friendly and gluten-free. 

If you’re after a refreshing and 100% Queensland-made beverage to cool off during your time on the Sunshine Coast, make sure you try one of Diablo Co’s alcoholic ginger beers or crisp premium cocktails. 

The Glass House Brewery is another favourite, as you can enjoy hand-stretched pizza while you sample their on-site brewed beer. It’s the perfect way to wind down after a day of exploring. 

Kenilworth Hotel is a traditional pub with its own brewery, so it’s a great opportunity to sample some homemade beer while enjoying a hearty pub meal and hanging out with the locals.  

Enjoy traditional cider, made with crisp, fresh apples from Granite Belt farms at Sunshine Coast Cider. If you don’t drink, you can sample their range of delicious juices too. These make an ideal picnic accompaniment, so make sure you buy some to take home. 

Wine lovers should visit The Barrel at Clouds Vineyard to sample wines from SE Queensland, craft beers and local produce, or Flame Hill Vineyard to taste wine from a 420 m elevation with spectacular views across the Blackall Range. 

For spirits, don’t miss Sunshine & Sons. With their gin and vodka, they aim to capture the essence of Queensland’s subtropical coast.

A tour is the best way to explore these cellar doors, or hop in a taxi to travel between the venues so you can really enjoy your tasting experience. 

Brouhaha Brewery

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: 6/39 Coral Street, Maleny (there is also a taproom at 1 Edison Cres, Baringa)

Hours: Cellar door open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 am to 4 pm | Restaurant open Thursday to Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm

Kenilworth Hotel

Location: 18 Elizabeth St, Kenilworth

Hours: Daily from 10 am

Costs: Mains start from $22

Flame Hill Vineyard

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: 249 Western Avenue, Montville

Hours: Cellar door open daily from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm | Deck and Terrace open for lunch Thursday to Sunday from 11.30 am to 3 pm

Eumundi Brewery

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: 1 Etheridge St, Eumundi

Hours: 10 am to 9 pm Sunday to Thursday | 10 am to 11 pm Friday and Saturday

Diablo Co

Location: 104 Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye

Hours: Tastings on Fridays from 1 pm to 5 pm | Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm

Glass House Brewery

Address: 12/330 Mons Road, Forest Glen

Hours: The venue has been closed for refurbishment so check the website for details

The Barrel at Clouds Vineyard

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: 787 Landsborough Maleny Rd, Maleny

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

Cost: Wine flights (four wines) from $22 | Beer paddle (four brews) $22  |  Cheese platters from $35 | Meals from $20

Sunshine Coast Cider

Address: 4 Conara Road, Kunda Park

Hours: Cellar door open Friday from 11 am to 3 pm | Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm

Sunshine & Sons

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: 104 Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm | Tours time vary

Cost: Distillery experience $15 per person Tours | Cocktail masterclass $99 per person | Founders tour $159 per person

14 Enjoy the spectacular waterfalls

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is filled with stunning waterfalls. Some have accessible viewing platforms, others involve a longer hike. A number of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland waterfalls also offer swimming holes, perfect for cooling off on a hot, sunny day. 

Take a dip in Maleny’s oasis at Gardners Falls where the highlight is a freshwater swim in the large pool underneath the beautiful falls. If you’re up for a more strenuous hike before your swim, enjoy the leafy, ancient landscapes on the Kondalilla Falls Circuit. The reward from the hike is the view of the 90 m cascading waterfall, which is even more impressive after heavy rainfall. 

Much quieter than Kondalilla is Baxter Falls. This hidden gem takes you over a metal suspension bridge which adds an exciting element to the experience. 

Hiking to Gheerulla Falls is a must-do in Mapleton! The walk is short at just 2.4 km return, but be aware that it can get quite steep as you climb towards the pretty waterfall. 

A Kenilworth attraction worth visiting is Booloumba Falls. The 3 km walking track requires an average level of fitness but is definitely worth it and you’ll appreciate the refreshing swim afterwards.

Mapleton Falls offers a beautiful combination of mountain scenery, bubbling rainforest creeks and diverse nature, and the lookout platform is close to the car park making it accessible.

Robinson Falls is a lesser-known waterfall attraction and it can be reached on a 1 km short bushland walk. Slightly longer is the Wappa Falls hike with its 2.7 km loop trail through the bush to the shore of Wappa Dam. The waterhole beneath the falls is stunning

Nestled within the lush rainforest of Buderim Forest Park, Buderim Falls is one of the most tranquil, natural places to go on the Sunshine Coast, and you’ll feel completely secluded from the nearby Buderim village. The falls flow year-round but look particularly spectacular after rainfall.

There are many Sunshine Coast Hinterland waterfalls to choose from. Which ones will you add to your itinerary? 

Gardners Falls

Location: Obi Lane South, Maleny 

Kondalilla Falls

Location: Kondalilla Falls Rd, Flaxton 

Baxter Falls

Location: Baxter Creek Rd, Obi Obi 

Gheerulla Falls

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Location: Day Use Area, Gheerulla  

Booloumba Falls

Location: Conondale National Park, Kenilworth  

Mapleton Falls

Location: 78 Mapleton Falls Rd, Mapleton

Robinson Reserve

Location: Cliento Bushland Conservation Reserve, 49A Waterfall Rd, Nambour  

Wappa falls

Location: Pump Station Rd, Kiamba

Hours: Gates to the park close at 5.30 pm 

Serenity Falls and Bridge (Buderim Falls)

Location: Via Lindsey Road or Quorn Close, Buderim

15 Visit the forests, national parks and mountains

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is an ideal place to get out in nature. With mountains, rainforests and trails, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to enjoy, whether you’re a novice hiker or a seasoned climber.   

A walk through the 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is a highlight of any visit to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. With easy rainforest tracks, guided walks, an immersive discovery centre and a fabulous playground, it’s an attraction suitable for all ages.

Mount Ngungun is a famous hike in the Glass House Mountains due to its relative ease and fantastic views. It’s the sixth tallest of the Glass House Mountains at 253 m, and it has a 2.8 km return track leading to the summit that offers spectacular views – some people say it gives you the best view of the Glass House Mountains!

If you’re up for a real challenge, and you have a head for heights, you might want to hike Mount Tibrogargan. Be prepared for some rock climbing and scrambling to get to the top. For this one, you’ll need to be physically fit and confident at rock climbing and bouldering as there are challenging parts that are almost vertical. It’s not one for the faint-hearted! 

If adventure is your thing, don’t miss the opportunity to go rock climbing or abseiling in the Glass House Mountains. 

Click here for more information about abseiling or to book

Click here for more information about rock climbing or to book

If you prefer something more serene, get outdoors in the Kenilworth State Forest to immerse yourself in the beautiful woodland where you can enjoy wildlife spotting as well as fishing and canoeing in the nearby Borumba Dam.

Another more gentle option is Fig Tree Walk near Kenilworth. This trail through the area’s sub-tropical rainforest is a super easy, wheelchair-accessible walkway where you can see some of the region’s ancient fig trees, some with roots dramatically suspended in the air.

Covering 9 acres of stunning native flora and fauna, the Foote Sanctuary of Buderim is the perfect place to escape when you need a relaxing nature fix. The well-maintained sanctuary and walking tracks are home to over 80 recorded species of bird, and the woodland is thriving with rainforest, eucalyptus, melaleucas, eugenias and tree ferns. 

Want to get out in the fresh air on your bike? Pop your bike in the car and head to Eumundi Conservation Park to enjoy the range of cycling and walking trails. 

You certainly won’t be short of outdoor adventures in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. 

Mary Cairncross Reserve

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny

Hours: Rainforest Discovery Centre daily from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm | Rainforest walks daily from 7 am to 6 pm

Mt Ngungun

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: Fullertons Road, Glass House Mountains  

Fig Tree Walk

Location: Maleny Kenilworth Road, Kenilworth 

Eumundi Conservation Park

Location: There are three ways to enter the park – Eumundi/Noosa Road gate entrance, Seib Road/Verrierdale Forest Road gate entrance, and North Arm/Yandina Creek Road gate entrance

Mount Tibrogargan

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

Location: Berteaus Rd Glass House Mountains 

Kenilworth State Forest

Location: Sunday Creek Rd, Kenilworth 

Foote Sanctuary of Buderim

Location: Park Lane, Buderim

16 Visit a market

If you love food, art and a vibrant community atmosphere, you will love the Sunshine Coast Hinterland markets! There are plenty of them to choose from as well. 

Eumundi Markets is probably the most famous with over 600 stalls. Eumundi is said to be one of Australia’s biggest and best art and craft markets. It’s a great place to find local makers selling everything from jewellery and toys to prints, metalwork and clothes.

While Eumundi is a huge market that can take you hours to explore, there are a range of smaller, more compact markets dotted around the region taking places at different times. Whether you’re looking for fruit and veg, handmade crafts, plants, or locally made treats, you’ll be able to find one nearby. The smaller markets are a great place to immerse yourself in the local community atmosphere. 

Eumundi Markets

Location: 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi 

Hours: Saturdays 7 am to 2 pm | Wednesdays 8 am to 2 pm 

Cost: Entry to the market is free | $7 to park in the main car park

A range of operators offer transfers or tours to Eumundi Markets – Click here to see what’s available

Maleny Markets

  • Maleny Sunday Market: Every Sunday from 8am – 2pm in the RSL Hall, Bunya St, Maleny 
  • Witta Market: Third Saturday of the month, Old Witta School, 316 Witta Road, Witta
  • Maleny Handmade and Artisan Markets: Check their Facebook page for upcoming dates

Montville Markets

Location: Memorial Close Montville, Montville 

Hours: Second Saturday of the month from 7.30 am to 12 pm

Mapleton Country Market

Location: Mapleton State School, 24 Flaxton Drive, Mapleton

Hours: Fourth Saturday of the month from 8 am – 12 pm

Nambour Village Square Markets

Location: Lowe St, Nambour

Hours: Thursdays 8 am to 2 pm

Beerwah Tower Green Market

Location: Beerwah Tower Green, Beerwah 

Hours: Second Saturday of the month from 8 am – 12 pm

Beerburrum Hall Country Markets

Location: Beerburrum Hall, Beerburrum School of Arts Assoc Inc.

Hours: First Saturday of the moth from 8 am to 12 pm

Kenilworth Markets

Location: Kenilworth Town Park

Hours: Every Saturday from 8 am to 1.30 pm

17 Visit a museum

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland has a fascinating history, and there are plenty of opportunities to include museums in your itinerary.

Beersheba Living Museum at Maleny is the home, training ground and museum of the 5th Light Horse Troop, Maleny Regiment. It offers a fascinating glimpse into history and keeps the stories alive for the next generation.

In the heart of Eumundi, the Visitor Centre doubles as the Eumundi Museum. Learn about the town’s evolution, from its indigenous roots to modern day through displays, photographs, artefacts and documents.

Glass House Mountains Visitor and Interpretive Centre is another one-stop shop packed with local visitor information and history, as well as a selection of gifts and local goods including local honey and jam.

Bankfoot House is a heritage-listed property – it’s the oldest surviving residence in the Glass House Mountains region. You can explore the house and learn about its history and stories, and view the wide collection of records and furniture. As well as the exhibits, there is even a virtual reality experience! 

Landsborough Museum is a heritage-listed museum housing fascinating records from the region’s history. What was once the Landsborough Council Chambers building until 1968 is now a volunteer-led museum. 

Dating back to 1882, the Pioneer Cottage is one of the oldest residences in Buderim. This heritage-listed homestead and museum showcases the area’s local history with a mix of historic artefacts, from furniture and homewares to photos and artefacts from original settlers. 

Nambour and District Historical Museum Association Inc. is the best place to visit in Nambour if you’re interested in learning about the history and heritage of the town and the local area. Through the collections, you’ll learn about the region’s major industries past and present, including sugar cane and farming, alongside other interesting facts about country life. 

The small township of Kenilworth has a fascinating history and it is all on display at the Kenilworth Historical Museum. There are detailed reconstructions of homes, schools and workplaces, all of which showcase the daily lives of Kenilworth’s early inhabitants. The friendly volunteers are there to share their knowledge with you too.

Don’t miss the opportunity to step back in time and learn about the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s fascinating past. 

Beersheba Living Museum Maleny

Location: Parklands Drive (off Porters Lane), Maleny

Hours: Open the last Saturday of the month from 9.30 am

Cost: Free

Eumundi Heritage and Visitor Centre / Eumundi Museum

Location: 73 Memorial Dr, Eumundi

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm

Cost: Free

Glass House Mountains Visitor and Interpretive Centre

Location: Bruce Parade, Glass House Mountains

Hours: Sunday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm | Saturday 9 am to 3 pm

Cost: Free (although you might want to buy some of the local souvenirs from the shop!)

Bankfoot House

Location: 1998 Old Gympie Rd, Glass House Mountains

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm

Cost: Free 

Landsborough Museum 

Location: 4 Maleny Street, Landsborough

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm

Cost: Free

Pioneer Cottage Buderim

Address: 5 Ballinger Crescent, Buderim

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm | Closed Sunday

Cost: $5 Adults | $1 Kids

Nambour and District Historical Museum Association Inc.

Location: 18 Mitchell Street, Nambour

Hours: Wednesday to Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm | Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm

Cost: $5 Adults | $1 Kids (5 years +)

Kenilworth Historical Museum

Location: 7/9 Alexandra St, Kenilworth

Hours: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm (February to November)

Cost: $4 Adults | $1 Kids | $9 Family 

18 Admire or create artwork

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a place that attracts creatives, so you won’t be short on opportunities to admire (or even create your own!) artwork. 

If you prefer to gaze at art, you must visit Montville Art Gallery, tucked away in a 1890s Queenslander, and Art Nuvo Gallery at Buderim which showcases twenty local and interstate artists.  

For clay work, stop by the Artworks in Clay pottery store at Montville, Pottery for the Planet in Eumundi or The Pottery Studio in Nambour to browse ceramic goods or book a pottery class. 

Buderim Craft Cottage and Gallery is a fabulous place to be inspired. With fine art and local crafts, it’s the perfect opportunity to admire artwork. If you time your visit for the fourth Saturday of the month you can even meet the local artists.  

For handcrafted furniture, visit David Suters Timbercraft Showroom Gallery. Here, you’ll be amazed at the masterpieces created with timber. 

For traditional artwork, Apma Creations Aboriginal Art Gallery in Eumundi is a great spot. Aboriginal artist and owner Merryn Apma shares her culture and tells dreamtime stories through her artwork. 

If street art is your thing, Nambour Street Art Trail is a 3 km route that takes you past unique and thought-provoking artwork. The full loop takes about 2 hours, so you’ll get a taste of local history and community stories through the sculptures, hidden installations and street art on display. 

The region is vibrant and packed with creativity!

Location: 138 Main Street, Montville

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

Address: 25 Gloucester Rd, Buderim

Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm | Saturday from 12 pm to 2.30 pm | Sunday and Monday closed 

Artworks in Clay

Location: 55 Main Street, Montville

Hours: Check Facebook page for times

Pottery for the Planet

Location: 2/77 Memorial Dr, Eumundi

Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm | Saturday 9 am to 4 pm

Cost: $95 for pottery classes 

The Pottery Studio

Location: Unit 4/20 Brookes St, Nambour 

Hours and cost: Times and cost vary depending on which activity you attend, see the calendar online for details 

Address: 5 Main St, Buderim

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm | Check website for special events and activities

Location: 43 Caplick Way, Eumundi

Hours: Wednesday from 9 am to 3.30 pm | Friday from 9 am to 3.30 pm | Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm 

Location: Etheridge St Eumundi 

Hours: Check Facebook for the latest opening times 

Nambour Art Trail

Location: Varied locations – download the map online

Hours: Always open

19 Play golf

Even non-golfers will want to stop at the Headland Golf Course – the views here are absolutely stunning. Just a five-minute drive from Mooloolaba Beach, the course has a breathtaking vantage point over the coastline. 

As for the golf, the challenging Par 72 Championship course features a classic 60-year-old design. Social golf is welcomed, and it’s a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. 

Enjoy the scenery from the traditional hillside clubhouse which has exceptional staff, cold beers, and a delicious menu. The Vista Headland Restaurant is also a fabulous place to come for lunch or coffee, with its relaxing atmosphere and stunning setting. They also serve an a la carte dinner menu every Friday, if you want to end your week in style. 

Address: Golf Links Road, Buderim

Hours: Mondays, Fridays and Sundays are the best times for social play | Check online as competitions can restrict times

Cost: $85 for 18 holes ($80 if pre-paid online) | $55 for 9 holes ($50 if pre-paid online) | For full price list see their website

Nestled on 54 acres in Mapleton, the TribalLink Activity Centre offers a unique cultural experience. 

Designed to immerse visitors in First Nations concepts and bush skills, TribalLink provides an opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture. Guests can partake in culturally inspired meals and witness traditional dance, songs and storytelling performances – an enriching and memorable experience.

There are a few ticket options to choose from, including the ‘Dreaming Tour’ guided walk. Your guides will paint themselves with clay and introduce ancient tools and weapons integral to their heritage. You’ll also have a guided walk through ancient forests where you’ll learn about the edible properties of the plants, before finishing the day with a refreshing cup of lemon Myrtle soda. Expect plenty of storytelling and cultural insights.

For a longer experience, you can also learn how to make an emu feather tassel (which doubles as a fantastic souvenir) and play traditional games.

Location: 70 Obi Obi Road, Mapleton

Hours: Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm

Cost: Prices vary as they offer a range of activities

21 Attend one of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s major events

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland hosts a range of major events, and it’s the perfect excuse to organise a holiday around them.

If you love flowers and gardens, Queensland Garden Expo takes place every July at Nambour Showgrounds. Whether you’re an experienced green thumb or a novice, come along to enjoy lectures, demonstrations and workshops. You can learn how to plant a sustainable garden, how to cook with your homegrown produce or go along to the ‘plant clinic’ with your gardening questions. Plus there are plenty of stunning displays to enjoy. 

Another option for gardening lovers is the Buderim Garden Festival. Enjoy the creative and colourful gardens on display every October. Festival tickets include entrance to a Plant Market, which is filled with local experts, flower arrangements and stalls to give you floral inspiration. 

The Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show celebrates the local community, from produce and livestock to competition and rides, there is so much to see and do at the Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show. Each night, the fireworks and laser show send everyone home with a bang. 

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland events aren’t all about gardening and agriculture though. The Nambour Swap and Meet is a popular event for car enthusiasts. This annual event run by the Sunshine Coast Antique Car Club is an opportunity to source specialist car parts, so it’s great if you’re into car restoration. With hundreds of stall holders, you’re bound to find those rare parts you’ve been searching for. 

Queensland Garden Expo

Location: Nambour Showgrounds, 80 Coronation Avenue, Nambour

Dates: The next event takes place 4 – 7 July 2024 from 8 am to 4 pm

Cost: $25 Adult One Day Entry | Children 15 and under Free | $60 3 Day Pass | $40 2 Day Weekend Pass

Buderim Garden Festival

Hours: Annual event held over a weekend in mid-October

Dates: The next event takes place 18 – 20 October 2024

Cost: $20 Weekend ticket

Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show

Location: Nambour Showgrounds, Coronation Avenue, Nambour

Hours: The annual event takes place over two days in June

2023 Costs: $20 Adults | $15 Students or Concessions | $55 Family (2A+2C) | $70 Family (2A+3C) | $85 Family (2A+4C) | $35 Single Parent Family (1A+2C) | $50 Single Parent Family (1A+3C) | $50 Adult 3 Day Pass | $36 Student or Concession 3 Day Pass 

Nambour Swap and Meet

Location: Nambour Showgrounds, Coronation Avenue, Nambour

Hours: Annual event takes place on the last Saturday in July

Cost: $5 per person | Under 12s Free | $5 for parking

22 The Ginger Factory

The Ginger Factory is one of the best things to do with kids in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland! Here you’ll find a variety of things to explore, depending on the ages of your family. 

You can also just pop into the shop, playground and restaurant to enjoy lunch or ice cream without booking in for one of the tours or experiences, making it a great option if you’re looking for free things to do on the Sunshine Coast to fill a bit of time.

To get the best out of The Ginger Factory, it’s worth booking some of the tours. You can enjoy the 116-year-old historic sugar cane train that chugs through 9 hectares of lush tropical gardens, the Live Bee Show and honey tasting, and the Overboard Boat ride, where you board a boat and follow the gingerbread man on an adventure. 

If you’re travelling without kids in tow, the bee tour and factory tours are still worth a look and the cafe offers some delicious options that showcase the best of the Sunshine Coast’s regional produce – plus, you can buy plenty of treats to take home.

Location: 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina

Hours: Daily from 9 am to 5 pmCost: Entry is free | Tour prices vary depending on the bundle – Click here to book tickets online

If you’re short on time or don’t have your own transport, or if you prefer to let somebody else drive the winding roads so you can enjoy the sights as you go, a group tour is often the best way to see the Sunshine Coast Hinterland highlights and the surrounding area.

Below, we’ve listed some of the best tours of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

Sunshine Coast Hinterland Scenic Food and Wine Tour

Image credit thanks to Visit Sunshine Coast

Explore the lush Sunshine Coast Hinterland on this delightful day trip filled with gastronomic delights and scenic wonders. 

You’ll enjoy exploring the picturesque countryside, majestic mountain scenery and quaint villages in between sampling some of the finest food and drink the region has to offer. This tour immerses you in the region’s rich food culture as you meet passionate artisans and learn about their craft.

Sample delicious, handcrafted cheeses in Maleny before heading for a wine-tasting experience followed by a hearty lunch at Clouds Vineyards. Walk off the meal with a stroll around Montville’s boutiques, before indulging in decadent artisan chocolates.

Throughout the day you’ll be able to soak in panoramic views of the hinterland. With knowledgeable guides leading the way, discover hidden gems and insider secrets that showcase the best of this idyllic region.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, a food lover, or you’re simply seeking a tranquil escape from the city, this day trip promises an unforgettable experience filled with flavours, sights and memories to treasure.

Click here for more information or to book

Hinterland Cheese And Wine Tour in Sunshine Coast

Embark on a delicious journey through the picturesque Sunshine Coast Hinterland with this fabulous cheese and wine tour. Departing from your accommodation, immerse yourself in the region’s rich culinary scene as you traverse lush landscapes and charming countryside communities.

Discover the makers behind artisanal cheese production and taste a variety of handcrafted, locally-produced cheeses bursting with flavour. Learn about traditional cheese-making techniques and the passion that goes into these creations. 

Next, delve into the world of wine as you visit a boutique vineyard nestled among rolling hills. Sample an array of premium wines, from crisp whites to robust reds, while soaking in breathtaking views.

Throughout the tour, knowledgeable local guides provide insights into the region’s history, culture and gastronomic heritage, enriching your experience with fascinating anecdotes. 

With opportunities to purchase your favourite cheeses and wines along the way, this tour is a blend of indulgence and exploration in one of Australia’s most scenic destinations.

Click here for more information or to book

Sunshine Coast Hinterland Montville, Ginger Factory, Rainforest & Views

Image credit thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland

This tour allows you to explore enchanting rainforests, spectacular waterfalls and scenic villages along with one of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s famous attractions, The Ginger Factory. 

You’ll explore the volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains, stroll through pristine rainforests, marvel at incredible lookouts and be treated to majestic views of the countryside. There will be time to explore the quaint village of Montville where you’ll also enjoy a two-course lunch and browse its art galleries and boutiques. 

At The Ginger Factory you’ll have free time to enjoy the attraction, shop and cafe and then walk off the food by going for a rainforest walk at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve where you can get up close with the region’s flora and fauna on a 1.7 km walk through sub-tropical rainforest. 

Your day finishes with a stop at Mapleton Falls to enjoy the scenic beauty spot from the viewing platform. This tour offers the perfect blend of food, scenery, shopping and tourist attractions. 

Click here for more information or to book

While there is plenty to keep you occupied in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, if you’re keen you can do some great day trips from the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. For most of these places, it’s recommended you stay at least a few days in each, but if you only have a day, then a day trip is possible.

Brisbane

Around a 1.5 hour drive from the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, a day trip to Brisbane is possible for those wanting to visit the Queensland capital. Brisbane is laid back and vibrant, featuring everything from lush parklands and gardens to modern galleries and cosmopolitan waterfront dining. 

There are so many attractions to choose from in Brisbane. For culture seekers, there is the Queensland Museum, QAGOMA (The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art) and the National Maritime Museum. 

For wildlife lovers, there is Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. For lovers of gardens, there is Roma Street Parkland and the tranquil Southbank Parkland. There is the bridge climb, rock climbing and kayaking for thrill seekers. 

Lastly, you can’t beat a simple stroll along the river or a swim at the iconic Streets Beach. 

Click here for our full guide on things to do in Brisbane.

Gold Coast

Queensland’s Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast offer such different experiences (the Sunshine Coast is laid back and leafy, and the Gold Coast is known as being more lively and glamorous). So if you get the opportunity, it’s a great idea to take a day trip to the Gold Coast.

Both regions are beautiful beachside havens packed with fun things for tourists to enjoy, and there is also the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland to explore. 

The Gold Coast is the place to go if you’re looking for fast-paced theme parks like Wet ‘n’ Wild, Warner Bros. Movie World, WhiteWater World, Dreamworld and SeaWorld, so it makes a great day trip from the Sunshine Coast. 

There’s also surfing, hot air ballooning, kayaking and plenty more to keep you entertained.

If you can only spare one day for a Gold Coast day trip, you’ll have difficulty deciding how to spend it as there is so much to see and do! 

Click here for our full guide on things to do on the Gold Coast.

K’gari (Fraser Island)

North of the Sunshine Coast is K’gari, the largest sand island in the world – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. While it’s a big day, a day trip from the Sunshine Coast is possible. 

While you won’t see all of the awesome attractions on K’gari during a day trip – you will see some of the island’s highlights. You can swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Mackenzie and Eli Creek and spot the island’s iconic dingos as you cruise up Seventy-Five Mile Beach.  You’ll also have time to explore the ancient rainforest of Central Station.

Click here to find out about K’gari tours from the Sunshine Coast.

Click here for our full guide on things to do on K’gari.

Looking for accommodation? Sunshine Coast Hinterland accommodation varies from luxury to budget and everything in between.

We recommend booking through Booking.com as they offer a wide range of hotels, most with free cancellation, which is ideal for last minute changes.

However, if you want our hotel recommendation, we’ve listed our top pick for a luxury hotel, family hotel, mid-range and budget hotel.

Best luxury hotel: Spicers Tamarind Retreat and Spa

Considering romantic getaways? Sunshine Coast Hinterland is home to the ultimate luxury stay for couples at Tamarind Retreat and Spa. Set within 18 acres of pristine rainforest, staying at this resort is a holiday in itself – you may decide not even to leave! 

The individual artisan villas each offer pretty garden views and they feature a kitchenette with fridge, microwave, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer, safe and outdoor seating. You’ll also be treated to fluffy bathrobes, slippers, premium toiletries and Wi-Fi. 

A range of villa types are available and they all include air conditioning and extra large beds. The Spa Studio and Luxury Falls Villas feature a deck with an outdoor hot tub. Villas above the Spa Studio grade feature fireplaces, which are perfect for the cooler hinterland climate. 

Accommodation usually includes breakfast and dinner in the on-site, award-winning restaurant, so you can park up the car and truly relax and unwind in this tranquil retreat.

Spicers Tamarind offers a range of exciting ways to spend your time. Indulge in treatments at the day spa, take a cookery class (advance booking is advised), go for a gourmet picnic in the grounds, take a walk to the nearby waterfall or cook yourself a BBQ dinner. 

A wide range of special experiences can be pre booked, such as a romantic bath with champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries, but you’ll find plenty of other ways to create special moments as you explore the grounds and discover the day beds, fountains, ponds and boardwalks. 

This is the perfect rainforest retreat so you can detach from real life for a few days and get back to nature. It is one of the best places to stay in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland!

Click here for more information or to book

Best family hotel: Starry Nights Luxury Camping

The aptly named Starry Nights Luxury Camping is just a few minutes away from the centre of Nambour. This is a fun, luxury option if you’re looking for accommodation in Sunshine Coast Hinterland where you can enjoy the great outdoors as a family but prefer something more comfortable than regular camping!

Each large safari tent can sleep up to five people and also includes a seating area with a sofa, a dining table, a private bathroom and a fully equipped kitchenette. Adding a touch of luxury are the elevated wood fire, rain shower and bathtub, plush gowns and organic linen bedding.  

Onsite facilities include free private parking and access to a sauna and day spa. Guests can purchase luxury hampers or eat beside the fire in the relaxing guest lounge.  If you prefer to eat alfresco, there is also an onsite barbecue. Only two groups are booked at a time, so you’ll have lots of peace and privacy.

Nestled beside the tranquil Petrie Creek yet just a five-minute drive from the town, Starry Nights Luxury Camping is the perfect way to get away from it all, without sacrificing modern comforts. 

Click here for more information or to book

Best mid-range hotel: Mapleton Springs

With superb facilities in the heart of Mapleton’s stunning natural scenery and close to the town centre, Mapleton Springs is an adults-only hotel providing idyllic accommodation. Sunshine Coast Hinterland views make this place so special. 

All room types sleep a maximum of two guests in double beds, so this hotel is best suited to couples. All rooms offer a private, furnished balcony with exceptional views, a well-equipped kitchenette, free WiFi, air-conditioning, a TV with Netflix, a skylight and a range of tea and coffee to enjoy. Deluxe suites also feature a spa bath. 

The hotel also features a guest lounge with a cosy open wood fireplace, a cinema room and laundry facilities. You can also truly unwind at the spa, gorgeous outdoor swimming pool and the onsite bar. Additional facilities at the hotel include a garden, free parking and a restaurant open for lunch and dinner.

Right in the heart of Mapleton, this hotel offers a comfortable stay in Mapleton, while still being close to all the local hotspots, including cafes and restaurants.

Click here for more information or to book

Best budget hotel: Glass House Mountains Ecolodge

If you’re looking for a great value and unique base for your stay in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the Glass House Mountains Ecolodge is it! This lodge offers a range of unusual accommodation options including cabins, hotel rooms, a church and converted vintage train carriages! 

The accommodation features air conditioning, private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, BBQ facilities, hairdryers, outdoor dining furniture, board games and a hearty tropical breakfast served on the deck of a converted train carriage (for an extra fee). 

There is a communal fire pit for guests, so you can enjoy being outside in this incredible natural environment, and there is a games room for rainy days. The lodge owners are committed to sustainable practices so it’s a great destination for eco-conscious travellers. 

With amazing views and unique accommodation options, staying at the Ecolodge will be a memorable holiday in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. 

Click here for more information or to book

Hopefully, this guide has given you lots of inspiration for the best things to do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. 

If you’re planning a trip to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, I highly recommend you also check out our Sunshine Coast guide which provides links to everything you need to know to plan your trip.

I’d also recommend you join our free Queensland Travel Guide Facebook community, where you can ask all your questions and find even more great trip suggestions.

If you’re heading to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, you might also be interested in the following nearby destinations: