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The Top 5 Things to do on Queensland's Sunshine Coast

Holidays with Kids reveals where to go for all-ages fun on the Sunshine Coast.

O nce upon a time, Mooloolaba was a sleepy fishing village, but its glimmering coastline and all-round laidback beach vibe has made it one of Queensland’s family-favourite holiday destinations. With its feast of activities, from national parks to outdoor sports, aquariums and zoos to indoor playgrounds, medieval make-believe to crazy rides, your little ones will be sporting ear-to-ear grins in no time and will be up and at ‘em bright and early every day, excited for their next Sunshine Coast adventure.

1. Go Green

Eleven peaks that rise dramatically from the coastal plains, Glass House Mountains National Park is a natural icon of the area. Their beauty is so outstanding; they caught the attention of the then-Lieutenant James Cook in 1770 who named them after the glass furnaces back in Yorkshire. Formed over 26 million years ago, the volcanic plugs are listed on the Queensland and National Heritage Registers as a landscape of national significance. For the best views, head to the lookout in Beerburrum State Forest and bask in the panoramas. Otherwise, enjoy one of the many walking trails throughout the park and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.


2. Make some furry friends

Packing in stacks of up-close animal encounters each day, Australia Zoo is one of those places that can truly promise family fun no matter what. The home of the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, the zoo is considered one of the best in Australia – if not the world! Set in 42 hectares of Australian bush land, the zoo’s team of passionate conservationists promise wildlife action like no other. Where else in the world can you cuddle a koala, meet a tiger, hand-feed a red panda and see the crocs of the Crocoseum in action all in one day?

3. Don your helmets

Feeling the need for speed? Then head to the largest commercial go kart track in Australia, Big Kart Track, for that adrenaline rush. Open seven days a week, this track has got it all: straights, bends, chicanes and hair-raising hairpins. Kids under 152cm tall or 12 years of age also get their own track, or there’s a double-seater kart so you and your young rev-head can burn rubber together. Bring your own picnic and make use of the onsite barbecues when the family grows tired of hitting the tracks and enjoy a feast overlooking the circuit.


4. History buffs rejoice

Step back in time at the Sunshine Castle in Bli Bli. This Norman-style replica castle is both educational and enchanting; with treasure hunts leading kids on several different quests and, if successful, ending in a special treat at the King’s Treasure Chest. And if little ones get a bit tricksy during the visit... you can always lock them in the dungeon until they’ve learned their lesson.

5. Is fun your thing?

Not a fan of all things medieval? Maybe Aussie World is the better fit for your family. This park has all the family favourites such as a giant slide, Ferris wheel and mini-golf. If you need to cool off, have a go at The Plunge log water ride, sure to leave you soaked from head to toe and laughing. A visit to a theme park just isn’t complete without some delicious junk food so stock up on sugary goodness at the World Fun Cafe.

This article appeared in volume 49 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

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