Travel Guide | Australia

Living Like a Local: Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Top 5 things to do on the Sunshine Coast, Australia

By Michaela Hewitt, University of the Sunshine Coast

Whether you’re an Aussie, an exchange student or you’re just on the coast for a short trip, here are my top 5 things to do on the Sunshine Coast

1. Visit the Sunshine Plaza for a bit of retail therapy

The Plaza is the biggest shopping center on the coast, with over 200 stores plus cinemas (Mondays and Tuesdays are the cheap days for students), restaurants, grocery stores and department stores. Once you’re done there you can walk down Aerodrome Road towards the beach, stopping at the variety of op-shops dotted along the road.

2. Go to Eumundi Markets for the great bargains, food and atmosphere

Eumundi is a small community of less than 2000 people, but the Eumundi Markets attracts hundreds of people to both the Wednesday and Saturday markets. You can find all sorts of hand-made crafts, fresh produce, unique gifts and gorgeous food! Parking can be an issue as the morning goes on so I recommend car-pooling and getting there early to find your market bargains!

3. Hike the Hinterlands and explore the falls

Probably one of the cheapest but worthwhile ways to spend a day on the coast is to travel up to the hinterlands and follow the trails in the national park. A favorite for locals is the Kondalilla Falls circuit, which is a 4.7km (about 2.9 miles) track that takes you past the rock pools at the bottom of the waterfall. Be sure to take water, snacks, a camera and your togs (swimming clothes)!

Kondalilla Falls and the view on the circuit walk image

Kondalilla Falls and the view on the circuit walk.

4. Make a day trip to Australia Zoo

Home of the Crocodile Hunter, you can’t miss a trip to Australia Zoo! Take advantage of student discounted admission and spend your day with elephants, koalas, birds of prey, snakes, kangaroos, cockatoos, wombats, otters, crocodiles and heaps more. Make sure you’re at the Crocoseum at noon for the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors show!

5. Relax at the beaches, or enjoy the surf

No matter where you are along the Sunshine Coast, you must visit a beach whether it’s to just enjoy the view, go for a swim, or have a go at surfing. Personally, I’m a hopeless surfer but I can’t resist the water. Be sure you swim between the red and yellow flags and protect yourself from the sun!

Noosa's Main Beach Hastings Street student travel image

Noosa’s Main Beach is a great place to relax and shopb at nearby Hastings Street

pretty beach near Mooloolaba Sunshine Coast image

A pretty afternoon at the beach near Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.


Michaela Hewitt

University of the Sunshine Coast | 3 stories

Michaela Hewitt is halfway through a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Journalism at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She loves to travel, run, bake and write. Her dream job involves travelling around the globe to try the world's cuisines and writing about it.

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