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The Best Day Trips Around the Sunshine Coast

sunshine coast day trips

The Sunshine Coast is filled with amazing day trips in and around this gorgeous area. Just an hour and a half drive from Brisbane, the coast is the perfect place to get back in touch with nature and relax. Book a car rental with VroomVroomVroom and explore all that this stunning location and its surrounds have to offer on a dreamy day trip.


surfers riding waves in queensland

Looking for a beach getaway? Noosa is the place to be. Known as one of the most iconic beach destinations in Australia, its beautiful outlooks, gorgeous national parks, and opulent accommodation options are hard to pass up. From bushwalking to paddle boarding or relaxing by the beach, this place is packed full of things to see and do.

Recommended car: Treat yourself with a luxury car. The drive up the coast is superb on a sunny day and is perfect for enjoying in a convertible.

Travel time: 41 minutes.

Directions: Get on Sunshine Motorway/State Route 70. Continue to Peregian Springs. Take State Route 6 to Eugarie Street in Noosa Heads.

Top attractions: Noosa National Park, Noosa Main Beach, Hastings Street, Noosa River.

Tips: Keep in mind that driving on the beach with a rental is not permitted. They also can not be taken on ferries or cross bodies of water. 

Rainbow Beach

rainbow beach, queensland

From the Great Sandy National Park to Carlo Sand Blow, the drive from Maroochydore to Rainbow Beach is absolutely stunning. Check out Double Island Point Lighthouse and go swimming and surfing right here at the colourful Rainbow Beach.

Recommended car: Since this road trip is over an hour long, a full-sized SUV is recommended for comfort and practicality.

Travel time: 1 hour 50 minutes.

Directions: Take Cotton Tree Parade and Memorial Avenue to Aerodrome Road/State Route 6. Take Bruce Highway and Tin Can Bay Road to Rainbow Beach Road in Wallu.

Top attractions: Great Sandy National Park, Carlo Sand Blow, Double Island Point Lighthouse.

Tips: Leave early in the morning to arrive at Rainbow mid-morning. This will give you enough time to take the day as it comes and ensures you won't be rushing.

The Hinterland

mountain brook kondalilla natl park, montville

The great thing about the Sunshine Coast is that you can head in one direction and discover the beach or you can drive west and explore the stunning hinterland. From Montville to Maleny, a scenic drive up the range is a must when you rent a car on the Sunshine Coast.

Recommended car: Book a compact SUV to discover the hinterland. Because you are driving up the range you want a car with decent power to ensure a comfortable drive which is exactly what an SUV will provide.

Travel time: 38 minutes.

Directions: Take Cotton Tree Parade and Memorial Ave to Aerodrome Road/State Route 6. Take Maroochydore Road/State Route 8, Woombye Palmwoods Road and Hunchy Road to Main Street in Montville.

Top attractions: Montville, Maleny, Kondalilla Falls, Mary Cairncross Park.

Tips: Pack a picnic and your walking shoes when you drive up the hinterland. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in nature.


aerial view kings beach in caloundra

This coastal town set on the south side of the Sunshine Coast is known for its beautiful coastlines, amazing surf and laid back vibes. Caloundra is a popular family destination as it caters to everyone’s needs.

Recommended car: A compact car will get you to and around Caloundra with ease. A compact car is ideal if you are on a budget. It gets you where you need to go and is not a strain on the budget. 

Travel time: 30 minutes.

Directions: Follow Sunshine Motorway and Nicklin Way to Buderim Street in Currimundi. Continue on Buderim Street. Take Cooroy Street, Beerburrum Street, Elizabeth Street, Buccleugh Street, and Maltman Street N to Edith Street in Caloundra.

Top attractions: Kings Beach, Dicky Beach, Pumicestone Passage, Bulcock Beach.

Tips: The Glasshouse Mountains are gorgeous landmarks located near Caloundra and are the perfect pit stop if you have time.

Map of Sunshine Coast Day Trips

Did you know that you can download this map directly to your phone? Press the box symbol located on the top-right corner of this map to open in your Google Maps app. Now you can easily access this map on your next day trip on the Sunshine Coast.

Other popular day trip locations