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The best day trips around the Sunshine Coast

Just an hour and a half drive from Brisbane, the Sunshine 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.


Sunset over the Noosa River.
Sunset over the Noosa River.

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.

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

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

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

Travel time: 41 minutes.

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

Rainbow Beach

Queensland’s spectacular Rainbow Beach.
Queensland’s spectacular Rainbow Beach.

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 or surfing at the colourful Rainbow Beach.

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

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

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

Travel time: 1 hour 50 minutes.

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

The Hinterland

Waterfall near Montville in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands.
Waterfall near Montville in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands.

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.

Top attractions: Montville, Maleny, Kondalilla Falls, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

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

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, then take Maroochydore Road/State Route 8, Woombye Palmwoods Road and Hunchy Road to Main Street in Montville.


Looking down Caloundra Beach from Port Cartwright.
Looking down Caloundra Beach from Port Cartwright.

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

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

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

Recommended car: A compact car is easier on the budget and will get you to and around Caloundra with ease.

Travel time: 30 minutes.

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

Other popular day trip locations