If you’re looking for a road trip from Brisbane you have plenty of options. Many visitors choose to take a day trip south to the sparkling Gold Coast, or some intrepid travellers decide to drive north on the Bruce Highway to Cairns. If you’re looking for a shorter trip, and to experience some of the most beautiful scenery in Southeast Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect choice.
While the Gold Coast draws more than its fair share of international visitors to its sandy shores, the Sunshine Coast has plenty of reasons to make it a destination in its own right. There are the beaches of course, but there are also shopping plazas and a unique hinterland littered with charming small towns. VroomVroomVroom has put together an itinerary to help you plan an unforgettable road trip to the Sunshine Coast.
Before you hit the road, spend some time exploring the vibrant city of Brisbane. There is something for everyone in Queensland’s famous “River City.” Take a walk along the colourful South Bank Parklands, and stop in at the Gallery of Modern Art. The area also boasts delicious cuisine from all around the world.
Another great place to take in the view is Kangaroo Point, where you’ll be able to see the city skyline in its entirety. Drive across the iconic Story Bridge, and visit some of the sights of the city centre. For the best shopping, spend some time exploring the bustling Queen Street Mall.
Head north on the Bruce Highway toward the Sunshine Coast, with the Moreton Bay region worth exploring as you pass through. One of the top destinations is the beautiful Bribie Island, which is an easy drive from the main highway.
The island is great for spotting wildlife or just relaxing on its beaches, including the picturesque Woorim Beach. There are also plenty of hiking trails for visitors to seek out and explore more of the island.
Day Three: Test your surfing skills at Caloundra
Your first stop on the Sunshine Coast should be the popular city of Caloundra. If you’re travelling with children, Golden Beach offers calm waters perfect for the whole family.
Kings Beach is popular among surfers, and it also has a tidal swimming pool. Follow the boardwalk along the beach to get some great ocean views. While you’re in town, sample some delicious fish and chips.
From Caloundra, make your way north along the spectacular coastline to Noosa. Along the way you can visit Underwater World in Mooloolaba, where you can walk through a glass tunnel beneath a sea of sharks. You can also do some shopping at the large plaza in Maroochydore. Lastly, see what marine wildlife you can spot off the coast from the Coolum Beach boardwalk.
When you arrive at Noosa, explore the fine dining options along Hastings Street. Spend the afternoon in the popular Noosa National Park — it’s one of the best places to see a koala.
Head into the Blackall Range, the perfect destination for lovers of fine arts, antiques and beautiful scenery. Montville is a hub for unique hand-crafted items, woodwork and glassware. You can also try some of the delicious locally made chocolates and macadamia nuts.
You’ll find similar vintage shops in nearby Maleny. While you are travelling through the hinterland, keep an eye out for the Ginger Factory in Yandina. Its ginger is famous throughout the region.
Day Six: Stop in at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo
Don’t forget to pull into Australia Zoo on your way back to Brisbane. Get up close to Australian wildlife like kangaroos, wombats, snakes, cassowaries and saltwater crocodiles. While you’re in the area, it is worth the detour to visit the Glasshouse Mountains where you can snap some beautiful photos of the rock formations at sunset.
One of the most popular hikes in the area is the Mount Ngungun Summit Walk. The three kilometre walk offers fantastic views of the surrounding Glasshouse Mountains.
If you want to explore the Sunshine Coast, you can find a rental car in Brisbane or in various locations around the Sunshine Coast. Compare available car rental deals with us today to make sure you secure the best price.