Where is it: Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast
Why we love it: It’s a really interesting marine park set in wonderful Mooloolaba!
Tell me more: A family trip to the Sunshine Coast is not complete without visiting Sea Life Sunshine Coast (formerly Underwater World) - an awesome little aquarium and marine park! For almost 30 years Sea Life Sunshine Coast has been educating and entertaining with their magnificent collection of marine animals - there are a number of different tanks which house all sorts of different creatures – from star fish, jelly fish, all sorts of marine and freshwater fish, seals, otters, crocodiles and sharks. There are so many different things to see in the range of different aquariums and the magnificent glass-covered walkway underneath the shark tank - including 3 very impressive grey nurse sharks called ‘Pallas’, ‘Patchy’ and ‘Huey’! And it’s not just looking, you can also touch some of the star fish, feed a seal or even (if you’re game), go diving with sharks!
The park always plays host to lots of special and school holiday programs like that will keep everyone (not just the little guys) engaged with lots of immersive and interactive exhibits! Our little guys loved exploring the aquarium with a pirate-themed treasure hunt and there was much excitement searching the aquarium for mermaids and pirate artefacts, and the daily pirate and mermaid performances were really fun! On previous visits we've enjoyed fun themes such as Octonauts, Dory and Nemo, and SLIMED!, where we got feel and learn about some of the slimy creatures in the sea! And we still have still have very fond memories of the now closed exhibits of Creatures of the Deep with its weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit the deep seas - and Jurassic Seas which showcased some of the living fossils found in our oceans.
We love aquariums, and this one is great fun for all the family - it’s always a lovely and fun atmosphere, and it’s definitely worthy of a visit!
Amenities: Good amenities as expected, including a couple of food options! 👍👍👍
Parking: Parking available but this place (especially during the holidays) gets busy! 👍👍
Access: Good access throughout the facility! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: It's great for the whole family – the little guys will absolutely love the themed exhibits! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: One of our favourite places to visit – great for sparking an interest of marine life in the minds of our little guys! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Plan your visit – the layout could be a little confusing and you don’t want to miss anything!
Media launch: The Lego Sea Explorers (June-July 2019)
Peppa Pig's Aquarium Adventure April -2019
Finding Dory and friends Official Opening
National Tooth Fairy Day Feb-2019
The Sea Creature's Secret Dec 2018 - Jan 2019
Slimed (Sept - Oct 2018)
New Sharks at Sea Life (April 2018)
Paw Patrol - Sea Patrol (March - April 2018)
Where is it: Harrys Lane or Quorn Close, Buderim
What's it all about: It's a lovely waterfall and swimming hole right in the heart of the Sunshine Coast!
Tell me more: Buderim Forest Park is a beautiful patch of tranquil rainforest set aside for public enjoyment! There are walking tracks throughout the forest, as well as barbeques and picnic tables so it's a great place for a picnic lunch! The Quorn Close entrance provides you with direct access to a lovely little waterfall and waterhole. Be aware that the creek does run through urban areas and as such might not be the most pristine - in fact, there have been occasions (after heavy rainfall) that water treatment facilities have overflowed into the creek! But this spot is lovely and even without a quick dip, it's certainly a worthwhile visit!
Amenities: Basic facilities but very usable! 👍👍
Cost: Free to enjoy! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Limited free parking is available! 👍👍👍
Access: Easy to get to and the walking tracks are generally ok – in some areas the tracks can get a bit rough! 👍👍👍
Best for: Everyone can enjoy this park – the forest and the waterfall are both lovely! 👍👍👍
Summary: For a quick ‘escape’ from Sunshine Coast’s beautiful beaches we can certainly recommend a visit to Buderim Forest Falls! 👍👍👍
Where is it: Fullertons Road, Glasshouse Mountains, Sunshine Coast, around 60 minutes’ drive north of Brisbane.
Why we love it: A slightly challenging but super rewarding trek up one of the region’s natural wonders!
Tell me more: This is a walk that we’ve been wanting to tackle for some time now! This walk/climb is an easy one to attempt as it is relatively short (about 1.4km each way) and although it did get a little steep in places it wasn’t too hard – our 3 year old made it most of the way up and down! The track is well marked out and very well used (especially on weekends), however it does have a lot of rocks so you will need to watch your footing. Although we didn’t notice it, we have also read that the rocks can get quite slippery in the wet so a bit of extra caution may be required during or after a bit of rain.
The walk takes you through some nice bushland and I imagine that there’s a good chance of spotting some wildlife on the quieter days – we went up on the weekend and it was quite busy so we didn’t actually spot anything apart from a couple of kookaburras! There is a very intriguing cave formation about half way up which is worth checking out if you have the time!
The view from the top is simply amazing! Along with the sense of relief and achievement upon reaching the summit, you are greeted by bare rocks so you get to have uninterrupted 360 deg views! We were a little nervous up top with the kids – it is quiet steep up there – but there was enough room for everyone and the kids did seem to be quite comfortable up there! Sunrises and sunsets must be stunning, but make sure that you take along adequate lighting if you plan to do this – as attractive as the sunset view was from up there I wouldn’t like to be trekking down in the dark with kids, even if I did pack a good torch!
This walk is highly recommended and it’s probably a ‘must-do’ for visitors and locals alike! We can’t wait to get back there again!
Amenities: Just a water tap at the start of the walk – pack some water and snacks! No toilet! 👍
Cost: Completely free – we love our National Parks! 👍👍👍👍👍
Parking: Limited parking available, however note that this is a very popular spot on the weekends! 👍👍
Best for: Active kids who love to explore and love a challenge! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: This is a fantastic walk when the weather is nice – a bit of a challenge, wonderful to get out in the fresh air and great views! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Weekends are busy so for a more personal experience try going up through the week!
Where is it: Obi Sth Lane, Maleny, Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Why we love it: A creek, waterfalls and swimming hole in the beautiful location of Maleny - whats not to love?
Tell me more: Gardner's Falls are a nice set of small cascading waterfalls and waterholes along the Obi Obi Creek at Maleny. Very easy to access - you park right on the edge of the creek - and situated really close to the picturesque village of Maleny, this is a really popular spot for a swim or just for a bit of sightseeing! Upon parking at the small carpark, it’s only a couple of minutes’ walk to the gently cascading falls. Above the falls there are lots of large, exposed rocks that you can wander over and explore – however take care as these can get quite slippery as well! The water falls into a large-ish waterhole which is great for swimming. It has a rocky base (which again, can be a little slippery) and at the downstream end of the waterhole it is reasonably shallow so the kids can play around in this area. Closer to the actual waterfall, the water is deep and you will see lots of people either jumping off the top of the falls (it’s only a couple of metres) or even swinging out of trees! It’s a lovely spot to visit – easy to get to (no hiking through kilometres of bushland) and the water is generally cool and clear! As it seems to be with a lot of popular, public areas, you will find a little bit of rubbish around although the locals do a great job of trying to stay on top of this! Well worth a visit!
Amenities: There's a long-drop toilet at the carpark area, but hold your breath! 👍👍
Parking: A small gravel carpark that fills up quickly! Some parking along the access road as well! 👍👍
Access: A gravel track leads to the waterfalls and waterhole, but once you get to the waterfalls area the track gets a little rough! Overall it's a very accessible waterhole! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Everyone can enjoy this, however we think that kids 5 and over would have the most fun! 👍👍👍
Summary: A beautiful waterhole in a beautiful location! It's great for sightseeing or for swimming - however it's popularity is it's only downside as there is a bit of rubbish around and can get crowded at times! 👍👍👍
Hints: Plan to spend some time in the area - Maleny really is a beautiful location! And if heading up on a weekend, expect it to be busy!
Where is it: On the highway at Palmview, Sunshine Coast, just over an hours' drive north of Brisbane.
What's it all about: A fun little theme park (great for the smaller kids!) and a really enjoyable Australia Day program!
How can I join in: Head up the highway any day of the year (except Christmas and ANZAC days) to enjoy a fun day out at Aussie World, or join in on their Aussie Day celebrations on January 26!
Tell me more: A really fun alternative to the Gold Coast theme parks, Aussie World ticks all the boxes when looking for a fun day out with the little kids! It has some great rides, a really relaxed+ and fun atmosphere and both wet and dry play areas - add to that some great food options and you will be sure to have a fun day out! And keep an eye out for their special low season deals which are a great option for taking the little kids along!
The Aussie Day Activities kick off early with an 8am brekky followed by plenty of fun Aussie Day activities! The Dunny Races are a highlight, but the kids loved the egg and spoon and sack races! And we don't know why, but it seems as though you cannot have any sort of Australia Day celebration without have a competition that involves throwing something!? Here at Aussie World, they've gone with a mullet over the more traditional thong. If you still haven’t had enough of all of the running, pulling, jumping and throwing, continue the festivities with live music on until late! Lots of silly fun!
Amenities: Full amenities including food and drink options. Note that you can't take your own food in, but contact Aussie World for further info! 👍👍👍
Cost: Most Aussie Day events are free, and half price entry is good value! 👍👍
Parking: A good sized (and free) carpark 👍👍👍👍
Access: Easy access to all areas! 👍👍👍👍
Entertainment: The Aussie Day events are really fun! And the park itself has a great selection of rides! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Younger families might get the most out of this! 👍👍👍
Summary: Aussie Day at Aussie World is great fun! Lots of things to do and with the half price entry to Aussie World, it’s great value too! 👍👍👍
Hints: The Aussie World Village has some nice little shops and food options!
Brisbane Family Explorers