The best family activities in Noosa and the Sunshine Coast

Slides at RACV Noosa Resort

RACV Staff

Posted June 13, 2023

Beaches, wildlife parks, family restaurants and entertainment – here’s how to find family fun on the Sunshine Coast. 

The Sunshine Coast is one of the best destinations in Australia for a family holiday. With more than 60 kilometres of beach and a green hinterland studded with picturesque villages and wineries, the region is brimming with experiences and attractions for all ages. 

From seeing sharks up close at Queensland’s biggest aquarium, and learning to surf, to heading to an open-range zoo and a boat ride with a gingerbread man, here are some of the best family-friendly activities to try around Noosa and the Sunshine Coast. 

RACV Members save on a wide range of Sunshine Coast attractions and experiences.  

The best family-friendly attractions and experiences on the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Whale Watching

Mooloolaba and Noosa

Have a whale of a time with the ocean's most majestic mammals. Between July and November, board a whale-watching boat trip– or take the plunge and go swimming with the gentle sea giants. 

With tours departing from Mooloolaba and Noosa, you can choose a small group experience, or up the thrill factor with a jet boat adventure cruise.

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Sunshine Coast TreeTop Challenge

76 Nambour Connection Road, Woombye

Head up, up and away on 12 massive flying foxes, rope courses and ziplines 120 metres into the treetops at the Sunshine Coast TreeTop Challenge. 

Located at the Big Pineapple in Woombye, try one of the 100 challenges awaiting daredevil families, with five courses ranging from easy to ‘black diamond’ for those 14 or older. 

Aussie World

1 Downunder Drive, Palmview

Give the kids a day to remember at Sunshine Coast’s biggest theme park. 

Aussie World at Palmview boasts more than 30 rides and attractions, with something to suit everyone in the family. There are rides to keep teenagers terrified, and just as many for the little ones, from the Dingo racer to the Bambora Bounce. Café and drinks available on site. 


Pepa Pig visiting SEA LIFE

Peppa Pig makes a visit to SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast. Image: Supplied. 



Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba

Come face to face with the most fascinating creatures of the deep at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast in Mooloolaba, the largest aquarium in the state of Queensland. 

As one of the region’s most popular family attractions, view more than 10,000 sea creatures across 11 separate zones.

Be sure to check out the new Little Blue Penguins exhibit, as well as the 80-metre-long ocean tunnel and play area. 

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Amaze World

274 Tanawha Tourist Drive, Tanawha 

Enter through a waterfall and tropical rainforest before testing your wits in the giant hedge maze.

It’s the perfect bonding exercise for the family as you combine your collective problem-solving skills and sense of direction to work together as a team. 

The fun doesn’t stop there, with a range of on-site activities including mini golf, puzzles, games, an onsite café and a BBQ area to keep the family entertained for hours. 

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Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World 

 233 Maleny Stanley River Road, Maleny

Birds, lakes, mountains and waterfalls – it sounds too picturesque to be true. On a Maleny Botanic Gardens Aviary Tour, the family can see over 700 native and exotic birds, and even take the opportunity to get up close for wildlife photographs on an interactive tour. 

Amongst the backdrop of the Glass House Mountains, have a picnic amongst the 18 acres of gardens before heading to the petting zoo for a cuddle with miniature goats, sheep, rabbits, and Alfie, the miniature donkey. 

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Go Ride A Wave

Claude Batton Drive, Noosa Heads

The Sunshine Coast is famous for its surf beaches – so why not learn to ride the waves with the whole family? 

There’s no better spot than Noosa with its protected right-hand point break – claimed to be the safest and most consistent learn-to-surf location in Australia. 

Book a lesson for the family with Go Ride A Wave, where you’ll be channelling Layne Beachley in no time! 

And hey, if surfing isn’t your thing, you can still have a gentler glide on the water with a Stand Up Paddle Board Lesson.  

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Getting close to the wildlife at Australia Zoo.
Riding high at Noosa Learn to Surf.

The Ginger Factory

50 Pioneer Road, Yandina

There’s something for everyone in the family at The Ginger Factory. 

Head on the 120-year-old open-air train through tropical cane fields, take a boat ride with a giant gingerbread man, head to the Gruffalo performance or enjoy a live honeybee show and tasting. 

You’ll also have the chance to sample the best ginger treats while taking a tour of The Ginger Factory, or can treat yourself to the delectable ginger delights at the onsite kitchen or Ginger Town. With plenty of interactive play areas and experiences, it's fun for the whole family.

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Australia Zoo

1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah

Late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin made Australia Zoo one of the best-known wildlife attractions on the planet. Now run by his family Terri, Bindi, and Bob, it is still a must-do for any family visiting the region. 

It’s easy to spend a full day visiting the various animal enclosures – from the jumping saltwater crocs that made Steve Irwin an international household name, to the open-range African enclosure or tiger temple. 

The zoo, in Beerwah, is also a key wildlife rehabilitation centre, so you can watch vets at work as they tend to injured animals at the wildlife hospital, as well as live wildlife shows throughout the day.

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Mary Valley Rattler

Gympie Station, Tozer St, Gympie

The Mary Valley – a 45-minute drive west from Noosa – is the Sunshine Coast’s best-kept secret, and the best way to see it is by rail on the historic Mary Valley Rattler.

Steam ahead on a 40-kilometre return trip through the valley’s verdant forests and tiny towns aboard a lovingly restored heritage train. 

Throw in a grazing-style lunch at Gympie’s heritage station and everyone’s happy. The train turns around in Amamoor – a great spot for a quick shop and a coffee break.

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Whale watching Sunshine Coast

Spot whales, dolphins and sea lion on a water cruise. Image: Supplied. 


Aquaduck Safari

123 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba, QLD 4557

Can’t decide whether to see the Sunshine Coast by land or sea? Well, when it comes to the Aquaduck, why not both? 

The tour takes the family on a journey through Mooloolaba, both on land and then splashing into sea along the local canals. 

Kids can also have a go at playing steering the ship, with a personalised certificate for all those who play Captain. 

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RACV Noosa Resort

94 Noosa Drive, Noosa

Stay just five minutes by free shuttle to the trendy main street and beach of Noosa in one of Queensland’s best family resorts.

Voted as the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for Best Accommodation in Queensland for four years, and continually ranked amongst TripAdvisor’s ‘Top 25 Hotels in Australia’, the RACV Noosa Resort has everything the family needs for a trip to the Sunshine Coast. 

Featuring large family-friendly apartments and villas with fully equipped kitchens, a day spa, outdoor infinity pool, two waterslides, a splash park, games room and a Kids Club, enjoy a buffet breakfast at Acuri Restaurant and dinner at Dazza’s Bar for a relaxing and enjoyable stay. 

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Heading to the Sunshine Coast?
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