Looking for ideas for fun free things to do with kids on the Sunshine Coast?
We asked our children for their top recommendations for awesome activities that won’t cost you a thing!
41 fun FREE things to do with kids on the Sunshine Coast:
1/ Take a bike ride along the coastal pathway (there is a great section from Yaroomba to Mudjimba that is flat and pretty quiet, so perfect for young riders.)
2/ Go plane spotting on Marcoola Beach.
3/ Take a wander around the Lake McDonald Botanic Gardens and see how many different flowers or birds you can spot.
4/ Build a sand castle! Always a winner with young kids – who can build the biggest? Best moat? Best drippy sand castle?
5/ Explore the rock pools that are found all along the Sunshine Coast, for example Shelly Beach, Caloundra and Point Cartwright. This is a firm favourite with our kids!
6/ Have a swim at Kings Beach or play in the interactive fountain on the foreshore. There is also an impressive playground nearby.
7/ Throw a line in and go fishing. Maroochy and Noosa Rivers or at Caloundra.
8/ Take a tour of the Sunshine Coast’s ‘Big Things’ – the Big Pineapple, Big Shell, Big Pelican… (Read our Big Things Bucket List for a list of all the big attractions on the Sunshine Coast.)
9/ Take a trip out to Wappa Dam. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic and kicking a ball around, or simply marvel at the power of the dam when water is released.
10/ While you’re out that way, visit Wappa Falls. (They’re just a short detour off the road to Wappa Dam and are fed by the dam itself.) Read our article for more waterfall chasing inspiration.
11/ Have a picnic and try to spot whales out from Point Cartwright. (For more tips on the top whale watching spots, read our article on the Top Whale Watching Spots on the Sunshine Coast)
12/ Take the easy hike to the top of Mount Emu for impressive views. (Slightly north of Mount Coolum, this is the easier option, so better for little legs.)
13/ Go on a bike ride along the picturesque pathways around Ewen Maddock Dam.
14/ Count how many different creatures you can spot as you wander through the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary in Bli Bli.
15/ Spot dolphins, whales, goannas and koalas in Noosa National Park
16/ Splash about on the banks of the Noosa River, building sandcastles and making sure to have a play at the Pirate Park.
17/ Check out one of the Sunshine Coast’s many awesome playgrounds, such as Dick Caplick Park at Eumundi , Pioneer Park at Landsborough, Pierce Park in Maroochydore, or the amazing new playground in the Aura development.
18/ Take a walk along Rainbow Beach to discover the coloured sands. How many colours can you find?
19/ Spot wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay. (For $10 you can feed them as well. Read our article Feed Wild Dolphins at Tin Can Bay for all the details.)
20/ Play on the sand bars out from Cotton Tree at low tide and play in the expansive park.
21/ Climb the short hike to the top of Mt Tinbeerwah for views over Noosa, out to sea and inland to the hinterland.
22/ Enjoy the bush walk to Kondalilla Falls in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. There are lots of big trees and hollowed out stumps etc to explore along the way.
23/ See how many hermit crabs you can spot in the mangroves on Chambers Island in the middle of the Maroochy River. There is also a fantastic playground and it’s easily accessible via the footbridge.
24/ Wander along the coastal pathway from Bulcock Beach to Moffat Beach. (You can keep going if you want to, as the Coastal Pathway actually runs all the way from Bells Creek to Tewantin!)
25/ Go on a nature scavenger hunt in your local park. Can you find different coloured and shaped leaves? Any insects? Seedpods? Flowers?
26/ Play in the beachside playground at Dicky Beach before building sandcastles or exploring the rock pools.
27/ Head north to Gympie to spot the ducks and ducklings at the Gympie Duck Ponds park, aka Lake Alford. It’s a great spot for a picnic and there are also plenty of pathways for scooters and bikes.
28/ Explore the sculptures at the Maroochy Botanic Gardens.
29/ Go snorkeling around the rock pools on the headlands. It’s best to do this at low tide (the lower the better) as you will be able to spot more of the amazing fish, crustaceans, molluscs etc that live along the coastline. Some people have even been lucky enough to spot turtles!
30/ Hike Mt Ninderry. This is one of the easier mountain hikes on the Sunshine Coast, so good for kids. Mt Ninderry is the wave-like mountain in between Coolum and Yandina.
31/ Look up the local shopping centre to see what’s on. All of the big shopping centres (Sunshine Plaza, Kawana Shopping World, Noosa Civic etc) run special and usually free school holiday activities and shows. Perfect for wet weather days!
32/ Grab a body board or big piece of cardboard and head to the Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach for some free sandboarding fun. It’s best to go a little later in the day, once the sun has dried out the sand, and look for the steepest spot to the left of the entrance/lookout.
33/ Take a swim in the calm waters of Lake Currimundi.
34/ Explore the gardens of The Ginger Factory and play on the playground for free. (NOTE: There is a cost involved if you decide to go on Moreton the train ride or the Overboard boat ride etc.)
35/ Watch part of the factory at Nutworks in operation for free. Nutworks is across the road from The Ginger Factory, just be prepared to walk through the shop to access the factory!
36/ Take a picnic and watch the sunset from Noosa Spit. At low tide the sandbank can be huge, making it the perfect natural playground for kids.
37/ See if you can spot butterflies or a pademelon (a small marsupial that looks a bit like a wallaby) at Mary Cairncross Reserve.
38/ Play ping pong at the two outdoor public ping pong tables at Cotton Tree.
39/ One of our top free things to do with kids on the Sunshine Coast is to discover the rainforest that surrounds the picture-perfect Buderim Falls.
40/ Check out one of the Sunshine Coast’s awesome skate parks. Alex, Coolum Beach, Mudjimba, DickyBeach, Bli Bli and Sunshine Beach all have public skate parks!
41/ Get off the beaten path and discover Dularcha National Park in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Nestled between Landsborough and Mooloolah, the trail leads to an old railway tunnel hidden in the bushland. The tracks have been removed, but it was once part of the old narrow gauge North Coast Line that ran between Brisbane and Gympie.
Want more inspiration?