Us locals might forget about them from time to time, but the plethora of theme parks we have here on the Sunshine Coast make our home oh sah fun.
With a $400m fandangled waterpark soon to open at Glenview—touted to rival the Gold Coast’s Wet n’ Wild—we think it’s time to realise that our little patch of paradise is quickly becoming big tourism business. So what does that means for us Sunshine Coast locals? MORE FUN STUFF!
We've done all the hard work for you and found the best theme parks on the Sunshine Coast.
The legendary Ettamogah Pub might be losing its famous façade but don’t worry because Aussie World is not going anywhere—in fact, it’s growing by the day with new rides soon to open. Yeow! And while these guys gear their advertising towards families, there’s plenty of young-at-hearts lining up here, too. Sure, some of the rides are for tiny tots, but some are fairly mean and fast. So, grab the family or put on your big kid pants because Aussie World is pretty damn fun.
Ocean lovers unite. Formerly known as Underwater World, just about every kid on the Coast has been to Sea Life. Think of it like a mini Sea World without the rides. But that won’t bother you because there are some pretty cute seals putting on a fabulous fun show, and even up for a kiss or two! With 11 themed zones, visitors can explore touch pools, a seahorse sanctuary, billabongs, a jelly fish kingdom, and enjoy special appearances from the Octonauts and Finding Dory. It’s a sealed deal!
This place is a god send for parents with kids under 10. And well, people who enjoy ginger! The train, boat ride, and bee show are musts, so it’s usually worth getting the annual pass if you plan to come back. There’s a contained playground (did someone say contained?), natural native gardens to explore and a coffee shop. Not to mention plentiful of the famous Buderim Ginger beer, drinks, marmalade, gummy bears and more. If you're a parent of youngens in need of a break, The Ginger Factory is calling your name.
The Coast’s premier zoo attraction is world-renowned and let’s face it, us locals are pretty chuffed to be living in Steve Irwin (AKA Crocodile Hunter) territory. The legendary wild life warrior himself built Australia Zoo right here in Beerwah from scratch and now Terri, Bindi and Bob are doing a fantastic job feeding crocs and running the show. This is an absolute life bucket list.
Holey Moley And Strike Bowling
It’s colourful, it’s loud and it’s fun. This Ocean Street establishment is in the pulsating heart of the Coast’s night life strip and incorporates an 18-hole mini golf course and disco-style bowling lanes. Throw in a Caddyshack-style cocktail bar and private karaoke rooms, and you've got yourself one hella good time! Holey Moley is kid friendly by day, even more adult friendly by night!
Don’t let Australia Zoo break your budget—just kidding, it’s so worth it—but if your pockets are full of pennies stop here instead. Wildlife HQ is a pretty legit zoo, and it’s all about close encounters and connections. The up close and personal animal experiences allow visitors to not just connect with their furry friends but basically fall in love with them so much they’ll want to take them home. Except that is obviously not advised. Also big on wildlife conservation, this one gets a big tick from us.
Big Kart Track
Got a build up of adrenaline going on inside? Need to get something out of your system? Why not unleash your soul at the Big Kart Track? Apart from the super fast go kart fun, there’s everything you need here to stay fuelled up with an awesome café to keep you fed, watered and entertained. The viewing deck is where you can watch all the action and there’s even barbecues with views of the race track to perfect your function. Bring your entire Facebook community!
Labyrinth fans listen up! OK so it’s not technically a labyrinth—it’s a maze—and apparently there’s a difference but it won’t stop you from enjoying the nostalgia of the 80s cult movie classic we all love! Pretend you are Sarah and imagine the creatures ahead. Hoggle, anyone? This beautiful lilly pilly hedge maze which (if you squint your eyes) will make you feel like you’ve just stepped straight into the movie. To top it off there’s even a Harry Potter inspired quiz, mini golf area and tea house serving delicious Devonshire teas, fine espressos and yummy food. The Bellingham Maze is even open at night and BYO drinks are allowed for special occasions. Woah!
Laserzone Sunshine Coast
Suitable for ages six plus—yes guys you gotta be a big kid here—laser tag is a high-tech sport where players wear computerised vests and handheld “phasers” to shoot the hell outta each other! OK, they’re actually attempting to achieve a winning score by tagging opponent players but we won’t tell anyone if you’re trying to take it out on your annoying bestie! There’s base stations and other targets all within a futuristic multi-level playing arena. Throw in a video arcade and virtual reality zone, and you won’t be able to get your big kids outta Laserzone. Score!
The Big Boing
Do you like to jump? Well, the Big Boing is all about mickey flips (do they still call them that?) and all your trampolining dreams. With over 50 interconnected trampolines you will be sure to have a flipping good time here. Practice your slam dunks, pull some aerial moves, dodge a ball or just simply jump free! This place does not disappoint when it comes to high impact frivolity and you won’t even realise you’re burning some serious cals. So, skip the gym this week and hang with your kids. They will love you for it and might even go to bed early for you (score!).
Apart from the food and coffee, this place may not fulfil an adult’s soul, however if you like to get on your hands and play with your kids then you’re going to have a hoot of a time here. At Chipmunks there’s a jungle of activity, a super slide and so much more. Rainy days? Head here. Whether you like it or not, this place is every kids’ dream. And trust us, they will tell you about it.
Coolum, Bli Bli and Twin Waters
Coolum, Bli Bli and Twin Waters all have them when it comes to oversized inflatables on water! There’s slides, runways, blast bags and bouncers all inter-connected and floating above a large lake. Our aqua parks are suitable for youngsters and the young at heart, and a seriously great idea to shake off that hangover with the kids—or not. At the very least you’ll burn some calories, enjoy loads of belly laughs and leave with a huge grin. It’s a win, win for families!
Image credit: Amy Higg for The Urban List