What a pain! You’ve got 20 bucks burning a hole in your pocket and you don’t know how to spend it. Said no one, ever. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees, at least not on the Sunshine Coast, so the more fun you can have for less, the better.
With that in mind, we’ve foraged together 20 awesome things to do on the Sunshine Coast that are fun, sometimes tasty and maybe even free!
- You can order an espresso martini with a side of golf! Holey Moley is where cocktails and bar snacks collide with crazy putt putt golf and good times galore. Located in Maroochydore, nine holes here will set you back $15, just bring extra cash for beers and burgs.
- The Sunshine Coast is home to a ridiculous selection of markets, and market-hopping is without question one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast if you’re on a budget. For cheap street eats, vintage finds, free live entertainment and all those feel-good community vibes, start with this list of some of the region’s top markets.
- If you love beer, you don’t need a fat wallet to explore the Sunshine Coast’s burgeoning craft beer scene. Soak up the brewhouse atmosphere and order a tipple from as many local breweries as you can—starting with Your Mates, Land & Sea, Brouhaha Brewery and the new sustainable brewery, Terella Brewing. Fridays through Sundays are your best bet if you want to hit them all.
- Lace up your sneakers and explore any of these incredible national parks in our immediate backyard. While you’re at it, these stellar local bush walks will get you amongst nature—because the best things in life are free.
- Go to the beach! With literally dozens of sandy spots the entire length of the city, what better way to spend a cash-free day than with a good book and a beach towel? We've rounded up some of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast here.
- Bank account looking dismal until payday? Eat your way through this scrumptious list of the best cheap eats on the Sunshine Coast.
- Nothing beats a doughnut for brekkie or lunch, unless it’s a 1-kilo doughnut from one of the Sunshine Coast’s best bakeries. Go with an empty stomach and take the 1kg doughnut challenge at Kenilworth Bakery this weekend.
- Get wet at Montville’s Kondalilla Falls. This little slice of paradise is hidden among some lush south east Queensland greenery and is the perfect place to chill out and swim without being attacked by a vicious wave. It's our pick among the best free things to do on the Sunshine Coast.
- Throw a sickie and spend a weekday trawling the best op shops on the Sunshine Coast. Want to dress like the locals? Go vintage and you’ll be safe.
- The hill at Alexandra Headland is the greatest picnic spot on the Sunshine Coast and our absolute weekend arvo go-to when guests are in town. Unless you hate crowds and looking for a place to park, in which case it could be the worst. But, for most of us, the sweeping views from Alexandra Headland up to Mount Coolum, and the ‘always Sunday’ mood make it well worth the effort.
- Flick off the thongs for a pair of Nikes and pound the beachfront bush track through the Noosa National Park, or any of these pretty walks. Stunning views and increased heart rate come complimentary, making this one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast.
- Ask any international visitor and they’ll attest we’re damn lucky to have free BBQs in almost every public park. Take advantage of cooking in the great outdoors, with these top BBQ spots with epic views.
- The best way to see anywhere is from great heights, so test your conquering skills and tackle these next-level Sunshine Coast hikes. There will be sweat and maybe some tears, but those mountain-high views will make every step worth it, promise!
- Wake up early to beat the crowds and make a beeline for the Kings Beach Pool. After you’ve done like 500 laps (tough love, is better than no love), dry off and try out some or all of the best breakfasts in Caloundra. More of a coffee for breakfast person? This hit list will help!
- Skip the cabin or holiday house, and pitch a tent at the Sunshine Coast’s best camping spots. From beach to bush, our picture-perfect region was made for exploring and what better way to cap off a day adventuring than sleeping under the stars.
- Buy a kilo of fresh Aussie prawns from Fisheries On The Spit in Mooloolaba, lay down a rug beachside and soak up those sub-tropical vibes. If you’re looking for one of the most token things to do on the Sunshine Coast, this is it!
- Look out, Melbourne! The Sunshine Coast is making a serious splash when it comes to art and culture, with new murals, street art and graffiti popping up in our alleyways and backstreets. Whether you’re a lover of public art or just need a sweet background for your next profile pic, you’ll want to hunt down the coolest street art on the Sunshine Coast.
- Take time out and appreciate your surroundings at the Maleny Botanic Gardens and for a small fee, you can spend all day listening to the birds, the bees, and enjoy the serenity of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It might not be a jam-packed day, full of adventure and adrenalin, but you will leave feeling refreshed and content.
- The classic wing night—few can resist its nudge to don a paper napkin bib, push table manners aside and get your fingers dirty. Whether it’s crispy, saucy or sticky wings you’re into, you’ll want to dig into our roundup of the best wing nights on the Sunshine Coast immediately, if not sooner.
- Get out your calendar! May to November is whale migration season and with deep waters off our beaches, there’s ample opportunity to spot them on their journey north and south. For epic whale-watching views, we suggest gawking at these wondrous from Point Arkwright, Noosa National Park, Point Cartwright and Moffat Beach.
Image credit: Amy Higg for The Urban List