Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you need to be holed up. With temps continuing to dip below 10ºC and nudging into the 20s, it’s time to embrace the beautiful fresh days and crisp nights with these activities that will stop you pining for summer. Here are the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast in winter.
Swim With The Whales
Looking for a seriously cool experience this winter? Why not take a splash with the humpback whales? Sunreef Mooloolaba offers four-hour whale encounters, with each trip kept to a maximum of 20 people, and wetsuits and snorkelling equipment are provided. To keep the experience as authentic as possible, the distance the whales come to each group is up to them, allowing the curious creatures to explore at their own pace. If you’re not keen to hop in with these gentle giants, then hop aboard whale watching cruise Whale One, or keep an eye out from one of the many vantage points along our coastline–Noosa National Park, Point Perry and Point Arkwright at Coolum, Alexandra Headland, Point Cartwright at Kawana and Moffat Headland at Moffat Beach, when the whales migrate from June to November.
Drink Mulled Wine
Keeping toasty while sipping on mulled wine by an open fire–does it get any more winter? Our friends at Frank + Lotti have hooked us up with a pop-up drinks station serving spicy mulled Italian wine by the glass. Needing a little nightcap? They also whip up naughty hot chocs spiked with a shot of your favourite liquor and topped with fresh whipped cream. You can find the drinks station at Frank + Lotti, Shop 14/13 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba every Thursday to Sunday, from 4pm.
Hit The Hiking Trails
Two perks of hiking in winter–you don’t get too hot and sweaty, and you don’t have to wake as early to catch the sunrise from your favourite lookout point. There are walking tracks and hiking trails to suit all fitness levels, each offering spectacular scenery. Among our favourites are Mount Coolum, Mount Ngungun, Kondalilla National Park, Great Noosa Trail Walk, Mount Tibrogargan, Mapleton Falls National Park, Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, Conondale National Park and Buderim Forest Park. If you’re looking to get your heart rate up this winter, this is one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast.
Cook Up A Storm
Enjoying the warming aromas of cooking school kitchens is one of our favourite things to do in winter, and the good news is you can take your tastebuds on a tour of the world right here on the Sunshine Coast. Pick up some Thai technique at Spirit House in Yandina; learn the art of French, Italian and South East Asian cooking at The Tamarind Cooking School in Maleny; if you’ve always wanted to master pasta or nail the incredible flavours of Japanese and Mexican cuisine, The Cooking School Noosa serves up some incredible classes; or let Patersons Cooking School in Parrearra show you how to whip up decadent desserts, Moroccan meals and the fundamentals of great cooking.
Hit The High Ropes
Take the TreeTop Challenge at the Big Pineapple with five unique high ropes courses and 12 ziplines slicing through the forest at more than 25m above the ground. Test your skills on the first three courses, which are more suited to families and involve activities and games, and then there are the two black circuits, which are touted as the highest and scariest high ropes courses in Australia!
Enjoy Wine Tasting And Craft Beer Tours
Leave your worries behind and escape into the hinterland for wine and craft beer tastings, and long lunches. Flame Hill Vineyard at Montville is a standout, with an incredible selection of estate-grown varietals including their exquisite Montville Verdelho. Settle into a sampling in the lounge, stroll the grounds and pick a spot to enjoy a relaxing picnic, or indulge in a long lunch paired with wines at the award-winning paddock-to-plate restaurant. Ocean View Estates at Mount Mee is also worth a visit, with the vineyard and winery producing a stellar range of wines, complemented by a seasonal selection. It’s also home to Ocean View Brewing Company, which produces tasty craft beers, so it’s an ideal location for beer and wine lovers alike. If DIY tastings aren’t your style and you’d rather sit back and let someone do the organising (and driving) for you, then we suggest checking out Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours or Sunshine Wine Tours.
Image credit: Sunreef