Australia’s Sunshine Coast is more than just a destination; it’s a call to adventure, a beckoning of the soul to the open road. With its stunning beaches, vibrant wildlife, and a laid-back vibe that resonates with the heart, it’s a place that invites exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a curious wanderer, the Sunshine Coast promises a journey unlike any other.

The road becomes your guide, leading you through coastal trails, hidden surf spots, and charming local markets. From the iconic Noosa National Park to the lively streets of Caloundra, this 3-day itinerary is designed to immerse you in the very essence of the Sunshine Coast. It’s a trip that celebrates the free spirit, the joy of discovery, and the simple pleasure of being on the road.

So pack your bags, fuel up, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable odyssey. The Sunshine Coast awaits, and every mile is a memory waiting to be made. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, this road trip is your ticket to a world where the journey is as beautiful as the destination.

Day 1:
Noosa to Coolum Beach

Morning: Explore Noosa National Park
Afternoon: Drive to Coolum Beach
Evening: Free Camp at Coolum Beach
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Day 2:
Coolum Beach to Mooloolaba

Morning: Explore Coolum’s Surroundings
Afternoon: Drive to Mooloolaba
Evening: Camp near Mooloolaba
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Day 3:
Mooloolaba to Caloundra

Morning: Explore Mooloolaba
Afternoon: Drive to Caloundra
Evening: Free Camp near Caloundra
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Day 1 – Noosa to Coolum

Begin your journey in the heart of Noosa, where nature’s beauty meets the thrill of adventure. From the coastal trails of Noosa National Park to the laid-back vibes of Coolum Beach, Day 1 invites you to dive into the Sunshine Coast’s natural wonders. Whether you’re hiking to breathtaking viewpoints, catching waves, or exploring local markets, this day promises a blend of excitement and relaxation. Embrace the open road and let the spirit of Noosa guide your way.

Morning: Explore Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park is a gem on the Sunshine Coast, offering a blend of coastal scenery, lush rainforest, and vibrant wildlife. Here are three options to kickstart your day:

  1. Hike the Coastal Track (Option 1): The coastal track is a must-do, stretching over 5.4 km and offering breathtaking views of the ocean. You’ll pass by the famous Hell’s Gates, a stunning cliff formation, and might even spot dolphins or whales if you’re lucky. The walk is moderate, so wear comfortable shoes and bring water and snacks. Don’t forget your camera; the views are Instagram-worthy!

  2. Surf or Swim at Noosa Main Beach (Option 2): If you’re more into water activities, Noosa Main Beach is a paradise for surfers and swimmers alike. The waves are perfect for all levels, and there are surf schools if you want to catch your first wave. The beach is patrolled, making it a safe spot for a refreshing swim or just relaxing on the sand.

  3. Visit the Noosa Farmers Market (Option 3): If your trip falls on a Sunday, the Noosa Farmers Market is a delightful experience. From fresh produce to artisanal products, you’ll find a variety of local treasures. It’s a great place to grab breakfast and enjoy the community vibe.

Afternoon: Drive to Coolum Beach

The drive to Coolum Beach is scenic and relatively short, allowing you to enjoy more activities:

  1. Relax at Coolum Beach (Option 1): Coolum Beach is known for its laid-back atmosphere and excellent surf breaks. Whether you want to ride the waves or simply soak up the sun, this beach has something for everyone. The nearby cafes offer delicious refreshments, perfect for a beachside lunch.

  2. Climb Mount Coolum (Option 2): For a more adventurous afternoon, the hike up Mount Coolum is rewarding. It’s a steep climb, but the panoramic views from the top are worth every step. You’ll see the entire Sunshine Coast spread out before you. Remember to carry water and wear sturdy shoes.

  3. Visit the Coolum Art Gallery (Option 3): If you’re interested in local art, the Coolum Art Gallery showcases works from artists in the region. It’s a great way to connect with the local culture and perhaps find a unique souvenir.

Evening: Free Camp at Coolum Beach

  1. Beachside BBQ or Local Seafood: As the sun begins to set, you can set up your camp near Coolum Beach. Many travelers prefer a beachside BBQ, grilling fresh seafood or other local produce. If you prefer dining out, Coolum has some fantastic seafood restaurants that offer the fresh catch of the day.

  2. Stargazing: After dinner, the clear skies of Coolum Beach provide a perfect opportunity for stargazing. Lay back and enjoy the southern stars, reflecting on the day’s adventures.

  3. Planning for the Next Day: Before turning in, take some time to review your plans for the next day. Whether it’s checking the weather or booking a last-minute tour, a little preparation ensures a smooth journey ahead.

Day one of your Sunshine Coast road trip, offers a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences. From the stunning trails of Noosa National Park to the serene vibes of Coolum Beach, this itinerary sets the tone for an unforgettable journey.

Remember to respect the local environment, and always adhere to safety guidelines, whether hiking, swimming, or driving. The Sunshine Coast welcomes you with open arms, and this first day promises to be just the beginning of an incredible adventure.

Day 2 – Coolum to Mooloolaba

Day 2 takes you from the serene landscapes of Coolum to the bustling charm of Mooloolaba. Start your day with a peaceful hike up Emu Mountaino or Coolum Mountain or explore local crafts at the Peregian Beach Market. As you make your way to Mooloolaba, the ocean’s allure beckons, offering opportunities to explore marine life, relax on sandy shores, or embark on a dolphin-watching adventure. It’s a day that celebrates the diverse beauty of the Sunshine Coast, where every moment is a chance to connect with the land and sea.

Morning: Explore Coolum’s Surroundings

  1. Visit the Emu Mountain Walk (Option 1): Start your day with a hike up Emu Mountain. It’s a relatively easy walk, taking about an hour, and offers fantastic views of the coast. The trail is well-marked, and the summit provides a perfect spot for a morning picnic. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for local wildlife, including various bird species. If your after something a little more challenging try climbing Mount Coolum.

  2. Explore the Peregian Beach Market (Option 2): If it’s a Sunday, the Peregian Beach Market is a must-visit. Located just a short drive from Coolum, this market is a hub for local crafts, fresh produce, and delicious food. It’s a great place to mingle with locals and perhaps pick up a unique souvenir.

  3. Play a Round of Golf at a Local Course (Option 3): For golf enthusiasts, Coolum offers some beautiful courses. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just looking for a fun experience, spending a morning on the greens can be a relaxing way to enjoy the Sunshine Coast’s natural beauty.

Afternoon: Drive to Mooloolaba

  1. Visit SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium (Option 1): Once you arrive in Mooloolaba, the SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium is a fantastic attraction for all ages. Here, you can explore marine life from the region, including seals, sharks, and colorful fish. It’s an educational and fun experience, reflecting the area’s rich marine biodiversity.

  2. Relax at Mooloolaba Beach (Option 2): Mooloolaba Beach is one of the Sunshine Coast’s most famous beaches, known for its soft sand and gentle waves. It’s a perfect place to unwind, swim, or simply enjoy the sun. Nearby cafes and restaurants offer delightful lunch options.

  3. Take a Boat Tour to See Dolphins (Option 3): If you’re interested in wildlife, several operators in Mooloolaba offer boat tours to see dolphins. It’s an exhilarating experience to watch these graceful creatures in their natural habitat. Make sure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons.

Evening: Free Camp near Mooloolaba

  1. Cook a Meal with Local Produce or Dine at a Nearby Restaurant: Mooloolaba offers a variety of dining options. You can cook a meal at your camp using fresh local produce or enjoy the culinary delights at a nearby restaurant. Seafood is a specialty in the area.

  2. Enjoy a Sunset Walk: The beaches around Mooloolaba are perfect for a romantic or reflective sunset walk. The colors of the sky as the sun dips into the ocean are truly mesmerizing.

  3. Join a Local Event or Festival (if available): Keep an eye out for local events or festivals happening in Mooloolaba. The community often hosts live music, art shows, or cultural festivals, providing a chance to immerse yourself in local life.

Day 2 of your road trip on the Sunshine Coast offers a rich blend of outdoor adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences. From the tranquility of Emu Mountain to the vibrant marine life of Mooloolaba, this day promises to be both exciting and fulfilling.

Adventure Everyday Clothing

Day 3 – Mooloolaba to Caloundra

Morning: Explore Mooloolaba

  1. Fish off the Mooloolaba Spit (Option 1): Start your day with some fishing at the Mooloolaba Spit. This popular spot offers a chance to catch a variety of fish. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just looking for a fun experience, the Spit provides a peaceful setting. You might even catch breakfast!

  2. Visit the Mooloolaba Esplanade for Shopping (Option 2): If shopping is more your style, the Mooloolaba Esplanade offers a range of boutiques, galleries, and shops. From local crafts to high-end fashion, there’s something for every taste. It’s also a great place to enjoy a leisurely breakfast at one of the many cafes.

  3. Explore the Mooloolaba Canals on a Kayak (Option 3): For a more active morning, rent a kayak and explore the Mooloolaba Canals. The calm waters are perfect for paddling, and you’ll get a unique perspective of the area. Guided tours are available, or you can explore on your own.

Afternoon: Drive to Caloundra

  1. Visit the Caloundra Lighthouses (Option 1): Once in Caloundra, the historic lighthouses are a must-visit. The 1896 and 1968 lighthouses stand side by side, offering a glimpse into maritime history. Guided tours are available, providing insights into the region’s past.

  2. Relax at Kings Beach (Option 2): Kings Beach is one of Caloundra’s most popular spots, known for its surfing, swimming, and picnicking areas. The beach offers something for everyone, whether you want to catch some waves or simply relax on the sand.

  3. Explore the Caloundra Street Fair (Option 3): If it’s a Sunday, the Caloundra Street Fair is a lively and colorful experience. With over 100 unique stalls, live entertainment, and delicious food, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in local culture.

Evening: Camp near Caloundra

With around 5 caravan paks in Caloundra you’re sure to find a spot that suites.

  1. Enjoy a Sunset Walk Along the Beach or a Campfire (if allowed): Caloundra’s beaches provide a perfect backdrop for a sunset walk. Reflect on your road trip and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. If campfires are allowed at your free campsite, it’s a great way to end the day.

  2. Cook a Special Meal or Dine Out: Celebrate the last night of your road trip with a special meal. Cook something delicious at your camp or explore Caloundra’s dining scene. From seafood to international cuisine, there’s something for every palate.

  3. Plan Your Next Adventure: As your road trip comes to an end, it might be a good time to start thinking about your next adventure. Whether it’s exploring another part of Australia or diving deeper into the Sunshine Coast, the road is always calling.

Day 3 of your Sunshine Coast road trip offers a perfect conclusion to an unforgettable journey. From the peaceful Mooloolaba Spit to the vibrant Caloundra Street Fair, this day provides a blend of relaxation, exploration, and local culture.