Wild water adventures on the Sunshine Coast

Extending from Caloundra and the Glass House Mountains in the south to Noosa and Rainbow Beach in the north, the Sunshine Coast sure has a lot of ground to cover when it comes to coastal exploration.

As its name implies, it has fantastic sunshine and coastline, but go beyond the beaches on the coast and you will find other watery delights waiting to fill your weekend adventurelust. Here are just some of the ways you can roam wild on the Sunshine Coast and dip your toes in the adventure pool.

Go surfing with Sam

Learn to surf with Sam. Image: Surf with Sam

Ok, you can’t visit the Sunny Coast and not hit the waves at some point. Fair enough if you have your own board and know how to read a wave to paddle out by yourself, but for first-timers or those wanting to learn to surf – those waves can be daunting. Enter Sam! Sam has lived on the Sunshine coast since 2005, he has a mop of hair you can’t miss and is known to many of the locals. Sam is a qualified surf instructor with over 6 years of experience and runs Surfing with Sam, a learn to surf business located in Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore. This surf school is an inclusive and welcoming environment that is perfect for anyone looking to start out or for those that are wanting to sharpen up their skills. ‘Surfing with Sam’ is an affiliated school with Surfing Queensland.

Kayak with dolphins

Ocean Safaris Dolphin Kayak. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Jump on a 4WD adventure to Double Island Point with Epic Ocean Adventures for their Noosa Dolphin View Kayak Tour.  Feel the thrill of a unique 4X4 beach drive adventure tour along the spectacular Teewah Beach from Noosa’s North Shore, deep into the Great Sandy National Park to a pristine ocean kayaking location, Double Island Point. Immerse yourself in the views and natural beauty of Australia’s Nature Coast on guided kayak tours whilst experiencing a buzzing hub of wildlife including wild Bottlenose dolphins, Humpback whales, turtles, rays and more in this tropical aquatic paradise. This location features scenic views of the Rainbow Beach coloured sands, Fraser Island and pristine Honeymoon Bay. And dolphins of course. If you are lucky, you can even spot rays, turtles and other marine life.

Take an eco-cruise on the Noosa Everglades

Explore Noosa Everglades. Photo Credit: Tourism Events Queensland

Cruise along the pristine Noosa River & Lakes on the Everglades Eco Safari. The Noosa Everglades, one of only two everglades systems on Earth, is a world of water, wilderness and wonder in the upper reaches of the Noosa River. Known as the River of Mirrors because of the amazing reflections in the water, the Noosa Everglades is a 60km stretch of pristine waters, magnificent flora and fauna and narrow waterways. Simply sit back, relax and take in the beauty of the area whilst experienced tour guides take you on a journey through ancient mirrored landscapes. Cruise into one of Australia’s most pristine regions, swim in tea tree infused waters, canoe through the mirrored waterways or simply relax in this unique natural environment.

Sailing and culture with Saltwater Tours

Saltwater Eco Tour’s Cultural Sailing Tour. Image: Kate Webster

Find a unique and authentic experience onboard Saltwater Eco Tour’s Cultural Sailing Tour as you step onboard the historical timber sailing vessel, in the traditional waters of the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi people. Sail through the Mooloolaba canals on board the beautifully restored, century-old traditional timber sailing vessel, “Spray of the Coral Coast”. Immerse yourself in an unforgettable cultural experience through storytelling, music and entertainment, as you enjoy an array of delicious bush-tucker inspired lunch with fresh Mooloolaba prawns and oysters that brings flavours and textures of rainforest and the ocean to life. Served with a refreshing local craft beer, sparkling champagne or our signature Lemon Myrtle cocktail.

Dive the ex HMAS Brisbane

Diving the wreck. Image Credit – Sunreef Mooloolaba

The ex-HMAS Brisbane is a decommissioned guided-missile destroyer that now serves as a lively artificial reef. Take a dive with Sunreef on the wreck and you may frequently see many species of turtles, such as hawksbills, loggerheads, and more. There are large bull, shovel nose and eagle rays that visit often. Sometimes you may spot an octopus or three, camouflaging with the rest of the wreck site. If you look really close up you may find some nudibranchs living amongst the soft and hard corals of the site. You may cross paths with a leopard shark, the big local Queensland groupers, squid, yellowtail kingfish, red emperor, snapper, lion fish, angler fish, blennies, sea hares, batfish, and so much more.

Have a whale of a time

Whale Watching on Sunshine Coast. Image Credit: Sunreef

Experiencing whales in the wild is one of those ‘once in a lifetime experiences’ worth a visit to the Sunshine Coast in its own right. The waters off Mooloolaba are like whale highways between June and October, and the whales seem to stick around and play in these waters for the duration. The Whale Watching Tours are an educational and informative experience that will immerse you into the watery world of whales to witness one of nature’s most magnificent migrations. Sunreef give these whale watching tours a 100% guarantee on whale sightings, so if there are no whales at all that day you will have the chance to go again on a free return trip.

Pick your paddle: kayak, canoe, or SUP

SUP at Habitat Noosa. Photo Credit: Tourism Events Queensland

With all that coastline, rivers and waterways, the Sunshine Coast guarantees paddlers of all types unlimited exploration. You may be surprised just how many safe places there are to paddle on the Sunshine Coast, by kayak, canoe or Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). Best of all, you can access waters that are often unreachable by any other watercraft and simply immerse yourself in the calm that nature has provided us. Some top spots include Cotton Tree in Maroochydore, Goat Island and Channel Island, Ewen Maddock dam, Noosa Everglades, Mudjimba Island and Noosa National Park.

Pool life at Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort

Poolside at Sofitel Noosa looks lush. Photo Credit: Kate Webster

Located on Hastings Street in the heart of Noosa, the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort offers a 5-star resort experience where you can just flop by the pool and relax. A bit of a calmer water experience on the Sunshine Coast, the pool at Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort still gives you the chance to dip your toes in and take a dip in one very cool looking pool. After all, it can’t all be about adventure in the wild when you can bring that relaxation and rejuvenation to the weekend too. Away from the pool, you’ll experience a warm, local welcome like no other – maybe even with a glass of champagne on arrival. There is a balanced blend of coastal chic and Parisian elegance which Sofitel embodies so well. Everything you love about Noosa is on your doorstep but even if you don’t leave the resort, there is all you need right there – a stunning pool with a swim-up bar, restaurants (including the popular Noosa Beach House), sauna, gym and much more. The rooms are very large and most have balconies looking out over the pool and beyond to Noosa Beach.

For more on what to do in the area visit visitsunshinecoast.com 

Kate Webster is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself but the world around her. This has inspired Kate to translate those moments and share them through her storytelling. A dedicated David Attenborough and Jane Goodall fan, Kate has delved into the world of wildlife and conservation travel to bring awareness.