Best Places to Go On The Sunshine Coast With Kids

By: Amanda Lieber, ellaslist explorer

ellaslist sent an explorer and her family to the Sunshine Coast. Here are some of the best kid-friendly things they did (and spoiler: their only regret was not staying longer!).

Child-Friendly Places to Eat

Spit Seafood: The Gold Coast Fishermen’s Co-Operative was established in the 1970’s, it was one of the first developments on the Spit at Main Beach. You can buy freshly ‘local wild caught seafood’ to take home to cook or eat at one of the restaurants either take away or in a simple setting with a great view of the ocean and docked fishing boats.

The Deck on Parkyn: We ate at Mooloolah Fish and had a fantastic fresh seafood experience. We ordered at the counter and a few moments later a delicious plate of fish, beer battered chips and salad arrived at our table.

The Velo Project: At The Velo, they are passionate about the eating experience and pride themselves on sustainability and supporting local farmers by sourcing their produce, so everything is fresh. The café has a rustic/ hipster vibe and there are large wooden tables for diners to share, alongside comfy couches and smaller tables dotted around the café. Outside there is a great seating area and a space for children to play complete with a variety of toys.

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Parklands Tavern: Parklands Tavern, has a relaxed and inviting environment that ‘reflects typical Australian hospitality and ease’. They use fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including produce from their own vegetable gardens and citrus grove. Gluten free options available.

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Source: Parklands Tavern

Attractions And Activities

Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens: If you go here, you must check out WHIPBIRD WALK’S: It’s called the ‘children’s experiential garden’ and once you’ve been you will know why. Young or old you will discover your whimsical side in this interactive space. You can explore the Whipbird eggs carved from granite, stepping stones, logs and ‘pods’, and live native plants entwined within the tracks. It’s a fantastic space to play and learn.

Opening hours: The garden is open from 7.00 am to 5.00 pm (April to October) and 7.00 am to 6.00 pm (November to March)

The Big Pineapple: Originally opened in 1971, it’s now a heritage listed Queensland Tourism Icon. You can climb the Big Pineapple and explore pineapple farming and enjoy views from the observation deck. Take a photo with the Big Pineapple, then hop on the Pineapple Train and go for a ride, visit the café.

Opening hours: The Big Pineapple is open every day from 9am-4pm. The Pineapple Train operates from 9am-4pm, last train leaves at 3:30pm.

big pineapple

Wildlife HQ Zoo: This boutique zoo is filled with native and exotic animals. The zoo owner, Julie Seabrook and her team, moved 200 animals from the old Alma Park Zoo to their new home in 2014, and they provide education for children and families about the animals, environment and conservation. They offer animal encounters, kids parties and other packages.

Opening Hours: Every day (except Christmas Day) 9am-4pm, last entry 3pm
Cost: $15 Child (3-13) $28 Adult

Other Activities:

Indoor and outdoor markets are held every Saturday: with fresh, locally grown produce, bric-a-brac, potted plants and more. Markets are open every Saturday from 6:30am till 1pm (Closed December 26 and January 2). Included with the Saturday market: Bubs & Kids Market, every 2nd Saturday of the month and Car Boot Sale, last Saturday of the month.

Aussie World

You can’t possibly head to the Sunshine Coast with kids and not swing past Aussie World. From arcade games to over 25 rides suitable for all ages like giant slides, carousels and dodgem cars, this will probably be the highlight of the trip for your kids. There’s live shows happening every day with a heap of audience interaction, delicious places to eat (including a Ye Olde Lolly Shop) as well as rides that get you wet, mini golf, and an Illusionarium!

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