The aqua fun park at Bli Bli is a popular place for kids to cool off.
The aqua fun park at Bli Bli is a popular place for kids to cool off. Brett Wortman

14 ways to make the most of last school holiday days

SO the school holidays are nearly over and your youngsters want to squeeze every last moment out of them.

As a parent, how can you say no?

So what are the best ways to create magic memories on the Sunshine Coast?

Here's some of our best suggestions for having fun. And the best part is many of them won't cost you a cent. Some, however, may require a little energy!

SEVEN FREE FUN OPPORTUNITIES FOR KIDS ON THE SUNSHINE COAST

1. CLIMB MT COOLUM

It may look imposing from the bottom, but the climb up Mt Coolum is not overly difficult. The 800 metre long walk is steep in sections but there are plenty of places to have a breather.

While National Parks advises to allow about an hour for the journey, some will do it in far less than that, especially if you are bolting after the kids.

It's well worth taking a decent breath at the top, however, and taking in the magic views of the Sunshine Coast including across the airport runway and towards Mudjimba Island.

Park in Tanah St, off David Low Way, past the Mount Coolum IGA. Don't forget to take water.

Best time to walk is the early morning or late afternoon, but this is very popular and the path can get busy

The views from the top of Mt Coolum can not be beat.
The views from the top of Mt Coolum can not be beat. Patrick Williams

2. KONDALILLA NATIONAL PARK AND GARDNERS FALLS


Two of the most picturesque areas on the Sunshine Coast are just a short drive from each another.

Kondalilla National Park, nestled in the heart of the hinterland, near Montville, is the ideal place to enjoy a barbecue picnic, go for a rainforest walk or take a dip.

Enjoy the serenity of the falls and let the kids run free in the grassed park as you enjoy the panoramic view.

If you are feeling really adventurous, trek along part of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. It traverses 58km of the hinterland, past gorges, waterfalls and rock pools.

Another magic spot is Gardners Falls, just out of Maleny. Travelling from Montville, you take the exit towards Maleny and then watch out for the sign to the right. Its about 5km out of Maleny.

The falls feature two swing ropes - one for the best brave - and a more sane one for younger adults. You can also just jump off the rocks into the beautiful waters below.

3. CALOUNDRA'S KINGS BEACH AND BOARDWALK

Caloundra's Kings Beach is one of the best places on the planet to enjoy a day with the kids. You can go swimming in the heritage-listed Kings Beach Bathing Pavilion pool or on the beach.

 Play in the playground, enjoy a picnic on the grass and go for a long walk along one of the best boardwalks around.

Pumicestone Passage is a great spot for kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing and jetskiing. If you are looking for something a little more sedate, Currimundi Lake and Moffat Beach offer plenty of fun places for the kids to explore.

If you want to go on a very long walk, the Caloundra Coastal Walk stretches 25 kilometres from Golden Beach in the south to Mooloolaba Beach.

 


4. SPOT A KOALA IN NOOSA NATIONAL PARK

 

A short stroll from Noosa's fashionable Hastings Street you will find the sublime Noosa National Park, one of Queensland's few coastal National Parks.

Stroll through the park and spot resident koalas dozing in the trees, swim or surf at coves and beaches found around the scenic headlands, or retreat into the cool forests of the inland tracks.

More info: www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/noosa


5. GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS

Steeped in Aboriginal Legend, the Glass House Mountains are a series of craggy volcanic plugs rising dramatically from the coastal plain.

There are a number of panoramic lookouts as well as accommodation and dining options where you can sit and soak up the mystical beauty.

More info: www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/glass-house-mountains

6. OLD WOMAN ISLAND, MUDJIMBA

Mudjimba Beach has one of the longest stretches of sandy beach to really give the kids room to run while checking out the beauty of Old Woman Island. 

The island was the playground of the late screen star Diane Cilento and actor husband Sean Connery.

Old Woman Island - Mudjimba Island
Old Woman Island - Mudjimba Island

 

It was not true that Connery bought Old Woman Island, but the pair were regular visitors to the island.

They used to go across on surf skis despite the waters being shark infested.


7. MARY CAIRNCROSS SCENIC RESERVE

Situated at 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny, you can wander through 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest, a remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range.

The reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal species which promises to delight with its tranquillity and beauty. Entry is by gold coin donation.

www.mary-cairncross.com.au

7 TOP PAID PLACES TO TAKE THE KIDS

1. AUSTRALIA ZOO, BEERWAH

The Irwin family is not the only reason Australia Zoo is one of the Sunshine Coast's most visited tourist attractions. From the amazing Africa exhibit to the Crocoseum shows, there's a huge array of things to see and do. And starting from April 7, the zoo's two new tiger cubs will be on display to the public at various times throughout the day.

www.australiazoo.com.au

 

 

2. AUSSIE WORLD, PALMVIEW

Aussie World is arguably one of the best value entertainment options for kids on the Coast. There are a stack of rides including the Redback which is 16 metres in height and has clockwise and anticlockwise circular rotations on a platform with outward facing seats. The Plunge features logs propelled by flowing water through a waterway before climbing upwards then plunging down a ramp at great speed. There's also a stack of shows during the Easter school holidays.
www.aussieworld.com.au

 


3. THE BIG BOING, BIRTINYA

Kawana's large indoor trampoline park is all about jumping, flipping, fitness - and most importantly, landing soft and safely!  There is dodgeball, free jumping with 40 interconnecting trampolines, huge air bag to land in, slam dunking basketball, soccer, dedicated toddlers area with own foam pit and another area just for under 140cm tall.
www.thebigboing.com.au

4. GO WAKE CABLE PARK & BARRA FISHING

If you are a watersports adrenaline junkie or love fishing, this place at Bli Bli is worth a visit.

It hosts a great water park, as well as cable park and barra fishing.

You can try to master knee boarding, skurfing, skiing or wakeboarding or endeavour to catch one of the most sought after fish in the world - the Barramundi.

Suncoast Barra Fishing Park, offers 3 lakes; Barra Creek, Big Boys Pond and Mixed Species Pond. It's on the David Low Way, Bli Bli

www.gowakesunshinecoast.com.au

www.suncoastbarrafishing.com

http://www.blibliaquapark.com.au/

 

 

5. UNDERWATER WORLD SEALIFE MOOLOOLABA

SeaLife Mooloolaba is the Sunshine Coast's premier all weather tourist attraction. There are thousands of sea creatures including sharks, stingrays, seals and otters as you explore unique zones.

View the world-famous 2.5 million litre Oceanarium tunnel and interact with animals in Behind the Scenes Tours, seal swims, encounters and kisses, shark dives, see jellyfish and a world first otter encounter.

Explore the amazing world of the Octonauts and play your part helping the crew on brand new underwater missions!

You can xxplore a mysterious cave with Captain Barnacles and sound the Octo-Alert to light-up the amazing creatures living inside.

www.underwaterworld.com.au

The seals at UnderWater World get a tasty treat for the summers sweltering heat. The mammals were given ice cubes and inside were the seals favouirite food- squid and fish. Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
The seals at UnderWater World get a tasty treat for the summers sweltering heat. The mammals were given ice cubes and inside were the seals favouirite food- squid and fish. Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

 

 

6. WILDLIFE HQ (formerly Qld Zoo), BIG PINEAPPLE, WOOMBYE

Generations of families have enjoyed the 100 acre rainforest and farm setting of the iconic Big Pineapple in Woombye.

You can wander through the rainforest paths, delight in the antics of baby animals born, discover more about Australian native animals, exotic animals and a large variety of snakes with the daily keeper presentations.

www.qldzoo.com

If you just want to visit the Big Pineapple, it's free but you also get the train for just $5 per person with children under 3 free.  The Big Pineapple Attraction & Pineapple Train are open every day from 9am till 4pm with the last train leaving at 3:30pm.

 

 

7. BIG KART TRACK, LANDSBOROUGH

If you're a lead foot looking for action, the Big Kart Track has got it all from straights, bends, chicanes and hair-raising hairpins.

It is the perfect venue for group bookings and team building with 50 new faster karts available. You will find it on Steve Irwin Way, Landsborough

www.bigkart.com.au

 


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