You rated the Sunshine Coast as one of the best places for a regional family holiday in our Best of Family Travel Awards. So why is it so good? What can you do there?
Learning to surf becomes even more fun when the water is warm, the sun shining and the waves gentle. Coolum Surf School has been teaching adults and children to surf for over 15 years and specialises in introducing first-timers to the sport. Using soft learner boards to start, the passionate surfing team firstly builds confidence, then skills and generally within an hour has the novice surfer standing triumphantly, riding their first wave into shore. Coolum Surf School offers small group lessons, holiday camps and private family sessions suitable for all ages.
Ricks Garage is like walking onto the set of Grease or Happy Days – it’s pure retro fun that both parents and children will love. Located in the historic village of Palmwoods, Ricks Garage captures the 1950s from the moment you arrive. Decor and memorabilia is straight out of an American diner, Elvis is likely to be playing on the music system, and the milkshakes and burgers are huge. In fact, if you are able to eat ‘The Big One’ you get to write your name on the ceiling! There is an attractive outdoor area with umbrellas, and on weekends live music creates a great vibe.
Winner of many accolades for its kid-friendly accommodation and facilities, Oaks Oasis Resort is brilliantly designed for families. At the centre of the resort – located in the beautiful coastal town of Caloundra – is a massive water park and resort pool, along with a climbing frame, putt-putt golf course and Kangaroo Jumper. The beach is just a short stroll away – if you can get the kids away from the water park. Stylish accommodation options include family rooms, serviced apartments and villas. The resort’s lush grounds and lotus lakes provide a tranquil backdrop for the on-site Reflections Restaurant and parents will enjoy the ‘kids’ eat free’ special offer.
Nature is an essential element of the Sunshine Coast, so exploring the Hinterland is a must! One way of capturing the best of the region in one location is Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World. The gardens are spectacular (as are the views across the Glass House Mountains to the coast), but the children will probably want to head straight to the Bird World aviary, where the large parrots and macaws will become their instant friends. There is a small farm-style zoo, ideal for younger children. The vast grounds are perfect for BYO picnics, or Devonshire tea can be ordered in one of the atmospheric pavilions.