Sunrises, switchbacks and easy enough for the kids. Here are 3 epic coastal hikes to get you started if you’re on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland…


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Gubbi Gubbi Nation, the traditional Country of the Gubbi Gubbi people who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


  • Impressive coastlines
  • Serene hinterland views
  • All beginner level hikes and so achievable for younger explorers

Summits on the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast offers a multitude of short summits with magnificent coastal views that everyone can enjoy. Get going and work up a sweat whilst you check out the beautiful coastline, before rewarding yourself with a swim at Coolum beach.

Mt Coolum, Mt Ninderry and Emu Mountain are all beginner level hikes that can each can be achieved in a little over an hour or less! Each peak also makes for a fantastic spot to watch the sunrise over the ocean.

Read more: The 5 Best Sunrise Spots Near Brisbane


1. Mt Coolum

Distance: 1.6km
1.5 hours

Mt Coolum is close by, about 6km south of Coolum Beach and is one of Sunshine Coast locals most beloved hikes. Mt Coolum is short, slightly steep, featuring switchbacks and small stair sections, leading up to an open rocky section with incredible coastal views.

2. Mt Ninderry

Distance: 3km
1 hour

Mt Ninderry is my personal favourite as it’s a little less known and is a lovely gently sloping walk with switchbacks and a  short stair section climb. It provides remarkable views in all different directions from the top. Once you reach the summit there are further paths to explore that open up to little rocky lookouts across the mountain. You get an equal satisfaction of serene coastal and hinterland views in this hike.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

3. Emu Mountain

Distance: 2km
1 hour

Emu Mountain is the easiest of the 3, located about 3km North of Coolum Beach and consists of a steady incline to the summit, where you’ll find some scraggly rocks and beautiful ocean views. This hike is even achievable for younger explorers as it is short and steady and can be achieved within an hour.


Essential Gear

Read more: Packing List for a Day Hike

How To Get There

Mt Coolum

Located on the Sunshine Coast. Turn off the David Low Way 6km south of Coolum Beach township or 3km north of Marcoola township into Tanah Street (West). The car park entrance is near the junction of Tanah Street (West) and Jarnahill Drive.

Mt Ninderry

Turn left off the Bruce Highway at Yandina and at the roundabout turn into Ninderry Rd. Follow this till Eucalyptus Circle and look for a cement drive up to the carpark on the right. (Do not GPS Mt Ninderry, it will direct you to the back of the mountain).

Emu Mountain

Emu Mountain is about 3km north of Coolum beach. From Coolum Beach follow the David Low Way north. Turn left at Havana Road East and follow this road up to the State High School, where you can park. The gate at the start of the walk is opposite.

Skill Level

Beginner – family friendly

Distance / Elevation

Mt Coolum

Elevation 208m. Distance 1.6km – allow 1.5 hour.

Mt Ninderry

Elevation 304m. Distance 3km – allow 1 hour.

Emu Mountain

Elevation 71m. Distance 2km – allow 1 hour.


Feature photo thanks to Sunshine Coast Tourism