Jarrod spent six days checking out everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer, now he’s put together the ultimate hit list so you can plan your dream trip.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara Peoples who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


With so much on offer it can be hard to know where to start with the Sunshine Coast. The region’s full of mountains, rivers, beaches and rainforests, and there are options to DIY, hire gear, or take a full on tour to scratch your adventure itch.

I won the Sunshine Coast For Real competition back in 2021 and recently spent nearly a week exploring the region. It’s safe to say that the Sunny Coast is even better than I imagined, so I thought I’d pass on my experiences for people to plan their own escape.

Here’s what we did, pick and choose at will!


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland-19, sunrise, beach

Day 1 – Coolum Beach, Mt Ngungun and Brouhaha Brewery

We left the airport and hightailed it to Coolum Beach (where we were staying) to pick up our friends. Next stop, our hotel – The Point Coolum Beach. The apartments were breathtaking! Positioned high up on a cliff overlooking the ocean, we were feeling very excited when we pulled up. This accommodation was something straight out of Greece, with white and blue rendered buildings that reminded us of Santorini.

As we grabbed our key and found our apartment our jaws dropped at the view straight from the living room! A gorgeous open balcony that had 180 degree views of the Coolum Beach.


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland-19, hyatt coolum

The Point Coolum Beach


Once unpacked we didn’t waste any time and travelled straight to the Glass House Mountains. We parked at the Mt Ngungun summit car park and made our way up the summit track which is an easy 2.8km return hike. Greenery surrounded us on our hike and once we reached the top the views were incredible and you can admire Tibrogargan, Coonowrin, and Beerwah’s summits from the top. We took plenty of photos at sunset with some stunning golden light, then threw on head torches to walk down in the dark.


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland-1-2, glasshouse mountains, mount tibrogargan

Mount Tibrogargan


For dinner we hit up the Brouhaha Brewery in Maleny, just a short drive from the hike car park. We feasted on pork belly, pizza, and share plates and sampled five of their beers. My favourite was the Raspberry and Rhubarb Sour – I grabbed a 4-pack to enjoy on our balcony later in the week.


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland-4, brouhaha brewery

Brouhaha Brewery

Day 2 – Coolum Beach, Noosa and the Glass House Mountains

I woke up bright and early for sunrise at some photogenic boat sheds I’d spotted on the Maroochy River just a 15 minute drive from the hotel.


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland, fishermans hut, sunrise

Boat sheds on the Maroochy River


We decided to have breaky in Coolum and walked down to the main street along a scenic beachside boardwalk. We went to Canteen Kitchen which had seats right by the water and a really lush menu (I only just avoided having more pork belly in their bougie omelette).

Unfortunately the tour we’d booked couldn’t happen due to wind, so we decided to head to Noosa to spend the morning walking off breaky along the stunning beaches and waterways.

It was here we saw signs for boat hire, so we booked one for an hour and headed down the river to check out the maze of waterways and riverfront mansions.

Jan and I then went back to Glass House Mountains to shoot another sunset, and we spent most of our time scouting for the perfect spot. We found it! A road that led the eyes straight to the mountains, lined with pine trees either side.


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland, glasshouse mountains, pines, sunset

Sunset in the Glass House Mountains


That night, we headed to Bistro C for an uber fancy dinner. The restaurant had stunning décor and was situated right on the beach in the heart of Noosa. I can highly recommend the seafood pasta and visiting during the day as the beach views are beautiful!

Day 3 – Canoeing the Noosa Everglades

We rose super early to head to the Noosa Everglades for a self-guide kayak tour with the legends at Kanu Kapers. The start of this trip was a bit rough and windy and we kayaked over waves and against some head winds. But once we made it over the lake we entered calmer waters and headed into the Everglades.

We were surrounded by greenery, Lily pads in bloom and travelled around islands with an abundance of birdlife, including some Black cockatoos.

Halfway through the trip we stopped at a little island which had a campsite on it and had lunch. The kayaks were great quality and very sturdy and made for an enjoyable trip. We took some great footage on an Insta360 camera and then made our way back over the lake.


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland, kayaking, noosa everglades

Kayaking with Kanu Kapers


Tonight’s dinner was closer to home – The Coolum Surf Club. And it was easily one of the best surf clubs I’ve ever eaten at. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Coolum Beach and an extensive menu, we weren’t disappointed. We shared lots of entrées as we just couldn’t choose (consider that a pro tip).

Day 4 – Jet Ski Tour at Caloundra and Rice Boi in Mooloolaba

Jetskiing! Riding jetskis is one of my favourite things to do and we had a full day of it ahead. We drove to Caloundra to meet Megan from Caloundra Jet Ski and do the ‘Sunshine Coast Jet Ski Epic’ tour.

We started at the beach in Caloundra and travelled down the length of Bribie Island, through the mangroves and out to the ocean. It was incredibly engaging to explore the region this way and we had smiles plastered on our faces for the entire tour.


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland, jetski

Sunshine Coast Jet Ski Epic tour


We had about 4 hours all up on the jetskis and finished off the tour with lunch as a group on the beach. I’d definitely recommend this tour to anyone who likes thrilling adventures and loves the water. It was definitely a highlight.

We had a bit of a siesta back in Coolum, then jumped in the car for 25 minutes for dinner at the famous Rice Boi restaurant in Mooloolaba. Get this, there was a line out the door! Luckily it moved quickly and we found ourselves in a beer garden spotted with red lanterns and pretty lights. The food itself was explosive – check out the Chicken Sumo Bao with Red Dragon Sauce – and the vibes from the staff were high.

Day 5 – Swimming with Humpback Whales

This was the day we were all the most excited for – swimming with whales with Sunreef! I honestly didn’t know swimming with Humpback whales was possible in Australia. We were extremely excited, and also a little sceptical as to whether or not we would get to actually swim with any whales (it felt like a difficult concept to process).

We headed out on a speedboat with the music pumping. To be honest the ride was so much fun we would’ve been happy with that, which was good because we were still sceptical about the whales.


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland-13, humpback whale

On the lookout for whales


We saw dolphins on our way out and then, finally, spotted our first whale. Sunreef were a beautiful company and were very knowledgeable about the whales. They were very focused on ensuring everyone – whales included – stayed safe and happy on the trip.

Once the whale was found we watched it for about 15-20 minutes as the Sunreef team studied its behaviour. They wanted to ensure it was a safe and calm whale to swim with and needed to track its speed and direction. After finding a suitable whale we jumped in and swam slowly towards it. The cheeky thing dived straight down and under us, hiding from view, it didn’t want to interact so we jumped back on the boat.

Then, to our joyful surprise, we spotted a mother Humpback and her calf. We watched these two for a while and the mother seemed calm and fine with our presence. We quietly slid into the water and made our way over. Unbelievably, there she was, a majestic beast and her beautiful baby gliding through the water. We swam alongside them for five minutes (which felt like a lifetime) and then they ducked away. Honestly – the excitement in the water was electric – some people even cried!

You could tell that every single person on that trip knew how truly special the experience was. We hopped on the boat and after a little while had another chance to swim with the mother and calf. The smiles didn’t leave our faces for the entire boat trip back.

Day 6 – High Ropes Course in the Tree Tops

With a heavy heart we walked along the beach and took in the beauty of Coolum Beach one last time. We demolished one last acai bowl for breakfast, packed up our apartment at The Point Coolum and headed for one last adventure. The TreeTop Challenge Sunshine Coast at the Big Pineapple. Had we saved the best for last?

The park was nuts. Ladders, bridges, ropes, and ziplines snaked through the jungle. The challenge had five different courses, each with varying difficulty. You completed the course up high above the trees – definitely not for the fainthearted!


Your Sunshine Coast Hit List, Jarrod Andrews, famil, queensland-19, treetop adventure

TreeTop Challenge


It was a fairly independent activity and we moved ourselves through each course and flew along each zipline without assistance. It’s safe to say that this one’s for the thrill seekers, but the way the course is set up it’s surprising what we were capable of.

And there we have it. Six spellbinding days on the Sunshine Coast had come to an end, but we were taking with us a lifetime of memories.