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5 fantastic & free activities

Here is Coolum at the Beach's guide to 5 fantastic free activities that embrace the beauty of the Sunshine Coast's great outdoors. What are you waiting for? An adventure awaits you.

1 – Climb a mountain
There is no better way to enjoy the breathtakingly stunning Sunshine Coast than from up high. At Coolum at the Beach, we are fortunate to have one of the coasts most beautiful and family-friendly mountains, Mount Coolum, right in our backyard! Mount Coolum is an amazing volcanic dome that has clocked up 25 million years. It’s located less than 10 minutes by car from Coolum at the Beach. This must-do activity can be enjoyed at all times of the day as no matter what time you make the climb, you will be rewarded with 360 degree panoramic views of the beaches and hinterland that the Sunshine Coast is famous for. Why not get up a little earlier and enjoy the views first thing in the morning before the heat of the day sets in, or alternatively in the late afternoon as the evening light is changing? At 208 metres high, you will need to be reasonably fit to make this 1½ hour return walk. But it’s worth it as you’ll experience native bush, incredible views, rock escarpments, and an abundance of wildlife including Northern Brown Bandicoots, echidnas, and Peregrine Falcons. The Mount Coolum walking track is accessed from the Mount Coolum car park off Tanah Street West. Off-road parking is available at the corner of Tanah Street West and Jarnahill Drive. Remember to only walk in the park during the day and not when wet as it can be very slippery in parts. Oh, and don’t forget your camera, water, snacks, good walking shoes and some insect repellent. Have fun!

2 – Stroll from Coolum to Point Perry
Why not pack some snacks, water and a picnic blanket and walk to Point Perry, which is one of the Sunshine Coast’s most spectacular headlands?  It’s a fantastic place to kick back and watch the changing colours of the ocean and enjoy the fantastic coastal views whilst trying to spot dolphins, and humpback whales during their migratory seasons. Start your walk from the Coolum Surf Club and follow the boardwalk as it hugs the coastline for 600m to Point Perry, making it perfect if you have little ones in a stroller or want to enjoy a leisurely walk at your own pace.  From here, if you feel like going on you can continue along to Point Arkwright or return to Coolum where you can finish off your walk at one  of the great coffee shops and restaurants with a leisurely lunch or coffee. Perfect!

3 – Lose yourself in a local market
Who doesn’t love losing themselves in a market for a few hours, especially when it is filled with handmade local artisan wares, upcycled and recycled goods, and fresh local organic produce and foods? Three of the Sunshine Coast's most popular market destinations, Sunshine Coast Collective Markets, Eumundi Markets and Peregian Markets, are not far from Coolum. Showcasing local craft and delicious food - these markets are the perfect destination for a morning out. Sunshine Coast Collective Markets are held right here in Coolum on the fourth Sunday of every month from 8am to 12pm, at the Coolum Primary School on Barns Lane. The Peregian Markets are held in Peregian Park, Kingfisher Drive, Peregian Beach on the first and third Sunday of every month from 7am – 12.30pm. Peregian Park is a short 7 minute drive from Coolum at the Beach. The Eumundi Markets are located inland from Coolum in the hinterland, approximately 20 minutes’ drive from Coolum at the Beach. The markets are held every Saturday between 7am and 2pm, and every Wednesday between 8am and 2pm ... you’ll find them on Memorial Drive, Eumundi. Make a day of it as you can enjoy fantastic products, great food and local musicians and entertainment.

4 – Explore a waterfall
The Sunshine Coast's pristine hinterland boasts breathtaking views, spectacular picnic settings and charming country towns. It is also home to some spectacular waterfalls offering a cool sanctuary on a warm summer’s day. Kondalilla Falls is a favourite with locals and tourists alike as it has the reputation for being the most spectacular and easy to access falls on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. With rock pools at the top and bottom of the falls, you can take your pick – swim in the top, bottom pool or both! It’s an easy walk to the falls along a well-maintained pathway but there are some rock stairs. In the wet season, Kondalilla Falls sees Skene Creek drop an amazing 80 metres into a rainforest valley. There are also a number of walking tracks varying in length and difficulty, which lead to the base of the falls. If you are heading out to the falls, pack a picnic as the area is surrounded by great picnic destinations and is home to hundreds of birds species, as well as rare rainforest animals. Read our article about walks and waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast.

5 – Immerse yourself in Noosa National Park
Noosa's magnificent National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife - think echidnas, snoozing koalas and glossy-black cockatoos - pristine pocket beaches, coastal bush and rainforests. If you are feeling energetic, there are more than 15 kilometres of walking tracks to explore. The walks are graded and range from easy through to more difficult. The most popular track, and for good reason, is the Coastal Walk. This is the perfect walk is you want to experience incredible views of the rugged coastline and some of the fauna the park is famous for. On the first section of the track you’ll walk past Boiling Pot with its swirling water, then onto Dolphin Point, where you just may spot a dolphin. The next stop is the mystical Fairy Pools which are a series of rocky tidal pools, and then on to Hell’s Gate where you can take in stunning coastal views and of course, get some amazing pics. It takes about 4 hours return and is just under 11 kilometres. The walk starts at the end of Park Road, at Noosa Heads. Access is available by walking from Hastings Street along the boardwalk, past Little Cove, until you reach the Noosa National Park carpark.

*Image credit: Visit Sunshine Coast