Naturally thrilling adventures

byCatherine Milne-16 Mar 2017

Take a ride in mother nature's fast lane. 

The Sunshine Coast is an adventure playground with a bounty of breathtaking natural wonders just waiting to be explored. Like your escapades with a side of adrenaline? Add these to your outdoor adventure bucket list. 

Climb Mount Ngungun in the Glass House Mountains

Mount Ngungun Glass House Mountains
Mount Ngungun is 253m high and about a million metres of WOW.

Ignore that snooze button and get yourself to the top of Mount Ngungun in the Glass House Mountains for a sunrise that will live in your memory forever.  Spectacular at any time of the day, this place is truly magical at dawn when shafts of sunlight stretch across the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and illuminate the almost perfectly-aligned Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah. You’ll be peaking – literally.

Dive with sharks and manta rays

Wolf Rock Dive Rainbow Beach Gympie
They even smile for the camera.

Located just off the edge of Double Island Point, Wolf Rock is acclaimed as one of the best dive spots in Australia. Situated inside the Great Sandy Marine Park, the rock is home to a myriad of sea life including grey nurse sharks, giant Queensland gropers, eagle rays, bull rays, manta rays and leopard sharks. In the cooler months you’ll encounter migrating humpback whales surface breaching and tail slapping their way to Antarctica. Wolf Rock Dive in Rainbow Beach, just three hours north of Brisbane, run daily dive charters to this underwater wonderland. If you’re an experienced diver with an open water dive, CMAS, BSAC Sport Diver qualification or equivalent, then book your spot on the "Tugger 2" – this dive does not disappoint.

Rope jump at Gardners Falls

Gardners Falls Maleny
There's more than one way to get wet on the Sunshine Coast.

There’s a special thrill you get when flying through the air on a rope swing and then let go and plummet into the waters below.  If you feel like unleashing your inner Tarzan, head to Gardners Falls in Maleny and follow the bubbling waters downstream to the largest rock pool and take the plunge.

Jet ski on Pumicestone Passage

Caloundra Jet Ski
Try some hot laps on the water with Caloundra Jet Ski.

Pumicestone Passage is a 35 kilometre channel of pristine water stretching from Caloundra in the north to Deception Bay in the south. It’s ideal for all kinds of aquatic escapades, and if you like to travel a little faster than a SUP or kayak, hop aboard a Caloundra Jet Ski for an unforgettable Glass House Mountain Twister adventure. This 90 minute ride will take you through tranquil mangrove-lined waterways into a marine park green zone, home to dolphins, dugongs, turtles and more than 360 species of birds. Don’t forget to bring your waterproof camera, you’ll want to capture the eye-popping views of the Glass House Mountains which loom large over the water. 

Swim with whales

Swim with whales
Rock your instagram feed with a whale selfie.

Between May and November, more than thirteen thousand humpback whales make their annual journey to Antarctica - with many stopping to enjoy the waters just off Mooloolaba. It’s the ideal time for an unforgettable close encounter of the humpback kind. Sunreef’s four hour Whale Swim tours depart daily from Mooloolaba from July.  It’s just a lickety-split 10 minute ride from the marina on the Easy 2 to pods of breaching, fin slapping and water spouting whale action! 

Ride a horse along the beach (or into the ocean)

Swim withe horses Rainbow Beach Horse Rides
Sea horsing around at Rainbow Beach.

Pony up for a saddle club adventure along the endless beachfront of the Noosa North Shore with Noosa Horse Riding . All levels of riding ability are catered for and there's a maximum of two people on each ride making it a truly personalised, giddy-up experience. If you’re up Gympie way, slap on the sunscreen and mount up for a Swimming Ride with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides. You’ll need to be a competent rider as these bareback rides take you withers deep into the sparkling waters of Rainbow Beach. If you’re a novice (or you’d simply rather keep your toes dry) then hoof it to a day ride on Rainbow Beach, or watch the moon turn from orange to milky white as it rises over the Pacific Ocean on a Full Moon ride.

Take a 'doors off' flight in a seaplane

Paradise Seaplanes
Life's a beach, and then you fly!

Take off from the Maroochy River and enjoy jaw-dropping views of the Sunshine Coast from the air. Paradise Seaplanes’ "Wilga Warbird" will take you on a joyride over some of the most picturesque parts of the Sunshine Coast. Forget about grabbing a window seat for the best view, this baby has more glass windows than a helicopter! You’ll cruise low and slow at around 500 feet, taking in magnificent views of the Maroochy River, Noosa and Mount Coolum, Caloundra and Pumicestone Passage, or up to Double Island Point in Gympie. For extra wow, upgrade to a ‘Touch the Sky - Doors Off’ tour.

4WD on Noosa North Shore to Double Island Point

Great Beach Drive
Every part of this magnificent coastline offers up incredible experiences. 

Leave the bitumen behind and head up the sandy highway on a 4WD road trip like no other – the Great Beach Drive. With miles of rolling waves backed by acres of untouched wilderness, this truly is some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world. It’s about a two-hour trip from the Tewantin ferry (cash only) to Double Island Point, so set a cruisy pace and leave time to explore Teewah Beach’s coloured sands and the rock formations at Red Canyon – a photographer’s dream. Walk up to the lighthouse at Double Island Point and marvel at the panoramic views, turquoise ocean, and keep an eye out for dolphins turtles, manta rays, and (from June to November) migrating humpback whales. If you don’t have a 4WD, join a tour with Great Beach Drive 4WD Tours, or mix-up your journey with a Dolphin View kayak tour or kite surf lesson with Epic Ocean Adventures.

Kite Surfing Rainbow Beach Gympie - Epic Ocean Adventures
Include a kite surfing lesson on your Great Beach Drive adventure with Epic Outdoor Adventures.



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