The Sunshine Coast's most instagramable locations

byCatherine Milne -01 Aug 2018

Bring your camera,  iPhone or drone, and give your instagram feed a treat with shots from some of the Sunshine Coast's most scenic locations.

1. Buderim Falls

This sub-tropical nirvana is just ten minutes from the hustle and bustle of the Maroochydore. Situated inside Buderim Forest Park, Buderim Falls (also known as Serenity Falls) is one of the most photographed places on the Sunshine Coast. You’ll want to start snapping as soon as you hit the boardwalk. Capture the towering canopy of sub-tropical rainforest lit by filtered sunlight, the cascading waters, and quaint wooden bridges. Set up your tripod downstream from the gushing waters, on the bridge overlooking the falls, or even on the rock ledge behind the waterfall. It’s a beautiful spot from any angle!

Buderim Falls

Photo: @beeezzzeey via #VisitSunshineCoast.

2. Mountain View Road and Mary Cairncross Scenic  Lookout

It’s called Mountain View Road for a reason. This stretch of bitumen offers some of the best views of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and Glass House Mountains. The road is dotted with scenic lookouts which provide truly breathtaking views, so bring that wide angle lens and banish any thought of square cropping. You'll find a particularly Instagram-worthy panorama just across the road from Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. Park your car, grab your tripod and head across the road to enjoy 180 degree views of Mount Coonowrin, Mount Beerwah and Mount Ngungun stretched out before you. Don't forget to leave some room on your memory card for a walk through Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve itself. 

Mary Cairncross Lookout

Photo: @caloundra_beach_pad via #VisitSunshineCoast.

3. Mount Ngungun summit

Talk about being on top of the world! Mount Ngungun is 253m high and about a million metres of WOW. The 2.8km track offers plenty of visual highlights on your way to the top, and uninterrupted 360 degree views at the summit. The peak also offers amazing views of near perfectly-aligned Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah, and is particularly composition-friendly when backlit at sunset. Equally captivating are the pine plantations, farmland and native forest spread out in a patchwork of green beneath you.

Mount Ngungun

Photo: @jasoncharleshill via #VisitSunshineCoast.

4. Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park has an abundance of quality outlooks and postcard-perfect hidden beaches that will inspire any photographer. The coastal track in particular, offers dramatic views of the rugged coastline looking back towards Noosa. Take your camera to Hells Gates - a high bluff with spectacular views of the coastline north to Double Island Point and south over Alexandria Bay. Also worth a look is Boiling Pot, which offers sweeping views from Noosa North Shore to the surf off Tea Tree Bay. Look out for the heart-shaped hollow in the granite below, which froths like a bubbling cauldron, giving this lookout its name. The park is ideal for wildlife photographers as it is home to many species of native birds including the glossy black cockatoo and crimson rosella. There is also a resident koala colony and the park's information hut chalkboard (near the park entrance) is updated daily with the whereabouts of these camera-shy marsupials. 

Photo: @catherinealison via #VisitSunshineCoast

5. Carlo Sand Blow

If you loved playing in the sand pit as a kid, you’ll love Carlo Sand Blow. This 15 hectare ‘moonscape’ of golden sand is just a short drive from Rainbow Beach township. Pack your kit, head along the wooded track at the end of Cooloola Drive and get ready to pick your jaw up from the floor as you are greeted by breathtaking views of Double Island Point, Tin Can Bay, and the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The expanse of sand lends itself to some interesting compositions, whilst the outlook is truly spectacular at any time of day - but particularly magical at sunrise and sunset. 

Carlo Sandblow

Photo: @MatJoez via #VisitSunshineCoast

6. Double Island Point

The iconic lighthouse at Double Island Point has been guiding vessels through the Sunshine Coast since 1884. The quaint, red and white tower is now solar powered and closed to the public, but that won’t stop you enjoying the magnificent 360 degree views that stretch from Rainbow Beach to the north and Teewah Beach to the south. The waters surrounding Double Island Point are amazingly clear and spectacularly blue. You’ll see stingrays, dolphins and turtles in the water below, as well as surfers enjoying the longest right hand break in the world. Only Great Beach Drive 4WD Tours have permission to take people up to the point by car, but if you have your own 4WD and you’re reasonably fit, you can park at the bottom and walk to the top. This view does not disappoint!

Double Island Point

Photo: @catherinealison via #VisitSunshineCoast

7. Cotton Tree

Whether you’re shooting 500 feet in the air from a doorless Paradise Seaplane, or you’ve set up your rig on the bank of the Maroochy River, the calm, clear waters of Cotton Tree are a photographer’s delight. Photo-worthy subjects abound - sublime water views, endless golden sands and a shoreline fringed with palms, cotton trees and pandanus will keep your camera busy. It's an incredibly picturesque spot and favoured by wedding photographers for its romantic character. Once you’ve finished your shoreline wanderings, take your camera for a stroll down King Street to capture eclectic shops, alfresco cafés and, on weekends, the vibrant Cotton Tree markets.

Cotton Tree

Photo: @brettmcintosh_photographicart via #VisitSunshineCoast

8. Kings Beach

If you’re chasing a quintessential Australian beach holiday photo, look no further than Caloundra’s Kings Beach. With its magnificent beachfront, endless waves and numerous picnic spots and BBQ areas, you may be tempted to leave your camera behind and simply soak up the laid back beach vibes between dips in the ocean. If you can resist temptation, take a wander and you’ll soon uncover a variety of photo-worthy subjects - surf lifesavers, colourful beach umbrellas, beach balls, surfers, spurting water fountains and a magnificent saltwater ocean pool. Head up the Caloundra Coastal Walk to discover many vantage points that look back towards the beach, which will give you another perspective of this beguiling stretch of coastline. 

Photo: @paulsmithimages via #VisitSunshineCoast

9. Alexandra Headland

The seaside village of Alexandra Headland is full of wonderful photo opportunities. Take a walk along the pandanus-lined coastal paths and bushland to capture magnificent views of the ocean. Hit the surf with your waterproof camera and point your lens back to shore for a fish eye view of the charming beachfront, or sit on the headland and let Mount Coolum photobomb your next shot of the surfers mastering the foam. Fans of action photography should head to the skate park to snap the skaters honing their skills on the half-pipe. 

Alex Heads by Anita Ski

Photo: @anitaski via #VisitSunshineCoast

11. Australia Zoo 

For something a little on the wild side, bring your camera to Australia Zoo and snap a selfie with a cuddly koala, or enjoy a close-up encounter with some of the zoo's more exotic creatures. The zoo’s animal encounters allow you to get you that little bit closer to capture these beautiful animals from a range of perspectives. Go eyeball-to-eyeball with a giraffe at feeding time (watch out for that tongue!), be entranced by a cheeky lemur on your shoulder, or get down low for a wombat walk. You’ll come away with awesome shots that will have your followers clicking 'like' faster than you can say "Crikey!" 

@Daxon at Australia Zoo Giraffe selfie

Photo: @daxon via #VisitSunshineCoast.