Sunshine Coast has a host of options for family fun, writes Jane Jurgens.
1 Australia Zoo
Crikey! You'll want to practise Steve Irwin's favourite catchphrase before visiting this world-famous attraction. Located in Beerwah, Australia Zoo is a must-visit on a trip to the Sunshine Coast. With more than 1200 animals and daily live shows, there's more than enough to keep them entertained for a day — whether it's getting hands-on with koalas, or coming face-to-face with tigers. Be sure to check out Bindi's Island, a three-storey treehouse where ring-tailed lemurs roam free, along with giant tortoises, macaws, boa constrictors and an alligator snapping turtle. And of course, you won't want to miss the live shows in the Crocoseum.
2 Noosa National Park
There's plenty to explore in the coastal paradise of Noosa and its 3000ha national park that showcases Australia's amazing flora and fauna. It's a great location for kids to spot wildlife — during the day you might see koalas along the walking tracks, as well as black cockatoos, ground parrots and other endangered species. It's also a great place to relax with a picnic or a barbecue, while taking in the stunning views. The park contains more than 15km of walking tracks and many are suitable for children. Coastal tracks offer beautiful beaches and rock pools where you can cool off, while the inland tracks feature rainforests, wildflowers and no shortage of natural beauty.
3 Currimundi Lake and Surf Beach
The natural waterpark of Currimundi Lake is a beautiful spot for a family day out, with calm and mostly shallow water to paddle in and shady trees to shelter under. It's also a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding — and it doesn't
matter if you don't have your own equipment, as the nearby surf shop has you well sorted for rentals. Kids can try their hand at fishing here, or catch mud and hermit crabs and small fish in nets and buckets. You'll also find pram-, scooter- and bike-friendly walking
paths that run alongside the lake. Head south and the pathway will take you to Pelican Waters, whereas to the north, you can walk or cycle on to Noosa. Just over the dunes, Currimundi Surf Beach offers a little more action. It's patrolled by lifeguards during weekends and school holidays and depending on the weather, you can find some decent waves here. Currimundi is just one hour north of Brisbane.