5 Things To Do On Your Holiday at Marcoola Beach, Sunny Coast!

Whether you’re a ‘relaxing by the pool’ kind of holidayer, or a ‘get up and go’ person, Sunshine Coast QLD has something for everyone!

Last fortnight, we based ourselves at Marcoola Beach for a weekend getaway with friends.

Why Marcoola?

Marcoola Beach isn’t too commercialised, the resorts are situated right on the beach, and you’re only a short 1hr 30mins drive from Brisbane, or a few minutes by car from Sunshine Coast Airport. In other words – perfect for an after-work drive on Friday night.

Once there, we indulged in lazy swims at the pool, interspersed with plenty of activities to explore Sunshine Coast. Read on for my 5 tips on things to do on your Marcoola holiday…

5 Things To Do in the Sunshine Coast

#1 Explore Eumundi Markets

Held every Saturday and Wednesday, it seems the whole Sunshine Coast region regularly turns out in style for these famous markets. While I admit I had my reservations about Eumundi Markets being a little too ‘touristy’ for my tastes, I happily ate my words – or, rather, ate butterscotch popcorn, a delicious organic vanilla and lemon cheesecake + spicy chai latte from the little café next to the bookstore on the main road (you’ll know it when you see it). Expect ‘artisan’ style markets, featuring fashion, homewares, art and more.

#2 Bag a ‘Big Things’ photo

In true blue Aussie fashion, we spent part of our road trip taking photos in front of ‘Big Things’.

The Big Pineapple is something of a Queensland celebrity and we took the requisite snaps – happily, it’s had a recent coat of paint applied, so is quite realistic looking (for a 16-metre tall pineapple!). The Big Macadamia Nut has unfortunately shut down, but we did have a splendid time at the Pineapple’s animal farm, feeding alpacas, holding baby chicks and petting Belle, a 3-week old goat with a beautiful face and knobbly knees.

The startled expression on Yandina’s Big Cow topped off our Big Things adventure, with a special mention to Jeff, the animatronic T-Rex at Palmer Coolum Resort. You can also visit the Palmersaurus dinosaur park (paid admission) at the resort if you hadn’t yet had your fill of dinos.

Psst – For more Australian Big Things, check out last year’s blog post on my Coffs Harbour holiday.

#3 Get wet on a waterslide

Spotted! Just 2km past the Big Pineapple lies Thrill Hill Waterslide – literally, a giant 120m hydroslide owned by the lovely locals living in the attached house. You pay for unlimited rides in hour blocks, and compete with friends on who gets the most ‘air’ around the waterslide bends. Fun for the young at heart!

#4 Munch on a meal at Mooloolaba

With each restaurant looking better than the last, Mooloolaba’s dining strip along the beach is a  must. Plus, it’s only 15 mins from Marcoola Beach. We loved Istanbul Turkish Restaurant & Bar’s attentive waiters and delicious Turkish tea…

#5 Caper through Coolum Beach

According to locals, Little Lane Espresso has a richly deserved reputation for best coffee in town – served with a smile 🙂 Located 10 mins away from Marcoola Beach, Coolum Beach itself is as pretty as a picture, and the perfect place to go for Sunday breakkie. We stopped by Ma Boulange Cafe Patisserie to stock up on mouthwatering French pastries to make the drive home from our mini-holiday a little less sad.

Bonus tip: Although we didn’t get the chance to go, Sunshine Coast is also home to Australia Zoo and Underwater World – perfect if you have children, love animals or both!

Have you holidayed in Marcoola Beach or Sunshine Coast? Share your holiday tips below!


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Ilona compiles that treasury of Owner tips and memories known as the MyStory blog. She’s discovered so much to do at our WorldMark South Pacific destinations from you all, that her ‘must-do’ list has grown at an alarming rate. In returning the favour, she will be sharing some of her travel tips, secrets and curiosities here every fortnight…

Read Ilona’s earlier posts

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