9 Things to Do for Free on the Sunshine Coast

Are you headed on a vacation getaway to the Sunshine Coast? Or are you a Queensland local that’s budget-conscious, and still wants to have fun?

On the Sunshine Coast, there are no shortage of activities that are not only fun – but also completely free. Whether you’re a student on a tight budget or a young family, there are a variety of these activities that you can enjoy.

Here are our top nine recommendations on things to do for free on the Sunshine Coast.


Check out the Botanical Gardens

Prefer the outdoors and the natural beauty that the world has to offer? Then you’ll want to make a trek over to the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden. The site boasts more than 82 hectares of vegetation with walking paths, creeks, the garden area, and an Arts and Ecology Centre. It’s certainly a great spot for a fun day in the sun, taking in Mother Nature, and completely free.

The site can also serve as a venue if you’d like to hold an event – whether it’s a meeting or a wedding – although there would be some minor costs associated with that.


Head down to the Bulcock Street Markets

Are you a big fan of window-shopping? Then you’re going to want to take a stop at the Bulcock Street Markets out of Caloundra during your trip to the Sunshine Coast. The markets are full of quirky stalls and artisans, and it’s definitely a sight to behold. While you may decide to pick up some trinkets to take back home with you, you can also roam the market for an entire day, without having to spend a penny, if you don’t want to.


See Dolphins in Tin Can Bay

Now here’s a really fun idea for the young and young-at-heart: how about visiting the dolphins in Tin Can Bay? Tin Can Bay is actually located at the bottom of the Great Sandy Strait, and offers you the unique chance to see Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.

While you can’t swim with the dolphins you can watch them play and frolic in the water. And if you’re willing to spend a few dollars, you can easily take the experience up a notch by paying to feed the dolphins yourself and interact with them.


Walk the Noosa Coastal Track

Another fun outdoor activity you can partake in during your stay along the Sunshine Coast is planning an outing to the Noosa Coastal Track. The site is good whether you’re one traveller or an entire family, and it’s offers free access to some splendid views.

The site is well known for some of the best surfing spots and much like Tin Can Bay, if you keep your eyes peeled you can spot groups of dolphins and whales swimming along – especially if you’re visiting during breeding season!


Explore the Ginger Factory

If you’ve got your family with you on your adventures on the Sunshine Coast, then you’ll need to stop by The Ginger Factory. The site has plenty of attractions – while offering free admission – and you can partake in informational tours, ride on rides, do some light shopping if you’d like, and stop by the area café, which is known for serving top-notch Australian cuisine.

The location gets its name from its production of quality ginger-based products, and also offers some gardens and walking areas. Definitely a fun day for all involved!


Walk down Noosa’s famous Hastings Street

Hastings Street is known for being a posh area in Noosa, but don’t get discouraged – those looking for free fun or budget activities can have fun there too. The street has some of the best boutique shops in the area, and an assortment of nice resort hotels and restaurants. But along with the higher end outlets, there is plenty of free fun to be had.

You can do some great window shopping, walking along the road and taking the sites in. And if you’re a bargain hunter, you can grab a modest bite to eat and shop for some items that are heavily discounted, so you can get the best of both worlds.


Check out the free exhibitions at Buderim Craft Cottage

If you love crafts or have an artistic flair, then it’s worth it to take a stop by the Buderim Craft Cottage on the Sunshine Coast, and take a look at all of the free exhibitions going on. Regardless of the type of arts and crafts you enjoy, you’re sure to see at least an exhibit or two that you’ll like there. There’s often something going on in the area that you can take in as well.

Another plus is that the cottage is near the Buderim Library, which has lovely views of the coastline.  


View a Spectacular Sunset

Sightseeing and taking in a breathtaking sunset (or sunrise!) is another enjoyable free activity you can take part in on the Sunshine Coast during your stay. There are several spots to choose from, but some of the top spots are Maleny, Montville, Mapleton, the Glasshouse Mountains, Bulcock Beach, and Caloundra. Bring a blanket, and be prepared to take all of the natural beauty in that the area has to offer.


Cheese Tasting at Maleny Cheese Factory

What’s better than cheese? Free cheese. One of the most “out of the box” free activity ideas for the Sunshine Coast is a trip down to the Maleny Cheese Factory. It’s a well-known food destination in the dairy part of the region, and they make their own cheese on-site. In addition to some informative tours, you’ll also be able to taste several types of cheeses, and only purchase ones you’d like to take home with you.