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Explore your own backyard


Explore your own backyard

From workshops to events, and take-home activities to amazing days out – there is plenty to keep the whole family busy over the summer holidays. There’s certainly something for everyone – from exploring the great outdoors at the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden, to trying a new Adventure Sunshine Coast trail or stepping back in time at historic Bankfoot House. Many of them are free, too. With so much on offer, the only problem will be fitting them all in!

The Great Botanic Race

Keen to get your older children out of the house and on the move? A new challenge has been set for the Great Botanic Race – an orienteering activity with a puzzle to solve. Grab a friend, pick up a map at the front entrance and explore the botanic garden. Run, walk or race to find all the letters.

When: Open 7am-6pm daily.

Where: The Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden, 51 Palm Creek Road, Tanawha.

Details: Visit:

Behind the numbers

Our Sunshine Coast community has access to:

  • 1180 recreation parks and open spaces
  • 381 playgrounds
  • 75 basketball courts
  • 55 exercise equipment nodes in parks
  • 46 dog exercise areas
  • 29 skate parks
  • 1348 shelters
  • 372 drinking fountains
  • 324 barbecues
  • 201 public amenities
  • 179 showers.

Need even more untapped school holiday inspo?

Why not pack a picnic and visit one (or many) of Sunshine Coast Council’s marvellous parks and gardens. Or make a splash at a council aquatic centre, hone your skills at a skate and BMX park, or snap a selfie along the scenic Coastal Pathway.

Experience Caloundra Regional Gallery

Visit the gallery’s latest exhibition, titled Variation and Autonomy: The Prints of Contemporary Japanese Painters, and join the Kids Art Trail. The exhibition is on show until Sunday, January 21. Wind-down in the gallery Makerspace and follow the self-guided instructions to create a delightful origami gift box.

Details: Visit:

Meet the Forest Fellowship

Discover how the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve team works together at the new exhibit: Forest Fellowship. Find all the fun facts, make your own felt fellowship at the craft area or borrow a junior ranger kit (equipped with binoculars and nature journal) for your walk in the rainforest.

When: Open seven days, 9.30am-3.30pm.

Where: The Rainforest Discovery Centre at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny.

Details: Visit:

Marvellous museums

It’s all going on at Bankfoot House and Landsborough Museum these holidays. At Bankfoot House, enjoy making peg dolls and paper crafts, butter churning, pioneer play and more. Entry is free, with bookings required for some activities.

When: Until January 21, 10am-3pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

Where:  Bankfoot House, 1998 Old Gympie Road, Glass House Mountains, and Landsborough Museum, 4 Maleny Street, Landsborough.

Details: Visit:

Adventure Sunshine Coast

Looking to get outdoors with the family these school holidays? For more than 250 walking, running, paddling, cycling, mountain biking and horseriding trails on the Sunshine Coast, visit and choose your next challenge.

Explore Sunshine Coast Libraries this summer

January program

  • Curious Creations – use your imagination to create a curious masterpiece with assorted collage materials.
  • The Book Nook – bring the magic of books alive in your very own creation of a miniature ‘book world’ using assorted materials.
  • I Dream of Libraries – constructing ideas out of cardboard, create the library of your dreams. Installations will be featured across libraries throughout February.
  • Build-a-Portrait – bend and twist coloured pipe cleaners to create your own self-portrait masterpiece.
  • STEM – put your problem-solving skills to the test with one of three STEM activities: Chains of Glory, Stack ’em up and Structures of the World.
  • A Story of Summer – join in a special summertime story session.
  • Stop Go Animation – ­unleash your inner filmmaker and learn simple animation through the creation of a stop-go film.
  • Cards of Kindness – spread kindness this holiday season by creating handmade cards to be shared with others.

Details: Visit: Sunshine Coast Libraries at for details and to register.

Book your spot with this clever reading club
Students who want to keep their brains humming over the holidays need to read on. Sunshine Coast Council Libraries are again running their annual Summer Reading Club.

Children are invited to participate in a free interactive reading program. It’s super easy to join and there are plenty of great prizes up for grabs.

When: Until January 31.

Details: Visit:

Take-home Teen Program Packs
Create an imaginative portraiture with a Build-a-Portrait pack.

Using pipe cleaners and other unconventional materials from the comfort of the couch, teens are encouraged to use their own creativity with this take-home pack that has no rules.

Details: Visit

Best parks to cool down this summer

Parks with water play, lush forest and cool breezes are the ideal places to escape the summer heat. From tranquil waterfalls to beachside havens, it’s time to pack a picnic and enjoy some of the 1180 recreational parks and open spaces.

Here are some of our favourites:

Kings Beach Park and Community Precinct
Kings Beach Park and Community Precinct (pictured) has so much to offer, including the popular spray water park, multiple playgrounds, exercise equipment, an open and grassy area at the amphitheatre, Kings Beach Pool, picnic tables and natural shade scattered throughout. The park overlooks Kings Beach. So, why not take a refreshing dip in the ocean at the patrolled beach. Bring a picnic and enjoy the outlook or pop in and partake of the menus at the local cafés and eateries.

Amenities: Toilets, barbecues, shelter, picnic tables, playground, basketball court and exercise equipment.
Location: Ormonde Terrace, Esplanade Headland and De Vene Avenue, Caloundra.

Buderim Forest Park

In the heart of Buderim, you’ll find this 45-hectare subtropical paradise of towering trees, cool streams, meandering tracks and waterfalls that offer a great spot to relax on a hot summer’s day. The waterfall cascades year-round and is surrounded by trees, dramatic strangler figs, ferns and melodious forest birdlife, such as whipbirds and catbirds.

Amenities: Toilets, barbecues, shelter, picnic tables and walking trail.
Location: Quorn Close, Buderim, or Harry’s Lane, Buderim.

Sippy Downs Forest Park

Nestled in the bush and surrounded by a growing urban community, Sippy Downs Forest Park boasts a new playground with a three-level tower, elevated in the tree canopy. Popular with locals, the park offers green space, shaded grassy areas, nature-inspired play and social spaces for all to enjoy.

Amenities: Toilets, barbecues, shelter, picnic tables, playground and drinking fountain.
Location: Corner of Sedge Street and Central Drive, Sippy Downs.

Martin Rungert Park, Mooloolah

Sheltered by spectacular fig trees, this lush park is a hidden hinterland gem. The park features two large playgrounds, including a generous fully fenced play area for the little ones and plenty of shade for all the kids to stay and join in the fun. The colourful train and variety of climbing frames will keep the kids busy.

Amenities: Toilets, barbecues, shelter, picnic tables, playground and drinking fountain.

Location:  Neill Road, Mooloolah Valley.

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