Water Sports:

On most days, especially through the summer, Ocean Addicts has a tent set up on the edge of the river where you can rent paddle boards and inquire about kite surfing lessons. The backpackers also has paddle boards and kayaks you can take out to the river.

Want to learn how to surf? No problem! Maroochydore beach is only a short walk away, or you can check out Alexandra Headland (which normally has a better break), Mooloolaba or Point Cartwright.

Bli Bli wake park is just 5 minutes away. Get a group together to go for a wake board or play on the inflatables.

Shopping and Nightlife

Sunshine Plaza is the largest shopping centre on the coast and has everything you could ever need. Just a 10 minute walk from Cotton Tree.

Ocean Street, just 5 minutes walking from the backpackers gets pretty lively on the weekends with the most popular bars and clubs in Maroochydore. Solbar offers entertainment and live music almost every day of the week.

A 5 minute cab ride will take you to Mooloolaba, where you can dance the night away in O’Malley’s Irish Pub, hangout with the uni students on the Thursday’s at The Wharf, or check out the Canadian pub Taps.

Markets

There are plenty of cool markets to check out on the coast filled with local and international culture. A ton of original art work, fashion, music, food and so much more.

Ocean Street Markets: The second Friday of every month Ocean Street is closed off from 5-9pm and vendors set up their stalls in the street. Visit their website: http://www.nightsonocean.com.au/

Caloundra Markets: The markets in Caloundra are massive, with over 200 stalls. They are on every Sunday from 8am-1pm. Keep an eye out for a claire voyant in a red tent who will tell you about your past, present and future. He will leave you shaking. Caloundra also puts on twilight markets a few times a year, check for dates here: http://www.caloundrastreetfair.com.au/twilight-markets-sunshine-coast

Eumundi Markets: Eumundi markets are on Saturdays 7am-2pm and Wednesdays 8am-1:30pm. They also hold special events and night markets over the holiday seasons. See what’s on: http://www.eumundimarkets.com.au/

Cotton Tree Markets: Held on King Street, just up the road from the backpackers every Sunday morning from 7-12pm. Find out more: http://www.cottontreemarkets.com.au/locate-us

Perigian Originals:

The second Sunday of every month Perigian (15 minutes up the coast) holds a free music festival where local bands come to play. Bring a few friends, drinks and a blanket to sit on and soak up the sun while listening to the Sunshine Coast’s hottest new artists. Always a good time and something not to miss! If there’s enough interest the hostel will provide transportation.

https://www.facebook.com/PeregianOriginals/

Sunshine Coast Hinterland:

Just inland of the coast are some absolutely beautiful things to see and do. There are many hikes, swimming holes, rivers and waterfalls to explore. My personal favourite being Gardener’s Falls where there are two rope swings (one being “too high” and “too scary,” but after watching the boys go I couldn’t resist) and multiple heights of cliffs to jump off of. Check out bits of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, 58 kilometres of trails traversing Maleny, Kondalilla National Park and Mapleton Falls National Park.

More challenging hikes include Mt Coolum, Mt Tibrogargan, Mt Cooroy, Pomona Mountain and several more. Find out more about Sunshine Coast hikes and waterfalls here.

Other Places Nearby:

Noosa: Just half an hour up the coast is Noosa. One of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The Noosa National Park is a must see, with great surf, beautiful landscapes and even a nude beach! I saw my first wild koala at Tea Tree Bay just at the beginning of the coastal walk, so always check the “koala spottings” board in the main office before you start your walk. Hastings Street along main beach and just next to the National Park entrance is filled with great shops and dining which leads to “The Woods,” a great spot along the Noosa River to have a picnic, swim or a wedding if that’s where you’re at!

Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba: 10 minute walk South of the backpackers is Alexandra Headlands, great for surfing and skating. Mooloolaba another 10 minutes South of Alex, a few nice shops along the esplanade and great seafood!