Sunshine Coast Scenic Drives
The Sunshine Coast offers many opportunities to bring out the "Sunday Driver" in you via a range of scenic drives. Unwind along our coastal or mountain roads, stop for a picnic and soak in the spectacular views.
The array of varying and interesting geographical features presented by the Sunshine Coast make it perfect for scenic driving. There are plenty of lookouts and roadside picnic tables along the way so you can get out and stretch, relax, and take some photos of the breathtaking views.
Clear days are common so you're usually be able to see far into the distance - why not take along a set of binoculars so you can take full advantage of the view!
Glass House Mountains (Tourist Drive 24)
For a full Glass House Mountain drive starting from Caloundra, take the main road towards Bruce Highway. When you approach the highway you’ll see a turn off for Tourist Drive 24 which will take you all along Steve Irwin Way. Simply follow this road until it re-joins the Bruce Highway further south.
Along the way you can stop at Ewen Maddock Dam just off Mooloolah Connection Road and have a dip in the water, picnic with a view or even go for a hike on one of the walking trails around the area.
At 2310 Steve Irwin Way you’ll come across the Big Kart Track, which is the largest go kart track in Australia. So buckle up and speed around the international standard race track at 60km/hr.
Further on is the world famous Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter. With over 1,200 animals and plenty of free shows throughout the day, it is absolutely full of wildlife action and adventure.
For the final stretch the road runs through the Glass House Mountains National Park where you’ll enjoy the distinctive scenery dotted with volcanic plugs rising out of the trees. There are plenty of sealed and unsealed roads throughout the park taking your to lookouts, camp grounds and walking tracks.
At the end of the day simply follow the last stretch of Steve Irwin Way until it meets the Bruce Highway again.
Total Distance: 39km to re-join Bruce Highway
Duration: Half an hour
Region: Glass House Mountains
Sunshine Coast's Coastal Strip
There are some beautiful beaches on the Sunshine Coast with ocean views that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s the perfect place for a coastal drive through sleepy beach communities and pristine picnic locations.
Starting in Caloundra take Nicklin Way heading north. You’ll pass along the luxurious canal estates of Kawana Waters before turning right on Brisbane Road then left at Beach Terrace to follow along the beaches of Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland. There are plenty of walking tracks to explore, beaches to swim and parks to rest at on this stretch of coast.
This road eventually turns into Duporth Ave and later Bradman Ave as it runs along the banks of the South Maroochy River. When you get to the Sunshine Motorway take it north for a short spell until you can take the Marcoola exit on David Low Way. This road will take you along Marcoola’s piece of coastline. This is perfect for anyone who’s ever claimed to enjoy ‘long walks along the beach.’
From here you have nothing but beach side driving ahead as you pass along Coolum Beach, Peregian Beach, Marcus Beach, Castaways Beach and Sunrise Beach, finishing up at Sunshine Beach. Take this time to enjoy the ocean views to the right, as well as Noosa National Park on your left. You’ll be surrounded by picture perfect Australian scenery so don’t forget to bring a camera.
You can either turn around and go back the way you came, or keep following the road north into the popular area of Noosa Heads.
Total Distance: 55km from Caloundra to Sunshine Beach
Duration: 1 hour
Region: Sunshine Coast Beaches
Blackall Range Tourist Drive
Arguably the most scenic of Sunshine Coast drives is the Blackall Range Hinterland drive. The road takes you through a number of quiet little townships nestled up in the mountains, enjoying phenomenal views of the valleys below and the coast off in the distance. From the right lookout you can even see as far as Bribie and Moreton Islands just off the coast.
Rising up over 500 metres above sea level the hinterland air is cooler, the grass is greener and the local produce is fresh and tasty. There are plenty of places to visit including art galleries, boutique wineries, cafes & restaurants, rainforest walks, markets and you’ll even find a traditional cheese factory where you can taste flavoursome cheeses made right in front of you.
Starting in Mooloolaba take the Sunshine Motorway to join the Bruce Highway heading south, then hop on Steve Irwin Way towards Landsborough. From here follow Landsborough-Melany Rd until you see signs for the Blackall Range tourist drive and just follow along the smooth, winding roads. Make sure you stop at the townships of Montville, Mapleton, Cooloolabin, Maleny and as many of the lookouts as possible along the way. The tourist road loops around back to Landsborough-Maleny Rd where you can head the way you came back to the coast.
Total Distance: 60km to rejoin Landsborough-Maleny Rd
Duration: 1 hour
Region: Blackall Range