With ideal weather almost all year round, it’s not often you’ll be planning how to best spend a rainy day on the Sunshine Coast. But if the day ever comes, we’ve got you covered!
With a heavy outdoor focus, it’s easy to forget about the Sunshine Coast’s many indoor and sheltered experiences that don’t rely on the (admittedly reliable) weather. Here, we discuss 10 of the best experiences available to make the most of a rainy day on the Sunshine Coast.
10. Watch a film at the Cinemas
It’s hard to think of anything better suited to a rainy day than a large box of warm popcorn and a movie at the local cinemas. Luckily, the Sunshine Coast has some excellent options in this department to help get you through gloomy weather.
With cinemas in Maroochydore Sunshine Plaza, Caloundra, Noosa and even Gympie, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one within a short drive or bus trip from your accommodation. Construction has also commenced for a highly anticipated gold class cinema – the first on the Sunshine Coast – coming to Kawana Shopping World in what will be a multi-million dollar redevelopment.
If gold class isn’t available in time for your visit, however, then Maroochydore’s Sunshine Plaza is definitely a convenient and entertaining alternative. Located less than 10 minutes drive (or 20 minutes by bus) from Mooloolaba, Sunshine Plaza doubles as the perfect place to catch a movie, get a bite to eat, do some shopping and get out and about on a rainy day.
9. Go shopping at the Sunshine Plaza
Location: 154-164 Horton Parade, Maroochydore QLD 4558
More than just a cinema, Maroochydore Sunshine Plaza is an all-in-one popular shopping complex near Cotton Tree and Mooloolaba. What makes the Plaza unique from other shopping centres is the river that flows through its centre, which provides not only a beautiful backdrop, but also the setting for some watercrafts that you can hire for a paddle up the river during your visit.
Kawana Shopping World isn’t the only shopping centre receiving a makeover on the Sunshine Coast; the Sunshine Plaza has also begun construction on the next phase of a $400 million expansion that includes 100 new specialty stores and over 30,000 extra square metres. Plenty of space to shop-till-you-drop on a rainy day, the only downside being the development isn’t expected to conclude until 2020.
Beyond shopping, watercrafts and a cinema, the shopping centre also features over 35 different restaurants and fast food outlets to cure any wet-weather munchies.
Location: 1 Downunder Drive, Palmview QLD 4553
Aussie World itself is a spectacular attraction for international and interstate travellers alike; however, the iconic and almost cartoonish building located just outside its doors provides a more time-effective alternative for the perfect highway stopover.
If you’re not on the Sunshine Coast for long and intend to use the Bruce Highway on you’re way in or out through Palmview, then The Pub provides the perfect meal break whether it’s rain, hail or shine outside (but for the purposes of this article, lets focus on rain).
Specialising in the use of local produce and including a select range of beer and wine, The Pub’s menu changes each season and is sure to cure the rumbles on either side of a long drive. If you can time it right, they also offer a special “Kids Eat Free” deal on Fridays from 5.30pm to 7.30pm which includes live music throughout the night.
7. Travel back in time at the Caloundra Rollerdome
Location: 19 Caloundra Rd, Caloundra West QLD 4551
Who needs an iPad or smartphone to get through some dreary weather when you can put down the tech and pick up some rollerblades or skates at Caloundra’s Rollerdome!
The fully indoor and air-conditioned rink is the perfect rainproof activity that allows you to remain socially and physically active all while staying cosy and dry within the massive facility.
Depending on the time of your visit, the Rollerdome has recently taken the initiative of converting into an ice skating rink over the holidays and throughout hotter months of the year.
This initiative started in 2017 and has been a hit with locals and visitors alike, allowing you to cool off on the ice, in the shelter of the dome. So whether you’re getting out of the rain or escaping the heat, Caloundra’s Rollerdome will be tough to beat.
Location: 7 Pathfinder Dr, Caloundra West QLD 4551
One of the Sunshine Coast’s greatest hidden gems, the Queensland Air Museum, provides an up-close look at an incredible variety of military and civilian aircraft. Spread out across both indoor hangers and outdoor spaces, the displays have been expertly laid out and curated to ensure you won’t miss a thing during your visit, and the shelter of the hangers mean it’s an excellent experience in any weather.
If you’re a history buff, love aviation, or simply enjoy seeing something out of the ordinary, the Queensland Air Museum is a must-visit experience during any trip to the Sunshine Coast.
Each aircraft has been kept in immaculate condition thanks to the museum’s passionate volunteers. With a wealth of information on all aspects of aviation captured in the individual displays that accompany each aircraft, describing the incredible stories of their history and former use, you’re sure to learn a thing or two during your visit.
5. Explore Sunshine (Bli Bli) Castle
Location: 292-296 David Low Way, Bli Bli QLD 4560
The Sunshine Coast’s very own slice of Europe, Bli Bli’s Sunshine Castle is a beautifully original attraction that is perfect for kids, especially those with an interest in knights, swords, castles and all things medieval. Best of all, the castle only grows in authenticity during dreary weather!
With only a 40-year-old history, you won’t be blown away with a personal or storied history, however, the attraction has been beautifully themed to entertain and provide stories of what life was like in the intended era, with various displays and activities that make it well worth the price of admission.
From a treasure hunt for kids, to an ever-growing collection of dolls, the castle provides a variety of attractions to take in on a rainy day that are sure to keep you and the family entertained.
Location: 50 Pioneer Rd, Yandina QLD 4561
Even in poor weather, the Sunshine Coast’s Ginger Factory is a must visit for activities, tours, and to browse through the incredible Ginger Shop.
With the largest selection of Buderim Ginger products in the world, from ginger beers and cordial, marmalades and spreads, to sweets, and ginger pieces, there is more than enough to go around during crummy weather.
In addition to the extensive array of ginger products, they also stock a wide variety of gifts, gourmet foods, beauty and skincare products, designer kitchenware, books and toys for the kids, and a large range of honey products.
Beyond it’s extensive shop, The Ginger Factory also offers a range of shows, tours and tastings that are perfect for any weather, with much of the experience occurring indoors and undercover.
3. Bounce away your troubles at The Big Boing
Location: 24C Innovation Pkwy, Birtinya QLD 4575
If being stuck indoors during your holiday is making you want to bounce off the walls with boredom, why not visit The Big Boing where you’ll be able to bounce of the walls for real!
With over 50 interconnected trampolines that scale the walls, you’ll be able to practice your slam-dunks, pull off some aerial dance moves and play a game of dodge ball or two, all in the comfort of the indoors.
The park is fully air-conditioned and has a range of cold refreshments available to keep you going throughout your visit.
2. Get pampered at the ikatan Spa in Noosa
Location: 46 Grays Rd, Doonan QLD 4562
Set on an acreage just minutes away from Noosa’s main beach, ikatan provides an authentic luxury spa experience like no other!
Offering spa treatments, packages and the only full day retreats available on the coast, the ikatan Day Spa is an award-winning facility that makes for an unforgettable escape during poor weather.
With villa style treatment rooms and Balinese architectural design, ikatan oozes relaxation from start to finish, including in the Garden Room and Spa Gardens, both of which are popular communal areas that are ideal for group bookings.
Location: Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557
What better way to escape the rain than by going beneath the sea? SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast offers the opportunity to explore the deep sea with the added bonus of not getting wet! (optional).
The largest aquarium in Queensland, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast is packed with an incredibly diverse range of aquatic life, from seals, coral reef fish, sea horse, turtles sharks and rays, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
With an array of cleverly themed zones throughout the aquarium, including a state-of-the-art shark exhibit, the Bay of Rays, the fascinating Jelly Fish species and of course the Shark tunnels, SEA LIFE is able to show off the incredible amount of life that exists both beneath the ocean and above it’s surface.
If you’re interested in exploring the Sunshine Coast and you’re not sure what else there is to do, you can check out our full catalogue for experiences available throughout the region, including non-rainy days, here.