Stretching north of Brisbane, and spanning Queensland’s Sunshine and Fraser Coasts, Australia’s Nature Coast is home to pristine stretches of beaches, with laid-back towns and national parks overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Glass House Mountains are spectacular volcanic cones rising from the lush hinterland, while further north the beaches around Mooloolaba and Noosa are a haven for surfers and kayakers. The largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island boasts endless adventure and stunning beaches waiting to be explored.
Australia's Nature Coast holidays offer tropical rainforests, beautiful nature reserves stretching from horizon to horizon and mile upon mile of golden sands. The experience extends into the marine world, which will provide some of the most fascinating diving and snorkelling activities you could wish for anywhere in the world.
Easily reached from both Brisbane and Sydney, a holiday on Australia’s Nature Coast lets you explore the cities before unwinding in picturesque countryside. With the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, Lady Elliot Island’s Great Barrier Reef, Noosa’s National Park and two Biospheres, there is really no need to travel elsewhere for spectacular scenery and animal encounters.
The Sunshine Coast’s golden beaches stretch for over 100 kilometres and with beaches ranging from great surf breaks, to those with a vibrant atmosphere and lots of activities, to those in quiet sheltered waters, there is something for everyone. In the green subtropical hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland are secluded coves, rainforests, waterfalls and quaint mountain villages. The Kondalilla Falls National Park and Glass House Mountains showcase nature at its most spectacular. Whether it’s koala or bird watching, whale watching or dolphin spotting, or walking among the Glass House Mountains, a naturally refreshing experience comes easily on the Sunshine Coast.
The Fraser Coast is a unique destination, filled with natural wonders. It boasts easy access to two World Heritage-listed icons, Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island and Lady Elliot Island, on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Drive in a 4x4 along the edge of the ocean on Seventy-Five Mile Beach and explore spectacular coloured sands, freshwater lakes and towering rainforests. Hervey Bay, Australia’s whale watching capital, offers an unparalleled up close and personal whale watching experience between July & November. The region is nature at its awe inspiring best, with hundreds of kilometres of unspoilt beaches fringing the tranquil waters of the Great Sandy Marine Park.
Things to do on Australia's Nature Coast
From the city, the delights of the Glass House Mountain Range are within easy reach. Perfect for those who like to trek through inspiring countryside, the volcanic peaks provide stunning views back over the city, and out across to Moreton Island. Australia's Nature Coast not only provides countless opportunities to discover wildlife; the laid-back attitude of the local Queenslanders will also appeal. Towns such as Maroochydore and Mooloolaba are great for family outings with shops and seafood eateries dotted along this stretch of stunning coastline.
These coastal communities also provide a perfect staging post for boat tours to spot whales in their annual migration along the Queensland coastline, although surfers will also have to share some of the best breaks with local dolphins. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at paddle boarding, you have come to the right place; there are many lagoons and rivers that are perfect for this relaxed pastime.
National Parks and Biospheres
Australia’s Nature Coast unites some of the country’s best national parks and two UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserves. These protected areas where humans and nature live in harmony are largely untouched by developments; the countryside of Australia’s Nature Coast is clean and green wherever you go.
Although one of Australia’s most popular national parks, it’s easy to find a little peace in Noosa National Park. The 4,000 hectares of stunning parkland takes in rainforest, beaches, rocky coastline and wide-open grassland. You can explore one of five tracks that run across the headlands or take a leisurely stroll up to the summit of Emu Mountain, stopping now and then to smell the Wallum wildflowers. Koalas and black cockatoos are regularly spotted in the area, so keep your camera at the ready.
For a truly enchanting and immersive experience in nature, head north from Noosa along Great Beach Drive to Rainbow. Spot dolphins, turtles and manta ray in the sparkling azure waters surrounding the headland, or marvel at the perfectly formed waves at one of Australia's longest surf breaks. Admire the iridescent-coloured sands of Rainbow Beach and the pink and blue hues at sunset from Carlo Sand Blow.
The magic also extends further north to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, a World Heritage listed site containing the spectacular Seventy-Five Mile Beach, plus rainforests, sunlight, sand, sea and blue sky as far as the eye can see.
Full of colourful wildflowers, black bean trees and orange silky oaks, The Great Sandy Biosphere boasts some of the most picturesque walks in the country. It is also a major breeding site for marine turtles and supports significant populations of dugong, dolphins and humpback whales on their annual migration. An eco cruise or a guided nature walk is a great way to learn about the wildlife who call these regions home.