If you are heading to Noosa, one of the most popular destinations on the Sunshine Coast, and are looking for some great ideas of ways to spend your days at little to no cost then check out our guide below on free things to do in and around Noosa with kids. If you want to explore with the little ones, then check out list below of some of the best spots in visit in Noosa with little kids.
Free things to do with Kids in Noosa
Below is a list of places you can visit that are right in the heart of Noosa.
Spend the morning at a quiet beach
Hastings Street might be the bustling heart of Noosa but just around the corner lies a hidden pocket of paradise. Sandy Cove lives up to its name with golden sand, clear blue water, and a short boardwalk to meander along (keep an eye out for tropical fish along the way). Grab the beach towels and head over to this peaceful Noosa beach a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the main shopping area.
Top Tip: Visit Sandy Beach in the morning before the wind picks up.
Spot turtles, dolphins and whales
A not-so-hidden gem to the right of Hastings Street is Noosa National Park – a wonderland of natural beauty. Take your time breathing in the ocean air and stopping at each lookout to spot the wildlife. Pods of dolphins, green sea turtles and whales (mid-June to October) frequent the coastline. There are benches along the way for when little feet need a break. This is not only one of the best spots in Noosa for little kids but kids of all ages. Nothing is more nourishing than marvelling at the creatures that call the Pacific Ocean home.
Top Tip: Hold on to your toddlers! There are no safety railings on the coastal walk to Hell’s Gates lookout.
Snap a selfie with the Big Pelican
Sure, you may have seen Noosaville’s famous Big Pelican on Bluey, but this bird has been delighting Queensland kids for more than 40 years. Originally featured in a parade in the 1970s this feathered friend has been in its current spot just outside Pelican Boat Hire since 2000.
Top Tip: A short stroll from the Big Pelican is Apex Park along the Noosa River. It’s the perfect spot to grab fish and chips and let the kids run wild.
Stroll Along Tewantin’s Boardwalk
Soak in the Noosa River along the Tewantin Boardwalk. Parents can grab a coffee at Noosa Marina while the kids have fun in the Tewantin Splash Park. Once they’ve dried off, continue along to Noosa Regional Gallery. The art gallery offers free creative activities for all ages if it’s a Sunday.
Top Tip: Continue on to Tewantin’s main town where there are several heritage-listed buildings that any budding history buff will enjoy.
Discover the Fairy Pools at Noosa National Park
Not too many people get all the way to the end of the Headland track to discover the twin fairy rock pools that await them. Beyond the Noosa National Park Carpark, walk along the track past Tea Tree and Granite Bays. At the far end of Granite Bay, you will notice a park bench as the track turns right around a large bend. This is where you will find the pools.
Top Tip: To get to the pools you will need to scramble down some rocks – so this one is probably best for families with older kids.
Head down to Noosaville for some family-friendly fun
Just outside the Noosa Boathouse there is a huge area of green space perfect to lay down a rug and watch on as the kids run and play.
Top Tip: On Friday nights, there is live music playing on the green, which makes for an amazing end-of-week atmosphere. Expect to join plenty of young families grabbing some fish and chips on the lawns while the kids play on the sand.
Noosa Botanic Gardens
When the weather is fine, explore the eight hectares which make up the Noosa Botanic Gardens, located on the shores of Lake Macdonald. The Gardens are home to many plant species and wildlife, with a fun dinosaur dig area just for kids.
Top Tip: If you visit on the first Sunday of the month, you will be treated to Music in the Gardens, which is a fabulous way to ease into Sunday.
Free things to do with kids around Noosa
If you are up the coast for a little while and looking to explore the area around Noosa then below is a list of free activities and areas that are definitely worth checking out with the family.
Day trip across to Noosa North Shore
This one comes at a small ferry cost ($10 per car) – which you will want once you are on the other side. Once you have crossed over to Noosa North Shore, if you have a 4WD and beach permit you can drive on the beach all the way to Double Island Point. Or take a 2WD car and then walk a short distance from the carpark to the beach.
Top Tip: There are no patrolled beaches on Noosa North Shore so you will have to be super mindful of your family when swimming.
Hike up Mt Coolum
One of the most popular local hikes in the Sunshine Coast region is the family-friendly Mt Coolum track. Relatively steep in areas but easy enough for children to navigate, the views at the top are spectacular.
Top Tip: Early morning is the best time of day to do the hike. Not only does it allow you to beat the heat, but you can also get that gorgeous morning sunrise lighting.
Bike ride from Marcoola to the Maroochydore River
One of the best ways to while a day away when up in the Noosa region is to grab your bikes and hit the perfectly paved bike paths that run from Marcoola to the Maroochydore River. Stop off at beautiful Mudjimba Beach along the way for a play in their large, shaded playground and a swim in the beach before continuing on to the Maroochydore River.
Top Tip: If you pop in to Twin Waters Resort on the way you can usually see kangaroos and wallabies lazing in the grass.
Climb up Wildhorse Mountain at Coochin Creek
At 123m high, Wildhorse Mountain is the smallest of the Glasshouse Mountain range. The paved road up is only 700m long and offers breathtaking 360 degree views across the Pumicestone Passage.
Top Tip: Although the walk is not long, it is steep. Make sure you take some water and food with you and note that the track can get a bit slippery if wet. There are also no amenities.
Go for a bush walk or hike through the glasshouse Mountains
The Glasshouse Mountains offer adventurous families a treasure trove of bush walk and hiking options. The 2.8km return track on Mount Ngungun is probably the most achievable of the Glass House Mountains for children aged five years and over. There is a great information centre and playground you should visit before your hike and the Glasshouse Mountain lookout is worth it.
Top Tip: Remember that children will need to be supervised closely, particularly at the summit where there are cliff edges with dramatic drops. Take extra care around the summit area in wet weather as rocks become slippery. You will need to be reasonably fit to make this climb – there are a lot of steps!
Visit Sandstone Point Hotel at Bribie Island
Sandstone Point Hotel at Bribie Island has become an increasingly popular day trip for Brisbane families. With wide, open, grassy hills to run on, soccer goals, a free animal farm and an amazing playground – there are just so many things to do here that don’t have to cost a cent.
Top Tip: Go for a stroll along the peer and keep an eye out for the many family-friendly events that are hosted here throughout the year too.
Go Fishing in Bells Creek
Bells Creek near Caloundra is a great little fishing spot. The shallow sand bar allows you to cast into the deep waters of Pumicestone passage to catch flathead or bream from the shore.
Top Tip: During the colder winter months, the passage between Caloundra bar and Bells creek are one of South-east Queensland’s prime spawning locations for yellowfin bream.
Walk around the rocks from Mooloolabah to Alexandra Headland
A fun little adventure for the family is crossing over the rocks that link Mooloolaba to Alexandra Headland. Both beautiful beaches to explore in their own right, the rocks and shallow pools of water make for the perfect place to fossick for shells and sea creatures.
Top Tip: The best time to fossick is when the tide is out. There is also a lovely long boardwalk to ride or scooter along and a large playground too.
Visit Eumundi Markets
Arguably one of the most famous markets on the Sunshine Coast, the Eumundi Markets are open every Wednesday and Saturday, regardless of the weather. A lively open-air market with locally made arts & crafts, plus street food, these markets have been popular with families since 1979.
Top Tip: Right next door to the Eumundi Markets is the delightful Dick Caplin Park. Built within the large, shady fig trees that grow there, the central feature of the playground, a timber fort with rope bridge that is suspended between two trees, has literally been built around one of their trunks. Curling away to the side of the fort is a delightful, multi-coloured train.
Looking for other ideas for things to do at the Sunshine Coast with little kids?