There’s something blissful about driving along a picturesque coastline or winding your way through lush green mountains. Sunshine Coast is home to scenic drives that let you enjoy both types of views, often only an hour long.

Once you’re done seeing them and back in Sunshine Coast, you can still keep the fun engine running by exploring the best tourist attractions in the area.

1) Sunshine Coast’s Coastal Strip

An easy hour long drive from Caloundra to Sunshine Beach, this route passes through the beaches of Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland. Mooloolaba’s main beach is north-facing, sun soaked and glitters with soft white sands. It’s a lovely sight during a road trip. Imagine cruising along these coastal roads with the windows down, feeling the ocean wind in your hair and the sun warming your cheeks … pure joy.

If you crave a break during your drive, park near Mooloolaba’s rock pools on the northern beachfront and see if you can find starfish and other marine life among the rocks. It’s a great spot to pretend to be the Little Mermaid, too, reaching up out the water as the waves splash against the rocks.

What a lovely winter afternoon at the beach

A photo posted by Leah Josephine (@gumshoe14) on

Jun 29, 2015 at 10:34pm PDT
2) Blackall Range Hinterland Drive Sunshine Coast Australia’s official tourism website goes so far as to say this is “arguably the most scenic of Sunshine Coast drives”. Why? Because you will enjoy travelling through small townships tucked into the mountainside, gazing down below at the valleys from the vantage point of 500 metres above sea level. You leave Mooloolaba from the Sunshine Motorway and drive towards Landsborough-Melany Road before turning off at the Blackall Range, with several lookout points built along the way to admire the vistas. Some of these scenes may be imprinted in your memories for years to come! Rest stops also pay off thanks to art galleries and cafes dotted throughout the townships.

#glasshousemountains #glasshouse #blackallrange #queensland on a cloudy day

A photo posted by @horton_jen on

Sep 8, 2014 at 6:17pm PDT
3) Lake Macdonald to Boreen Point
Just inland from Noosa is the glistening Lake MacDonald, which is the starting point for this sojourn. Drive into the charming town of Pomona, passing through rich mountainous terrain before seeing another lake, the Lake Cootharaba, and concluding your journey at Boreen Point. Once you reach, there is still plenty to do as this is your portal to the Everglades, upper Noosa River and the Great Sandy National Park.