Australia Zoo animal extravaganza, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Follow this three-day itinerary for a tour through the lush Sunshine Coast Hinterland to Noosa’s idyllic beaches. It combines Australia’s natural wonders and wildlife encounters with a range of gourmet experiences.
WHAT TO KNOW
- Three-day itinerary
- Back-to-nature adventures and culinary experiences in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and at Noosa
- The Sunshine Coast Airport is located near Maroochydore, 30 minutes south of Noosa
DAY 1: WILDLIFE, WALKS AND FINE DINING
Start your day with a relaxing tai chi session on the beach, followed by breakfast at your hotel. Travel by road to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, an hour’s drive from Noosa. Visit Australia Zoo, the 40-hectare wildlife park and conservation facility established by the late Steve Irwin, ‘the Crocodile Hunter’. Handfeed the kangaroos, have your photo taken while holding a koala, and encounter other native animals such as wombats, possums and echidnas.
Continue to the Glass House Mountains Lookout in the Beerburrum West State Forest to take in the 360-degree views of the surrounding ranges. Enjoy a light lunch at the Lookout Café, overlooking mango orchards and fields of kangaroos. Heading north by road, cross the spectacular Blackall Range to reach the picturesque hillside village of Montville for shopping and afternoon tea.
Just outside Montville, check in to Spicers Clovelly Estate. Set on nine hectares of farmland, this boutique homestead offers 13 rooms and two event spaces. After settling in, host a cheese and wine matching experience on the library deck or challenge your team to a wine-blending competition. For dinner, sit down to a seven-course degustation menu of fine local produce in the estate’s acclaimed restaurant, The Long Apron.
DAY 2: COOKING CLASSES AND SPA TREATMENTS
Tamarind Cooking School, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Transfer 15 minutes by car to sister property Spicers Tamarind Retreat in the hinterland town of Maleny. Surrounded by lush rainforest, the retreat has 22 guest rooms and two event venues. Host an interactive cooking class for up to 18 people at The Tamarind Cooking School, then match your dish with Australian wine for lunch.
Make the most of this idyllic setting with a relaxing treatment in Spa Anise, a dip in the swimming pool or a self-guided walk along the sculpture trail. If you’d like to venture further afield, play a round of golf at the Maleny Golf Club or explore the region with local photographer Ben Messina. He will show you how to capture landscapes during a guided photography tour of the hinterland’s rainforests and waterfalls.
Kickstart tonight with a cocktail-making class, then host a modern Asian banquet at The Tamarind or in the Sala Room, a private function space that can accommodate 40 people for a banquet or 50 for a cocktail function. After dinner, an astronomer will point out highlights of the southern sky before a performance by talented local musicians.
DAY 3: HELICOPTERS, HARLEY-DAVIDSONS AND A GALA DINNER
Surfboard workshop, Banana Life, QLD
Catch a helicopter to the beautiful hinterland near Eumundi, where local producers will tantalise your tastebuds with a breakfast of tropical fruits and dairy foods. On Wednesdays and Sundays, visitors can head to the famous Eumundi Markets, which boast more than 600 stalls selling fresh produce, jewellery, artworks and crafts.
Ride on the back of a Harley-Davidson back to Noosa for a late lunch overlooking Main Beach. Popular beachfront options include Sails, where you can book the private dining room for up to 24 people, or exclusively hire the entire restaurant for 130. After lunch, book a Surfboard Graffiti Art class with Banana Life. Suitable for groups of 10 to 100, this hands‑on session is led by local artists, who will help your team design, stencil and spray their own surfboard. When finished, the boards will be lacquered and freighted home to you.
For your final night on the Sunshine Coast, check in to the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, which offers 176 guest rooms, seven meeting rooms and a lavish ballroom with capacity for 180 at a seated banquet. If you prefer the outdoors, soak up the sensational weather with a poolside event. This glamorous alfresco space can host dinners for 200 people or cocktail functions for up to 350. Well‑known chef Peter Kuruvita will craft the menu for your gala dinner, showcasing freshly caught crab, prawns and other local ingredients.