Who says it’s not easy being green? The Sunshine Coast embraces its emerald hues with vim and vigour, bursting at the scenes with plenty of green spaces in which to unwind and relax. Wander through botanical and community gardens, enjoy pretty national parks and waterfalls, and saunter around scenic reserves.
Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens
Set on a yawning 112ha west of Buderim, this site is home to fern-filled gullies, a lagoon bursting with wildlife, natural bush walking tracks and arts and sculptures. Guided tours are offered on Tuesdays at 9am, and leave from the sustainable-designed Arts and Ecology centre.
Glass House Mountains National Park
Avid walkers and climbers are drawn to the Glass House Mountains for its numerous tracks including the challenging Mount Tibrogargan Summit. For those seeking something more sedate, the Landsborough Wetlands are ideal for bird watching or the Glass House Mountains Lookout Circuit provides great views.
Kenilworth Forest Reserve
Situated in the Conondale Range, this reserve boasts deep gorges, mountain streams, waterfalls and terrific views. There are four forest camping areas here and myriad walks including the challenging Mount Allan fire tower hike. Little Yabba Creek is home to plenty of birdlife.
Kondalilla Falls National Park
The Kondalilla Falls Circuit is the celebrity of this national park, as it winds past rockpools and great views, and down an escarpment to a picnic area bursting with bunya pines, piccabeen palms, and rainforest. Join the locals for a splash in these cool waters.
Mapleton Falls National Park
Perched just west of Mapleton, the draw card of this park is where Pencil Creek cascades 120 metres over the escarpment. Twitchers adore this park for its peregrine falcon, eastern whipbird and wompoo fruit-dove, among many other birds. Views stretch over the rainforest and Obi Obi Valley.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
This 55ha sub-tropical rainforest is one of the remnants of a much greater system, which once covered the Blackall Range and there’s a Rainforests Through Time display here in the Ecological Education Centre. Wheelchair and stroller friendly walking tracks make this a family-friendly park.
Mooloolah River National Park
Just 10 minutes from bustling Mooloolaba and it’s a whole other world in this green space. Adjoining the Mooloolah River, this national park is home to coastal lowland habitat, rainforest, open eucalypt woodlands, melaleuca forests, wallum banksia woodlands, scribbly gum open forests, wallum heath and sedgelands.
Yandina Community Gardens
The showpiece of these award-winning gardens is the old Queensland weatherboard house, which is designed to demonstrate practical solutions to sustainability. These permaculture gardens aim to assist the community in gaining skills to grow their own food using organic production and water-efficient strategies.
Maleny Botanic Gardens
Covering 5ha of this 44ha property and surrounded by rainforest, there’s more than 6km of walking paths to be explored. Considered one of the region’s finest green spaces, enjoy roses, azaleas and rare cycads, as well as numerous lakes, waterfalls and Glass House Mountain views.
Noosa National Park
This natural beauty incorporates 4000ha including Lake Weyba, Peregian and Coolum. The most popular walk is from Noosa Main Beach, past Little Cove and along the coastal boardwalk. Pause at Boiling Pot for views back to Noosa and continue on to Tea Tree Bay for koala spotting.