Brisbane - Mooloolaba - Noosa - Hervey Bay - Lady Elliot Island and Fraser Island
Australia’s Nature Coast brings together the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast. With a number of unbeatable natural experiences including the Great Sandy and Noosa UNESCO Biosphere Reserves; World Heritage-listed Fraser Island; Lady Elliot Island part of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef; 47 state and national parks, reserves and forests, whale watching experiences, over 200 kilometres (124 miles) of pristine beaches, calm rivers and waterways with an abundance of birdlife.
At a glance:
- Brisbane – Mooloolaba (1.5 hours)
- Mooloolaba – Noosa (40 mins)
- Noosa – Hervey Bay (2.5 hours)
- Hervey Bay – Lady Elliot Island (40 min flight)
Pick up your hire car in Brisbane and head north to the Sunshine Coast, en-route take in the views of the Glasshouse Mountains National Park.
First stop is Australia Zoo where you can get up close and personal with rare, endangered and much loved Australian animals. Take in an exciting show at the Crocoseum, or enjoy a tour of the Australian Wildlife Hospital.
Head to the Coast and stay in a room with fabulous views of the sea or hinterland.
- Have your photo taken cuddling a koala at Australia Zoo.
- Visit Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and watch vets treat sick and injured animals.
- See crocodiles in action and learn about the research being conducted on these amazing reptiles.
- Dine on freshly caught seafood at one of the many restaurants in Mooloolaba.
Start the day at Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, where you can be kissed by a seal, dive with the sharks, or Go Behind the Scenes and discover the life of an aquarist or spend the morning on the Maroochy River on an eco cruise though estuarine wetlands, home to a third of all Australia’s bird life species.
In the afternoon travel north to the Noosa National Park, spotting resident koalas dozing in the trees or find yourself enjoying part of the Noosa Bird Trail at the Mangrove Boardwalk and Weyba Conservation Park to look for Great Egret, Mangrove Gerygone, Brown Honeyeater, and the Striated Heron who make their home here.
Overnight in an ECO certified accommodation option in the Noosa region.
- Get a kiss from a seal and dive with sharks at Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba.
- Take an eco cruise on the Maroochy River.
- Walk through Noosa National Park and spot koalas in the Eucalypt trees.
- Follow the Noosa Bird Trail to see local birdlife.
- Join an eco accredited kayak tour of the Noosa Everglades through the mangroves and pristine waterways.
Join an ECO certified tour to Fraser Island, or travel onto the Fraser Coast and enjoy intimate wildlife encounters with some of Australia’s most iconic native animals at the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary, near Maryborough. Pat a dingo in a safe controlled environment, feed kangaroos and emus and even cuddle a reptile.
Continue to Hervey Bay and hire a stand up paddleboard, kayak or canoe to discover dugongs, dolphin, turtles and a vast array of fish within the hidden depths of the bay’s clear, calm waters.
Take an ECO tour or diving tour to see coral and other marine life. If travelling between July and November, join a whale watching cruise for a close up view of these majestic creatures.
Enjoy overnight accommodation at Hervey Bay and soak up the glorious ocean views.
- Join a 4WD tour of World heritage-listed Fraser Island, with its white sandy beaches, ancient rainforests, wetlands and crystal-clear creeks.
- Feed kangaroos and emus, pat a dingo and cuddle a reptile at Fraser Cost Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Take to the water in Hervey Bay with a stand up paddleboard, kayak or canoe for the chance to see dugongs, dolphins, turtles and an array of fish.
Heading south from Hervey Bay, drive just over an hour to Tin Can Bay, one of the few places in Australia where wild dolphins can be hand fed in their natural environment. The rare Indo Pacific Humpback Dolphins can be seen at the boat ramp at Norman Point each morning around 8.00am.
Alternatively, take a 40-minute scenic flight from Hervey Bay to the Great Barrier Reef ECO certified Lady Elliot Island for an unrivalled reef experience. This coral cay is a known for its un-spoilt coral reef, spectacular marine life and abundance of manta rays and turtles.
From Hervey Bay you can continue your journey north along the coast or fly out to your next destination.
- Hand feed wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay.
- View the southernmost part of the Great Barrier Reef on a scenic flight.
- See green sea turtles during egg laying and hatching season on Lady Elliot Island between November and March.
- Join a glass bottom boat and snorkelling tour of Lady Elliot Island for a chance to swim with turtles.