Whether you’re a corporate cruiser or Sunday driver, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is truly a must-see when you visit the tropical state of Queensland, and the great thing is it’s only around an hour’s drive from Thrifty Brisbane.

From the iconic Australian land formation of the Glass House Mountains to the world-famous beach destination of Noosa, here are the top places to stop by on your Sunshine Coast Hinterland Drive:

Glass House Mountains

The best place to start your journey is smack-bang in the middle of nature. The Glass House Mountains can be accessed via the Steve Irwin Highway and is home to some incredible volcanic peaks and lush rainforests. You can spend the day exploring the mountains by foot on one of the many walking tracks, or for the adventure seekers out there, abseiling or rock climbing will be a sure hair-raiser.

The town of Maleny

30 minutes’ drive north from the Glass House Mountains, along the Blackall Range drive, you’ll pass by some picturesque country towns including Maleny, known for its delicious locally-made wines. The area is also home to the annual Real Food Festival, a fun event where you can stock up on everything from homemade jams to natural cooking vinegars, oils and more.

The Big Pineapple

Australia has earned a reputation as ‘the land of the big’. There’s the Big Banana, Big Merino, Big Golden Guitar and, if you’re on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland route, there’s also the 16-metre-high, heritage-listed Big Pineapple. Stop by for a quick holiday snap or pick up some fresh local produce at the Saturday Big Pineapple Market – great for travel snacks for the whole family.

The Ginger Factory

With free admission, educational tours, a train ride for the kids, and of course ginger products to buy, the Ginger Factory located in Yandina is another unique place to stop on your Hinterland Drive. Plus, it’s only 10 minutes from the Big Pineapple, so it shouldn’t take you long to get there.

Noosa

Lastly, drive a further 30 minutes north to end your Sunshine Coast Hinterland road trip by pulling out your togs, sunscreen and boogie boards for a day at the beach at family-friendly Noosa. Don’t forget to stop by the Eumundi Markets, held every Saturday, or if you’ve got a bit of extra holiday time up your sleeve, hire a houseboat to travel down the beautiful Noosa River.

There you have it. On your Sunshine Coast Hinterland cruise you will see beautiful natural attractions, quaint country towns and also give your taste buds a treat with delicious wine and local produce.

To find the right car for your trip, search Thrifty’s hire cars here.