Explore Sunshine Coast
Queensland’s aptly-named Sunshine Coast is located north of the city of Brisbane. It is a cornucopia of beachside towns and hinterland hideaways given over to a laid-back lifestyle centered around the region’s glorious weather. The region’s uncrowded beaches, backed by agricultural acres providing fresh produce and fine expanses of green scenery at the foot of the Blackall mountain ranges, stretch for almost 70kms. The many resort hotels here, including the
Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa, cater to visitors from all over the world. Five separate national parks are found in the region, all with their individual biodiversity, and all offer delights for ecotourists, birders, and activity-lovers alike.
The Sunshine Coast is a hub for golf fanatics, with numerous clubs and links set all along and back from the ocean. For water sports enthusiasts, the coastline has several stretches with unbroken beaches that are perfect for snorkeling and waterskiing, as well as sunbathing and swimming. Favorites include Point Arkwright to Mudjimba, the stretch from Mooloolaba to Maroochydore, and the white sands running from Buddina to Pelican Waters. In the hinterlands you’ll find lakes, freshwater rivers, waterfalls, rainforests and bushland, the Noosa Everglades, the Glasshouse Mountains, and great hiking and walking trails.
Australia’s Sunshine Coast lives up to its name and its reputation as the perfect sea, sun, and sand holiday destination, with hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving here every year. Nearby attractions away from the crowded sands are perfect for daytrips and crammed with natural beauty.
Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Set in the Blackill mountain range, the Sunshine Coast hinterland makes for a great break from tourist-crowded beaches. Favorite destinations are the two neighboring towns of Montville and Maleny, with the first a hub for art galleries and craft shops, and the second a famous center for alternative-style co-operatives and ecotourism.
Kondalilla National Park
Open forests and lush, sub-tropical rainforests are the highlights here, along with spectacialr Kondalilla Falls with their 90m drop from the creek above. Walking and hiking, swimming in freshwater pools, and picnicking in a wilderness setting are just a few of the enjoyable options.
Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island
Approached from the Sunshine Coast resort of Noosa, picturesque Rainbow Beach village is the gateway to swimming with dolphins, para or hang-gliding adventures, diving with sharks, and a trip to UNESCO-listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island on earth. The exceptionally lovely island boasts freshwater lakes, rainforests, heaths, and more.
Families with young kids will love Aussie World, a family fun park with an old-fashioned flavor. Dodgem cars, buggies, carousels, a ferris wheel, kiddie roundabouts, a giant slide, and other such attractions will keep the youngsters happy for hours.
Eating, drinking and shopping nearby
The Sunshine Coast is fast becoming a mecca for quality restaurants serving cuisine made using fresh produce and often based on the plentiful Pacific seafood. Demand for organic food is increasing fast, and vegetarian options are now offered on the majority of menus. Fresh fish is a favorite, with the region’s traditional fish and chip shops serving the best. In the hotel restaurants at the Novotel Twin Waters and the Oaks Oasis Caloundra, you’ll find fresh seafood delights as well as international cuisine, and for a picnic lunch, stocking up at Noosa’s Sunday farmers’ market ensures great tastes. The local shopping streets in the Sunshine Coast Urban Area are the most fun for retail therapy, as you’ll get a feel of local life as well as a chance to buy truly original souvenirs. Beach fashions are great here, and Caloundra’s Bulcock Street holds over 100 individual stores and boutiques offering homewares, fashion, and souvenirs.
Overseas arrivals have a choice of two airports, with the closest, Sunshine Coast Airport, supporting flights to Melbourne and Sydney. The larger facility, Brisbane Airport, gives a better choice of flights but involves a longer trip by direct transfer to your Sunshine Coast hotel. From the local airport, taxis, shuttle buses, shared minibuses, local buses, and car hire get arrivals to their hotels, and both buses and trains run the length of the Sunshine Coast for those wishing to explore its entirety. A new bus service, Connect, links the pretty towns in the hinterland.