Enjoy uncrowded golden beaches, rainforest walks and charming oceanfront villages in this area north of the Queensland Capital, Brisbane. It’s where Australia comes to relax.
The Sunshine Coast is a stunning area of South East Queensland that takes in superb clean beaches, cosmopolitan tourist precincts against a scenic mountain backdrop. The area runs from the family friendly Caloundra in the south to world renowned Noosa Heads in the north and inland to the verdant Blackall Ranges.
Drive about 1 hour north of the state capital, Brisbane to reach Caloundra, which has six beaches and a range of accommodation. Continue north to Mooloolaba, Coolum Beach and Noosa Beach which are also popular coastal destinations.
Stay in cosmopolitan Mooloolaba’s for chic cafe’s, restaurants and bars, as well as one of the Sunshine Coast’s best surf clubs. A short walk away is Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, an award-winning aquarium. Just a mile or so north of Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland is a quieter destination known for its surfing beaches. Coolum is similarly relaxed and offers world-famous golf courses. Visit Noosa to dine in modern bistros and hike through rainforest in Noosa National Park.
The Sunshine Coast hinterland is a great daytrip from the coast or a romantic mountain destination itself. Mountain-top artistic villages like Maleny and Mapleton offer gourmet food, art and craft galleries, cool breezes and magnificent views. Visit the markets in Eumundi on Wednesdays and Saturdays to browse fresh produce and locally made goods, among the 600 stalls.
The Sunshine Coast has a subtropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The famous aussie life savers patrol all the popular beaches throughout the year and the water is warm enough to swim even during winter. Try your hand at surfing or kayaking in one of the rivers and estuaries along the coast. You can walk and bike along the coastal paths or in the forests and mountains that surround many communities on the Sunshine Coast.
You can reach the Sunshine Coast in under 60 miles (90 kilometres) from Brisbane. Rent a car at the Brisbane Airport and drive. You can also fly to the Sunshine Coast Airport at Marcoola, south of Coolum from several destinations around Australia. The privately run Sunbus buses operate between towns and let you hop on and hop off anywhere along a route. If your are feeling energetic you can get around on foot or by bicycle, but you’ll also find plenty of free parking.