The superb weather of the Sunshine Coast, a little over an hour from Brisbane, is perfect for an action-packed holiday or quiet escape at any time of year. The Sunshine Coast has four sub-regions, all with their own unique attractions. Pristine beaches stretch for miles, with both safe swimming beaches and spectacular surf breaks.
Hastings Street in Noosa is packed with stylish restaurants and fashion boutiques just steps from the beach. Sunshine Beach, Sunrise Beach, Marcus Beach, Peregian Beach and Coolum Beach are all uncrowded surf beaches with sparkling blue water and pure, white sand. At the end of Hastings Street, the Noosa National Park features spectacular coastal scenery and an abundance of native Australian wildlife.
The region’s markets are an exciting blend of sights, sounds and smells, where you’ll find fresh food produce, artworks and original fashion and jewellery by local designers. The Eumundi Markets is one of the best known. Other excellent markets include the Noosa Farmers Market, Peregian Beach Market, Cotton Tree Market and Markets on Bulcock in Caloundra.
Tee off at one of the region’s championship golf courses such as Palmer Coolum Resort, home of the Australian PGA Championship, or the Twin Waters Golf Club, Pelican Waters Golf Club or the Noosa Springs Golf Resort.
Go horse-riding on the beach; or climb aboard a Harley Davidson motorcycle for an adrenalin-pumping ride.
From Mooloolaba to Marcoola is the heart of the Sunshine Coast. Mooloolaba Spit is one of the safest swimming beaches on this part of the coast. Mooloolaba is also home to a large port, where you can learn to sail or head out for a day of deep sea fishing or join a whale-watching cruise in season. For diving or snorkelling, head to the HMAS Brisbane Conservation Park, site of the shipwreck of the HMAS Brisbane.
A waterfront walking track leads from Mooloolaba to Maroochydore through Alexandra Headland is always buzzing with activity. For peace and quiet, visit Marcoola or Twin Waters, where on some days you may be the only person on the beach. Watch out for the Hawksbill Turtles which come up on the beach to hatch their young. Take a cruise on the Maroochy River to Maroochy Wetland Sanctuary and see kangaroos, wallabies and abundant birdlife.
The Kawana to Caloundra region is the Sunshine Coast’s playground. The tranquil waters of Golden Beach at Caloundra are protected by nearby Bribie Island. Experienced surfers should head to the renowned surf break at Moffat Beach.
Escape the surf, sand and sun for a while and explore the charming villages of the Sunshine Coast hinterland through the Glass House Mountains and Mary Valley. Townships such as Mapleton, Montville, and Maleny offer stunning views, rainforest walks, fresh local produce and fine arts and crafts.
The Sunshine Coast is located approximately 100 kilometres north of Brisbane. From the Sunshine Coast you can also catch a car ferry from the village of Tewantin and explore the Noosa North Shore, the Great Sandy National Park and World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.