Enjoy pristine beaches, lush rainforest and exciting cities in this area north of Brisbane, famous for its surf breaks, fresh seafood and laid-back locals.
The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful area of South East Queensland that takes in incredible beaches, cosmopolitan cities and scenic mountain landscapes. The area runs from Caloundra in the south to Noosa Heads in the north and inland to the verdant Blackall Ranges.
Drive about 1 hour north of Brisbane to reach Caloundra, which has six pristine beaches and a range of accommodations. Mooloolaba, Coolum Beach and Noosa Beach are also popular coastal destinations.
Stay in cosmopolitan high-rise hotels along Mooloolaba’s busy Esplanade. A short walk from here is Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, an award-winning marine park and wildlife sanctuary. Just 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 chic bistros and hike through rainforest in Noosa National Park.
The Sunshine Coast hinterland is a great daytrip from the coast or a romantic mountain getaway. Artistic communities such as Maleny and Mapleton offer organic food, art galleries and incredible views. Visit the markets in Eumundi on Wednesdays and Saturdays to browse fresh produce and arts and crafts, among more than 500 stalls.
The Sunshine Coast has a subtropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. Lifeguards patrol many beaches every day of the year and you’ll find visitors and locals swimming even during winter. Try your hand at watersports such as surfing, windsurfing and kayaking. You can hike and bike ride through the forests and mountains that surround many communities on the Sunshine Coast.
Caloundra is about 90 kilometres (56 miles) from Brisbane. Hire a car at the Brisbane Airport and drive. You can also fly in to the Sunshine Coast Airport at Marcoola, south of Coolum. The privately run Sunbus buses operate between towns and let you hop on and hop off anywhere along a route. You can get around towns on foot or by bicycle, but you’ll also find plenty of free parking.
The beautiful Sunshine Coast is an easy holiday destination for families and an exciting adventure for travellers.