Each year, people flock to the Sunshine Coast and no wonder! With a warm, sunny climate, relaxed lifestyle and beautiful beaches and townships, the Sunshine Coast sees many people migrating to enjoy this way of life permanently. Brisbane is the gateway city and then it is an hour and a half drive north to the townships of Noosa, Maloolaba etc that line the stretch of coastline known as the Sunshine Coast. It is a completely different experience to that of the Gold Coast as the Sunshine Coast is not nearly as built up and is made up more of little townships that almost seem sleepy when compared to the bustling Surfers Paradise. In saying that however, there is plenty to see and do here and it is more about enjoying a leisurely coffee or lunch at one of the cafes than partying the night away in a nightclub. The most popular Sunshine Coast holiday township is Noosa. Enjoying a lovely stretch of beach, the surrounding area also offers a rainforest, eucalypt forest, rocky headlands and a beautiful National Park complete with birdlife, koalas and goannas. ... read more
There are numerous cafes and restaurants and dining out is a way of life in Noosa! Maroochydore is the commercial heart of the Sunshine Coast and here you will find all the necessities and the luxuries of a CBD, as well as the relaxed lifestyle of a beachside town. The nearby beaches of Coolum, Marcoola and Alexandra Headlands are generally a little more quieter but just as pretty. Maloolaba is a favourite for family holidays as it is generally well-protected as the beach is in the shape of a crescent which shields it from the elements. The waves are gentle and the green parkland that lines the beach is a perfect spot for a family day at the beach or picnic. At Caloundra you can find some gorgeous, uncrowded beaches, the Pumicestone Passage Marine Park and a lovely new coastal walk from Golden Beach, around Caloundra Headland to Kawana and Point Cartwright. Heading inland, The Hinterlands open up a whole new discover with lush green landscapes, winding roads, quaint towns and several arts and crafts stores. It is easy to hire a car here and go tiki-touring! Fraser Island and Hervey Bay are completely different from the rest of the Sunshine Coast. Hervey Bay is known as the whale watching capital and from August to November you can see huge humpback whales not far from shore. From Hervey Bay you can also head over to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. The rainforest here grows directly from the sand is a wonder in itself, but the freshwater lakes, native Australian animals, old shipwreck and coloured sands make this an unforgettable trip. The Sunshine Coast is always a favourite holiday destination for couples and families alike. Visitors come back year after year to enjoy this lovely, relaxed, picturesque destination!
SUNSHINE COAST FOR FAMILIES
Bring it on! This is a perfect destination for a family holiday! The little ones will love spending time at the beach and their squeals of delight will make you smile. The swimming is safe and generally patrolled by lifeguards. In most townships the accommodation is very near the beach so it’s an easy walk to get from your hotel to the sand and surf. But there is plenty more to do on the Sunshine Coast than just the beach. The kids will love the Australia Zoo, the park of Steve and Terri Irwin. Crikey! You can get up close to wildlife, see the crocodiles as well as learn about conservation. It is a great day out and sure to be a hit with the kids. Underwater World at Maloolaba is Queensland’s largest Oceanarium and Aquarium, with over 25,000 weird and wonderful sea creatures. Offering over 18 tours, talks and feeds daily, there is always something new to see and do. Then there’s the Big Pineapple, The Ginger Factory and Super Bee still to see so you can see the children won’t have a chance to be bored! WHAT TO PACK: Most things are readily available on the Sunshine Coast so if you forget something, it’s not so much of a drama. You will probably do quite a bit of walking so taking the stroller and some good walking shoes is definitely a good idea. If your kids aren’t used to traveling or being away from home, a favourite toy or their nighttime teddy bear/blankie etc can ease anxiety when waking in the middle of the night. Special activities or treats for at the airport and on the plane can also be a good idea and make the journey much more enjoyable for all involved! For the real littlies, be sure to pack a supply of nappies, bottles, formula, wipes etc for whilst you are at the airport or flying too. Some airlines will provide these but they can be limited and if there is a delay in your flight departing, you don’t want to be caught short! If you have babies that are still in a bassinet or cot, enquire before you go about requesting bulkhead seats. These are the seats at the front of each section of the plane with fold down basinets so that your child can sleep more easily. The airlines won’t guarantee these but it is definitely worth making the request at time of booking. You may like to pack a first aid kit too as whilst everything is available on the Sunshine Coast, it can be expensive if you suddenly need something in the middle of the zoo for example. A small supply of your child’s paracetamol can also be handy so that, should you need it, you can give them something they are used to having rather than trying a new medicine whilst overseas. Finally, remember to pack lots of spare film, batteries and video tape as you are sure to use more than you expect. You won’t be able to resist those delighted grins that will be plastered all over your children’s faces every day!
SUNSHINE COAST FOR ROMANCE & HONEYMOONERS
Ah, romance! Whether you are starting your married life together, jetting off for a well-earned break together or just wanting to re-ignite the passion, the Sunshine Coast is a wonderful spot for a romantic holiday. You just feel yourself start to wind down, relax and breathe in the fresh sea air as you stroll along the beach or through the seaside towns. Luxuriously lazy days can be spent soaking up the sun on the gorgeous beaches, cruising on the Everglades, lakes and river or exploring the quaint towns in the hinterland. For the more adventurous couple, there are diving trips, 4 wheel drive tours on Fraser Island, whale watching and adventure activities. Long, leisurely evenings can be spent enjoying an al fresco dinner on the waterfront accompanied by a nice glass of wine and perhaps an evening stroll on the beach under the stars. Accommodation can be as basic or as lavish as you would like. There a several 4.5-5 star properties available or for a real resort-style holiday, perhaps the Hyatt Regency Coolum or the Novotel Twin Waters Resort. Whatever your preference, the Sunshine Coast is ideal for a romantic break away. If it is your honeymoon, even better – it’s a place you can come back to on your anniversary in years to come!
SUNSHINE COAST FOR WEEKEND GETAWAYS
A weekend in the Sunshine Coast will feel a lot longer than a couple of days but won’t nearly be long enough. With the flight times and subsequent drive time to the Sunshine Coast, it’s a good idea to add on a couple of days to make it a long weekend as otherwise you’ll just arrive in time to pack up and go home again. If you can manage four days it is well worth it as it takes a couple of days to wind down when you first arrive. If travelling to the Sunshine Coast for a weekend getaway, we recommend hiring a car so that once you arrive you can head straight on up the coast and make the most of your time away. Coach transfers are available but you may spend longer waiting around and having to make drop offs along the way, whereas with a rental car you can get straight there. Check out the flight schedules so that you can find flights that will let you make the most of your time as you need to also allow for check in and travel time back to Brisbane which can use up most of one day. In saying that however, if the flights work it is definitely a great spot to escape to for a few days!
SUNSHINE COAST FOR SHOPPING
If you feel the need to give empty your wallet whilst away, the Sunshine Coast has several shopping areas that will help you do just that! Hastings Street, Noosa – boutiques, designer labels etc Sunshine Plaza, Maroochydore – there are shops of all kinds here along with cafes, cinemas etc. Eumundi Markets – Wednesday and Saturday for arts and crafts as well as local food produce The Esplanade, Maloolaba – boutiques, gift shops, coffee shops and more. If you are a true shopaholic however, you may like to spend a couple of days in Brisbane where you find the bigger malls, chains, department stores and fashion labels.
SUNSHINE COAST FOR BEACHES
A beach escape is what the Sunshine Coast is all about! These lovely long stretches of sand allow you plenty of room to find your own little spot and enjoy the typical Australian lifestyle of relaxing at the beach. Surfing, diving and fishing are all popular sports and you can find several operators in the local areas to take you out or to teach you how. Noosa is the most popular holiday spot where there is a gorgeous beach, lots of restaurants and cafes and several boutique stores. It has a lovely holiday feel about the town and some beautiful walks either along the Boardwalk or in the nearby National Park. Maroochydore is also very popular and a little bit busier with a mix of tourism, shopping, relaxation and local business. You can enjoy all the benefits of a beautiful beach as well as having all the city amenities on your doorstep. The beaches around Coolum, Marcoola and Alexandra Headland are all gorgeous and usually a little less crowded than some of the others.
SUNSHINE COAST FOR COUNTRY SELF DRIVE
This is ideal self-drive country with easy roads, plenty of places to stop at and many attractions all either in the main townships or at least on the main routes. You can meander up and down the coast at your leisure, stopping to see those attractions that interest or just to sit and relax on one of the beaches. You can head inland into the hinterland region where you will find a completely different landscape, with lush green rainforest and some lovely little towns where you can buy some unique arts and crafts. Allow yourself plenty of time if you want to visit most of the main areas and attractions as there is far more to the Sunshine Coast than you originally realise. You could easily spend several weeks here and still not have had enough!
SUNSHINE COAST FOR EVENTS
OCT 5 – NOV 4 Artbank Celebrating 25 years of Australian Art OCT 19-21 Caloundra Music Festival OCT 25-28 Heart of Gold International Film Festival OCT 26-28 Sunshine Coast Home Show and Outdoor Adventure Expo OCT 31- NOV 04 Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival NOV 03 OKA and Wild Marmalade Concert NOV 9-11 North Coast International Boat Sow and River to Reef Fishing Classic NOV 10 IGA Sunshine Coast Car Rally NOV 15 Steve Irwin Day DEC 6-9 Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship MAR 8-9 Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival MAR 28-30 Suncoast Stitches and Craft Expo
SUNSHINE COAST FOR CRUISING
Cruising is very popular on the Sunshine Coast whether it is a charter sail, a scenic cruise on the Everglades or a whale watching excursion. There are cruises of types, lengths and experiences including five star luxurious charters. Some Charters will take you into areas that only experience limited exposure to the public so the fishlife is prolific and the diving wrecks are all in pristine condition. Shorter cruises include half and full day trips to Moreto Island with snorkeling opportunities en route, twilight cruises, eco cruises, nature cruises, bush tucker experience cruises, river tours, harbour cruises and more.
SUNSHINE COAST FOR GOLF
Tee off at a different course each day if you like! The Sunshine Coast has a whole host of courses including some international resort style courses. If you are travelling to the Sunshine Coast specifically for golf or you would like to play several rounds whilst you are there, we would recommend staying at the Hyatt Coolum, Ramada Pelican Waters or Novotel Twin Waters where there are fabulous golf courses on site or close by. Outside of these courses, there are numerous public courses including: • Beerwah Golf Course • Boreen Point • Bribie Island Golf Course • Caboolture Golf Course • Caloundra Golf Course • Glenview • Gympie Golf Course • Headland Golf Course • Horton Par Golf Course • Mt Coolum Golf Course • Nambour golf Course • Noosa Springs Country Club • Noosa Valley Country Club • Oasis
SUNSHINE COAST FOR SPA
The residents of the Sunshine Coast enjoy a wonderful lifestyle and spa pampering is all a part of that. There are some fantastic day spas located throughout the Sunshine Coast where you can pamper yourself silly with all the different treatments on offer. Some of the hotels will also have spa facilities but it depends on the hotel as to what their treatment menu includes. If you are going to the Sunshine Coast specifically for the Spas or for a girls trip away, the following properties offer a full Day Spa: • Ramada Pelican Waters • Novotel Twin Waters • Hyatt Regency Coolum • Sheraton Noosa Resort & Spa
SUNSHINE COAST FOR CONFERENCE
The Sunshine Coast is a divine spot for a company conference! With all the modern facilities and amenities that you need for a successful conference, combined with the gorgeously scenic setting and peaceful ambiance, the Sunshine Coast will help make your conference a memorable event. Several of the larger hotels can accommodate large groups and offer full conferencing facilities, whereas if you have a smaller group with less requirements, one of the smaller properties may suit. Outside of conference hours, there are plenty of attractions and tours that your group can do either individually, as part of the group or as a team building event. Attractions such as The Big Pineapple, Australia Zoo, The Ginger Factory etc can be part of your itinerary or a nice little add on for those staying on afterwards. A cruise on the river or perhaps even a charter yacht is a great team activity as is a whale watching excursion or a trip to Fraser Island. Flights are frequent in and out of Brisbane so it is easy enough to get your group to Australia and then it is only a couple of hours by bus to get you into the heart of the Sunshine Coast. It’s a great spot for a company conference, incentive destination or just a team weekend away.
Population: Approximately 260,000 Flying Time ex NZ: Approximately 3-3.5 hours ex Auckland to Brisbane and then another hour and a half to Noosa or thereabouts. Climate: The Sunshine Coast boasts a temperate climate with warm water most of the year. Typical winter temperatures are around 19 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius in Summer. Electricity: 240 volts AC, mainly three-point plugs Currency: Australian Dollar Credit Cards: Major credit cards are accepted at most shops and hotels. Banking: There are a number of full service banking facilities on the Sunshine Coast. EFTPOS is also generally available in most establishments
Top things to see and do
1. Australia Zoo – the park of the late legendary Steve Irwin and his wife Terri. A great day out!
2. Underwater World in Maloolaba
3. The Beach – a great way to enjoy all that sunshine!
4. Learn to surf – Noosa has some of the best learning beaches in the world.
5. Walk! The Sunshine Coast has so many great walks ranging from the boardwalk from Hastings Street to Noosa National Park, right through to 3-4 day treks.
6. Visit Fraser Island – the world’s largest sand island has magnificent beaches, crystal clear lakes and fantatic wildlife.
7. Whale watching at Hervey Bay
8. Hire a car and go exploring at your leisure!
9. Enjoy a round of golf at one of the internationals standard golf courses
10. Visit the Big Pineapple, The Ginger Factory and Super Bee
The Sunshine Coast enjoys a warm temperature for most of the year so any time is a good time to go. It can get quite humid in February and March whereas September generally has the least rainfall.
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