The best of both worlds: pristine coast and lush hinterland

Pristine coastline just minutes away from lush hinterland, fresh local produce and superb cuisine, exhilarating events and world-class attractions – the Sunshine Coast is like nowhere else in Queensland. 

Beginning at the Glass House Mountains, just one hour’s drive north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast extends north to Rainbow Beach, the gateway to Fraser Island. It takes in tranquil hinterland, including the towns of Maleny and Montville, the Noosa hinterland and Mary Valley, as well as more than 100 kilometres of stunning beaches stretching through the coastal towns of Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Cotton Tree, Maroochydore, Coolum Beach, Noosa and Rainbow Beach.

The Sunshine Coast is the perfect destination to escape the daily grind with a relaxed beach culture and a variety of coastal and hinterland highlights to experience.

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Things to do

  • Family activities

    Start at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. Interact with amazing wildlife and learn about conservation and animal protection. There really is no other zoo like it. For more family fun, visit Aussie World, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, Big Kart Track and The Ginger Factory. Or, keep the kids entertained with mini golf, bowling, cinemas, mazes and botanic gardens. There are loads of family-friendly activities to choose from.

  • Hinterland nature and wildlife

    Venture beyond the beach and surf scene to explore the Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast hinterland, Noosa countryside and the Mary Valley regions. The townships of Maleny, Mapleton and Montville offer stunning views, bespoke accommodation and incredible proximity to rainforest and waterfalls. Wonders of nature abound on the Sunshine Coast: cruise along the Noosa Everglades to experience stunning wilderness or through the Pumicestone Passage to spot a dugong.

  • Local produce

    Fresh produce straight from the farm sits side-by-side with international tastes at the many Sunshine Coast markets, including the famous Eumundi Markets. Paddock-to-plate and local fare are common on Sunshine Coast menus, with local heroes such as Mooloolaba prawns, Buderim ginger, cheese, strawberries and pineapples served regularly in restaurants both waterside and nestled in the hinterland. Just add a cooking school session to create the perfect foodie holiday.

  • Festivals and events

    The Sunshine Coast’s sub-tropical climate provides the perfect conditions for an events calendar that unfolds in stunning natural amphitheatres. Kick up your heels at events like the Caloundra Music Festival, discover your green thumb at the Queensland Garden Expo or get the blood pumping at Noosa Triathlon.

  • Beaches

    The Sunshine Coast is home to 100km of beaches bordered by crystal-clear waters. From sheltered, calm swimming bays to some of the world’s most famous breaks, it’s the perfect place to learn or pursue a passion for diving, fishing, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing, water skiing, kiteboarding, paddleboarding, snorkelling, surfing or swimming. For a bucket-list experience, drive on the “sand highway” from Noosa North Shore to Rainbow Beach or swim with the whales in Mooloolaba.

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Airport information

Sunshine Coast Airport opens in new window (formerly Maroochydore Airport; MCY)

Distance to Noosa 30km

Taxis are available outside arrivals. The trip to Noosa takes around 30 minutes and costs about AUD $85-90.

Rideshare Uber, Ola, Didi and Sheebah all operate on the Sunshine Coast.

Shuttle A Con-x-ion opens in new windowshuttle bus meets all flights, and takes around 45 minutes to Noosa. One-way adult fares are around AUD $35.

Bus Translink opens in new window public bus routes 620 and 622 travel to Noosa 7 days a week, taking around 1 hour. Tickets cost about AUD $9.

Distance to Mooloolaba 15km

Taxi A taxi to Mooloolaba takes around 15 minutes and costs around AUD $40-45.

Distance to Caloundra 28 km

Distance to Rainbow Beach 149 km

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When to go

The Sunshine Coast is perfect for an action-packed holiday any time of the year. Temperatures average 28°C in summer in the coastal region; it’s slightly cooler in the hinterland. During the winter months, the average daytime temperature is 20°C and evening brings a cooler 10°C.

There's a jam-packed annual events calendar that includes some of Australia’s most famous sporting and surf events (Mooloolaba Triathlon, Noosa Festival of Surfing), food and culture (Noosa Eat and Drink Festival), as well as iconic music festivals, including the Gympie Music Muster. Plus, the Sunshine Coast Council runs free school holiday programmes to keep the kids entertained.

Ready to go? Find cheap flights to the Sunshine Coast

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Getting around

Translink provides train and bus services throughout the coast.

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