The best of both worlds: pristine coast and lush hinterland
Where pristine beaches meet rolling hinterland and unforgettable sunsets, the Sunshine Coast is a destination that sells itself. Add in superb local food, family-friendly fun and stunning natural attractions, and you’re all set for a perfect Queensland beach holiday.
Beginning at the spectacular peaks of 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 more than 100km of stunning beaches stretching through the coastal resort towns of Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Coolum and Noosa. Detour inland to visit its tranquil hinterland, including the towns of Maleny, Montville and Eumundi, and the national parks surrounding Noosa and Mary Valley.
The Sunshine Coast is the perfect destination to escape the daily grind, so pack those swimmers alongside your walking shoes, and leave your worries behind.
Things to do: Sunshine Coast
Family activitiesThe Sunshine Coast is perfect for your next family holiday. Noosa is popular for both its calm sandy bays and beaches to learn to surf. Likewise, Caloundra, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore. Then there's Steve Irwin's famous Australia Zoo. There really is no other zoo like it. Plus, you have Aussie World, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, Big Kart Track and the Ginger Factory, among a heap of other kid-friendly and outdoor attractions.
Hinterland nature and wildlife
If life's a beach at the Sunshine Coast, it's a rainforest too. Venture beyond the ocean to explore the region's lush rainforest interior. Most famous are its stunning Glass House Mountains, the rolling Sunshine Coast hinterland, subtropical 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. Wildlife wonders abound on the Sunshine Coast: cruise along the Noosa Everglades to experience stunning wilderness or through the Pumicestone Passage to spot a dugong.
Fresh produce straight from the farm sits side-by-side with contemporary, multicultural 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 eventsThe Sunshine Coast’s sub-tropical climate provides the perfect conditions for an events calendar that unfolds in stunning natural amphitheatres. Get amped for big name acts at the Caloundra and Big Pineapple music festivals, along with 10 days of cultural fun at Noosa Alive. Foodies will want to loosen their belts for Noosa Eat & Drink to celebrate the best of the region's local cuisine. At other events, discover your green thumb at the Queensland Garden Expo, or limber up for the Noosa Triathlon.
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.
Distance to Noosa 30km
Rideshare Providers include Uber, Ola, Didi and Sheebah. Expect to pay around AUD $30-60 for the trip to Noosa.
Distance to Mooloolaba 15km
Taxi/rideshare A taxi to Mooloolaba takes around 15 minutes and costs around AUD $35-45. A rideshare costs about AUD $20.
Distance to Caloundra 30km
Distance to Rainbow Beach 149kmBack to top
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 the Caloundra, Big Pineapple and the Gympie Music Muster. Plus, the Sunshine Coast Council runs free school holiday programmes to keep the kids entertained.Back to top
Getting aroundTranslink provides bus services throughout the coast. The touch-on, touch-off go card is accepted on buses. The cards are available at most newsagents. Back to top
Make the most of the coast: Sunshine Coast on a budget
From beaches and sunsets to rainforests and mountains, here on the Sunshine Coast some of the best things in life are free.