Sunshine Coast Guide
Beautiful beaches and close-to-perfect weather means summer is always in style on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. From surf to bush, million-dollar ocean views to hinterland markets, your perfect holiday awaits.
With an average of more than 300 days of sunshine a year it’s no surprise that the coast north of Brisbane from Caloundra to Cooloola is called the “Sunshine Coast”. The seaside resort town of Noosa is the region’s unofficial capital, but it also includes the beautiful hinterland as well as more than 100 kilometres of beaches. It doesn’t matter what type of holidaymaker you are, everyone – shoppers, surfers and sun worshippers, adventurers and hedonists, off-roaders, bushwalkers and those with kids in tow – will find all the ingredients for a perfect holiday on the Sunshine Coast.
- Country: Australia
- Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Offical Language: English
- Visas: International visitors need a visa to enter Australia and different types apply depending on country of origin, your travel agent can advise
- Tipping: Voluntary, tips of around 10 per cent are optional for good service
- Electricity: Australian outlets run on an average 230 volts and use Type I plugs
Temperature (max C)
J 29, F 28, M 28, A 26, M 23, J 21, J 21, A 22, S 24, O 26, N 28, D 28
Rainfall (max mm)
J 177, F 202, M 192, A 157, M 155, J 124, J 84, A 78, S 55, O 82, N 94, D 142
With a sprawling coastline as beautiful as this, it's no wonder that most things to do at the Sunshine Coast revolve around days at the beach! If you do wish to venture further than the sand, consider a paddle in the deep end with a surfing or stand up paddle board lesson. The protected corners of Mooloolaba, Coolum and Noosa are great places to learn how to hang 10 with the best of them and board hire is readily available.
From the surface of the ocean to the savannahs of Africa, visit the Irwin family's Australia Zoo for croc encounters, koala cuddles and so much more. There are 10 National Parks in the Sunshine Coast and more than 100 kilometres of coastline, making it easy to go from the bush to the beach all in one day.
Eat & Drink
If you love your food you’ll love the Sunshine Coast. Noosa’s Hastings Street with its oceanfront cafes and fine diners is one of the country’s most famous eat streets, but Gympie Terrace in nearby Noosaville is just as good when it comes to eating out – ask a local and they’ll say it’s better, and less expensive. Mooloolaba Esplanade is another eat street with fabulous views – don’t go home without trying some freshly caught Mooloolaba prawns.
With more than 100 kilometres of glorious coastline and a lush hinterland you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay on the Sunshine Coast.
The Sunshine Coast is all about shopping out in the sunshine, at one of the region’s famous markets. The biggest and the best is in the hinterland at Eumundi on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, where you’ll find more than 500 stalls selling everything from fashion and furniture to toys, organic beauty products, art, crafts, jewellery and food, but there are also good markets at Noosa Marina and Maleny on Sundays.
Sunshine Coast Like a Local
A favourite spot for locals and the odd tourist who ventures away from Noosa, Lake Weyba is a shallow salt-water lake and a fantastic place to spend a peaceful afternoon. The lake is also an important fish-breeding habitat making it an ideal spot for fishing and canoeing. Bring a picnic, splash in the shallow end, keep an eye out for local wildlife and enjoy a picturesque sunset over the water.
If you're something of a free spirit and like to enjoy your beach time without the restriction of clothing, Alexandria Bay is a popular, but not official, spot for 'naturists'. A-Bay, as it's known to the locals, is an unpatrolled beach located on the eastern side of Noosa Heads National Park and accessible via a walk through the scrub.
1. Cheap cruising: Hire a boat – or a kayak or even a stand-up paddleboard – and spend a day cruising the Noosa or Maroochy rivers. Take a fishing line with you and you may even catch a free seafood feast along the way.
2. Miss the market mania: 1.6 million shoppers browse the stalls at Eumundi markets each year, more than 10,000 on any given market day. Wednesday has a little more room to move, but if you do go on a Saturday aim to get there early (they kick off around 7am) to avoid the crowds.
3. Dining with a view: Eating out in Noosa’s not cheap, but stock up on goodies at one of the local markets and head for one of the free gas barbecues on the Noosa River foreshore or in the park behind Sunshine Beach, where every table has a million-dollar water view.
Did you know...? Mount Coolum, around halfway between Noosa and Caloundra, is one of the largest rocks in the world – as far as monoliths go, it’s second only to Uluru. You can climb to the top and back in around two hours. Local legend says it was used for target practice during World War II by Australian Navy gunships.