Sunshine Coast Visitor’s Guide

The Sunshine Coast is made up of more than 100km of sparkling coastline, dotted with stunning beaches, stylish villages such as Noosa, and bustling coastal towns like Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.

Less than half an hour inland, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is famous for its fresh produce and gourmet dining. The region is only 90 minutes north of Brisbane, but in this laid-back holiday favourite you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to another world.

Things to do on the Sunshine Coast

Laze on the beaches, hike through the hinterland or meet some fascinating local characters at the markets – there’s something for everyone on the Sunshine Coast

Find your beach

With a coastline that stretches from Caloundra to Great Sandy National Park, you’re going to find some spectacular beaches on the Sunshine Coast. The calm waters of Caloundra are great for families, hit the surf at Noosa, or get your four-wheels sandy on Rainbow Beach.

Get off the grid

A 60km network of rivers and lakes is hidden half an hour north of Noosa, one of only two everglades systems on Earth. It’s a place for boating, hiking, camping or just getting to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Head to the hinterland

It’s not all about the beaches on the Sunshine Coast. The Hinterland is home to Kondalilla, Mapleton Falls and Conondale national parks, the striking Glass House Mountains, cosy villages and some seriously innovative farm-to-table food.

Browse the markets

Pick up some fresh produce, watch local entertainers or grab unique souvenirs at one of the Sunshine Coast’s many markets. Don’t miss the famous Eumundi Markets – held every Wednesday and Saturday – for excellent artisan products.

Start Exploring

Places to visit

Towns and villages are spread all along the Sunshine Coast, each with their own particular brand of charm.

Noosa

The most sophisticated village on the coast is filled with luxury hotels, stylish fashion boutiques, glamorous cocktail bars and great restaurants. While Noosa is famed for its surf beaches, there’s also beautiful, calm swimming spots ideal for families.

Mooloolaba

The Sunshine Coast’s urban centre, Mooloolaba has a pretty waterfront esplanade, a great beach and a protected canal system perfect for water sports.

Caloundra

At the southernmost border of the Sunshine Coast, Caloundra combines a laid-back attitude and an emerging culture of cool with slick galleries, impressive street art and a trendy microbrewery in nearby Moffat Beach.

What’s on in the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast loves to celebrate and you can find food and wine festivals, endurance events, concerts and markets held throughout the region. Noosa in particular has a packed events calendar, so you can schedule your visit to catch something special.

Where to stay on the Sunshine Coast

There are great hotels and resorts across the Sunshine Coast from good-value holiday parks right on the beach to quirky treehouses in the Hinterland.

Noosa

If you’re looking for luxury accommodation on the Sunshine Coast, then Noosa is the place to be. Five-star resorts and stylish self-contained apartments are spread along the beach and around the river. You can also find holiday parks and family-friendly properties.

Mooloolaba and Caloundra

The best place to stay in Mooloolaba is right by the beach and the esplanade is lined with high-rise resorts and apartment complexes, holiday parks and homes to rent. Similarly, there are several accommodation options spread along Caloundra’s beach and esplanade, ranging from budget motels to contemporary high-rise resorts.

The hinterland

From luxury treehouse cabins in Montville to an Asian-inspired retreat in Maleny, the Hinterland’s varied accommodation options have one thing in common – blissful seclusion.

Local Tip

The Sunshine Beach to Noosa track through Noosa National Park is one of my favourites. It’s best to start early, wear your togs and pack a picnic. Then finish back in Sunshine Beach with a signature iced chocolate at restaurant Fratellini. Alana Ingold
Sunshine Beach

Getting there

The Sunshine Coast is about 100km north of Brisbane and there are a number of transport options to get there.

Take the train

Trains run every day from Brisbane direct to the Sunshine Coast town of Nambour and the journey takes about two hours.

Drive

If you’d prefer to drive yourself, you can hire a car at Brisbane Airport or in the city itself and hit the highway. The drive takes about 90 minutes.

Take a bus

Greyhound bus services travel from Brisbane through the Sunshine Coast to Noosa and on to Rainbow Beach, with stops including Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Coolum Beach.

Fly to the Sunshine Coast

You can fly into the heart of the region at the Sunshine Coast Airport, half an hour south of Noosa. Direct flights operate to/from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland.

Getting around

You’ll find taxis and ride-share services (like Uber) available in all the region’s major centres, including Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Noosa and Caloundra. If you want to discover everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer, then a hire car is the best option.

Local buses run along the length of the Sunshine Coast as far as Noosa. The journey from end to end takes about two hours, but you will definitely want to hop off along the way.

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