From Caloundra to Noosa Heads, this coastal region in Queensland features 60 km-long coastal ribbon of beaches with some of the best tourism infrastructures in Australia, including eco, sports, and marine. The ‘azure’ splendour is amplified by all hues of green at the spectacular backdrop of the Glasshouse Mountains and the sub-tropical hinterland in the Mapleton National Park, set against the famous beachfront of Noosa.
MAROOCHYDORE & MOOLOOLABA
Maroochydore is a commercial centre of the Sunshine Coast. It is the only town that is not exclusively dependent on tourism, with lovely residential areas and suburbs, out of which many are stretching along the Paynter River.
The seaside town still offers excellent tourism, river attractions, and sensational beaches, of course. The highlight is the Sunshine Plaza built over the river with lovely restaurants, cafes, outlets, cinemas, and playgrounds.
The south harbour of Mooloolaba hosts a fleet of fishing boats, safe swimming beaches and a river reserve known for seasonal wildflowers while Mudjimba in the north provides a long surf beach, airport, splendid marina and luxurious homes along the Esplanade.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN MAROOCHYDORE & MOOLOOLABA
THE BIG PINEAPPLE
Don`t skip The Big Pineapple – a heritage-listed monument in Woombye (near Mooloolaba) and the Big Pineapple Music Festival held each May. Known as the’ Sunshine Plantation’, the structure features 16-metre fibreglass pineapple. Tree Top Challenge, Waterpark and Wildlife HQ are additional attractions, and there is organic, home-made food & artisan drinks as well as wonderful ‘glamping’ options.
At the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, Caloundra will be the first seaside resort visited by those driving from Brisbane. The coastal town is a popular family holiday location with plenty of purpose-built attractions, gorgeous swimming beaches, estuaries, rivers and Bribie Island only a stone`s throw away.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN CALOUNDRA
If you drive to the Caloundra`s hinterland, you will pass through the verdant Beerwurruh and Beerwah Forests that are home to the impressive Glasshouse Mountains.
Three volcanic plugs are majestically towering over the woodlands: Mt Beerwah, Mt Tibrogargan, and Mt Coonowrin. All of them can be climbed, but it requires a decent level of fitness. Those who like easy trekking can try the alternative hikes Tibrogargan Circuit or Trachyte Circuit.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN GLASSHOUSE MOUNTAINS
COOLUM & YAROOMBA
The surfing and golfing mecca of the Sunny Coast not only boasts breathtaking beaches but also it takes pride in a majestic granite dome overlooking the town – Mt Coolum. The volcanic peak can be climbed, and the views from its lookout truly are impressive.
Yaroomba is a popular beachfront resort with stylish apartments and holiday homes but also coastal parklands, lookouts, and a shipwreck.
The hinterland Mapleton National Park teems with greenery and natural attractions such as sub-tropical rainforest, waterfalls, creeks and exotic wildlife.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN COOLUM & YAROOMBA
Situated at the most exclusive end of the Sunshine Coast, within a beautiful headland with the mouth of the Noosa River, this small but pretty town with superb marinas is home to many celebrities. Noosa is Australia`s leading holiday destination, especially amongst families and couples, but also it has been popular with the surfing fraternity for years.
Read more about Noosa.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The Sunshine Coast is a much-adored vacation spot for both Australians and foreigners, and the prices reflect that especially the peak season is pretty busy. Therefore, try to avoid the summer school holiday (Dec-Feb).
The region enjoys pleasant weather all year round, and even if you travel outside the summer season, you will not miss out on anything. The whale watching season is between May and November.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Brisbane, hire a vehicle (4WD recommended) and drive to the Sunshine Coast via the Scenic Ocean Drive (1.5 hrs)
Otherwise, fly directly to the Sunshine Coast.
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