Sunshine Coast (Queensland)
Queensland's Sunshine Coast is broadly defined as the beachside towns to the north of Brisbane. Unlike the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast (colloquially the "Sunny Coast") is not just one destination, but a collection of them. A travel experience in Noosa, for example, is likely to be very different from one in Caloundra or Coolum. Behind the coast, in the Blackall Ranges, is the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, with the mountain towns of Maleny and Montville.
Cities and towns
The Sunshine Coast is between 1 and 2 hours (depending on traffic and exactly where you're going) north of Brisbane by car.
Sunshine Coast Airport is located in Maroochydore and has frequent domestic flights to major Australian capital cities.
Queensland Rail runs the Citytrain service, which runs on the North Coast rail line from Brisbane to Landsborough and Nambour, with connecting buses to Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Noosa.
Although the Sunshine Coast has about 300,000 residents, there are very few decent restaurants by average travellers' standards. The bulk of eating experience seems to be meat pies and fish and chips. No wonder Aussies now rank as the most obese population on the planet. The Esplanade on the Mooloolaba waterfront has some nice restaurant but, unfortunately, zoning officials forgot to think ahead and there are large car parking lots between the patios and the ocean. Not that it matters since most meals are quite pricey. Prepare to pay $13 for a basic breakfast of eggs, tomatoes, fatty bacon, and white toast (one slice and never whole wheat). You can bring your own food and use the free community barbecues on the beach for a better experience. Most restaurants are disappointing and really don't care as they have a captive tourist audience for a large part of the year. Of course, out of town visitors all have kitchens in their hotel rooms and are eating in most nights as the restaurants are rarely full. No wonder the tourism industry is stagnant in Australia. One visit is enough.