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
Renowned for its relaxed approach to Queensland life, the Sunshine Coast is famous for its uncrowded white sand beaches and green scenery. Stretching for nearly 70 klms, the Sunshine Coast falls within the Sunshine Coast Council's jurisdiction and provides for a great (and popular) escape from Brisbane, or the Gold Coast. A holiday mecca even for South East Queensland locals, the Sunshine Coast is a great place to relax, unwind and taste the amazing local produce.
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
The Sunshine Coast Airport is 10km north of Maroochydore.
The Translink (Sunbus) 622 bus services the airport terminal hourly between Maroochydore and Noosa Junction, but somewhat inconveniently stops before the last flights arrive from Sydney and Melbourne. The 620 bus runs later and with greater freqency, but only stops on David Low Way outside the airport precinct. It is just over 1 kilometre to walk from this stop to the airport terminal. Change at Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore for points south. Change at Noosa Junction for Noosa Heads and Noosaville.
The normal hire car chains are located in arrivals.
Door to door transfers are available to the entire sunshine coast area, but must be pre-booked. Henry's operates north (to Noosa and Coolum), and Sun-air operates south to Maroochydore, Caloundra. Discounts are available for groups - expect to pay around $20 per person.
Sunshine Coast taxis Taxis are available and operated by Suncoast cabs (07 5451 7500). It can cost up to $100 to get to Noosa by taxi from the airport, so if you are heading a distance from the airport make sure you have determined your onward transport before arriving.
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. 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, bacon, and white toast. You can bring your own food and use the free community barbecues on the beach for a better experience. 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.