Sunshine Coast (Queensland)
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Queensland's Sunshine Coast is a collection of beachside and hinterland towns to the north of Brisbane. Unlike the Gold Coast, the Sunshine 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
Sunshine Coast Airport is 10km north of Maroochydore and has daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne. The airport has good facilities for an airport of its size, with multiple ATMs, rental cars, transfer services, and food and shopping outlets.
There is a small cafe in the arrivals area, selling coffee and snacks, open from the first flight to the last. Most of the facilities are located after clearing security in the departures area, there is a cafe, a salad store, jewellery store, bookstore and a bar. There is an outside area next to the tarmac which can be an area to enjoy a drink while waiting for your flight.
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 frequency, 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, simply walk along the Friendship Drive out of the airport, turn right onto David Low way and walk the short distance to the stop. Change at Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore for points south. Change at Noosa Junction for Noosa Heads and Noosaville.
The hire car chains are located in arrivals.
Door to door transfers are available to the entire sunshine coast area, but should 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. If you haven't prebooked, Henry's has a desk inside the arrivals area, where you can see if there is availability on the next shuttle. Sun-air has no presence at the airport, and you'll have to call them to see if you can arrange a pickup.
Sunshine Coast taxis Taxis are available and operated by Suncoast cabs (131 008). 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.
See the Brisbane guide for how to get to Brisbane airport. Flights to Brisbane may be more convenient for those who don't want to connect through Sydney or Melbourne to get to the Sunshine Coast. Transfers are available with Sun-air to the Sunshine Coast. Cost is around $40.
Public transport is possible, but to many points on the Sunshine Coast will involve a very circuitous route, and cost $30 or more. See the details on the translink site for your destination.
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.
It is also possible to take coach from Brisbane and/or the Gold Coast. There is a cheap, regular local bus connectiong the towns of the Sunshine Coast, with possible plans to build a tram line in the future.