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Sunshine Coast (Queensland)

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Sunshine Coast (Queensland)

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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 official Sunshine Coast Tourism website contains a wide variety of information about Sunshine Coast attractions, accommodation, locations and transport.

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.

Get in

By car

The Sunshine Coast is between 1 and 2 hours (depending on traffic and exactly where you're going) north of Brisbane by car.

By plane

Sunshine Coast Airport

Sunshine Coast Airport is in Maroochydore and has frequent domestic flights to major Australian capital cities.

The Sunshine Coast Airport is 10km out of Maroochydore, so you will need to catch a bus, taxi or private car to get to civilization. There is no rail or Queensland bus services to this airport, so your only options are horribly expensive private options. Sunshine Coast airport car hire Car hire desks are available and can all be pre booked at the best rates and paid for at the desk. Sunshine Coast taxis Taxis are available and operated by Suncoast cabs (07 5451 7500) Sunshine Coast airport transfers Henry's [1] and Sun-air [2] operate a transfer service to all locations on the Sunshine Coast. Any of these options is likely to cost $20 AUD to $30 AUD per person.

Sunshine Coast Airport on Wikipedia

By train

Queensland Rail runs the Citytrain service[5], which runs on the North Coast rail line from Brisbane to Landsborough and Nambour, with connecting buses to Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Noosa.

Get around

  • Choice Car Rentals, [6].
  • Cut Price Car Rentals, [7].
  • East Coast Car Rentals, [8].
  • Suncoast Car Rentals, [9].
  • Select Rent A Car, [10].


  • Australia Zoo [11], owned and run by the family of the late Steve Irwin, is a popular tourist drawcard. The site tends to be frequented more by overseas visitors.
  • Buderim Ginger Factory [12] - 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina. Tel: +61-7-5446-7096. Mini-theme park based on ginger. Cane Train through rainforest and a couple of rides and features to entertain children, including a boat ride with animate characters - like a Ginger "It's a small world". Claims to be biggest selection of ginger products anywhere in the world. Cafe for meals and snacks.
  • Glasshouse Mountains [13] and Beerburrum and Beerwah State Forests and Forest Reserves.
  • Kenilworth State Forest [14] - Rainforest and eucalypt forest. Camping in various areas. Tel: 13 13 04 for permits and information.
  • Kondalilla National Park [15] - on Western Avenue about 4 km north of the centre of Montville. Tel: +61-7-5494-3983. 327 hectares of lush subtropical rainforest and tall open forest plus Kondalilla Falls dropping 90 metres from Skene Creek into water pools below. Parking area, picnic facilties, barbecues, shelter sheds, toilets, a lookout and three walking trails. No fresh water available. Can become quite crowded during peak holiday periods.
  • Aussie World, 73 Frizzo Road, Bruce Highway Palmview, Queensland, 4553 Australia, +61-7-5494-5444, [1]. A family fun-park, dodgem cars and the like, located next to the Ettamogah Pub. Can be accessed via door-to-door services [2]


  • Go Tandem SkyDiving with Sunshine Coast Skydivers
  • The beaches are the major attractions
  • The adventurous may wish to climb one of the Glasshouse Mountains
  • Surf, or learn to surf, at Noosa
  • Drive a go-karting at Landsborough
  • Go Fishing with Noosa's Laguna Charters [16]


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.

  • Thai Street - Located in Alexandra Headland along the main road near the beach. Good quality Thai food at reasonable prices. Friendly staff.
  • Steak - Pay your steak AU$ 2.00 with the purchase of any drink on Sundays at the SurfAir Resort in Marcoola, close to the airport. Food is good and you have an option to choose fish instead of beef.
  • India Today - Excellent quality Indian cuisine in a unique setting. Great service. The tandoori chicken is a very tasty and filling choice. Aerodrome Road, Maroochydore.
  • Montezuma's - Aussie style Mexican food. Good size portions of less than authentic south of the border classics. Great atmosphere and service. Mooloolaba.
  • Noosa Kite Surfing (Noosa Kite Surfing Lessons), [3]. Kite Surfing lessons with Mike Burrell. Noosa Kiteboarding cater for all levels of Kite surfing experience.
  • Sang's Thai Restaurant (BYO), 1/2 Maroubra Street Alexandra Headland 4572 (opposite the Blue Bar), 07 54754412, [4]. Dinner Tuesday - Saturday, Closed Sunday & Monday. Best Thai Restaurant on the Sunshine Coast!


Stay safe

Get out

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