Queensland’s Sunshine Coast offers a unique travel experience that couples, solo travellers or families will not forget. Long stretches of pristine beaches, rolling hills and mountain treks in the hinterland as well as a vibrant nightlife, which is the envy of many coastal towns, are just some of the attractions of south east Queensland’s northern coastline.
But picking a place to stay is tricky, given the diversity and expanse of the Sunshine Coast. From the Glass House Mountains and Australia Zoo in Beerburrum to Rainbow Beach north of Noosa, the coast stretches nearly 150km long.
Thankfully, each destination on the Sunny Coast is pretty easy to get to if you are travelling from any direction, so seeing more than just Mooloolaba or Noosa’s Hastings Street is always an option.
Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Marcoola
This is probably the heart of the Sunshine Coast and the most popular region for international tourists and Brisbane day-trippers alike. There are plenty of reasons why beaches, fishing, shopping, dining and accommodation options for every budget.
Sand Dunes Resort, Marcoola
Sand Dunes Resort can be your luxury beach home away from home overlooking the magnificent Marcoola Beach. The 4.5 star resort is in a perfect location, away from the hustle and bustle of Maroochydore’s Ocean Street and Mooloolaba’s busy beach and is just 2.3km from Sunshine Coast Airport. If you want to do a bit more than relax on a peaceful stretch of sand, the Twin Waters Golf Club is only 4km up the road.
The self-contained two, three or four bedroom apartments or villas come with options such as your own private rooftop jacuzzi, terraced garden and BBQ and access to the resort’s award winning 75m lagoon style pool.
Address: 130 Mudjimba Esplanade, Marcoola QLD 4564
Phone: (07) 5450 6357
84 The Spit, Mooloolaba
Some of the Sunshine Coast’s greatest shops, bars, cafes and restaurants can be found on the esplanade with a view of the beach. But just around the corner is the spit, where this picturesque beach curves around to the mouth of the Mooloolah River.
84 The Spit is in an ideal location on this quieter strip of Mooloolaba. It is just a short walk to The Wharf Mooloolaba, Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium and freshly caught seafood direct from the trawler at Fisheries on the Spit.
Address: 84 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557
Phone: (07) 5444 1642
Coolum, Noosa and beyond
The northern end of the Sunshine Coast is full of things to do and places to stay. Travellers can drive up as far as Tin Can Bay or Rainbow Beach, the gateway to Fraser Island for four-wheel-drivers, or settle for Noosa’s cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Tin Can Bay Tourist Park
If a tranquil and remote getaway surrounded by wildlife is what you’re after, the Tin Can Bay Tourist Park is be the perfect place to be. It is just around the corner from calm waterways that are perfect for fishing or kayaking. Only 3km up the road is the Barnacles Dolphin Centre, where visitors can feed the local wild Australian Humpback Dolphin population.
Comfortable cabins with an ensuite, shower and kitchenette are on offer as well as more modest camping and powered caravan sites. There is an in-ground pool within the park as well as a laundry, camp kitchen and bicycles for hire.
Address: 54-74 Trevally St, Tin Can Bay QLD 4580
Phone: (07) 5486 4411
No. 2 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
Noosa has a bit of everything when it comes to a holiday location and is world renowned for blending the surrounding area’s natural environment with modern dining and entertainment. Stunning surf, national park, botanic gardens and all of the trendy chic of Hastings Street is virtually on the doorstep of this resort.
No. 2 Hasting Street offers self-contained accommodation for couples or the whole family. A River View apartment even has access to a jetty with free parking for boat owners.
Address: 2 Hastings St, Noosa Heads QLD 4567
Phone: (07) 5448 0777
Just a short drive from any of the Sunshine Coast’s sandy beaches are stunning mountain drives and breathtaking views. Amongst the hinterland’s mountain ranges lay quaint towns, vibrant green paddocks and trails that are rewarding for the most adventurous traveller.
Blue Summit Cottages, Maleny
A private cottage with uninterrupted views of rolling hillside and mountain ranges is the perfect way to soak up the atmosphere of Maleny. There’s a special sort of magic about Maleny and Blue Summitt Cottages certainly captures it. Put a log on the fire, kick back with your loved one and gorge on some of the local artisan cheese.
The three different cottages, aptly named after birds, come with king or king single beds, a fully equipped kitchen and a modern bathroom.
Address: 547 Maleny Kenilworth Rd, Maleny QLD 4552
Phone: (07) 5435 8410
Glass House Mountains Ecolodge
The 16 volcanic peaks are iconic to the Sunshine Coast and are a truly inspiring sight to behold. This eco-friendly accommodation is a suitable way to enjoy the natural beauty of the eucalypt forests and bushland teeming with birds and marsupials.
The selection of rooms and suites can accommodate up to two or four people and are more than comfortable enough to rest your feet after a full day’s trekking up Mt Tibrogargan. An old converted church with a view of the mountain itself makes for a very special stay.
Address: 198 Barrs Rd, Glass House Mountains QLD 4518
Phone: (07) 5493 0008
Caloundra has a special place in the heart of many Brisbane locals and is fast becoming a hit with travellers from further afield. What sets it apart from other beachside locations on the Sunny Coast is its family friendly feel and close-knit community.
Norfolks on Moffat Beach
This small patch of paradise is probably the coast’s best-kept secret. A strip of restaurants and cafes, including a microbrewery, overlooks the sizable park and playground by the beach and it’s all a stone’s throw from Norfolks.
The luxury resort boasts ocean views worthy of a postcard for every single room. Two and three bedroom self-catering style apartments are available with a large kitchen to accommodate a couple or family.
Address: 32 Queen of Colonies Parade, Moffat Beach QLD 4551
Phone: (07) 5492 6666
La Promenade, Bulcock Beach
Playing in the safety of Bulcock’s pools at low tide might be your toddler’s first experience in salt water. The beach and boardwalk is very popular with families and locals and the Sunday market is a great way to cap off a weekend. Other areas in close proximity are Happy Valley’s park and rolling surf as well as Kings Beach, which is just a short stroll further up the boardwalk.
Smack bang on the esplanade is La Promenade. Its spacious one and two bedroom apartments come with a fully equipped kitchenette and private balconies overlooking the Pumicestone Passage.
Address: 4 Tay Ave, Caloundra QLD 4551
Phone: (07) 5499 7133