Australia is known for many things including the Great Barrier Reef and the outback. Australia is also home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Even if you are not keen for a surf, the beaches are breathtaking and worth a visit.
The Sunshine Coast stretches from Brisbane to Noosa and encompasses resorts, surf spots, cafes, and National Parks- frankly, what else do you need?
The Sunshine Coast does have its own airport, but it is more-often-than-not cheaper to fly into Brisbane. From Brisbane, you can rent a car to head north up the Sunshine Coast. Another common mode of transportation is a camper van or trailer. Because of the plethora of national parks and other attractions, there are plenty of holiday parks for vans and trailers. These fill up rather quickly, especially during the holidays. Be sure to book in advance, because most car parks do not allow vans to stay overnight.
This is technically where the Sunshine Coast begins just north of Brisbane. Here, I am going to include the adjacent beaches including Kings Beach, Moffat Beach, Dicky Beach, and Currimundi. All of these beaches are connected and within walking distance of each other. This area is where I would recommend staying while visiting the Sunshine Coast. The vibes are friendly, low-key, and slow. You are also a day trip away from Noosa which is far more expensive.
Things to Do…
A biking/walking path weaves through the city along the water. You can even bike up to Mooloolaba to the lighthouse, eat at the Fish Market, and delight in some Gelatissimo along the beach.
Farther inland is Mary Cairncross Park with a great lookout to Glass House Mountains and the quaint town of Montville. Stop by The Edge restaurant for another angle view of the Glass House Mountains.
Hire a surfboard. If it is your first time surfing, check out Caloundra Surf School. I only had to use them for one day before I was out there by myself. Hire a surfboard at Surfware Australia at Kings Beach; John, the owner, is so kind and very reasonable with his prices. I was able to hire a surfboard for the week for only $100AUS.
Caloundra has a market every weekend selling local, handmade products.
There are several spots along the water with parks that are equipped with grills. Bring some sausages and a loaf of bread!
Yoga in Moffat Beach park, hosted by NRG. They have an app or you can sign up online.
Currimundi Lake is a nice break from the ocean if you are looking to switch things up. You can hire stand-up paddle boards or kayaks on the beach.
Where to Eat…
- Happy Turtle Cafe. A foodtruck cafe located at Happy Valley- a great surf spot.
- Lamkin Lane for a coffee.
- Coffee Cat on Kings Beach for a coffee and breakfast.
- Between the Flags for a coffee at Dicky Beach. They sell amazing take-away coffee cups made out of recycled coffee beans (brand: Huskee). This is a great gift idea!
- Something Out of the Blue at Currimundi Lake for lunch.
The Coral Beach Resort, consisting of condominiums and a pool in the center, is perfectly located along the river. It is a great location to cafes, the park, and a bus ride away from Hastings Street.
Hastings Street is the main street of Noosa where you can find nightlife, restaurants, cafes, high-end shopping, main beach, surf hire, and the National Park entrance. There is also a free bus to Eumundi Markets, which is a massive market with endless handmade, local products.
The National Park is a must-see. It is a 4-kilometer walk from the entrance to Hell’s Gate. Along the way, you can see koalas, incredible surf, and spectacular beaches.
Where to Eat…
- Bistro C. Great spot for breakfast along the main beachfront and Hasting Street. It is a bit pricey but that is expected in that area.
- Blended Health Bar for a great coffee and acai bowl after a day surfing or lying in the sun or a hike in the national park.
- Noosa Marina. This is a great place for a casual dining experience with kids. There are shops, ice cream parlors, and a couple of restaurants in the marina adjacent to a park and skating park.
Not far from Brisbane is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you can pet kangaroos and hold a koala. They are ethical in the way they treat the animals and educate thousands of visitors on the preservation of the native and endemic species.
While you are DOWN UNDER…
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