The only thing regrettable about the Sunshine Coast is that there isn’t more than 24 hours in each day. But if there existed only one day in which to experience this slice of paradise, there’s plenty of ways to maximise a visit, from breakfast beachside through to cocktail hour.
What to do...
Yes you're on holiday but few things beat waking up to the sound of the surf. To maximise any Sunshine Coast experience, sunrise is arguably magic hour. Wake up at Netanya Noosa Resort, overlooking Main Beach, and choose between a morning walk of Noosa National Park or SUP yoga and pilates session on the Noosa River.
Starving Sunshine Coasters adore Seasons for breakfast, due to its absolute beachfront locale. Arrive early for a prime position and listen to the gently crashing waves while dining on a Seasons “classic” of poached or scrambled eggs with home-made chilli jam on classic white toast and a freshly-squeezed juice.
Beat the bargain hunters and drive out to the Eumundi Markets, every Wednesday and Saturday. Amid the hundreds of colourful stalls, head to Eumundi Square which supports emerging Sunshine Coast micro businesses such as Lily and Jordan, Yumcha Child and Dolly Did It. Browse Berkelouw Books for some beautiful tomes.
Continue the journey west and into the lush green hinterland, which denotes the townships of Montville and Maleny. Enjoy a morning Cup ‘o Joe at Maleny Coffee, take a farm tour of Maleny Dairies and check out the Clock Shop and local skincare range Mukti. Wander the main street for arts and crafts.
Hook back slightly along this picturesque ridge to Montville in time for lunch at Flame Vineyard and Restaurant. Snatch a seat on the deck and enjoy home-grown grass-fed Angus beef served with homegrown herbs and vegetables, washed down with a Montville shiraz while overlooking the vines and a distant sea view.
Head south-east towards the southern coast and Caloundra and choose from King’s Bulcock or Golden Beach for a refreshing afternoon dip. Paddle in the Pumicestone Passage, tackle the 28km Caloundra Coastal Pathway which starts at Pelican Waters and ends at Tewantin or simply laze in the shade under a tree.
Drive north towards Mooloolaba for a mid-afternoon wander along the vibrant esplanade. Check out home-grown designer Carmel’s Designs for great fashion which captures the ocean lifestyle before heading to Taps Mooloolaba for a cold craft beer. Choose from eight different flavours weekly or the two regulars on tap.
To truly embrace the sunset, head to the Noosa River and the west-facing Noosa Boathouse where a “sunset bar menu” can be enjoyed on the top deck. Once the sun has finally departed, head downstairs for some truly innovative dining on regional cuisine such as Mooloolaba prawn salad and seafood platter.
It would be criminal to end a Sunshine Coast day without a cocktail back at Noosa and Miss Moneypenny’s has arguably the best list in town. Start with a champagne cocktail or head straight to the hard hitters such as the $39.50 Bloody Mary share cocktail with house-made Bloody Mary mix.