Whether it’s shopping the Sunshine Coast’s equivalent of Hollywood Boulevard, wandering around ocean side and hinterland National Parks, foraging through colourful markets or taking a day trip to the world’s largest sand island, the list of must-do activities is extensive and exciting. Cruise the crystal waters to complete the bucket list.
Once the bastion of the bold and beautiful, Noosa’s most famous street has evolved into a relaxed shopping strip. Snatch a seaside breakfast at Seasons before wandering the boutiques and galleries, pause for coffee at Clandestino Roasters and call in for cocktails at Miss Moneypenny’s.
Noosa National Park
The trek from Main Beach to Hells Gate attracts walkers like a line of ants but there’s another way to explore Noosa National Park. Tackle the steep stairs from Sunshine Beach on the southern side, and discover the Fairy Pools, Devil’s Kitchen and Paradise Cove.
Australia’s premier artisan market since 1979, the Eumundi Markets boasts hundreds of stalls. The Noosa Farmers Markets sell freshly-caught seafood, organic produce and skin care products. Also check out the Peregian Markets; Fishermans Road Sunday Markets; Kawana Waters Farmers Markets; Coolum Beach Twilight Markets; and Caloundra Markets.
Montville & Maleny
The green behind the Sunshine Coast’s golden glow, the hinterland’s Montville and Maleny are linked by a ridge which runs along emerald hills. Home to artists, national parks, fine dining, boutique accommodation, local wineries and organic producers, take a farm and factory tour of Maleny Dairies.
Boasting Australia’s only river system with its upper catchment protected by national park, the best way to experience the Noosa Everglades is on a guided tour. The Discovery Group offers three options: a barbecue lunch cruise; a canoe safari and barbecue lunch; and a half-day cruise.
Day Trip Fraser Island
The world’s largest sand island is so close you can almost touch it and The Discovery Group makes a day trip to Fraser Island an easily accessible option in a ‘Warrior’ 4WD. Explore Seventy-Five Mile Beach; splash in Lake McKenzie; walk ancient rainforests; and enjoy lunch.
The ‘loo with a view’ along Mooloolaba’s Esplanade is a cheeky conversation point among visitors who are drawn to this destination for its white, sandy main beach, and the calm waters of the Spit, home to the fishing trawlers which supply destination diners with fresh seafood.
Day Cruises & Islands
Life is pretty cruisey on the Sunshine Coast with Caloundra Cruise; Coastal Cruises Mooloolaba; and Cruise Maroochy Eco all offering day cruises. For some old-fashioned fun, jump aboard the MV Noosa Queen or Noosa Ferry Cruise Company, and for some glamour, Noosa Dreamboats Classic Boat Cruises.
Just Add Water
Making a splash on the Sunshine Coast is Australia’s first whale swimming experience where Sunreef Mooloolaba invites visitors to share the ocean with a humpback. Novice surfers are also spoiled with surf schools dotted along this coastline and Learn to Surf Noosa is the oldest surf school in Noosa Heads.
Glass House Mountains
Dating back 20 million years, and part of ancient Aboriginal storylines, the Glass House Mountains are 16 volcanic crags which punctuate the pineapple plantations symbolic of the Sunshine Coast. Hikers and climbers love this pristine hinterland for its picturesque walks serving up sublime coastal views.