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The Spectacular Sunshine Coast
South East Queensland is the most populous and fastest growing region in Queensland and the Sunshine Coast is up there with the best of them.
Renowned for its relaxed approach to the Queensland life style, the Sunshine Coast is famous for its uncrowded white sand beaches and green scenery situated to the north of Brisbane. Stretching for nearly 70 kilometres, 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 and hospitality.
From its myriad of wineries and art galleries to expansive bushwalking tracks, state of the art equine facilities, growing rural communities and friendly country charm.
Sunshine Coast is a peri-urban area and the third most populated area in the Australian state of Queensland. Located 100 km (62 miles) north of the state capital Brisbane in South East Queensland on the Pacific Ocean coastline, its urban area spans approximately 60 km (37 miles) of coastline and hinterland from Pelican Waters to Tewantin. The estimated urban population of Sunshine Coast is well over was 310,000 making it the 9th most populous in the country.
The area was first settled by Europeans in the 19th century with development progressing slowly until tourism became an important industry. The area has several coastal hubs at Caloundra, Kawana Waters, Maroochydore and Noosa Heads. Nambour and Maleny have developed as primary commercial centres and popular tourist destinations for the hinterland region.
The Sunshine Coast, as a term recognised by Australians, is the district defined in 1967 as “the area contained in the Shires of Landsborough, Maroochy and Noosa, but excluding Bribie Island” but another great destination to visit and explore.
In the 1820s, the Sunshine Coast saw its first white inhabitants: three castaways (Finnegan, Pamphlet and Parsons) who shared the life of the local (Kabi Kabi) Aborigines for eight months. Thereafter, during the 1830s to 1840s, the district became home to numerous runaway convicts from the Moreton Bay (Brisbane) penal colony slightly to the south.
In 1842, Governor George Gipps had the entire Sunshine Coast and hinterland from Mt Beerwah north to roughly Eumundi declared a “Bunya Bunya Reserve” for the protection of the bunya tree after Andrew Petrie advised him of the importance of bunya groves in Aboriginal culture.
Major rivers of the Sunshine Coast include Noosa River, Maroochy River, Mooloolah River and the Stanley River. The region includes several lakes such as Lake Cootharaba and Lake Weyba. Ewen Maddock Dam, Wappa Dam and Baroon Pocket Dam have been built for water storage
Beaches along the Sunshine coast are to say the very least spectacular and rate as some of the best pristine beaches in the world today. Large stretches of the Sunshine Coast are lined with unbroken beaches – from Sunshine Beach near Noosa to Coolum Beach the coast from Point Arkwright to Mudjimba the Maroochydore–Mooloolaba stretch and from Buddina past the Caloundra CBD to Pelican Waters covering Alexandra Headland, Kawana Waters and of course the world famous Noosa and Kings beaches.
The Sunshine Coast is a centre for tourism, attracting more than 3.2 million visitors a year. There are significant and magnificent must visit attractions, such as Steve Irwin‘s Australia Zoo, Under Water World marine park, Aussie World with the Ettamogah Pub, The Buderim Ginger Factory, The Big Pineapple, the Eumundi Markets and the Majestic Theatre at Pomona, and of course the Big Pineapple. The area also plays hosts to many annual sporting events such as Mooloolaba Triathlon, Noosa Triathlon and Sunshine Coast Marathon.
Beaches, hiking, surfing fresh local food and world-class events, the Sunshine Coast has it all! The only thing more refreshing than the water is the lifestyle. With its sunshine, endless coastline, lush rainforests and easy smiles – it’s a place where you’ll feel like a local from the moment you arrive.
There’ll never be a shortage of things to see and do on your Sunshine Coast visit. With glorious sunny days and warm water most of the year, it’s an ideal place for outdoor sports and recreation, alfresco dining, hiking, swimming, surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, cycling, golfing, shopping and the list goes on.
Explore the lush hinterland villages of Montville and Maleny, enjoy the pristine Caloundra beaches and Pumicestone Passage, and savour the fresh, juicy prawns direct from the trawlers in Mooloolaba. Take in the awe-inspiring Glass House Mountains, indulge in the naturally stylish and effortlessly cool Noosa, and find your sense of adventure in Rainbow Beach.
It’s easy to find your way around the Sunshine Coast so you can feel confident exploring the area solo. If you’d like some guidance on the local eco-systems and attractions, there are a multitude of guided tours. Of course, the kids will become instant fans of the beaches and attractions.
Explore the Sunshine Coast and experience the wildlife, breathtaking beaches and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. There is something for all the family to enjoy whether you prefer a guided tour or relaxing in the sun the Sunshine Coast of Australia has it all.
Queensland Tourism aims to provide all the information you need to make your visit to Australia’s Sunshine Coast as enjoyable as possible. Search for accommodation, dining, tours, attractions and a whole lot more with our easy to use search engine and guides.
Choose your patch of sand from over 100 kilometres of pristine coastline – stretching from Caloundra in the south to Noosa and the rainbow sands of the Cooloola Coast in the north – and soak up the warm sunshine and laid-back atmosphere.
Paddle into the home of longboarding with a surf lesson at Noosa’s Main Beach.
Hire a boat, kayak or stand-up paddle board and cruise the calm waters of Pumicestone Passage or one of the many lakes and inlets.
Build sandcastles, eat fish and chips, or just lay back with a book on Mooloolaba Beach.
Explore the natural beauty of the region, cosy cafes and boutiques waiting to be discovered.
Be entertained by local artists and stock up on arts and crafts at Eumundi Markets.
Take in the view from the Glass House Mountains or wander through national parks and trails.
Take a day cruise or rent a boat or jet ski.
With award-winning restaurants, food trails, vibrant food festivals and bustling farmers markets, the Sunshine Coast is one giant celebration of food and wine.
Tick off your foodie bucket list with beachfront and rain forest restaurants worth travelling for.
Sample just-picked strawberries and fresh-caught seafood at an outdoor farmer’s market.
Create your own cuisine at one of the many cooking schools.
The things to see and do on Queensland Sunshine Coast are virtually endless which will make you wanting to return over and over again.