Introducing the Sunshine Coast
Drive from Brisbane to Noosa Heads and prepare yourself for natural splendour and any number of short break indulgences. The Sunshine Coast region, from Caloundra to Noosa, offers a huge range of options for relaxing and having an adventure.
What to do and see on the Sunshine Coast
Enjoy a gourmet meal with stunning sea views, relax in a day spa, browse for the latest fashions, tee-off at a world-class gold course, go diving, game fishing, swimming and kayaking or discover the local wildlife on an eco-cruise.
Paddle the Pumicestone Passage or the Noosa River, swim with playful seals at UnderWater World, cuddle a Koala at Australia Zoo, dive the HMAS Brisbane and dine on gourmet cuisine along Hastings Street.
The Sunshine Coast also plays host to a range of great festivals, from the Noosa and Mooloolaba triathlons and Coolum Kite Fest, to the Noosa Long Weekend arts and food festival, the Noosa Jazz Festival and many more.
Trip length from Brisbane 3 days
Total distance 287km
Road conditions All sealed roads
Segment distances: Brisbane to Caloundra – 92km, 1hr 50mins;
Caloundra to Noosa Heads – 55km, 1hr 10mins;
Noosa Heads to Brisbane – 140km, 2hrs 30mins;
Suggested overnight stops: Caloundra, Mooloolaba or Noosa
Must-see sights on the Sunshine Coast, include:
– It’s not surprising that Caloundra has a reputation as a great family destination. The calm waters at the river mouth area of Pumicestone Passage are ideal for swimming, kayaking or taking an eco-cruise to Bribie Island and spotting wildlife in Moreton Bay Marine Park.
The playgrounds nearby are made for families to enjoy. Head to Bulcock Beach for a fish and chips lunch and then stroll along the boardwalk or try the outdoor saltwater pool at Kings Beach.
– Take in some wildlife action at Australia Zoo, located at Beerwah, in the hinterland behind Caloundra. Check out the crocodile show, cuddle a koala, hand-feed an Asian elephant, take a Tasmanian devil for a stroll, wrap a snake around your shoulders or walk alongside a Bengal tiger.
– Browse the Sunshine Coast’s biggest shopping centre, Sunshine Plaza. Watch a movie or pick out a new swimsuit and then head to the nearby beaches of Cotton Tree and Maroochydore on the mouth of the Maroochy River. Choose between still water or the surf beach off Alexandra Headland. Later enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the nearby barbecue areas and playgrounds.
– Choose from a selection of al fresco dining options along the Mooloolaba Esplanade overlooking white sands and a stunning bay. Browse the strip of boutiques along the Esplanade then cross the road to the beach and you’ll discover rock pools, a good beach break and clean white sand.
Head into the bay aboard a game fishing charter to fish for marlin, coral trout and snapper or scuba dive the Gneering Shoal or HMAS Brisbane, a spectacular wreck lying in the warm clear waters just north of Mooloolaba.
For great balcony dining try the Mooloolaba Surf Club, built right on Mooloolaba Beach, or stroll down to Mooloolaba Wharf for more dining and entertainment options. While on the wharf, admire the boats or duck into UnderWater World, Queensland's largest Oceanarium and Aquarium, and be surrounded by more than 25,000 weird and wonderful sea creatures.
Coolum and Peregian
– Surf the waves, learn to kite surf, walk the long white beaches, climb to the top of Mount Coolum or tee-off at the Hyatt Regency Coolum or Peregian Springs golf courses.
– Spot celebrities while browsing the elegant boutiques along Noosa’s famous tree-lined Hastings Street, then meander through the shopping arcade to tranquil Main Beach.
Stroll down the beach, past the breakwater to the Noosa National Park and discover clear water and uncrowded beaches. Look out for koalas and watch windsurfers show-off as you enjoy an ice-cream on the point.
Kayak among dolphin pods in the sheltered waters of Laguna Bay or along the Noosa River – Australia’s best flat-water paddling experience also provides great family swimming. Take a boat trip through the tranquil Everglades, indulge in a spa treatment and in the evening enjoy a gourmet meal at an award-winning restaurant on Hastings Street.
– Don’t miss the colourful Eumundi markets, loaded with fresh produce, handcrafts and unique gifts each Wednesday and Saturday, just inland from Noosa.
Hotels on the Sunshine Coast
Discover some of the best hotel accommodation on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these hotels on the Sunshine Coast at TripAdvisor.