Queensland’s Sunshine Coast boasts a bevy of beautiful beaches. So how do you decide where to go? You have a wealth of choice at your fingertips, from the sheltered shores of Mooloolaba to the surfing capital, Coolum. And it’s not all about the beaches, there’s also the gorgeous Sunshine Coast Hinterland to explore. So to help you plan your next sunshine getaway, here are our top five hot spots on the Sunshine Coast.
One of Queensland’s most sought-after beach destinations, Noosa Heads boasts incredible natural beauty and a laidback lifestyle. The golden shores of Noosa Main Beach offer gentle surf, making it perfect for swimmers or inexperienced surfers. In addition to the sun soaked beaches, there’s also the dramatic bushland of Noosa National Park. Hastings Street is a hive of activity with world class restaurants, modern bars, ice cream parlours and a host of fashion boutiques. Take a kayak or river cruise along the Noosa River and admire the pristine Noosa Everglades.
In addition to unspoilt beaches, the Sunshine Coast is also graced with stunning hinterland. Take the time to explore the charming town of Maleny, set amidst the winding Obi Obi Creek. Enjoy a drive through the region and be captivated by the picturesque scenery and surrounding rolling hills. Explore the tropical rainforest in the Mary Cairncross Reserve or go for a dip in the refreshing waters of the Baroon Pocket Dam. Sample gourmet cheeses from the Maleny Cheese Factory or treat yourself to an evening meal at one of the local restaurants or cafes.
Maroochydore is another popular area for sunseekers. This is where you will find the region’s CBD and also the super shopping centre, Sunshine Plaza. The largest shopping mall on the coast, the plaza is home to department stores, fashion boutiques, food courts and a large cinema complex. Locals stroll the waterfront at all hours, enjoying Maroochydore’s pristine beaches. Take a cruise down the Maroochy River, embark on a fishing expedition or plant your umbrella on the sandy shores of Maroochydore Beach.
Surfing enthusiasts will love the giant waves that roll in at Coolum Beach. Boasting a carefree and relaxed atmosphere, the area is less developed than hip neighbours like Mooloolaba but you’ll still find plenty of resort accommodation to choose from. Take a wander along the beachfront shopping strip or explore the treasures inside Mount Coolum National Park, including the grand volcanic dome, Mount Coolum. The town also boasts a championship 18 hole course, ideal for golf aficionados of all ages.
The trendy shores of Mooloolaba are a haven for Aussies seeking a little sun, surf and sand. The glamorous esplanade is lined with hipster cafes, beachfront restaurants and surf boutiques. Accommodation is plentiful, with many hotels and resorts within walking distance to the beach. Families flock to Mooloolaba Beach for its sheltered waters, plus you’ll also find the Underwater World SEA LIFE Aquarium nearby. Make the most of the enviable location and book in a fishing tour or go for a joy ride on a jet ski. In season, you could also embark on a whale watching tour.
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