To best appreciate the many facets of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, you’ll need a car. Depending on your arrival point, you can rent a car from Brisbane Airport or Maroochydore Airport, the gateway to the Sunshine Coast. From Brisbane it’s over an hours drive (105 km) via the M1, a bus service also operates a shuttle transfer for those who don’t want to drive.
YES! The sun shines over the Sunshine Coast in winter that’s good enough for a sun tan on the beach, a dip in the sea, and getting around in shorts and a polo during the day. It’s becoming one of our favourite places to visit during the colder months for many reasons.
Our last visit to the Sunshine Coast started from Maroochydore airport, touching down just before midday. We collected our pre-arranged car from the adjacent car park and took a short drive to the picturesque beachside town of Mooloolaba. Take a walk around the promenade and you’ll see an array of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants that would rival many other beach side holiday destinations, although there are plenty of apartments, thankfully, massive sky scrapers have not yet changed landscape and feel here. We couldn’t help but eat out our take away by the beach, while enjoying the views.
The next leg of the journey was to stock up with supplies and a drive back to Maroochydore. Shopping centres are spread out in Maroochydore and we found the One Stop shopping complex, which included a grocery, bottle shop, chemist, bread shop etc. After all the shopping, we head back on the road, a quick drive through the CBD then the coastal road of Bradman Avenue before joining the Sunshine Motorway.
The journey between Maroochydore and Noosa, our final destination, was less than an hour (48 km) and we reached our accommodation in Sunshine Beach by around 3:00 pm, it was only 3 minutes to the village and the beach.
Noosa Junction and Hastings Street are the main strips, you’ll find here speciality shops, restaurants, cafes, a cinema, galleries, bars and the Friday night twilight market offering delicious food and drinks, artisan goodies, imported and local produce. Hastings Street during the day boosts outdoor/open-air alfresco dining, a glass of wine, beer, sumptuous lunch, coffee, cake and sticky beak who’s who in town. It has a direct access to the main beach, popular swimming areas which are patrolled in parts, surfing or sun worshipping areas. (Note, please do follow the beach warnings, and swim only between the flags.)
At the end of the beach is the renowned Noosa National Park, follow the boardwalk that will lead you to the main park entrance and check out the outdoor display to learn about the park in the Headland area. The coastal walking track will give you unparalleled views of Noosa Heads and beyond. If you prefer wildlife walk, follow the sign that will take you into the heart of the National Park. Here you’ll find trees dating more than 100 years back, the amazing foliage that acts as canopy over your walking track. There are wildlife and plant species that you will encounter along the way, like lizards, snakes, brush turkeys, native birds and if you’re lucky, you may even find a koala in a tree. There are designated BBQ areas, amenities and car parking.
On the opposite side, is the small village of Tewantin, a mixture of residential, holiday lettings, restaurants and bars. This picturesque suburb is perfect for those afternoons lazying by the riverbank. You can catch the ferry here or hire a boat and enjoy the tranquil sights and leisurely trip along the river. If you feel peckish and fancy fish and chips or wine, head to Noosa Marina, absolute waterfront nestled on the bank of the Noosa river with shops, restaurants, fresh seafood outlet, and bars.
Planning of a short scenic drive? the colourful Eumundai Market, a premier artisan market with offerings from unusual gifts, handmade crafts, food, local produce and souvenirs that are uniquely made in Queensland. This market is open on Wednesday and Saturday. Cross the road for a good pint of XXXX beer in one the two iconic Hotels, play a tune on the street piano, grab a coffee from one of the local cafes, Indian and Oriental tastes are also catered for in this colourful and historical town.
The best way to end your unforgettable Noosa holiday is a drive along David Low Way, a coastal road that connects to the Sunshine Coast airport (Maroochydore). You will see breathtaking views of the ocean and unspoilt beaches such as Marcus Beach, Peregian Beach, and Coolum Beach. If you have extra time before your flight, a lunch in Coolum Beach is highly recommended.
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, everything you could want for a perfect and relaxing holiday, without the looming high-rises and crowds. We flew with Jetstar and we stayed at the very enjoyable Sundancer Holiday Apartments, Sunshine Beach.