Where are the best places to stay in The Sunshine Coast?
Nestled on the pristine eastern shores of Queensland, the Sunshine Coast encapsulates the quintessential Australian coastal experience. Blessed with a balmy subtropical climate, which makes the destination perfect for year-round travel, it is an idyllic paradise where golden sands meet crystal-clear waters and lush hinterlands.
Visiting the Sunshine Coast promises relaxation, exploration and immersion in some of the state's most exquisite coastal landscapes. For thalassophiles, there are over 35 extraordinary beaches to visit, including those at Mooloolaba, Coolum and Caloundra. Each caters to different preferences, from bustling hubs for water sports to secluded stretches for those seeking serenity. Surfing, snorkelling and kayaking opportunities also abound, while you can explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef via a 6-hour round-trip boat ride. Beyond the shores, verdant hinterland towns like Montville showcase emerald rainforests, rolling hills and charming villages. The region's epicentre, Maroochydore, features the Sunshine Plaza, one of the biggest shopping centres in the state and a vibrant restaurant scene.
Other Sunshine Coast towns offer a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, evident at the world-famous Eummundi Market and Maleny's farm-to-table dining experiences. Noosa, a major highlight of the region, blends sophistication with a relaxed vibe, offering high-end boutiques, classy art galleries, exquisite restaurants and the iconic Noosa National Park.
Noosa Heads is a captivating, upscale seaside town celebrated for its natural beauty and laid-back elegance. Boasting pristine beaches, Noosa Main Beach and the legendary surf haven of First Point lure both sun-seekers and wave-riders in droves. The iconic Noosa National Park also provides a considerable drawcard for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with its coastal trails, abundant wildlife, and breathtaking ocean vistas.
World-renowned Hastings Street is a bustling thoroughfare with high-end boutiques, art galleries, and numerous dining options catering to gourmands and casual diners. Noosa's charming atmosphere extends to the nearby Noosa River in Noosaville, where visitors can indulge in kayaking, sailing, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding.
Overall, Noosa Heads is the best place to stay for a luxury holiday on the Sunshine Coast. It has an excellent selection of accommodation options, from five-star luxury resorts offering exceptional ocean views to ritzy boutique hotels and chic beachfront apartments that place you right next to the beach.
Caloundra is a terrific place to stay if you love visiting different beaches. Nestled on the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, this picturesque coastal gem offers a laid-back and family-friendly holiday experience. The town boasts a collection of pristine shores, including Kings Beach, Dicky Beach, and Moffat Beach, each with unique charm and different recreational opportunities.
A gorgeous coastal path connects these beaches, providing scenic walks and panoramic ocean views. At the iconic Caloundra Headland, one of them offers vantage points for whale watching during migration seasons. Beyond its beaches, Caloundra features a vibrant Esplanade with an eclectic mix of dining options, cafes, and boutique shops.
Families flock to Caloundra for a quintessential Australian beach holiday. It has safe swimming areas, playgrounds, and parks to entertain children. At the same time, the town's waterways provide an aquatic backdrop for kayaking along the Pumicestone Passage and fishing trips in the deep waters of the Coral Sea.
While the Sunshine Coast is well known for its fantastic beaches, it also boasts a stunning hinterland area, providing a lovely contrast to the surf and sand. Montville, a captivating mountain village with a friendly atmosphere and pleasant tranquility, resides at the heart of it.
Nestled within the lush rainforest of the Blackall Range, Montville encompasses breathtaking vistas, artsy ambience and old-world charm. Its Main Street is a treasure trove of galleries, boutique stores and artisan workshops. Visitors can explore handcrafted jewellery, artwork and locally made crafts, making it a haven for art lovers and collectors. The town's European-inspired architecture, cosy cafes and antique shops lend it an enchanting character. Close by, the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve offers panoramic views of the Glass House Mountains and the adjacent rainforest.
Montville's bed-and-breakfasts, boutique inns and charming cottages are the best places to stay for those wanting a quiet hinterland retreat or romantic getaway on the Sunshine Coast.
When deciding the best place to stay for a family holiday on the Sunshine Coast, it's hard to look past Mooloolaba. One of the Sunshine Coast's most vibrant coastal destinations, it combines stunning beaches, family-friendly tourist attractions and an excellent range of amenities that appeal to all ages.
With its golden sands and crystal-clear waters, Mooloolaba Beach is a haven for beachgoers and fans of water sports. Away from the sand, the Mooloolaba Foreshore includes multiple children's playgrounds and the iconic 'Loo With A View' lookout point. The Mooloolaba Spit is also a popular spot for fishing and seafood dining, offering fresh catches in a scenic setting.
The bustling Mooloolaba Esplanade has many shops, cafes and restaurants overlooking the ocean. It's a great place to stroll, enjoy local cuisine and soak in the energetic vibe. Elsewhere, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium resides on the Mooloolaba Wharf, showcasing a captivating array of marine life.
After significant recent development, Maroochydore is now considered the heart of the Sunshine Coast. A dynamic coastal city that seamlessly blends urban convenience with natural beauty, it is positioned along the Maroochy River.
With its sweeping shoreline and consistent waves, Maroochydore Beach is a paradise for surfers and beach lovers. The nearby Cotton Tree Park provides a lush riverside oasis perfect for picnics and family gatherings. Nearby, the Maroochy River offers kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing opportunities.
Maroochydore is the best place to stay for those who love shopping and restaurant dining. The town's bustling Ocean Street precinct showcases an array of cafes, restaurants, and boutiques, contributing to a lively dining and shopping scene. Shopaholics will want to head to The Sunshine Plaza, one of the largest shopping centres in Queensland. It offers extensive retail and entertainment options, accommodating more than 315 stores, playgrounds, amusement arcades and a multiplex cinema.
Coolum's laid-back vibe perfectly blends beachfront beauty and recreational opportunities. Known for its pristine beach - which extends in length for as far as the eye can see - it is the best place to stay for those who love beach walking. It's also a hub for swimming, surfing and sunbathing, while the iconic Point Perry lookout, accessed along the Coolum boardwalk, provides panoramic views of the coastline.
The nearby Mount Coolum National Park offers challenging hiking trails and rewards hikers with breathtaking vistas from its summit. While Coolum also hosts various markets showcasing local crafts and produce and has a renowned golf course at the Hyatt Regency Coolum Resort, which hosts the PGA Tour of Australasia.
The town's Esplanade boasts a range of cafes, restaurants and boutiques, creating a vibrant local scene. Like Mooloolaba, it is a great place to stay for families as accommodation options include oceanfront resorts, beach holiday apartments and a fantastic holiday park.