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Just north of Brisbane lies a metropolitan area loaded with friendly beach towns, expansive national parks and the most famous zoo in Australia. Sure, it’s the third most-populated area in the state of Queensland, but somehow the Sunshine Coast has remained one the country’s best-kept secrets.
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Your adventure kicks off when you land at Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY), 13 and 31km from the central business districts of Mooloolaba and Noosa Heads, respectively. Shuttles and taxis are available to get you to and from your hotel. If you’re arriving late at night and want to flop near MCY, check out Wotif’s deals on hotels near Sunshine Coast airport.
Hey, you have to eat at some point. Good thing you’re taking a holiday in this region, because the dining selections are top-notch. Head to Noosaville’s Thomas Street and sink your teeth into a wagyu beef burger or throw another shrimp on the barbie at a seafood joint.
Are you not in the mood for beef patties or crustaceans? No problem; there are plenty of other places along this thoroughfare serving up dishes from all over the world. Japanese food? Check. Italian? Check-check. And don’t forget, many of the Sunshine Coast hotels have restaurants on their premises. If you can’t find a suitable place to grind at here, you’re probably not that hungry.
If you brought the kiddos along for the journey, that’s great; the Sunshine Coast has heaps of activities for the entire family to take part in. Make your way 34km south of Mooloolaba to the Australia Zoo—yeah, the one made famous by the late, great Steve Irwin. You and the kids can explore the grounds on your own or reserve spots on a VIP tour.
No zoo visit, however, is complete without experiencing an animal encounter. There aren’t too many places in the world where you can take a wombat for a walk, hand-feed a rhino and hug a koala in one day. If you’d like to sleep as close as possible to the wildlife park (and the wombats), book a stay at one of Wotif’s hotels near Australia Zoo.
We know you’ve got an adventurous side, or else you wouldn’t be on this trip. So do yourself a favour and head to Noosa National Park. Go for a stroll on one of the walking tracks. As you’re heading to the Hell’s Gate headland, take notice of the koalas relaxing in the dense eucalyptus trees that cover the area. We dare you to find a cuter sight than a mama koala giving her baby a piggy back ride.
After emerging from the wild (but before retiring back to your accommodation in Sunshine Coast), head to Noosa Main Beach and take a surf lesson. The gentle, rolling swells break over a flat, sandy bottom, providing a perfect arena for beginning surfers (like you, maybe?) to hone their skills. Hang loose, dude.
Be sure to book a stay at one of the hotels in Sunshine Coast during early March if you’d like to attend the Noosa Festival of Surfing. You’ll be able to watch some of the world’s best longboarders walk the nose in the rolling waves of First Point while local bands jam out on the shore—while putting down as many schooners of XXXX Gold as you can.
If you’re strictly looking for tunes, check out places to stay in Sunshine Coast at the end of September and rock out at the Caloundra Music Festival. There is just something about headbanging that makes you feel alive. Especially when Xavier Rudd & the United Nations are gracing the stage.
No matter where your Sunshine Coast accommodation is, you’ll be near fantastic nightlife options. Are you staying in Mooloolaba? If so, make your way down the Mooloolaba Esplanade and belly up to the bar with an ice-cold Victoria Bitter while the sunset paints the sky in shades of pink and purple.
Maybe you’re staying in Noosa Heads, 43km north of Mooloolaba. If that’s the case, Hastings Street is where you’ll want to be when the sun hides below the horizon. Start out at the Noosa Heads Surf Club and listen to the tall tales of old-timer wave sliders. Then make your way to one of the many pubs in the sand at Noosa Main Beach. When the night is all said and done, your Sunshine Coast hotel will be your best mate.
Well, we’ve told you where to party, where to eat, where to bring the kids and where to go on an adventure. We even told you about some epic festivals to attend. If this isn’t the best Sunshine Coast travel guide around, we don’t know what is. Our jealously levels are through the roof, because you get to go on this amazing holiday.
So what are you waiting for? Browse Wotif’s unbelievable offers on Sunshine Coast packages and leave your schedule at home.
Hotels in Sunshine Coast start at NZ$133 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.