The beautiful Sunshine Coast in Marcoola, Queensland, Australia, is a beach dream come true. For families, sports enthusiasts, hikers, surfers, and even just people stopping through, the coast has something fun for everyone to do. The history of the Sunshine Coast stretches all the way back to the 1800s, when it was first discovered as a settlement to start a local timber business. The trees, luckily, have continued to flourish and form a lot of the hiking attraction of the coast.
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Since then, attractions, restaurants, shops, and more have been added and continue to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. It is now the third most populated area in Queensland after being officially defined in 1967 as a tourist destination. It even has its own government now, meant to help preserve and protect the people and the environment.
While the coast is meant to be enjoyed as a whole, below are a few of the categories of attractions that can be found while visiting.
Beaches- As the name implies, the Sunshine Coast is made up of many diverse and beautiful beaches for guests to explore. Often considered some of the best beaches in the world, the over 18 different beaches offer different attractions. Each beach is described in detail on the Sunshine Coast website.
National Parks- The Hinterland is a paradise for guests who are looking to get out into nature and explore! The over 21 different attractions that comprise the Sunshine Coast national parks system are not to be missed!
Parks and gardens- For those who want their nature a little tamer, there are four different parks and gardens areas that focus on the botanical side of Sunshine Coast and are easier for guests to see in their entirety.
Zoos, sanctuaries, and aquariums- Like to see wildlife up close and personal? Check out the two different zoos, sanctuaries, and aquariums located on Sunshine Coast. Wildlife HQ and Australia Zoos all guests to see wildlife that is native to Australia while learning about their specific environments!
Coastal walk- Visit Caloundra, the beautiful coastal walk that takes guests up the entirety of the coast (over 25 kilometers in length) and allows sightings of dolphins and wild birds! There is also a family friendly beach along the coastal walk.
Trails- There are two trails located on the Sunshine Coast - Mount Cooroora and Lake Cootharaba. Mount Cooroora takes hikers to the very summit (439 metres) of the mountain and is challenging even for experienced hikers. Lake Cootharaba is less challenging, but just as fun for hikers from the most experienced to the novice.
Adventure and sports- The Sunshine Coast is alive with different outdoor adventure and sports activities! With air tours (by parasail), golfing, horseback riding, bicycling, and water sports, there is something for every guest (from the tame to the adrenaline junkies). The website offers a complete index of all available activities, including how to reserve and additional cost involved.
Attractions- The Sunshine Coast is also home a variety of amusement rides and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Check out the indoor trampoline park, the aqua park, the enormous maze, and Aussie World (a huge theme park experience). Many of the attractions do require an additional cost, to guests are encouraged to check the website prior to visiting.
The Sunshine Coast is host to many different special events and festivals throughout the entire year. There are community-based events, food festivals, live music, and more, and the website maintains an up to date calendar of them all. A few of the favorites of recent guests are the Asian Food Festival, the Cheese, Wine, and Food Fest, and the “Big Pineapple” Music Festival. These events draw thousands of visitors to the coast and offer a unique section of the local culture in a fun and exciting way.
During February, visitors enjoy the Mooloolaba Beach Festival, a whole weekend of fun events that celebrate the coast and its sun, sand, and culture.
There are also frequent sports events, like triathlons, marathons, surfing championships, and YogaFest (a festival that honors yoga while also keeping people healthy and bringing in famous yoga teachers). The Stadium also hosts multiple championship games for local rugby teams.
Dining and Shopping
The Sunshine Coast is well known for its food and drink offerings, with a selection of restaurants, fresh produce, and even different cooking schools! There are also many different shopping venues, like market, retail shops, and even shopping centers that allow a variety of stores to exist in the same area. Stop by a pick up a reminder of a visit to the beautiful Sunshine Coast.