Bordered by the majestic Glass House Mountains to the west, the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the world-respected Fraser Coast biosphere to the north and the sprawling urban metropolis of Brisbane to the south, the Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations.
Living up to its name, the 70km of coastline – stretching from Caloundra to Rainbow Beach – enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, providing the perfect climate in which to enjoy the area’s pristine beaches, exquisite hinterland, and world-class dining and shopping.
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The Sunshine Coast is home to a diverse array of restaurants, cafes, pubs and takeaway stores, which serve innovative and cosmopolitan menus in a number of inviting settings. From the coastal city of Mooloolaba to the farming town of Maleny, the Sunshine Coast is blessed with a stunning array of fresh local produce, which has in turn spurred on the establishment of hundreds of exceptional eateries.
At the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, Caloundra fosters a dynamic and inventive dining scene, covering everything from fine dining restaurants to surf clubs bistros. Caloundra is particularly renowned for its friendly and warm service. Just north, the "Sunshine Strip" from Maroochydore to Mooloolaba also offers a great range of quality culinary choices.
Nestled in the Sunshine Coast hinterland the quaint farming towns of Maleny and Montville boast some of the area’s most talked about dining opportunities. Discover the flavours and textures of the region with a trip to the markets or one of several acclaimed restaurants, where a variety of locally-grown and organic fruit and vegetables are often transformed into culinary masterpieces and accompanied by stunning local wines.
At the northern end of the coast sits Noosa, the region’s most sought after foodie destination. The striking and affluent coastal centre is a mecca for fine dining, hosting more than 100 reputable restaurants. Hastings Street, Thomas Street and the Noosa River precinct are the Sunshine Coast’s most recognisable and frequented eating haunts, playing home to award winning and innovative restaurants.
To taste the region’s best seasonal specialties a trip to the famous Eumundi Market is a must. Held every Wednesday and Saturday the markets feature a wealth of fresh produce – including fruit, vegetables, breads and locally-made cheeses and yoghurts – and a number of food stalls, selling everything including from laksa, calamari, Thai dishes, paella, coffee, chocolate, cakes and old-fashioned lemonade.
The Sunshine Coast hosts a vast choice of bustling shopping destinations. Specialty retailers – boasting everything from designer fashion, swimwear and surf wear to hand-made glassware, jewellery, art and homewares – line the coastal strip and can even be found in small hinterland villages.
Maroochydore hosts the Sunshine Coast's largest shopping centre, Sunshine Plaza. The centre is the coast’s one-stop shopping destination, playing home to more than 100 specialty stores.
Mooloolaba Esplanade indulges the leisurely shopper with a relaxed seaside atmosphere, glorious views and a great range of boutiques, speciality stores and galleries; while First Avenue has developed into an exciting new shopping precinct with upmarket stores offering designer products.
Noosa is the area’s biggest shopping drawcard. Hastings Street, behind the beachfront, is the Sunshine Coast’s most reputable fashion strip, specialising in high-end designs, local labels, signature stores and affordable beachwear, footwear and local creations. While surrounding precincts such as Noosa Junction, Peregian Village Square, Sunshine Beach, Coolum Beach, Noosa Civic, Noosaville and Tewantin all add to the Noosa shopping experience.
Known as the creative heart of the Sunshine Coast, the atmospheric and historic town of Montville is the hinterland’s premier shopping destination. The pleasant village is home to pottery studios, art galleries, antique stores and fashion houses that exhibit a stunning range of locally made items.
A number of weekday, weekend and night markets held throughout the region are also Sunshine Coast shopping drawcards. The iconic Eumundi Markets see artisans and craftsmen sell their works on Wednesdays and Saturdays at over 350 stalls – hawking everything including artworks, sculptures, furniture, handmade toys, homewares, fashion and jewellery.