Last updated 3 February 2021
A sunny love affair with Queensland’s Sunshine Coast
With unspoiled golden beaches and a rural hinterland brimming with natural wonders I’ll openly admit to an ongoing love affair with Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The recent relaxation on some restrictions on travel within Australia and the hope that in the not too distant future, the Sunshine State may open up its borders, means we can consider Queensland as a destination. I’m sharing a story about one of my family’s favourite places to visit – thankfully not far from where we live – the Sunshine Coast.
A coastline stretching 70-kilometres from Caloundra to the Great Sandy National Park in the North, an hour and a half drive north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast offers one of the highest sunshine ratings in the world. And there are endless opportunities to make the most of those abundant sun-filled days.
As a beach-loving family, over the years we’ve enjoyed many ocean-centric holidays on the Sunny Coast. As my boys have grown in age (and height) the destination choices have altered accordingly.
A beach for all ages
The southernmost town in the region, Caloundra was the go-to destination when my kids were toddlers and remains a favourite as they’ve morphed into teenagers. We always choose a patrolled beach – Kings, Bulcock or Dicky. Swimming between the yellow and red flags under the lifeguard or lifesaver’s watchful eye is non-negotiable in Australia.
Southeast facing Kings Beach usually has smaller ocean swells. Loaded with boogie boards and lathered in sunscreen, we’d find our patch of sand and surf for a few hours before making an escape, often dashing through the water sprays at the adjacent Kings Beach Fountain Park.
Noosa Main Beach is also popular and is patrolled 365 days of the year (lifeguards during the week and lifesavers on the weekends.) Hastings Street running parallel to the seashore is crammed with casual eateries, fashion boutiques and a selection of ice-cream stations (our favourite is Gelatissimo Noosa.)
Due to its north-facing aspect, Main Beach has gentle waves. But if your tweens suggest they’ve outgrown the calm surf, nearby Noosa River with its numerous tributaries is perfect for soft adventure. Teenagers may prefer kayaking or stand up paddleboarding with mates over hanging out with Mum and Dad.
I love to swap the beach for native bushland on the Coastal Walk inside Noosa National Park an easy 30-minute stroll from Hastings Street. The full return walk takes around four hours (5.4 kilometres each way.) The trail follows the ocean. As you pass by the lookouts at Dolphin Point, Boiling Pot and Hell’s Gates, keep an eye out for sea turtles, dolphins and whales (their migration season is July – November.) Noosa National Park Map
The remainder of my story is in the latest edition of Holidays with Kids Vol 63 Autumn 2020 Sunshine Coast
Tasty treats in the Hinterland
If you’d like a day away from the beaches, beyond the towering peaks of the Glass House Mountains in the hinterland, a community of niche organic farmers is waiting to be discovered. Here you can sample fresh produce like edible flowers and microgreens at Palmwood’s Greenshed.
You can pick your own organic strawberries at Strawberry Fields (open June to November) or indulge in their home-made ice-cream parfaits.
For more sweet treats, try natural honey and learn about the importance of honeybees during an interactive beekeeping workshop run by the Queen Bee, Paula West at Kookaburra Organics.
Or you can ‘smell the roses’ at the Organica Floret rose farm with the owner, zany Caz Owens, who is as colourful as her beautiful heavily perfumed organically-grown roses.
These and many more activities close to my home city of Brisbane, you can understand why my enduring love affair for this diverse region hasn’t diminished over the years.
For further tourism information: Visit Sunshine Coast