Sunshine Coast travel guide

From family-friendly Caloundra, all the way up the coast, past Noosa to the Great Sandy National Park, you have Queensland’s naturally beautiful Sunshine Coast. There’s a lot to discover, with the Sunshine Coast encompassing delightful towns and villages in the hinterland too, such as Montville and Maleny. This laid-back region gives you stretches of unspoilt beaches, pristine national parks, cosy mountain chalets, fine dining in places like Hastings Street – and a great coffee is never hard to find. If you’re planning a visit, explore our Sunshine Coast travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time here. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay, how to get around the Sunshine Coast and more.

Where to stay

Deciding where to stay on the Sunshine Coast comes down to what kind of a holiday you’re looking for.  Staying near the beautiful beaches of Noosa and Caloundra, you can divide your time between the ocean and the hotel pool. Travel west and you can pass time eating at cafes, picnicking at lookouts, and shopping in the cool higher areas of the hinterland. You may also choose to be strategic, basing yourself in Mooloolaba or Maroochydore. From here, you can travel to surrounding hinterland areas when you’re not immersing yourself in beach culture.

Things to do

The Sunshine Coast offers myriad activities for the most active to the most relaxing of holidays. Explore beautiful beaches, walk to waterfalls, stop at scenic lookouts and picnic in lush rainforests in the hinterland, you could spend weeks exploring everything this region has to offer. For the less outdoorsy amongst us, there are plenty of hip boutiques in Noosa, emerging and established culinary institutions and an evolving artistic community to explore. You’re spoilt for choice with hundreds of aquatic experiences available at the beach and adventure activities in the Glass House...

Getting Around

Sunshine Coast transport is affordable and fairly straightforward, with buses and trains running seven days a week and service very friendly.  The Sunshine Coast spans a huge area encompassing multiple towns, the hinterland, and a long stretch of scenic coastline. In many cases, you’ll need to take a few modes of transport to get to your destination, whether that be a taxi, connecting bus and train, or a hire car for longer journeys.

Where to eat

With so many choices of where to eat along the Sunshine Coast, you could easily spend your whole holiday eating your way through esplanade cafes, beachfront restaurants, and health food pop-ups. The region has exceptional world cuisine, with mouthwatering Italian and modern Asian dishes prominent on many menus. ...


Sunshine Coast shopping precincts are made up of both independent shops and bigger chain stores. Between unapologetically dated Caloundra with its second-hand bookshops and charity shops, and upmarket Noosa with its elegant boutiques, you’re bound to find the perfect shopping experience. ...

Best time to travel

Weather on the Sunshine Coast is warm year-round, with some of the highest sunshine levels in the world experienced in the area. Seasonal variations are minimal, so it’s an ideal place to holiday any time of year.  The best time to visit Sunshine Coast towns is spring (September to November). This time of the year sees minimal rainfall and comfortable temperatures of around 24°C to 27°C. Keep in mind that one of Queensland’s holiday periods starts in late September, so you may need to book well in advance or travel outside of this time entirely to avoid crowds and steep prices.


If day-to-day life has left you needing a relaxing getaway, Sunshine Coast beaches will be the perfect places for you to unwind. Go for a swim, try surfing, or hire a paddle board and enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean. Your body will thank you for the refreshing salt water and vitamin D.  If you’re not a fan of the ocean, set up camp on the beach, read a book or have a snooze, then retire to a nearby cafe for an ice-cream or afternoon drink.