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The Best Things to Do on the Sunshine Coast

Summer vibes are kicking year-round on this sunny stretch of coastline, so we’ve rounded up the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast.


In all its sun-kissed glory, Queensland’s very own Sunshine Coast is nothing short of paradise. From Noosa to Maroochydore to Mooloolaba, the string of beachside towns and lush hinterland is an outdoor lover’s dream, and it all caters well to the throngs of tourists that grace its shores year-round.

A water wonderland with crashing swells, swimming beaches, meandering waterways and inlets, the Sunshine Coast is a veritable playground for water-based activities – surfing, kayaking, sailing, and diving. And although its seaside location is the biggest draw card, land-based adventures and activities are just as revered – Australia Zoo and Sealife anyone?

But that’s not all this seemingly endless stretch of coastline serves up, there are a lot of other beautiful things to do on the Sunshine Coast.

Thanks to the ocean-fresh seafood that gets reeled in on the daily, the Sunshine Coast’s foodie scene delights on so many fronts. Then throw a handful of shopping hubs and lustful waterfront properties into the mix and you too will be contemplating a sea-change when next in town.

Scroll on to discover where to eat, drink, stay and play on the Sunshine Coast.

The Best Things to do on the Sunshine Coast: Eat

From Noosa to Mooloolaba and across to the hinterland, on-trend cafes, fine-dining restaurants and the casual fish n’ chippery are in abundance. And although seafood features in a big way, that’s not all the Sunshine Coast does well – Asian, Mediterranean, American and organic health food bars also have a place here.

Noosa Beach House

Noosa Beach House

By daytime, Noosa Beach House is gleaming white and abundant with natural light, the perfect place to stop in for a quick bite or drink at the bar as you spend the day shopping along iconic Hastings Street. Once the sun goes down, you’ll find clusters of holidaymakers lounging on the window seats, legs dangling and laughs letting loose as they sip wine and revel in the laid-back energy of the Sunshine Coast.

Step upstairs into the restaurant, which is elevated yet approachable, offering up a menu of honest fare that heroes the local producers that Chef Bret Cameron meets with several times per month. Providing a dining experience that feels like it could become your new regular, the fresh and flavoursome bites will linger in your mind for some time after your visit.

14-16 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads

The Boat Shed

The Boat Shed

Where the views are just as impressive as the food itself, The Boat Shed overlooks the Maroochy River with a dining area that flows inside and out.

It’s all about seafood here, and rightfully so, with a tapas, lunch and dinner menus that pair beautifully with their drink offering. The private lawn out front is highly prized, so make it a casual affair by grabbing your food to go and have a picnic in the nearby parks.

But really, your best bet is to soak up the sea breeze in the terrace area with a cocktail in hand. 

The Esplanade, Cotton Tree

Light Years

Light Years

Neon-lit signs and playful art, Light Years Asian Diner combines Asian-fusion fare with a seriously good drinks menu.

The bountiful menu is designed to be shared, so if you're a dining duo, we recommend you taste your way around at least five of their delicious dishes, but not before starting with some dumplings.

Although they have a comprehensive drinks menu, it’s the cocktails that will really get the night going. 

1 Sunshine Beach Road, Noosa Heads

Pier 33

Pier 33

A bright and breezy casual dining restaurant at Mooloolaba Marina, Pier 33 oozes summer vibes. Inside, the interiors are fresh with coastal hues of navy and white with relaxing couches and dining tables to linger around. But outside is really where it’s at.

Spread out on the lush lawn or at one of the many outdoor tables while you take in the coastal surroundings. Dine on fresh seafood and order a delightful cocktail from the panoramic island bar.

33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba



Every Sunday morning, before Tome Cakes & Coffee swings open their doors at 8am, there’s an eager lineup of folks ready to get their share of the sweet sugary scrolls that are known to sell out before Tome even finishes baking.

But that’s not all that has locals drooling. Tome’s cakes and slices are achingly pretty, be it a treat to have with your morning coffee or a custom-made multi-tiered cake – think red velvet, white chocolate, salted caramel and raspberry. Yum!

Shop7, 2-6 Beach Road, Maroochydore

The Best Things to do on the Sunshine Coast: Drink

The many night-time hangouts and day bars of the Sunshine Coast soak up the coastal vibes in a way that only this stretch of coastline knows how. Cafés turn into chilled-out bars and eateries boast killer drink menus. Needless to say, the Sunshine Coast delivers on all fronts.

Matso's Brewery

Matso's Brewery 

The creator of Australia's first-ever ginger beer has opened their doors to the thirsty crowd of Sunny Coast locals in Eumundi.

Hailing from Broome in Western Australia, the crafty crew behind Matso's Brewery are bringing their laid-back charm to the East Coast. It's the perfect place to stop by for a post-work bev or get together with your pals on the weekend for good food and great memories. 

85 Memorial Drive, Eumundi 

Urban Garden

Urban Garden

Inside the old courthouse, Urban Garden has fast become a bit of an institution. In part for their own unique house blend of coffee, and in part for the revolving food trucks that park up out front.

From early morning, the coffee is flowing every day of the week, while on weekdays only, Urban Garden has a different food truck out front between 11am and 2pm to appease the lunchtime crowd.

From slow-smoked barbeque to carb-filled Italian, the food trucks are different every day.

4 First Avenue, Maroochydore



Good coffee, locally brewed beers and delicious local food all day long. Moto is a café/bar hybrid that uses local roasters for their beans and welcomes laid-back coffee chats every day of the week. The industrial décor focuses around the still in-service shipping container that the café originally operated out of.

Come nightfall, select one of their scrumptious Asian-fusion dishes. The menu is tight, but the choices are delicious. As for the drinks, the wine, beer and cocktails are well and truly flowing.

66 Noosa Drive, Noosa Heads

Miss Moneypenny's

Miss Moneypenny's

Miss Moneypenny's is exactly what you’d expect from a stylish beachside bar. Laid-back bamboo chairs, ambient lighting and an easy-on-the-eye palette.

Perfectly plated Mediterranean-inspired dishes flow freely, while the drinks menu is extensive, with an entire section dedicated purely to gin cocktails.

Be sure to check out their renowned bottomless brunch and cocktail classes.

6 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads

The Best Things to do on the Sunshine Coast: Stay

Thanks to its stunning location, the Sunshine Coast is a hotspot for holidaymakers. When it comes to accommodation, each beachside village has an abundance of dreamy options. From seaside resorts to barefoot glamping to Airbnb waterfront properties, the Sunshine Coast delivers in spades.

Little Red Barn

If you love the work of interior design powerhouse Luchetti Krelle, then you’re going to love Little Red Barn. This Noosa Hinterland hideout is the work of Rachel Luchetti, who brings a touch of luxe to the humble barn.

The space boasts soaring vaulted wooden ceilings, a spacious living area and three bedrooms, plus two bathrooms, one with a freestanding cast iron bathtub on the verandah.

Outside, balconies overlook the lush treetops, and a heated concrete water tank swimming pool is a treat year-round.

Doonan, QLD

Kondalilla Eco Resort

Head inland into the lush regions of the Sunshine Coast’s hinterland rainforests and you’ll stumble across this stunner, which backs onto the Kondalilla Falls National Park, famous for its cascading waterfall.

They offer a variety of studio, lodge and villa-style accommodations, but the resort’s treehouses are what’s in hot demand.

They’re all equipped with kitchenettes, TVs, air conditioning, baths and decks that lap up the lush surroundings. To take your stay up a notch, ask for an in-room spa treatment.

61 Kondalilla Falls Road, Flaxton

Sofitel Hotel Noosa

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort

One of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast is to experience the luxury accommodation available to you, and where better than right in the heart of Hastings Street, where boutique shopping and fine dining are plentiful?

If five-star luxury is your love language, set a date with Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort. Blending coastal chic and Parisian elegance, there’s no shortage of fun events, seasonal menu updates and luxurious treatments to indulge in at the Aqua Day Spa. If you’re looking for a White Lotus-inspired experience, book some time at the poolside cabanas, or make the most of the swim-up bar.

14-16 Hastings Street (vehicular entrance off Noosa Parade), Noosa Heads

The Best Things to do on the Sunshine Coast: Explore

The Sunshine Coast is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. On and off-land, there is so much fun to be had in the way of water sports, treetop adventures and parklands aplenty.

Eumundi Markets

Eumundi Markets

The next time you’re on the Sunshine Coast, a visit to the Eumundi Markets is essential! One of the most iconic markets in Queensland, this eclectic scene has been a hub of creativity, innovation and community since 1979.

Welcoming over one million visitors per year, the Markets are guided by an ethos of “Make It, Bake It, Sew It, Grow It”,  which gives you an insight to the type of unique creations you might find as you explore.

You’ll find the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy person, with handmade keepsakes, clothes and local artisanal produce on offer at every corner. Browse stalls selling artworks, jewellery, home wares and woodwork to a soundtrack of sizzling market eats and live music. 

80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi

Spirit House Cooking School

Spirit House Cooking School

The famed Spirit House restaurant have opened up their doors to patrons to learn the tips and tricks that their fantastic chefs use to craft their mouthwatering, award-winning contemporary Asian food.

If you’re keen for a hands-on activity, to meet new people and learn some new skills, the Spirit House Cooking School is one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast.

You’ll also get to enjoy the lunch or dinner that you have prepared and a glass of wine once you finish up in the kitchen. Don’t forget to wear a pair of closed-in shoes for safety!

Sitchu Tip: You can book gluten-free or seafood-free classes, but Spirit House does not offer any vegetarian classes.

20 Ninderry Road, Yandina

Sunshine Coast Beaches

The Sunshine Coast is renowned for its beaches, and people travel great distances to experience surf breaks, swimming spots and impressive views. Mooloolaba Beach ranks as the safest beach in the area, while Alexandra Headland is permanently etched in local folklore as having the best surf.

But no matter the time of year, the string of beaches from Noosa to Mooloolaba are teeming with people eager to feel the sand beneath their feet.

Adventure Activities

The Sunshine Coast is jam-packed with activities on and off-land. The many beaches and waterways provide ample opportunity to go surfing, swimming, paddling, gliding, cruising and sailing on your own terms, or private tourism operators have made it their business to showcase the region’s finest.

Australia Zoo gets you up close and personal with Australia’s most feared and loved animals while Sealife gives you a glimpse into the magical underwater world.

Tourism & Events Queensland

Noosa National Park

The resort town of Noosa Heads, not only has stunning beaches that were made for swimming and paddling, but it also has one good-looking national park.

Hugging the coastline, Noosa National Park has a network of walking trails that take in some incredible views of the coastline that connects Noosa Heads with Sunshine Beach.

Along the way, there are several secluded beaches and bays, so don your hiking shoes and swimwear and escape the bustle of Noosa Heads.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Take a break from hanging out beneath oversized beach umbrellas and head inland to explore the incredible Hinterland region.

Just a short 30-minute drive from the coastline, charming mountain villages, national parks and conservation reserves give way to wineries, produce markets, and studios and galleries that showcase local artists.

There are treetop adventures, mazes and botanic gardens to explore.

For your next holiday, why not book a weekend on the Sunshine Coast? From Mooloolaba and Sunshine Beach to Caloundra and Coolum Beach, there are so many things to do on the Sunshine Coast. Take a swim at the best beaches, check out the great attractions, and stay in beautiful accommodation along this beautiful stretch of coastline.

Once you’ve explored all of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast, hone in on the destination dining at Noosa! We’ve got the guide to help you eat like a Noosa native, but vacay in style with our favourite luxury accommodation options in the heart of Noosa.

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