Michael McHugh MiNDFOOD Editor-in-Chief
We have discovered the perfect new holiday destination – with sun, sand, excitement and so much to do. The good times will begin as soon as you arrive at the Sunshine Coast. The shoulders relax, the smile widens, the music knob goes up a notch. You quickly start to realise that life – and, indeed, any holiday – doesn’t get much better than this.
With more than 130km of pristine coastline, a mild subtropical climate and over 300 sunny days a year, the Sunshine Coast has a friendly, laid-back lifestyle, which you will immediately feel. This lifestyle makes it a perfect holiday spot, with diverse landscapes, majestic scenery and jaw-dropping adventure.
There are so many fantastic options out on the water, whether you want to snorkel, go whale watching or just watch the sun set with a glass of champagne. Meanwhile, in the water, the swimming is fantastic, with some of the most famous surfing beaches in the country.
And if you want to get out and immerse yourself in nature, the Sunshine Coast has so much to offer, from hinterland walks to celebrating Indigenous heritage (it has no less than seven National Parks to choose from).
The Sunshine Coast is also a foodie’s paradise, with some of the best coffee and authentic food experiences – from craft breweries to food markets – you will ever find on holiday.
The Sunshine Coast is the perfect escape ... and the unforgettable holiday you have always dreamed about.
TRY SOME NIGHT MOVES
NightQuarter brings a vibrant festival atmosphere to suburbia every weekend. The Birtinya complex is the hip new place to groove to live music and enjoy an international selection of food and drinks. The venue’s performance area features free and ticketed events, including touring artists and bands. Other acts entertain in Hawker Street’s Vibes Stage and Sirromet Wine Bar.
NightQuarter also has dinner and show spectaculars. Add to this the Enchanted Garden with its Botanical cocktail bar, market shopping, a street art gallery, vintage fairgrounds with dodgem cars, arcade games, teacup rides and dagwood dogs, and there is something for everyone. nightquarter.com.au
A NAUTICAL TOUCH
You can’t get more local than this: fresh seafood paired with regional craft beer brews at The Nautical on Maroochydore’s popular Ocean Street. Each element of the Nautical Alehouse and Galley’s menu is sourced with the minimum distance possible from farm and fishery to table. Savour Mooloolaba king prawn rolls, local Kingfish sashimi, Moreton Bay bug salad and share plates of sand crab accompanied by the Alehouse’s fine Coast beers on tap. thenautical.com.au
NEW CHAPTER BE-GINS IN EUMUNDI
The Imperial Hotel Eumundi has opened the doors of the boutique Eumundi Distillers, launching its new Folktale Gin label. The distillery is the perfect complement to the well-established Eumundi Brewery. The small batch gins are crafted onsite at the hotel in a custom-built copper still, and every bottle combines the finest traditional and local botanicals with a large dash of Eumundi quirk. The Folktale Navy Strength Eumundi Gin combines fresh local ginger, limes and lemon myrtle, giving a real taste of Eumundi. imperialhoteleumundi.com.au
CREATURE COMFORTS IN THE WILD
Starry Nights Luxury Camping takes creature comforts up a peg in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. While also showcasing the natural setting of the Woombye property, the safari tents of the new luxe glamping retreat each have 75 m2 of floor space on recycled floorboards with an elevated deck. Inside, you’ll find a lounge area, kitchenette, fireplace and king-size bed plus en suite, shower, toilet and bath.
Hosts Shane and Nicole Nelson’s off-grid property retains that raw, earthy feel of camping under 100 billion stars of the Milky Way. You might feel like you’re in the wilderness, glamping among rolling hills, by the crystal-clear waters of Petrie Creek. A breakfast hamper of local produce is included in the package. starrynightsluxurycamping.com.au
The Sunshine Coast’s surf, sun and sand lifestyle starts at the doorstep of Soul Beach House. Kick off your shoes and enjoy the tropical backdrop, luxe living and ocean breezes. Fully relax to a soundtrack of waves and wildlife at this Alexandra Headland getaway.
The tastefully furnished coastal home sleeps six in its three bedrooms. Walk just to the end of the street to stroll, surf or swim kilometres of pristine beaches, or take advantage of nearby parks and a hub of boutique cafés, restaurants, bars, shops and more. soulbeachhouse.com.au
MONTVILLE HOUSE OPENS
Enjoy more joie de vivre at Spicers Clovelly Estate’s newly opened Montville House. Recently built and luxuriously appointed, the cottage lies within the grounds, secluded from the main guest house and the rest of the property.
Montville House is ideal for groups of 12, with a communal guest lounge complete with open fireplace.
The estate is known for its elegant French provincial style, which is evident throughout the six bedrooms; each has a private en suite with a freestanding limestone bath.
Escape to the surrounding veranda or into the private courtyard to unwind. Take the time to enjoy the award-winning cuisine from celebrated onsite restaurant, The Long Apron in the private dining area. spicersretreats.com
NOOSA EAT & DRINK REIMAGINED
Noosa’s signature foodie event – Noosa Eat & Drink Festival – looks a little different in 2021, evolving from the annual four-day event in May to a series of events throughout the year. Coming up on the calendar is Noosa Eat and Drink Festival’s long weekend from 10-13 June that will see some of Australia’s favourite celebrity chefs descend on Noosa. The legendary opening beach party will be hosted by Colin Fassnidge, and Matt Moran will hold the finale dinner at Locale Noosa. For the full line-up of events, visit noosaeatdrink.com.au
Scoot around the suburbs, beach and canal paths at your heart’s content on Oggy E-Scooters. The ride-share electric scooters were launched earlier this year, with hire options available from locations in Mooloolaba and Birtinya. The scooters cost $1 to unlock and 30c per minute to ride. oggyscooters.com.au
Fly through the air like Tarzan at what’s billed as ‘Australia’s highest and most thrilling adventure park’. Suspended over lush rainforest at The Big Pineapple, Woombye, the park takes you to more than 30m on its highest courses for a bird’s-eye view of the canopy. Take part in 120 high ropes games while gliding along 12 ziplines in an awesome half-day adventure you can do at your own pace. treetopchallenge.com.au
BUSKERS ON SONG
The Sunshine Coast becomes entertainment central 29-31 October, when Australia’s largest busking festival comes to Lake Kawana. More than 300 performers including singers, comedy acts and more will showcase their talents for Buskers by the Lake. Wander the grounds, sample the international fare and stick around for the Closing Party. buskersbythelake.com.au
The Sunshine Coast’s food scene begins in the rich, volcanic soil where a thriving modern agricultural industry grows. Then it finds its way to you.
The bountiful harvest – including macadamia nuts, avocados, coffee, mainstay and exotic vegetable crops, tropical fruit plantings from bananas and pineapples to strawberries – is blessed by sunshine and a mild climate. Trawler-fresh prawns, spanner crabs and reef fish such as snapper and coral trout daily supply seafood co-ops, local fish shops and restaurants throughout the region, as Mooloolaba is home to one of the largest fishing ports on Australia’s eastern seaboard.
An enthusiastic network of producers, chefs, food artisans, coffee roasters, craft brewers and distillers – with a focus on sustainability, collaboration and innovation – uses that smorgasbord of local, seasonal goodness to its tastiest advantage.
Be impressed by their efforts on a farm-to-fork tour that goes behind the scenes and tells the story of their creative journeys. Indulge in award-winning products from household names such as Maleny Cheese with its handcrafted cheese and yoghurt. Pop into one of the bustling farmers’ markets of the region or buy superfresh from the farmgate at the many roadside stalls dotted throughout the hinterland to have some of the best produce in Australia at your fingertips.