Stretching from Caloundra in the south to Noosa Heads in the north, the Sunshine Coast is one of Queensland’s premier beachside getaway. It’s renowned for its charismatic beach towns and great surf, as well as a lush hinterland that provides a worthy diversion from the coast. The Sunshine Coast is less commercialized than the Gold Coast to the south and particularly popular with Australian holiday makers during the school breaks.

Noosa Heads is one of the most popular areas along the coast, clustered with upmarket boutiques and trend-setting restaurants. It boasts a magnificent stretch of sand, as well as being on the doorstep of Noosa National Park, with its walking trails and koala sightings. Noosa makes a good base for visiting the Eumundi Markets, which take place each Saturday, as well as day trips to the smaller resorts of Sunshine Beach and Peregian Beach to the south.

Maroochydore is the main commercial hub of the Sunshine Coast and home to its largest shopping mall, as well as a picturesque coastal walking trail and scenic river cruises. Caloundra has a stunning setting overlooking Pumicestone Passage and serves as the gateway to beautiful Bribie Island.

Be sure to spend a day driving through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, which is home to the volcanic outcrops of the Glass House Mountains and magnificent lookouts. Stop at the artistic community of Maleny with its organic cafes, art galleries and boutiques and go hiking through the bunya pine and piccabeen palm forests to swim in Kondalilla National Park’s waterfall pool.