From seaside to hinterland, the Sunshine Coast is a place of beauty.
Australia’s most appealingly named strip of waterfront, the Sunshine Coast is a laidback spot with golden beaches, surf breaks, and lush hinterland. With options ranging from holiday parks set right on the beach and rainforest campgrounds to glamping tents on the edge of pristine wetlands, you’ll have no problem finding a place to sleep under the stars. The Sunshine Coast is popular year-round, but you can avoid the biggest crowds—and highest temperatures and heaviest rainfall—by visiting outside of summer (December through February).
About an hour's drive north of Brisbane, Caloundra is home to some of Queensland’s best beaches. Kings Beach is a favourite for its oceanfront saltwater pool and walking tracks that lead around the Caloundra headland. In the heart of Caloundra, on the Pumicestone Passage, are a range of accommodation options from camping and caravan sites to oceanfront cabins and glamping tents, many with access to a swimming pool, laundry, and free wifi.
Half an hour up the coast, Maroochydore is considered the heart of the Sunshine Coast. You can easily spend all your time in the main town, catching waves and enjoying the bars and restaurants that line its lively esplanade, but it’s also a prime spot for embarking on diving and snorkeling trips.
Coolum is a perennially popular getaway for its beaches, golf courses, and carefree atmosphere. Explore the rocky headlands of Point Perry and Point Arkwright, and even tackle the climb to the peak of Mount Coolum—the view from the top is well worth the effort. Back down at sea level, oceanfront campgrounds offer van and camping spots with direct access to the beach.
Surrounded by national parks, beaches, and hinterland, Noosa's natural beauty makes it the jewel in the Sunshine Coast’s crown. Adventure abounds: You can soak up the turquoise waters of Noosa Main Beach, spot wildlife in Noosa National Park, paddle through the wetlands of the Noosa Everglades, and head from Noosa North Shore to Rainbow Beach and into Great Sandy National Park, home to the famed Fraser Island.
Head into the Sunshine Coast’s Hinterland and discover the rainforest of Kondalilla National Park, the ancient volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains, and the bohemian atmosphere of the Eumundi Markets. You can wake up to mountain views and the sounds of a burbling creek at a number of area camping grounds.