Sunshine Coast

Travel Guide Oceania Australia Queensland Sunshine Coast

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Introduction

Morning mist

Morning mist

© moutallica

The Sunshine Coast is the coastal region starting north of Brisbane, Queensland and has well over 300,000 inhabitants, swelling to much larger proportions during Australian holidays.

The area was first settled by Europeans in the 19th century with development progressing slowly until tourism became an important industry. The area has several coastal hubs at Caloundra, Kawana Waters, Maroochydore and Noosa Heads. Nambour and Maleny have developed as primary commercial centres for the hinterland, although Maleny falls outside the urban area defined by the ABS that this article refers to.

The Sunshine Coast, as a term recognised by most Australians, is the district defined in 1967 as "the area contained in the Shires of Landsborough, Maroochy and Noosa, but excluding Bribie Island".[3] Its use is frequently colloquial however. Since 2014, the Sunshine Coast district has been split into two local government areas, the Sunshine Coast Region and the Shire of Noosa, which administer the southern and northern parts of the Sunshine Coast respectively.

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Geography

Major rivers of the Sunshine Coast include Noosa River, Maroochy River, Mooloolah River and the Stanley River. The region includes several lakes such as Lake Cootharaba and Lake Weyba. Ewen Maddock Dam, Wappa Dam and Baroon Pocket Dam have been built for water storage.

Several stretches of the Sunshine Coast are lined with unbroken beaches – from Sunshine Beach near Noosa to Coolum Beach (17 kilometres); the coast from Point Arkwright to Mudjimba (11 kilometres); the Maroochydore-Mooloolaba stretch (5.6 kilometres); and from Buddina past the Caloundra CBD to Pelican Waters (22 kilometres).

The Sunshine Coast is home to more individual national parks than any other region in Queensland. The natural biodiversity of the area has been protected by five separate parks in both coastal and inland regions, including Mapleton Falls National Park, Kondalilla National Park, The Glass House Mountains National Park, Noosa National Park, and the Great Sandy National Park, which includes sections on Fraser Island and in Cooloola near Rainbow Beach.

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Cities

Sunshine Coast has three main 'cities', more of regional centres: Noosa, Maroochydore and Caloundra.

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Sights and Activities

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Weather

Sunshine Coast has a humid subtropical climate typical of South Queensland. Summers are generally hot, but moderated compared to areas on similar latitudes elsewhere. Winters retain warm days, but have cooler nights rendering it falling into the subtropical fold. There is no dry season and precipitation is generally quite high.

The average temperature of the sea ranges from 21.2 °C in August to 27.1 °C in February at Mooloolaba, and from 21.2 °C in August to 27.3 °C in February at Noosa Heads.

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Getting There

By Plane

Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY) is about 30 minutes away and there are direct daily flights with Jetstar Airways and Virgin Australia to/from Sydney and Melbourne, and only to Melbourne with Tiger Airways Australia.
Brisbane Airport is just a short drive south.

Gold Coast Airport (OOL) is widely known as Coolangatta Airport. Because it straddles the NSW and Queensland borders, you land in one state and arrive in another. It is a fairly small terminal but handles around 3.5 million passengers per year with frequent connections from major Australian cities and some international flights from New Zealand and Asia.

By Train

Citytrain has services from Nambour to Brisbane (two hours). Trains also go to Beerwah (1½ hours) near Australia Zoo (see above).

By Bus

There are long distance bus services with Greyhound Australia and Premier along the eastcoast of Australia on a regular basis, including buses to Cairns and Brisbane. Sunbus provides buses to areas north of Noosa, including Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.

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Getting Around

By Bus

Sunbus has frequent services between Maroochydore and Noosa, and links Noosa Heads, Noosaville, Noosa Junction and most of the centres.

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Eat

A good amount of Australia's produce is grown in the inland areas.

High-end dining experiences are to be had in Brisbane.

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Drink

The beach towns in the region are known for hard partying and drinking.

Although not as well known as the vineyards of the other states, this part of Queensland does boast a growing wine industry.

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Accommodation in Sunshine Coast

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Sunshine Coast searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 6. Last edited at 13:09 on May 23, 18 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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