Sunshine Coast Updates

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January 2019

There is a vast amount of development currently underway on the Sunshine Coast, including the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project, several 5-star accommodation projects, a new Novotel Twin Waters convention centre, tourism precinct renewals, as well as new product launches and updates.

Regional Updates

Sunshine Coast Airport News!

Australia’s Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY) has been identified as Australia’s fastest growing airport, according to the latest figures released by the Bureau of Infrastructure. For the year ending September 2018, MCY recorded 12.3% growth in passenger movements, comprising a 12.4% increase in domestic traveller and 10% growth in international passenger movements. On 13 December 2018, Qantas announced a second direct service between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast commencing March 2019. The service will build on the growing demand for Sydney and is well timed to take advantage of international connections. Meanwhile, the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project continues to steamroll ahead, with the project’s completion set for 2020


Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion

The Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project is well underway and is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The expansion will open the Sunshine Coast up to a range of new markets thanks to the longer and wider runway. The runway expansion will allow for direct flights from around Australia and across Asia and the Western Pacific. The expansion will see an increase in the number of visitors to the region, further cementing the Coast as a leading tourist destination.


The Curated Plate – August 2019 

The Curated Plate is a new four-day destination and food festival, set to make its debut on the Sunshine Coast in August next year. Due to be held from 8-11 August 2019, the festival brings together the region’s finest product with the best chefs in the Australian and international dining scene, including Japan’s ‘best restaurant’ chef, Zaiyu Hasegawa. The exclusive culinary event will span the region from the coast to the hinterland with local experiences, including food trails and farm tours, featured in the program. The festival’s key themes will centre around local product and producers, sustainable practices, artisan culture and health and wellness. The full festival program of events and talent line-up will be revealed in March 2019.

NEW! Yaroomba Beach Project 

The Yaroomba Beach development project, which will create a new coastal village just ten minutes from Sunshine Coast Airport, was approved by Sunshine Coast Council in June and is expected to be completed by 2021. The project will deliver a new 220 room five-star Westin Coolum Resort and Spa,  serviced apartments, conference facilities, public parklands, new surf lifesaving facilities and public beach access points linked with a new Coastal Pathway.



Tourism Product – News and Updates

Australia Zoo – Crikey! It’s the Irwins

Australia Zoo’s The Irwins – Terri, Bindi and Robert – return to Animal Planet as they continue Steve Irwin’s wildlife conservation legacy in a whole new series, CRIKEY! IT’S THE IRWINS. The series premiered in the USA on October 28 and will be seen in Animal Planet’s 360 million homes around the world in more than 220 countries and territories. The series gives audiences a front row seat to the thrilling wildlife adventures of the Irwin family and the amazing animals that continue to inspire their conservation efforts.

NEW! Mary Valley Rattler launches

The Mary Valley Rattler has been restored to its former glory, with the century-old track and its fleet of historic locomotives and carriages undergoing extensive upgrades. The Rattler takes passengers back in time on scenic journeys through the Mary Valley and operates twice-daily three days a week on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The return journey takes passengers from Gympie or Amamoor stations via Dagun. As well as being a celebrated piece of history, the Rattler is a major tourism drawcard for the Gympie and Mary Valley regions.

NEW! tours with Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours (Creative Tours)

Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours have added two new tours to their program – a Farm to Fork Brewery and MooloolaBARS tour. On the Farm to Fork Brewery tour, guests are taken behind the scenes on two private farms to meet the producers and see first-hand some of the amazing produce used in restaurants across the Sunshine Cost. The tour then proceeds to Brouhaha Brewery for lunch featuring local produce, which is matched with fresh local beer. The MooloolaBARS tour visits four iconic local bars in Mooloolaba for a drink and bite to eat. Guests sample local beer or a glass of wine at each venue along with a light lunch that showcases the best of local bars and hidden gems. For more information, visit


The Discovery Group - Everglades Cruise & Fraser Island Touring (Eco Queensland)

The Discovery Group’s day tours to the Noosa Everglades and Fraser Island now depart from Eco-Queensland’s everglades eco-camp, Habitat Noosa, with complimentary return transfers operating from Habitat Noosa to Noosa Heads. The Discovery Group operates two Noosa Everglades tours daily, the Everglades Eco Safari and Serenity Cruise, both of which start on the edge of the majestic Lake Cootharaba - the entry point to the Noosa Everglades. The Everglades Eco Safaris cruise departs from Habitat Noosa at 9am and includes an Everglades cruise followed by a roast lunch at Habitat Noosa. Guests also have the option to canoe the Everglades. The Serenity half-day cruise departs daily from 2.30pm. Guests enjoy a leisurely cruise through the Everglades guided by an experienced and knowledgeable skipper with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine or coffee.

Accommodation Updates

NEW! Badderam Eco-Luxe Resort and Spa

The development of the Badderam Eco-Luxe Resort & Spa, which is planned for completion in line with the Sunshine Coast’s new international airport in 2020, will be built in one of the Sunshine Coast’s most attractive areas – Buderim. The location is just ten minutes away from the famed beaches of the Sunshine Coast in a bushland setting on an ancient volcanic mountain known to the local Kabi Kabi peoples as ‘Badderam’ mountain. Badderam resort will showcase both Australia’s indigenous culture and state-of-the-art environmental initiatives, with the resort being built with a 6-star ‘Green Star’ building rating. The resort will comprise 111 rooms and suites, three restaurants and bars, a 10-room wellness day spa and health centre, a heated resort-style pools and hot tubs, wine tasting room and wine cellar, as well as extensive conference and function facilities.


NEW! Habitat Noosa (Eco Queensland)

The Everglades Eco-camp has relaunched as Habitat Noosa this year, having been built on an existing campground. Nestled on 65 acres of natural bushland, with a 500m beachfront on Noosa River, Habitat Noosa is a wilderness experience like no other. The world-class eco-facility is home to a large eastern grey kangaroo population and offers guests a range of accommodation, dining and tour options. The eco-camp offers paperbark tents, cabins and wilderness tents for guests as well as powered or unpowered sites for campers, motorhomes and RVs.


Makepeace Island refurbishment

Makepeace Island, the Australian home of Sir Richard Branson, has opened with a fresh new look in November 2018 after undergoing a major refurb. The heart-shaped island, ideally situated on the Noosa River, offers guests their own private sanctuary on the Sunshine Coast.




Novotel Twin Waters Resort – NEW! ownership and major changes

Novotel Twin Waters Resort is set to undergo major changes, with Shakespeare Property Group purchasing the resort for $100 million from Abacus Property Group. Shakespeare’s immediate intentions are to improve the resort’s current facilities to reposition Novotel Twin Waters as one of Queensland’s leading business events venues, having committed $8 million to the construction of a new convention centre on site.


Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas refurbishment

Offering expansive views over the sea, Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas has long been a favourite for the luxury traveller. Recently the resort has undergone a soft refurbishment of its one and two-bedroom apartments, with the new contemporary theme giving the rooms a lighter, brighter feel. The refurb incorporated natural coastal elements to complement the beauty of the surrounding Noosa National Park.