Bask Restaurant, Peregian Beach
Lazy long lunches
Laid-back coastal vibes and local produce collide in BASK Restaurant’s ‘long, lazy lunch’ concept. Located in Peregian Beach, BASK is only a stone’s throw from the ocean and features a seasonal menu that’s designed to be shared (complemented by a wine list teeming with both classic and eclectic selections from independent winemakers). Enjoy your long lunch on the large outside deck for a relaxed dining experience.
If you're looking for a new spot to enjoy a night out with friends, you’ll love the woodfired pizzas and a la carte menu at Pizzeria Sisily. This new foodie hotspot can be found in the idyllic beachside surrounds of Golden Beach, Caloundra, and showcases high-quality Sicilian dishes and culture. Make sure to also pay a visit to the Sicilian-inspired bar, which, alongside a quality wine list, also serves traditional limoncello.
New boutique gin distillery
The newest addition to the Sunshine Coast’s growing list of craft distilleries is Dacelo Distilling – Coolum Beach’s first distillery. Opened in October 2023, Dacelo Distilling produces a selection of native Australian gins named after the different local kookaburra species that visit the region. When you sample the six gins on offer, you’ll be able to taste the exotically-flavoured botanicals – drawn from native ingredients such as banksia and gumbi gumbi.
Masterclass tastings at Woombye Cheese
If you’re visiting the Nambour region on a Saturday in 2024, don’t miss the chance to head over to the multi-award-winning Woombye Cheese for a sample of their fabulous products. Indulge in fresh, handcrafted cheese in one of our most beautiful regions – we recommend indulging in their funky orange, mild Blackall Gold Washed Rind, which claimed the title of Australia’s Best Cheese in 2023. Special masterclass tasting sessions can also be arranged.
Craft beer galore
If you’ve visited the Sunshine Coast before, you’ll know we’ve fast made a name for ourselves as Australia’s Craft Beer Capital (based on the number of breweries per capita). Recently, several new breweries have joined the fold, including Coolum Beer Co, 10 Toes in Buderim, and Matso’s in Eumundi. Be sure to add these new places to your list of spots to enjoy a brew with mates, and enjoy a friendly, casual atmosphere.
New cocktail bar
WAT Den. Credit @chevaunehindley
Located directly across from the clear blue waters of Mooloolaba Beach, you’ll find specialty bar WAT Den, which focuses on whisky & tequila-based drinks. An elegant new destination bar with an inner-Melbourne vibe, this signature cigar lounge interior houses only 40-60 patrons at any given time, and promises not only one a drink for visitors, but an experience. Taste whiskeys and tequilas that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, while enjoying the dark and moody setting.
A boutique wine experience
A chic, neighbourhood wine bar and store nestled in the heart of Maleny is fast becoming a haven for lovers of distinctive wines. You’ll quickly fall in love with Spill Wine Bar – particularly its Wednesday Wine-Down dinners, which offer a ‘one and done’ style dining experience. Dishes here are designed to match the season (we’re talking warming Cassoulet with wines from the south of France, and Tonkotsu Ramen with some sharp Australian Riseling).
Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry
Home to more than 900 producers and over 400 food tourism experiences, it’s no wonder our stunning region has been dubbed Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry. From coastline to farmland, you can find an abundance of culinary experiences waiting to be devoured – rustic farm stays, foodie tours, interactive cooking schools, organic farm stores, and a raft of producers await!
If you’re looking for something the whole family can enjoy, look no further. Originally opened as a food and entertainment venue called the NightQuarter, The Station is set to open on the same site in Birtinya, with a new family-friendly concept. The entertainment hub will become a six-day, all-inclusive precinct that offers live music, food trucks and bars, Alley-Oops Skatepark, and retail outlets. The first stage, which includes the concert venue, skate park, retail shops, and food truck precinct with a bar area, will open on 1 March, 2024.
Tour Great Sandy National Park
Carlo Sandblow, Rainbow Beach. Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland
With the Hemsworth brothers highlighting the golden sand at the end of Rainbow Beach, acclaimed local tour operator Joel’s Journeys has pioneered a new full-day tour that takes the inland route via the beautiful Noosa hinterland and Great Sandy National Park. Explore the picturesque vistas of Rainbow Beach, before enjoying an invigorating dip in a sand-filtered freshwater creek and continuing to the breathtaking Carlo Sandblow – which offers gorgeous views of the distant coloured sands and Double Island Point.
First Nations Market
Launched in December 2023, you’ll find GATHAA First Nations Market to be a vibrant platform for showcasing the rich cultural heritage and creativity of our local Kabi Kabi people. The markets are planned to take place regularly throughout 2024 in January, February, April, May, July and September. Alongside retail and food stalls, you’ll get to enjoy a roster of immersive sessions: with everything from bushfood cooking demos to cultural workshops that include weaving and dot art painting. Better yet, the central location of these markets in the Forest Glen Village means they’re easily accessible for you and the family.
New attractions at Amaze World
If your kids aren’t already massive fans of Amaze World, they’ll be converted this year with the attraction’s new windmill area. Boasting half an acre of new mazes, puzzles, leisure areas and party pavilions – all connected with fully accessible pathways and beautifully landscaped gardens – this is the spot to find the laughs and fun in 2024! Five floor puzzles will challenge and entertain teens and adults alike, as well as a new hedge maze which can only be navigated by turning right.
Launch of Coastal Gateway Dirt Bike Tours
If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to get out in nature more, we’ve got you covered. Coastal Gateway Dirt Bike Tours has launched, offering a new way to explore the Sunshine Coast region. If you’ve got a passion for dirt bikes (and a bike licence), you’ll have the chance to set off on two wheels and discover places most people and 4WD can’t access. Highlights include Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point, to the Glass House Mountains and the Beerburrum and Beerwah State Forests.
Silver Bullet High Tea Service
Ever enjoyed a high tea on a train? Now’s your chance! The Mary Valley Rattler is offering the opportunity to both view and taste the best of the region in a heritage Silver Bullet rail-motor. The Silver Bullet High Tea Service departs Gympie Station every Friday at 10am, and offers up bubbles, sweet and savoury treats, and free-flowing tea and coffee as the train winds through picturesque hills on the way to the historic village of Dagun.
Maleny Botanic Gardens
All are now welcome to explore the vibrant grounds at Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World, which has unveiled a new fleet of wheelchair-accessible buggies. The venue is home to over 600 native and exotic birds, eight kilometres of winding paths, various waterfalls and sweeping views of the enigmatic Glass House Mountains. An Indigenous interpretation walk is also set to be unveiled this year.
Seven Peaks Farm Stay
Immerse yourself in the comforts of a luxury farm stay this year. Seven Peaks Farm Stay is set to add a new family cabin to its six luxury cabins, providing another opportunity for you and the kids to get acquainted with the friendly farm animals and stunning views of the Glass House Mountains.
Meanwhile, in the lush countryside surrounds of Woombye, Sixty6 Acres has also added a new three-bedroom villa called The Acreage. Boasting sweeping views over the farm and its lake, you’ll have exclusive use of the outdoor bathhouse if you stay here.
Three-bedroom cabins introduced at The Crocodile Hunter Lodge
The Crocodile Hunter Lodge has expanded its luxury accommodation offering with the introduction of four three-bedroom Emu Cabins, including an accessible cabin. Each cabin can accommodate up to six guests and offers spectacular scenic views of native bushland from the spacious wrap-around decks. When you stay here, you’ll also receive unlimited entry to Australia Zoo for each day of your stay, complimentary breakfast at Warrior Restaurant & Bar, exclusive access to ‘The Billabong’ – a 25-metre infinity pool overlooking the resident wildlife – and a sneak peek tour of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
Witness subtropical rainforest restoration
Kurui Cabin, Cooroy
Kick up your feet in the heated plunge pool, or by the private fire pit on the large outdoor deck and witness a rainforest restoration right in front of your eyes – a product of the Sunshine Coast’s commitment to protecting and regenerating the local land. Gazing out from Kurui Cabin across the lush gardens with a waterfall cascading nearby, you’ll find it hard to believe this area was once cattle grazing land. Kurui Cabin is located on one of the first sites earmarked for rejuvenation in the Noosa Hinterland town of Cooroy, as part of the Sunshine Coast Sustainability Program.
Four-star suites in Bli Bli
Located within the recently relaunched Bli Bli Hotel, you’ll find Bli Bli Suites – home to eight contemporary rooms which are ideal for both leisure and business stays. Bli Bli Suites is easily accessible from the Sunshine Coast Airport, and is comfortably situated close to the central hub of Maroochydore, and many of our best beaches. Within the Hotel itself, you’ll find a modern bistro and bar, as well as a Mediterranean-inspired rooftop terrace with an open-air retractable roof.
New hideaway at Misty View Cottages
If you’re craving a retreat to our cooling Hinterland forests, be sure to check out the latest addition to Misty View Cottages. Ponti Cottage has been purpose-built amongst the trees with over 1,000 m2 of revegetated land... making it the ideal location for a private getaway.
Boutique hotel at Peregian
Essence Peregian Beach
Just 15-minutes' drive from Noosa, Essence Peregian Beach takes coastal resort luxury to the next level with 32 boutique rooms. Comprised of studios and two-bedroom apartments, along with 20 three, four, and five-bedroom houses (three of which have private pools), Essence is the picture-perfect coastal respite for you and your partner.
Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival, Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland
It’s time to get your calendar out, because we’ve got some key dates for you! The Sunshine Coast’s premier culinary festival, The Curated Plate, will return from 26 July-4 August 2024. The 10-day home-grown festival is a delicious celebration of our region’s local produce, producers, and chefs. If you’re a lover of good food (and who isn’t!), make sure to book your spot on this epic culinrary journey from the seafood hub of Mooloolaba to the rich volcanic soils of the Hinterland.
Meanwhile, Noosa’s signature foodie festival, Noosa Eat and Drink , is set to return from 30 May-2 June this year after a brief hiatus. Much-loved events are back on the table, including beachfront events and the return of the bustling Festival Village.
GourMay Mary Valley returns
Coming back for ‘seconds’ in 2024 is GourMay Mary Valley, which spans the entire month of May. This mega-spotlight on the Mary Valley’s local produce features a series of satellite events, including farm tours, degustations and more – culminating in Festival Day on 25 May, when the heritage village of Imbil comes ‘cooking central’ with cooking demos, stalls selling local produce, chefs’ conversations, and entertainment.
Arts and culture on the horizon
Horizon Festival: credit Nic Morley and Horizon Festival
You won’t want to miss our leading contemporary multi-arts Horizon Festival, as it makes its return with a jam-packed 10 days of visual art, music, theatre, dance, film, and creative workshops: all inspired by the stories and beauty of the Sunshine Coast. Taking place from coast to hinterland, the program honours the Traditional Custodians of the region: the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara peoples.
Music lovers rejoice: a big event is back on the agenda for 2024, so be sure to keep an eye out for details on The Big Pineapple Music Festival.