Long Table Lunch, Yanalla Farms. Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland
Don’t let the laidback beach lifestyle fool you, the Sunshine Coast is a mecca for local produce and lip-smacking cuisine, and seafood fresh off the trawler is just the beginning.
A foodie tour here will take you from sampling award-winning dairy in the Hinterland to brewery hopping along the Sunshine Coast’s craft beer trail, picking plump strawberries by the basketful, and getting hands on at a local cooking school.
So get ready to tuck in, because we’ve rounded up a destination degustation that will have you coming back for entrees, main and dessert.
Follow the food trail
For plenty of glorious, fresh and locally-grown goodness, jump in the car and head for the winding roads of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
You’ll know you’re getting closer when farmgate stalls start up popping up by the roadside, with everything from fresh pineapples to avocados, honey and finger limes ready for you to pull over and stock up.
With pockets of sub-tropical rainforest and cute-as-a-picture Hinterland villages making way for lush rolling hills and, it’s not hard to see why the Hinterland’s rich volcanic soil is perfect for growing some of the best local produce you’ll find.
Farm to fork
For the ultimate local foodie experience, don’t miss a Farm to Fork Hinterland Tour.
This epic and personalised offering from Creative Tours allows you to meet the producers, coffee roasters, brewers, distillers and growers as you tour through scenic locations such as Noosa, Montville, the Mary Valley, Caloundra, Moffat Beach, Mooloolaba and Cooroy.
Better yet, the tour includes a four-course lunch created lovingly from the locally-sourced, seasonal produce the region is famous for. Bon Appetit!
You may also enjoy other farm tours including Tasty Hinterland by Tasty Tours.
If you want to live like a local, grab your basket and make tracks to one of the many Sunshine Coast farmers markets for an authentic foodie fix.
The buzzing Noosa Farmers Market is a hive of activity from 6am until noon every Sunday.
Twilight markets, Marcoola
Go with an empty belly as there are some seriously delicious stalls here slinging everything from coffee to farm fresh produce, honey, baked goods - ahh, that smell! - cheeses and local seafood.
For a slightly more laidback morning, Kawana Waters Farmers Market showcases some of the finest - and freshest - local produce and a stellar line-up of Sunshine Coast’s food producers.
For a genuine country experience, head to the Original Eumundi Markets or Yandina Country Market for spray-free produce, local meats and deli produce.
If you love cheese - really, who doesn’t? – you should not leave town without a cheeky visit to Kenilworth Dairies.
Kenilworth Dairies, Kenilworth
Proudly owned by a sixth-generation local dairying family, this foodie haven is a destination for lovers of the good stuff.
Watch cheese being made from a viewing platform and sample the homemade artisan soft offerings, rich blues, haloumi and family favourite cheddars.
If you still have room for more, pop into the on-site cafe Poppa’s for a cheese board or some homemade ice cream.
Be sure to stock up on goodies from the cellar door to take home on the way out.
Cheers to that
Yep, the Sunshine Coast is home to epic beaches, restaurants and natural attractions galore, but did you know the Sunshine Coast is also Australia’s Craft Beer Capital?
In fact, the region has more craft breweries per capita than any state or territory in Australia - and you can taste the local passion in every glass.
Family meals at Your Mates, Kawana
Take your pick from buzzing coastal venues like Moffat Beach Brewing Co. and Ten Toes Brewery, industrial gems such as Land & Sea Brewery and hinterland hot spots like Brouhaha and Terella Brewing, with each boutique-style brewery offering a unique but equally delightful journey.
Make a day of it and hop on a tour with Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours to taste the local tipples and meet the brewers behind the brands.
Get your chef on
The best part of cooking is eating your creations, right?
Why not sharpen up the culinary skills while meeting new friends at one of the Sunshine Coast’s cooking schools.
Set amongst tropical gardens, towering palms and a tranquil pond, local icon Spirit House Cooking School offers hands-on, chef-run classes aiming to demystify Asian ingredients and cooking methods.
Spirit House Cooking School
There are morning and afternoon classes for all levels, and you get to dine on the recipes prepared in class while enjoying a well-earned glass of vino, too.
There are plenty of other cooking schools you can try your hand at as well!
Get outside, get your hands dirty and pick your own fruit at McMartin’s Strawberry Farm.
Set on 56 acres at Bli Bli, this popular family-owned and operated slice of paradise provides a fab family day out.
Pick scrumptious strawberries - when in season - straight from the field before treating yourself to one of McMartin’s famous velvety award-winning ice creams while the kids tear around the playground.
Picking strawberries. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Seafood with a side of sunset
When a killer sunset and seafood feast are on the agenda, it’s hard not to have a good time.
Live your best life and indulge in two of life’s great pleasures on a Mooloolaba Sunset Seafood Cruise.
Kick back on a luxury vessel, feast on local seafood while sipping an obligatory cocktail - it would be rude not to - as you sail through the Mooloolaba Harbour and canals as the sun sets.