Alex Hill (The Bluff Beach), Alexandra Headland
The Sunshine Coast holiday dilemma is real: do you enjoy 72-hours on the beach, listening to the waves lap against the shoreline beyond... or do you pass the time surrounded by subtropical rainforests, fuelled by a long lunch of local produce?
Never fear – we're here to help you balance the best of both worlds across your long-weekend itinerary (with a few extra secret spots along the way!)
Let’s get planning.
Tea Tree Bay, Noosa National Park. Credit Tourism & Events Queensland
We know you can’t visit the Sunshine Coast without saying hello to Noosa! To beat the crowds, we recommend starting your day with a brisk walk to Hell’s Gates, accessible via Noosa National Park. Here, you’ll weave your way around several of Noosa’s premium beaches, including Tea Tree Bay and Little Cove, while gradually climbing towards a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean beyond. Local wildlife is plentiful here – keep watch for whales, dolphins, goannas and koalas.
Once you’ve meandered your way back down Hastings Street, it’s time for a leisurely seaside breakfast. We suggest checking out Season, or Boardwalk Bistro – both of which have prime ocean views to make your bacon and eggs particularly memorable!
Spend the rest of the morning on the sand with the warm sun on your skin, catching up on the book you’ve been neglecting, and taking an all-important holiday beach photo.
After lunch of your choice, jump in the car for the 20-minute drive from Noosa to Lake Cootharaba. This secret spot is beloved by locals for its windsurfing, fishing and wildlife. Spend the afternoon kayaking (hiring facilities are available in the foreshore area) or bring along some fishing rods and try your luck for some Mangrove Jack.
Sum Yung Guys, Noosaville
Return to the sea in the evening for a sumptuous feast of modern-Asian fusion cuisine at the acclaimed Sum Yung Guys restaurant in Noosaville. Sip on a cocktail or mocktail, tuck into a piece of their famous Mooloolaba prawn toast and enjoy the fun atmosphere. Once you’ve had your fill, it’s time to settle into your boutique accommodation at Essence, in Peregian.
Kenilworth Country Bakery, Kenilworth
Country-life is calling today – it’s time to jump in the car, switch on the Spotify playlist and take the 45-minute scenic drive southwest from Noosa to the country town of Kenilworth. This town is a foodie lover’s dream – perfect for that early morning sugar hit. Drop into Kenilworth Bakery for one of their social-media-famous doughnuts – whether you’re after a coffee-filled doughnut, a crème brûlée doughnut, or something a bit more classic, we’re sure you’ll find something delicious to take away.
Stock up with local cheeses and yoghurt at the Kenilworth Dairies cellar door – just a short stroll from the bakery. Enjoy your goodies in the leafy park nearby, or load everything into an esky for a mid-afternoon treat.
Next on the list is Cooroy – a 30-minute drive from Kenilworth through lush countryside, sprawling paddocks, and ancient forests. Cooroy has long been nicknamed ‘The Heart of Noosa Hinterland’, and you’ll quickly see why. Grab some lunch at Jamaica Blue Cooroy, before strolling through the boutique stores, botanic gardens, and historic Butter Factory.
Bath with a view at Sixty6 Acres
End your day with dinner at Bask – an acclaimed chef-hatted eatery in Peregian Beach that celebrates local cuisine. Here, you can expect to tuck into a premium seasonal menu featuring everything from torched ocean trout through to saffron roasted quail (sample offerings only).
Spend the rest of the night at your next accommodation stop: Sixty6 Acres in Woombye.
Wake up early to catch the sunrise across Alexandra Headland – less than 20-minutes drive from Sixty6 Acres. Select from the array of prime oceanside sunrise spots and watch the sky transform above the sea. A beach sunrise is not to be missed while on the Sunshine Coast!
After taking a short stroll along the headland, make your way to Nambour for breakfast at Small Change Espresso. This cosy eatery is popular with locals (which means it’s well-worth checking out for your morning coffee). Once you’re fully caffeinated, embark on the scenic journey up the hinterland range towards Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World for the ultimate nature encounter. Along the drive, you’ll get to see sweeping views right down to the ocean, as well as a snapshot of beloved Sunshine Coast towns like Montville.
Mapleton Public House
Stop off for lunch at the Mapleton Public House – situated in a stylishly restored 112-year-old pub. This place has got the Sunshine Coast talking (for all the right reason!), thanks to its emphasis on using local produce from The Falls Farm, which is only 3km up the road.
Spicers Clovelly Estate
Your last night on the Sunshine Coast should be a luxurious one, so try out Spicers Clovelly Estate in Montville. You can dine-in here, too, at their famed French-inspired Long Apron restaurant. Bon Appetit!