The Sunshine Coast is a holiday makers dream but a trip along the sparkling coastline from Coolum to Noosa is really something special.
This is, hands down, one of our favourite routes to drive because there are so many spectacular beaches to visit along the way.
Dotted with cafés, restaurants, and national parks, this is the perfect location for a cheeky mid-week escape or an epic a long weekend.
So pack your bags point the car north, we’ve put together the ultimate three-day holiday you won’t forget!
Be the early bird that gets the good waves and dive in at Coolum Beach. The home break of pro surfer Julian Wilson, the beach’s consistent waves and glassy waters make it a favourite for surfers and body boarders alike.
Never surfed before? No worries, Coolum Surf School has you covered.
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Combine your new-found love of surfing with brekkie at Compound Surf & Drink Coffee. Tucked a street back from Coolum’s main drag, Compound’s four walls provide a gallery like space complete with espresso bar, vintage surf threads, relic boards and free-flowing casual banter.
Why not stretch your legs with a view? Coolum Boardwalk follows the cliffs above the ocean from Point Perry into the village of Coolum Beach. You won’t strain your muscles here, but no doubt the fresh air and ocean views will have you working up an appetite.
Escape to Canteen Kitchen & Bar for lunch. The relaxed seaside eatery serves delicious dishes like jalapeno corn fritters and pork belly red curry with a side of ocean breeze.
You can’t miss Mount Coolum – a grand volcanic dome that offers 360-degree views of the beautiful coastal town.
Pace yourself as you head up what is one of Australia’s largest rocks via steep stairs winding through dense bushy shrub – you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat here - but the panoramic views at the top are 100 per cent worth it.
Make your way north to Sunshine Beach for dinner at Embassy XO. Overlooking thepicturesque surf beach, indulge in modern Asian and Chinese fare from a seasonal menu that features organic produce harvested daily from their very own farm along with other sustainably sourced local ingredients.
After a jam-packed first day, rest your weary head at The Sebel Noosa, right in the heart of Hastings St or steal away to a waterfront haven on the longest private beach in Noosa at Culgoa Point Beach Resort.
Start your day with breakfast and a side of people watching at Aromas Noosa on Hastings St. This is a Noosa institution – you won’t be disappointed!
It’s time to experience one of the highlights of the area - Noosa National Park! Full of beach, bush and boardwalks, the national park wraps around from Noosa’s luxurious shopping hotspot Hastings Street, which will come in handy for a spot of gelato once your hike is over (it’s all about balance).
The tracks are well maintained, easy enough for beginners (or pretty tough if you start at the southern end of Sunshine Beach) and chockas with local wildlife including koalas, kookaburras, and dolphins frolicking offshore.
Fuel up with a burger from the original Betty’s Burgers in Noosa Heads for lunch. The beachside location is second-to-none and you can’t go past one of their signature ice creams. These thick sundae-style desserts are made with rich frozen custard and mix-in toppings.
This afternoon, get a new perspective on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve from the water on board Noosa Oceanrider. With a mix of rides on offer, from adrenaline wave jumping to more sedate dolphin spotting adventures, you are bound to have a blast.
Plan ahead for dinner and make sure your book into Sum Yung Guys. Serving up incredible, share-style pan-Asian dishes, we recommend going hungry because the menu - featuring the likes of king prawn Toast, beef rendang and sour yellow curry – will have your mouth watering.
Kick-start the day with a delicious locally roasted Flying West coffee from Noosa Social Espresso – you will want it for your early start.
Today you will visit one of the world’s natural wonders in the Noosa Everglades. One of only two Everglades systems in the world, this place gives a whole new meaning to ‘serenity’. Explore the stunning network of wetlands and waterways – bursting with rare wildlife – kayaking with Kanu Kapers or cruising with Everglades Eco Safaris.
All that paddling can really work up an appetite! Head for a late lunch Noosa Heads Surf Club. Linger over a bucket of fresh prawns while enjoying the last rays of light over the north-facing main beach – drink of choice in hand of course.
Relax and regroup before making your way up to Noosa Junction. Pucca Restaurant & Gin Bar is a modern coastal Indian restaurant and boutique gin cocktail bar. Satisfy your tastebuds with standout dishes like Dad’s Puchkas, where you’ll get a mountain of pani puri - perfectly round, hollow little puffs of fried crispiness and stay as long as the night allows tasting cocktails.