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Stay, dine and soak up the Sunshine Coast

There’s no wonder travellers are drawn to the Sunshine Coast as it is a perfect setting from the moment you arrive, with 13 beaches stretching over 100 kilometres of pristine sand.

This playground offers fun for the whole family, young and old alike making it the perfect setting for that seaside escape. Beaches here entice you to unwind and do as little as possible.

If sitting on the beach is too slow paced for you and you wish to revitalise and reconnect, then explore the natural biodiversity of the area. The Sunshine Coast is home to more individual national parks than any other region in Queensland.

These are protected by five separate parks in both coastal and inland regions, including Mapleton Falls National Park, Kondalilla National Park, The Glasshouse Mountains National Park, Noosa National Park, and the Great Sandy National Park, which includes sections on Fraser Island and in Cooloola near Rainbow Beach.

From luxury food and wine escapes in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to winter whale watching and days on the beach, there’s no better time to explore all the region has to offer.

Here is where to stay and dine on the Sunshine Coast.

HINTERLAND ESCAPES

Spicers Tamarind Retreat

Nestled in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland town of Maleny is Spicers Tamarind Retreat. Here you can enjoy the very best of winter in the Hinterland, escaping the chill by the fireplace in your luxury villa as you look out over the rainforest, enjoy a day of pampering at their Spa Anise or indulge at their hatted in-house restaurant – The Tamarind. Spicers Tamarind is welcoming visitors back with a number of special deals, including their ‘Birthversary’ special, inviting visitors to celebrate life’s momentous occasions with them, or simply rejoice at the end of isolation. Prices start from $1198 for two nights and includes luxury accommodation in a forest villa, daily a la carte breakfast and a three-course dinner at The Tamarind or in-house barbecue pack. More here: https://spicersretreats.com

Glass House Mountains Eco Lodge

Glass House Mountains Eco Lodge offers a truly unique experience. Their accommodation offerings include a resorted 125-year-old Queensland timber church, a Victorian Train Carriage built between 1882 and 1886 and resorted 60-year-old Queensland train carriage. Offering spectacular views over the Glasshouse Mountains, it’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature. For those who book direct, you can use the code GHMECO to receive complimentary tropical style breakfasts mid-week. For more, visit www.glasshouseecolodge.com.

Secrets by the Lake

Stay in your own secluded treehouse at Secrets on the Lake in Montville! Located in the rainforest on tranquil Lake Baroon, there is limited one-night stays from $450 or you can book-in for a special dining experience. Secrets Dining on the Deck offer patrons panoramic views of the water, mountains and rainforest, has a fully licensed bar and is open 6 days a week serving breakfast from 8:30am, delicious lunches from 11am, and until 4pm for an indulgent champers, coffee or cake. They also offer a range of takeaway picnics for you to book and then collect to enjoy on the shores of magnificent Lake Baroon in the northern recreation area. www.secretsonthelake.com.au

While you’re there… make sure to visit Wildlife HQ which is reopening from Friday, 5 June, take a scenic journey back in time with the Mary Valley Rattler, which will be back on the tracks from 13 June with their popular Tasting Train Experience, and enjoy a delicious meal and local craft beer at Maleny’s Brouhaha Brewery, which is reopening from Friday, 12 June.

COASTAL SHORT-BREAKS

Newport Mooloolaba

Newport Mooloolaba is inviting families back these school holidays with savings of up to 40 per cent. From your ocean or harbour view apartment breath in the fresh salty air, go for daily walks along iconic Mooloolaba Beach and enjoy fine dining with Mooloolaba Esplanade and The Wharf Mooloolaba right on your doorstep. Prices start from $197 for two nights or five-night stays from $122 per night with one night free. Valid to 31 July. More here: www.newportmooloolaba.com.au.

The Retreat Beach Houses, Peregian Beach

Imagine waking up to the sound of the ocean, before making tracks through your own private beach entrance to watch the sunrise. At The Retreat Beach House in Peregian, you can make that dream a reality. Offering spacious beach houses and an absolute beachfront location, it’s the perfect destination to make memories with the family. Using the codeword RELAX, they are also offering 30 per cent discounts on stays on 3+ nights before 31 July. More here https://theretreat.com.au.

Caloundra Holiday Centre

#21 Grand Pacific, beachfront with rooftop spa! Receive one night free! For a limited time only book 7 nights and only pay for 6 in this Waterfront Penthouse with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a private rooftop spa! Can’t stay that long? Why not book 3 – 6 nights instead and take 10% off! To book contact www.caloundraholidaycentre.com.au

While you’re there… take part in an immersive scuba/snorkel encounter around Mudjimba Island with Sunreef Mooloolaba that is available now. A little further south, you can take to the Pumicestone Passage with Caloundra Jet Ski, the Glasshouse Mountains visible on the skyline. For something the whole family will enjoy, why not take to the waves with Coolum Surfing School and learn to ride the waves like a local.

Visit Sunshine Coast recommends checking with each accommodation provider on terms and conditions. It is also advisable to book ahead with attractions / tours and dining venues due to limited capacities and to avoid disappointment.

6 dining experiences to try

From farm gates to food tours and freshly caught seafood, the Sunshine Coast’s food scene is rich in its diversity.

Here you can meet the makers and hear their stories, pick your own produce, sample award-winning cheese and take cooking classes from the best.

Visit Sunshine Coast invites you to explore the Sunshine Coast through food this winter with these six delicious dining experiences.

Go Farm to Fork in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

As you drive up the winding range of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland you’ll spot farmgate stalls by the roadside offering everything from pineapples to avocados and fresh honey. But what is the story behind the produce? In a true paddock to plate experience, Creative Tours and Events will take you behind the scenes to meet the makers and hear their stories on their Farm to Fork Hinterland Tour, followed by a lunch of local produce. Stops include The Falls Farm, Montville Coffee and Brouhaha Brewery.

Meet the makers with People, Plates and Places

The team at People, Plates and Places offer a truly unique food experience with their ‘plate to paddock’ ethos. Held in different locations across the Sunshine Coast, People, Plates and Places hold pop-up events on working farms and orchards that bring diners to where the food is grown. Foodies will hear from the producers themselves as they sample everything from grass-fed beef to organic tomatoes at their restaurant without walls. The next event will be held in Montville in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland on 25 July and feature a multi-course menu with paired wines.

All aboard the tasting train with the Mary Valley Rattler

The Mary Valley in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a region renowned for its produce. Think award-winning cheese and dairy, macadamias and local meats. And one of the best ways to experience the region’s produce is on board the Mary Valley Rattler. The Rattler launched its ‘Tasting Train’ in late 2019, taking guests on a scenic journey of gastronomy through the Mary Valley on board their vintage railmotor RM76. The menu highlights the region’s produce, and includes a tasting plate on board followed by lunch at the historic Gympie Station. The Tasting Train is currently operating return from Gympie to Amamoor stations.

Get hands on with local produce at a cooking school 

With an abundance of fresh local produce available, its little wonder the Sunshine Coast is home to a number of leading cooking schools. Set amongst lush tropical gardens in the hinterland town of Yandina is Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking School, whose focus on Asian cuisine makes them one of Australia’s best food experiences. At their cooking school they offer classes such as ‘Feast From the East’ and ‘Quick and Easy Thai – With a Twist’ to name a few, local ingredients such as finger limes on the menu.

Enjoy canapes with camels on an organic dairy farm

Set against the iconic Glasshouse Mountains on the southern end of the Sunshine Coast is Australia’s premium supplier of certified organic camel milk – QCamel. The family-run dairy invites foodies behind the scenes on their farmgate ‘Camel Cuddles’ tour that includes sampling camel-milk products. Together with local producers the QCamel team offer creamy camel milk fetta, camel milk chocolates and smoothies, as well as camel milk itself which has a number of health benefits. The tour also invites you to meet the camels, who are more than willing to pose for a selfie and lean in for a camel cuddle. Camel tours can be done direct through QCamel or including transfers with Design It Tours.

Sail into the sunset on a Mooloolaba seafood cruise

Mooloolaba is the biggest swordfish port in Australia, and one off the busiest ports on the eastern seaboard with trawlers bringing in boatloads of fish, tuna, Mooloolaba prawns, lobsters and spanner crabs each day. Mooloolaba Spit is dotted with fish and chipperies making it the perfect destination for a picnic, while the nearby Mooloolaba Wharf is home to a number of bustling eateries. For a truly unique experience, take to the water at sunset with Coastal Cruises Mooloolaba for a seafood dining experience like no other. Enjoy a fresh local seafood platter – glass of wine in hand – as you cruise along the Mooloolah River.

It is recommended checking with each operator in relation to opening times and terms and conditions. It is also advisable to book ahead with attractions/tours and dining venues due to limited capacities and to avoid disappointment.

For more information visit: visitsunshinecoast.com

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About Kate Webster

Kate Webster is the founder and owner of Captured Travel Media. She is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself, but the world around her. An editor and travel journalist, Kate travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the people and places she visits. She is a passionate conservation advocate, sustainable traveller and always travels with reason and cause.