Even a quick weekend away on the Sunshine Coast is enough time to experience a revitalising and nourishing getaway in this majestic and underrated part of Australia. Here’s our guide to help you plan the very best of the Sunshine Coast.
Glass House Mountains. Image credit: Scott Beitz
The Majestic Hinterland
Discover the unique magic of the Sunshine Coast by taking a scenic drive along Hinterland Drive, which weaves its way through the undulating green hills and eclectic villages that dot the Blackall Range hinterland. Make sure to stop at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve which has recently undergone extensive upgrades. The accessible walking paths wind through the 55 hectares of ancient sub-tropical rainforest. Learn about the wildlife that makes their ‘living museum’ so unique. There’s a quaint cafe there that overlooks the jaw-dropping views of the iconic Glass House Mountains. You can even also wave your comfort zone goodbye and discover the thrill of abseiling down Mt Tinbeerwah in Tewantin National Park.
Falls Farm. Photo credit: Stories by Ash
Located nearby is the amazing Falls Farm. The Falls Farm has been worked on using a combination of traditional farming techniques and the latest organic soil knowledge, and whether your thumb is green or black, you’ll get so much from this incredible visit.
Wine and Dine
The Sunshine Coast is one of the most underrated destinations in Australia for incredible and unique local produce. But the secret of the Sunshine Coast’s food producers won’t be kept for much longer; The Curated Plate culinary festival is arriving in August to spread the word!
The calibre of food and drink offerings in the Sunshine Coast is unparalleled. While you’re enjoying a drive through the Hinterland, stop in at Maleny to sample a boutique beer at Brouhaha Brewery, or try a plethora of tasty cheeses at Kenilworth Dairies, or a freshly brewed coffee at Groundskeeper Willie Coffee Roasters in Moffat Beach. Seafoodies will love Spice Bar, a gorgeous Japanese restaurant that overlooks Mooloolaba beach. If you’re not too rushed, stop by The Long Apron and soak in the stunning surrounds of their hinterland estate. There’s also Hinterland Feijoas – Australia’s first certified organic feijoa growers. We’ve invited highly acclaimed chefs Clayton Wells (Automata, Sydney), Matt Stone (Oakridge, Victoria) and Darren Robertson (Three Blue Ducks) to celebrate this incredible fruit for Urban List presents Feijoa Fiesta, held at Hinterland Feijoas.
Flame Hill Vineyard
Fancy a tipple with a little more kick? At Flame Hill Vineyard, in nearby Montville, you can enjoy a wine tasting as you drink in the panoramic coastal views. Flame Hill Vineyard produces 100% estate-grown wines, hand-harvested and sourced from plantings up to 80 years old. This is a true paddock-to-plate venue, where cuisine, wine, scenery, setting and hospitality are all in harmony. Special accommodation rates available for guests attending The Curated Plate. Learn more here.
Animal lovers will delight at the wide range of animal encounters on offer on the Sunshine Coast. Cuddle a koala, feed a giraffe or get up close to a cheetah at Australia Zoo, which has more than 1,200 animals housed. Wildlife HQ, located beside everyone’s favourite kitsch icon, the Big Pineapple, has over 20 different animal experiences, including the chance to meet some cheeky primates and inquisitive meerkats. Meanwhile, at Sea Life Sunshine Coast you can swim with the seals or even the sharks for the brave at heart, while Whale One offers the breathtaking opportunity to swim with whales during whale season from July to early November.
QCamel is a must on the itinerary for a truly unique farm gate experience! They welcome visitors to their dairy to meet and greet the beautiful camel family and they also have ‘Camel Cuddles’ on the first Saturday of every month.
For the Family
No getaway to the Sunshine Coast is complete without a visit to the Ginger Factory, where you can get a buzz at the Superbee Live Show or ride Moreton, the 115-year-old Ginger Train. There’s also Cooloola Berries where strawberry picking and freshly made ice cream sundaes will keep every member of the family happy!
For the thrill-seeking family, why not try Caloundra Jetski Hire and Safari (children 8 years+ can ride a twin share jetski with an adult and teenagers 16 years+ can ride a jetski solo). And if you’re heading to the Sunshine Coast between August 5- 8, The Curated Plate have partnered with the fun company to put on Caloundra Jetski’s Seafood Safari.
Glass on Glasshouse
The Sunshine Coast boasts a wide choice of accommodation options with everything from luxe resorts perfectly located close to some of Australia’s best beaches, to luxury hinterland cottages where you can relax and listen to native Australian birds. Enjoy fresh paddock-to-plate meals from award-winning restaurants. Spicers Tamarind Retreat, who offer rainforest fringed luxury, infused with the seductive spices of Asia. The Tamarind is a welcome sanctuary of calm and elegance and will complete your immersive and relaxing getaway on the Sunshine Coast. Check out their package deals with The Curated Plate.
Experience the mystical beauty of the Glasshouse Mountains at Glass on Glasshouse, where their stunning modern cottages are set amongst a 20-acre mango orchard, surrounded by farms and forestry. Admire the stunning Mountain views through two walls of floor-to-ceiling glass. The Hinterland Experience Package is the perfect mini break for food lovers and includes tickets to three of The Curated Plate’s feature events.
On the Water’s Edge
A visit to the Sunshine Coast should start and end at the region’s picture-perfect white sand beaches. Enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the shoreline, before getting your blood pumping out on the water by surfing the waves at Coolum Beach. For a more tranquil experience, paddle the natural wonderland of the Pumicestone Passage by hiring a stand-up paddleboard from Golden Beach Hire or Bill’s Boat and Bike Hire. Make the most of your time by taking a relaxing kayak tour with Experientia, cruise the Maroochy River with Cruise Maroochy, or visit Noosa’s Main Beach and enjoy the gentle waves, perfect for families. Beach lovers will adore Moffat Beach, but it’s especially good for any surfers out there looking for some supreme waves on their getaway.
Feel like staying beach-side? The Point Coolum Beach has panoramic ocean views over Coolum’s secluded bays. A few nights stay here is guaranteed to wash all of life’s stresses away. Check out our travel package which includes three nights’ accommodation at The Point Coolum Beach resort, return airport transfers and tickets to Good Food presents The Legends Lunch.
Moffat Beach. Image credit: Drew Brown
The Curated Plate encourages guests to immerse themselves in the flavours foraged from organic and sustainable practices and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences – just the thing to complete your experience of the Sunshine Coast. We hope you love your time spent on the Sunshine Coast, and enjoy discovering all the regional food, drinks and experiences this incredibly vibrant part of the world has to offer.