The Essential Guide To The Sunshine Coast
by Laura Cox
Growing up in England, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would end up living in Australia. In 2015 I set off for my third backpacking trip, planning to earn some money in Australia for a year before moving on to explore more new places. Five months into my trip, I met a man with whom I had an incredible spark, and figured I could stay around for a while to see how things went.
Seven years, one rescue dog, and a wedding later I am now incredibly lucky to call the Sunshine Coast my home. It’s a truly magical place full of natural wonders, jaw-dropping sunrises and incredible food and drink. I want to share some of that magic with you, so I’ve prepared a list of the best places to stay and explore.
Where To Stay
The Sunshine Coast has an abundance of incredible accommodation, from the beach through to the hinterland, there really is something for everyone. The place that is one of the most beautiful, and most dear to my heart is Misty View Cottages in Montville. Nestled in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Misty View comprises of four private cottages that each boast panoramic views of the lake and surrounding rainforest. Freshly baked croissants are dropped off to you every morning, and there is an incredible selection of local wines to choose from to accompany your locally-sourced dinner hamper. There’s plenty to see and do in the local area, or you could spend your time sitting by the log fire and listening to the birds. This utterly romantic getaway is where my husband and I stayed after our elopement and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Where To Explore
There is an array of stunning nature walks to explore all over the Sunshine Coast but one of my all time favourites has to be Mount Ninderry. The track is dog friendly so I love to take my dog, Rebel, up there for an adventure. There’s a clear walking track and steps to follow, but it is quite a steep incline so you’ll definitely be able to consider it a workout! Once you reach the top you have the option of going west to check out the inland views, or east to check out the coastal views. Neither of them will disappoint! You’ll need a car to get to the start of the walking track, and I recommend getting there before 8am to avoid the heat and the crowd.
Where The Locals Get Coffee
Aussies love coffee, and they make the best! You can hop into any cafe on the coast and be guaranteed a great coffee, but if you want to live like the locals you need to check out The Island Surf and Espresso Cafe in Mudjimba. With it’s laid-back surfer vibes and effortlessly cool interior, you can understand why there’s always a queue. Grab yourself a locally-made pottery keep-cup from the counter, order your coffee, and then head across the road to drink it on the beach while you watch the surfers and the whales enjoy the waves.
Want to go shopping but looking for something a bit different? Mr Beesley’s Vintage Clothing Shop in Nambour is one of the Sunshine Coasts best kept secrets. Hidden away in an off-the-radar suburb, this treasure trove is full of the best quality vintage pieces you’ll find in Australia. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy exploring!
Eating in tonight? Head to the Kunara Organic Marketplace to get everything that you need. Organic fruit and veg, organic wine, organic artisan chocolate, organic meats and everything else you can dream of. They even have an organic garden centre to browse! It’s a great place to find the best food brands that Australia has to offer and you’re sure to leave with a few new favourites.
When To Visit
The Sunshine Coast is warm and inviting all year round, but it can get a little too hot for comfort during the summer months. I recommend visiting between March and November to make the most of everything. If you’re coming during winter (June/July/August), bring a jumper as it gets chilly in the evening.
You’ll need a car to be able to get around the Sunshine Coast easily and there are plenty of options for rental cars available.
Tip: Don’t forget your sunscreen! The UV rays here are no joke, and even if you’re one of those people who doesn’t burn easily, you will here. Have your factor 50 ready and apply it every day.
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