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My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

  • January 18, 2018
  • By 50 Shades
  • 22 Comments
My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Over the years l’ve spent a lot of weekends visiting the Sunshine Coast attending surf carnivals, when our kids were Nippers, and having the occasional weekend getaway with my husband or with my girlfriends. For me it is a relatively easy two and a half hour drive north of the Gold Coast, but it’s like a world away. The Sunshine Coast is more spread out, is less crowded and touristy, and you can still find a beach that is virtually unpopulated and pristine. My favourite Sunshine Coast Places are:

1. Coolum Beach/Yaroomba

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Coolum Beach

What’s not to love about Coolum Beach and Yaroomba? There are plenty of great surf beaches for the surfers, a long stretch of beach to walk along at both Coolum Main Beach and Yaroomba, a fabulous coastal walking path with gorgeous views from Point Arkwright and Point Perry and the added bonus of a challenging mountain to scale at Mount Coolum.

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Yaroomba Beach and Point Arkwright

Plus the small village of Coolum Beach has great facilities with shops, supermarket, plenty of cafes and good restaurants. Coolum Surf Club is also a spectacular spot for an afternoon coldie!

2. Noosa/Noosaville/Sunshine Beach

My Favourite Places on the Sunshine Coast

Main Beach at Noosa Heads

One of the best highlights of a stay in Noosa or Noosaville are the breathtaking sunsets over the Noosa River and mountains to the west. You can perch yourself anywhere along the river to take in this amazing sight. The Noosa National Park is another gem with fabulous walking paths around the headland, where you are rewarded with stunning views along the way.

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Hells Gates in the Noosa National Park

A stroll down the ever-popular Hastings Street is a must do with cafes, boutiques and galleries galore lining the shady street. Noosa Beach has one of the best point breaks for surfing in the world, particularly for long boards. The Noosa River at Noosaville is a water lover’s paradise with kayaking, standup paddle boarding, jet skiing, boating and fishing all very popular.

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Sunshine Beach

Nearby is the small village of Sunshine Beach which I absolutely adore with it’s very relaxed and laid-back vibe. The wide, open beach is great for an uncrowded surfing session or a swim. A must do is a coldie at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club for spectacular ocean views or a coffee at one of the cafes in town.

3. Alexandra Headland/Mooloolaba

My favourite things to do in Alexandra Headland are walking along the coastal walkway and taking in the gorgeous views from the headland, eating a meal at Alexandra Headland Surf Club and poking around the rocky shoreline of the beach.

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Alexandra Headland Bluff

In Mooloolaba I love to sit along the beachfront with the “coffee set” to people watch, browse some of the trendy boutiques, enjoy a coldie at the Mooloolaba Surf Club, walk down to The Wharf and Yacht Club to check out the boats and enjoy a swim in the usually smooth waters at the beach.

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Mooloolaba Beach at Sunset

3. Maroochydore/Cotton Tree

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

The Maroochy River at Cotton Tree, Maroochydore

I’ve spent many a weekend at the caravan park at Cotton Tree and have to say it’s one of the best I’ve ever stayed in with it’s location on the sandy banks of the Maroochy River and close proximity to Maroochydore Beach. Parklands fringe the river and there is a good walking path that follows the river and then the beachfront, where you can walk all the way to Mooloolaba if you like.

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Maroochydore Beach

Ocean Street in Maroochydore comes to life of an evening with hundreds of restaurants and bars offering all types of cuisine from around the world and live musical entertainment. Nearby Sunshine Plaza is the largest shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast and is a great place to shop and then hang at one of the cafes or eateries on the timber deck on Cornmeal Creek.

4. Caloundra/Moffat Beach

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Pumicestone Passage, Caloundra

Caloundra has really come a long way since I started visiting here 10 to 15 years ago. Protected by Bribie Island on the Pumicestone Passage, the calm waters are a great place for families with small children. However if you want surf, there are a couple of beaches further north that offer good surfing waves.

My Favourite Sunshine Coast Places

Moffat Beach Caloundra

Moffat Beach is my pick of the beaches in Caloundra, with a headland offering magical views over the beach and lovely grassy parks lining the foreshore. Across the road from the beach there are a selection of good cafes to grab a coffee and chill. Caloundra also boasts a very good coastal walkway that starts at Golden Beach and goes all the way to Dicky Beach.

Do you have any particular favourite places on the Sunshine Coast or area near where you live for a weekend escape?

This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset.

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:

Lyndall from Seize the Day Project
Deb from DebbishDotCom
Min from Write of the Middle.
Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit
Jo from And Anyways
and of course me, Kathy from 50 Shades of Age


By 50 Shades, January 18, 2018 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

22 Comments
  • Jo Tracey
    January 18, 2018

    Mooloolaba is my fave – I do that coast walk most days. The Sunshine Coast surf clubs are fabulous spots, but one of things we always had to do when visiting – and still do regularly now that we’ve moved here – is settle in on The Deck at The Spit with a kilo of prawns bought from the fishos downstairs, and a glass of white from the bar upstairs. Just perfect.

    • Kathy
      January 18, 2018

      I’ve never visited The Deck at The Spit and I must remedy that on my next visit as it sounds divine. Some of the Surf Clubs really do have prime position and over the years I’ve enjoyed an afternoon drink on one of the verandahs overlooking the beach. I have to disagree with Mooloolaba however, I’m more partial to Coolum!

  • Jo@JoSimplyWill
    January 18, 2018

    Cotton Tree is my absolute favourite on the Sunshine Coast Kathy. It has managed to retain a village feel and is nicely out of the mainstream.

    • Kathy
      January 18, 2018

      Oh yes Cotton Tree is definitely a top spot on the Sunshine Coast. We have spent many weekends camped here at the caravan park. #TeamLovinLife

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    January 18, 2018

    Beautiful photos and I have been to all of those beaches. I love the Sunshine Coast. In fact, I’m headed up there in about 3 weeks for a 2 week holiday at Mooloolaba. Can’t wait! #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      January 18, 2018

      Two weeks in Mooloolaba will be lovely Min. I imagine you will be joining the coffee set along the esplanade and enjoy long walks along the coastal path.

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    January 18, 2018

    Kathy, those photos and beaches are breathtaking. Not only that but there’s so much space for all to enjoy! It gets very hectic on the beaches here in Sydney.

    SSG xxx

    • Kathy
      January 18, 2018

      It can be busy at some of the beaches on the Sunshine Coast, like Noosa and Mooloolaba, but at least there are many alternatives at less crowded beaches. I do love Sydney beaches however. #TeamLovinLife

  • jodie filogomo
    January 18, 2018

    These are exactly the places I need to visit to get away from the cold and snow….
    XOOX
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.c

    • Kathy
      January 18, 2018

      Yes I can imagine you would feel this way Jodie. Come whenever you like. I’ll show you around! #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    January 18, 2018

    So many great beach pics Kathy – I can tell what your favourite activity is without having to give it a great deal of thought (and it doesn’t appear to be shopping or doing the “tourist” traps) xx

    • Kathy
      January 18, 2018

      Ha ha! You’re so intuitive Leanne! Yes I love nature and yes I love photography. But I have also been known to shop like a pro! #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo
    January 18, 2018

    Ohh you have lovely beaches in Queensland – my favourite from your (lovely) photos would be Caloundra. I’d like to do that walk too.

    • Kathy
      January 18, 2018

      Good choice Jo, but you would also need to see my favourite spot at Coolum. There are heaps of coastal walking paths along the Sunshine Coast and they all offer majestic views. You must come over this way sometime soon! #TeamLovinLife

  • Natalie
    January 19, 2018

    Thanks, Kathy, for sharing your favourite Sunshine Coast places and beautiful pictures. I’d love to visit them some day. I live right by Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes, and enjoy it very much. We have a few local, freshwater beaches.

    • Kathy
      January 19, 2018

      I would like to visit Lake Ontario one day. I have been to Toronto and Montreal, but would love to spend more time exploring this region of North America and Canada. #TeamLovinLife

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    January 19, 2018

    We had our honeymoon at Maroochydore, Kathy and that was almost 20 years ago. I keep saying to my husband, we must revisit the Sunshine Coast it truly is spectacular. My SIL loves surfing and although he usually heads to the GC because it is closer he loves a spot that is in the Noosa National Park. Gorgeous photos as usual just stunning!

    • Kathy
      January 19, 2018

      We’ve spent a lot of time on the Sunshine Coast and even considered moving here once because our daughter lives here. We were actually in conflict because we have one child on the Gold Coast and one on the Sunshine Coast, so we have chosen to live across the border at Kingscliff, maybe later on this year. The Sunshine Coast has always enchanted me and I will continue to visit often to see our daughter. #TeamLovinLife

  • Janet Camilleri aka Middle Aged Mama
    January 19, 2018

    I grew up on the northside of Brisbane so the Sunshine Coast was just a hop, skip and a jump away. I especially love Cotton Tree, and also Moffat and Dickey Beaches in Caloundra. These days I rarely go up the coast, we always seem to end up on the Goldie because it’s only 45 mins from home!

    • Kathy
      January 19, 2018

      It is becoming a bit of a mission to drive up to the Sunshine Coast as the traffic on the Gateway via Brisbane and the Bruce Highway can be horrendous. Cotton Tree is one of my all time favourite place to holiday on the Sunny Coast, but now I really enjoy where our daughter lives at Yaroomba near Coolum. #TeamLovinLife

  • Pinky Poinker
    January 20, 2018

    Stunning photos of the jewels we enjoy in Queensland. Not that I ever visit the Sunshine Coast.

    • Kathy
      January 20, 2018

      As you know my daughter lives on the Sunshine Coast, so we visit fairly often. I do really enjoy it for a change of pace from the Gold Coast. It’s getting far too crowded and busy here! #TeamLovinLife

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