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SUNSHINE COAST

WHAT TO EXPECT

Noosa is at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, a diverse region between Brisbane and Fraser Island, extending from coastal towns to hinterland.

Discover vast beaches, a thriving food scene and many natural treasures in the surrounding hinterland. There’s beachside culture, fresh local food, events and bucket-list experiences.

Images courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.

WHY WE LOVE IT

From the Glass House Mountains to Noosa and the Coloured Sands of Rainbow Beach, the region includes more than 100km of pristine sandy beaches that sit alongside tropical rainforest and majestic mountains, surrounded by villages steeped in history.

Make sandcastles at the beach in the morning, then indulge in afternoon tea in the hinterland, less than 40 minutes away.

THINGS TO DO

You’ll see the distinct peaks of the Glass House Mountains from many points around the Sunshine Coast, but you can also climb them!

Visit Mary Cairncross Rainforest Discovery Centre, take an easy walk through the rainforest, then stop at the gorgeous cafe with stunning views across the mountains and valleys.

Dive the wreck of the ex-HMAS Brisbane or paddle the Pumicestone Passage.

WHAT'S ON THE MENU

A natural food bowl, the Sunshine Coast has an appetising variety of fresh produce such as avocados, ginger, pineapples, strawberries, Feijoas, macadamia nuts, tomatoes, passionfruit, lychees, seafood, and even snails.

Taste all this and more in waterfront restaurants, wineries, at food festivals, cooking schools and farmers markets. There’s a burgeoning artisan coffee industry and a thriving craft micro-brewery scene.

ON THE SHOPPING LIST

Visit artisan and farmers markets, cutting-edge fashion boutiques, air-conditioned plaza shopping and street fairs for one-of-a-kind trinkets, tasty food, handmade garments, original artworks, artisan furniture, homewares and jewellery.

FRASER ISLAND & COOLOOLA

WHAT TO EXPECT

Walk through towering subtropical rainforest, swim in pristine freshwater lakes, hike across ancient sand blows and discover the Maheno shipwreck on 75 Mile Beach – all part of the nature wonderland of Fraser Island. It's an area of unspoilt natural beauty, hundreds of kilometres of white beaches, cliffs of coloured sands, lush rainforest, bushland and more.
The Noosa region is the gateway to the Cooloola Recreation Area and World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, both part of the Great Sandy National Park.

WHY WE LOVE IT

See an amazing array of plant life, wildlife and birds throughout the island's 120km length.Freshwater lakes such as Lake McKenzie are fed by a rainwater table under the sand dunes, making the water incredibly pure.

Fraser Island’s dingoes are believed to be the purest of their breed in Australia. See Humpback Whales as they cruise past on the whale highway during their annual migration between May and October.

THINGS TO DO

From Noosa, take a guided day tour, overnight trip, join a tag-along 4WD tour or hire a vehicle and explore the region yourself. Do the Fraser Island Great Walk – the entire 90km walk takes 6-8 days, or take it easy with half-day strolls.

Stay at holiday resorts, a glamping eco-camp or camp at beautiful beach, bush and lakeside camping areas (permits are required).

GETTING THERE

Guided day tours and overnight trips are available from Noosa, join a tag-along 4WD camping tour or hire a vehicle and explore the region yourself (vehicle permit required). Head along the Great Beach Drive from Noosa’s North Shore to Inskip Point, past Rainbow Beach. Catch the vehicular ferry to Fraser Island. Or fly in and land on the beach.

FUN FACTS

Fraser is the world's largest sand island. It’s known as K’Gari in the local indigenous Butchulla language which means ‘paradise’. The English name comes from Captain James Fraser and his wife Eliza who were shipwrecked off the island in 1838.

The island’s ancient trees are more than 1200 years old – they’ll tower over you.

GYMPIE & MARY VALLEY

WHAT TO EXPECT

Just beyond the Noosa hinterland, the hills and peaks of the Mary Valley take over, linking the Noosa region to its northern neighbour of the city of Gympie. The Mary Valley takes its name from the Mary River which is fed by 19 tributaries, making this a beautiful and tranquil place to relax in nature.

You will find local markets, food producers, cafes serving delicious fresh, local produce and picturesque winding roads along the Mary Valley tourist drive. The Mary Valley is sprinkled with B&Bs, country cottages, farm stays and health retreats, while Gympie also has motels and country pub accommodation.

WHY WE LOVE IT

Nature abounds in the Mary Valley with rivers and lakes, national parks and forests, gorges, cascading waterfalls and scenic mountain lookouts.

See Gympie’s heritage-listed buildings, some dating back to the Gold Rush days of the 1800s.

THINGS TO DO

Pan for gold along the Mary River – it’s great fun for the kids. Kayak on tranquil waterways or venture on to forest trails.

Go horse riding or mountain biking through mountain and bush trails, and ride the new Mary Valley Rail Trail. All aboard the historic Mary Valley Rattler steam train ride through country towns.

FRESH FROM THE FARM

Gympie and the Mary Valley provide a wonderful, fertile source of fresh food for local cafes and restaurants. Taste seasonal fruit and vegetables, olives, avocadoes, citrus and small crops on the menus, along with locally produced wine and cheese.

WHAT'S ON THE MENU

Farm gates welcome visitors where you can pick your own bounty or purchase from their retail shops. Country pubs welcome you for easy lunches and dinners, and cafes and restaurants are dotted throughout the Mary Valley.

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