5 new ideas to spice up your Sunshine Coast escape

In Articles, Short Breaks by The H4C Team

Featured image: Noosa Eat & Drink Festival

Wondering what’s new for two on the Sunshine Coast? We’ve hand-picked 5 ideas ideal for a short break or weekend escape in this glorious region.

Book your Noosa Eat & Drink dates

Food-lovers rejoice! Noosa’s best excuse for a decadent short break can now be enjoyed at key dates throughout the year with the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival evolving from a four-day annual event in May to a series of bespoke and diverse celebrations. March’s Autumn Fare is next on the calendar, showcasing local restaurants, chefs, breweries, distilleries, and producers in a tempting program of “long lunches, degustation dinners, sunset soirees, guest chefs, cooking classes and food and drink discovery tours and perfect picnic settings.” See you there!

Where to stay: Where do we start? Noosa is home to a wealth of accommodation options, from luxe retreats right on buzzing Hastings Street (try Netanya Noosa or Sebel Noosa) to the private beach beauty of Culgoa Point Beach Resort and lakeside loveliness of Eumarella Shores Noosa Lake Retreat. Or book your own holiday home close to the action with Noosa Residences.

Discover your perfect place to stay on the Sunshine Coast

Just in case you need an excuse. Photo: Noosa Eat & Drink Festival

Hide out in the hinterland

Tucked away in the misty, magical hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the townships of Maleny and Montville are all charm. With cafes, restaurants, galleries, and attention-grabbing mountain vistas at every turn, they make the perfect destination for a few days of fresh air and serious downtime. 

The hinterland is all about boutique accommodation, where taking in the rainforest vistas from your spa tub (Champagne glass in hand, of course) and cosy evenings by the fire are de rigueur. For a romantic weekend away (or longer) we adore Secrets on the Lake, a unique luxury treehouse retreat on the shores of tranquil Lake Baroon or the French-inspired luxury of Spicers Clovelly Estate. Also on our radar for 2021 is Lovestone Cottages (something in the name, perhaps?). This newly renovated property offers three secluded, one-bedroom cottages nestled in the rainforest. 

Add to calendar: Christmas in July at The Long Apron: a superb degustation lunch at Spicers Clovelly Estate, 17 July 2021.

Bathtub? Champagne? Rainforest view? Tick, tick, and tick. Photo: Lovestone Cottages

Discover the new dining hot spots

There’s always somewhere new to sip or sup together on the Sunshine Coast. Maroochydore’s dining scene is on the up and up with Giddy Geisha (sister restaurant to Mooloolaba’s Rice Boi) now serving Asian street food-inspired eats in Market Lane. Thinking a little bit fancy? Head next door to new European-style bistro Market Bistro. Or get your fill of fresh SC seafood and local brews at The Nautical Alehouse & Galley on Maroochydore’s Ocean Street. Mooloolaba King Prawn Rolls, so good!

And if you’re wondering what happened to the iconic Wasabi space on the Noosa River, head on down and meet Winston. Helmed by one of the stars of the Spicers Group, hatted-chef Cameron Matthews, as Chef-in-Residence, this beautiful destination is showcasing the Sunshine Coast’s bounty across a range of dishes.

Add to calendar: The Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival at Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Sunday 28 February 2021. Expect mouth-watering street eats, refreshing beverages, cooking demos, Riesling masterclasses and live entertainment.

Hatted chef Cameron Matthews brings 30 years of restaurant experience to the Sunny Coast. Photo: Winston

Experience a cultural connection

The Year of Indigenous Tourism has been officially extended into 2021 and we’re loving the opportunity to delve deeper into Australia’s cultural heritage. For an insight into the Sunshine Coast’s first eco custodians, the Kabi Kabi people (or ‘Saltwater people’) try Saltwater Eco Tours. The vision of Simon Thornalley, a seafaring young man of Torres Strait Island descent, tours are hosted aboard a restored century-old timber sailing vessel, Spray of the Coral Coast where stories, traditions, and bush-tucker inspired treats are shared.Romantic sunset tours and private charters also available. And if you’re more the land-loving type, head to Triballink in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland town of Mapleton. A variety of day workshops are offered here alongside a Songs & Stories evening where you can enjoy Stories of the Dreaming, traditional and contemporary dance, and a bush tucker supper around the campfire. 

Add to calendar: The Horizon Festival (27 August – 05 September 2021) which features an inspiring First Nations program of arts and performance program with a flagship ceremonial performance which takes place as the sun rises over the ocean at Coolum.

Related article: See more of our great state with the ultimate Queensland honeymoon itinerary

Join Simon Thornalley out on the water. Photo: Saltwater Eco Tours

Experience an awesome animal encounter

If you’re looking for a seriously cute addition to your Sunshine Coast itinerary, see the new In-Water Penguin Encounter at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast. Hand-feed the aquarium’s playful Little Blue Penguins as they swim around your legs, enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the penguin zone, and take home a pic of your magical marine experience. Prefer to live a little more dangerously? Test your nerve at the exhilarating cage-less Dive Shark Xtreme experience which has recently returned to SEA LIFE. You’ll have nothing between you and the resident sharks and giant rays — definitely one to enjoy with your sweetheart cheering you on.  

And if you’ve ever visited the pristine coastline and legendary coloured sands of Rainbow Beach, you’ll know it’s perfect for horse riding! A new five-day riding partnership between country music legend Tania Kernaghan and Rainbow Beach Horse Rides puts the area in focus with days spent exploring on horseback before retiring to glamping-style accommodation at night for chef-prepared meals and campfire songs. Special occasion? How does a horseback ride followed by a chopper ride to the summit of Mount Goomboorian for a sumptuous picnic sound? See Rainbow Beach Horse Rides or Rainbow Beach Helicopters for this trip of a lifetime.

Add to calendar: Five-day adventures with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides & Tania Kernaghan are currently available May and August only, email for more.

Hello, cutie. Photo: SEA LINK Sunshine Coast