Sunshine Coast Top 10 food and art experiences
Dining on the Sunshine Coast is a delight. Delicious cuisines from around the world are served with spectacular ocean, riverfront or rainforest views and talented chefs make the most of the region's beautifully fresh ingredients. For a tipple, Sunshine Coast wineries and boutique breweries produce superb examples of their craft. The coast also has multiple local farmers markets and craft fairs to explore, plus a full programme of live music and food festivals.
Air New Zealand flies non-stop from Auckland to the Sunshine Coast from 6 July to 28 October 2018. The after-breakfast departure from Auckland gets you to the Sunshine Coast in time for lunch, arriving just after 11am (Sunshine Coast time). At other times of the year you can fly non-stop to Brisbane then drive 60 minutes north to the Sunshine Coast.
1. Noosa restaurants, Hastings Street
Hastings Street in Noosa is famous for its huge selection of dining experiences, from breakfast to dinner and cocktails. Peter Kuruvita's Noosa Beach House is a favourite. Boardwalk Bistro, Sails, Bistro C and Season come with ocean views. You'll find authentic Italian at Locale, hand-made ice cream at Massimos, great coffee at Aromas and cocktails at Miss Moneypenny's. For casual dining, try Betty's Burgers, El Capitano's pizza or the surf club.
2. Ocean Street, Maroochydore restaurants
Lively and hip, Ocean Street offers an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants and bars serving Asian fusion, locally caught seafood, tapas, retro-style burgers and more. For fine dining check out Ebb Waterfront Dining & Cellar. After dinner, Ocean Street's piano bars, wine bars and live music venues give you a taste of the convivial local nightlife.
3. Mooloolaba restaurants
A foodie's heaven by the sea, Mooloolaba is known for delicious locally-caught seafood, which you'll find at Mooloolaba Wharf and in the Parkyn Parade seafood precinct. For a fine dining experience, Spice Bar serves award-wining Asian fusion cuisine with a gorgeous ocean view. Gainsbourg is another recommendation – it's a small oceanfront café with a huge reputation. For on-the-go healthy food, Acai Brothers is the place.
4. Riverside tastes in Noosaville
Choice is the first thing you'll notice about Noosaville's long line up of riverside restaurants. From sunrise to sunset, Gympie Terrace and Thomas Street are ready to impress with every kind of establishment, from espresso windows to award-winning bistros and late-night bars. Favourites include Thomas Corner Eatery, Noosa Boathouse, Red on Thomas, iS Tapas and the Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club, which has a perfect spot on the river.
5. Montville and Maleny restaurants
From craft beer to fine dining, these historic hinterland towns make a great food-focused day trip. Flame Hill Vineyard delivers an exceptional paddock-to-plate experience. For classic and modern European cuisine, head to The Long Apron in Montville. The Tamarind in Maleny serves sublime modern Asian dishes. Maleny Cheese and the gelati at Maleny Food Co come highly recommended. Montville Coffee roasts their own and Brouhaha Brewery produces a great range of craft beer.
6. Bulcock Beach restaurants, Caloundra
Bulcock Beach is big on fresh seafood dining with water views. Head to Sandbar Café and Kiosk for delicious beer-battered barramundi and hand cut chips. The award-winning Tides Waterfront Dining serves the 'best of the best' seafood with a spectacular ocean-to-mountains view. And along The Esplanade you’ll find Thai, Indian, Italian and Australian cuisine, as well as ice cream, gelato, bakeries and some very cool bars.
7. Noosa Junction restaurants
Just over the hill from main beach, this friendly Noosa neighbourhood is experiencing a surge of renewal. Fresh eateries, hip cafes and bars are popping up to meet the growing demand for affordable-but-fantastic hospitality. Fashion and swimwear shops, live music, night markets, art and film festivals, book stores and creative photography are also part of the Noosa Junction scene.
8. Eumundi and Yandina restaurants
Home to the Eumundi Brewery, the historic Imperial Hotel is appreciated for its creative vibe, delicious food, live entertainment and hand-crafted beers. A little south in Yandina, The Spirit House serves divine Thai cuisine in a temple-like setting with lush gardens and water features. Yandina also has the Ginger Factory, where you can learn all about growing ginger and taste delicious treats. From June to October, look for strawberry picking in Palmview and Bli Bli.
9. Food and arts festivals
In a region famous for cuisine and creativity, it's no surprise to find a full programme of food and arts festivals. Tickets sell fast, so it pays to book ahead. At the Noosa Food and Wine Festival, celebrity chefs cook for diners right on the beach. Beer lovers will enjoy the Sunshine Coast Beer & Cider Festival. For wine lovers there's the Stomp Festival at Flame Hill Vineyard. The Caloundra Music Festival and Gympie Music Muster feature local and international musicians. And for stunning visual arts and performances, check out The Horizon Festival and Noosa Alive.
10. Food and arts markets
If you like meeting dedicated food producers and creative people, you'll love the Sunshine Coast markets. Eumundi Markets is one of the largest in Australia, with everything from boutique clothing and jewellery to gourmet street eats. You can shop for delicious produce at farmers markets and find hidden treasures at festive craft markets throughout the region. Check visitor information centres for local dates and directions.