Planning a trip to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast? Explore an abundance of beautiful beaches and discover their best-kept secrets.
Spanning around 60 kilometres, the Sunshine Coast encompasses the space between Pelican Waters in the south, all the way up to Tewantin in the north. In between, there are over 30, extraordinary, expansive beaches to explore. We’ve sussed out the best of the best so you can pick whichever tickles your tastes and start planning your next sunny soirée.
Noosa definitely feels like the heart of the Sunshine Coast, and if bustling vibes with a side of glitz and glamour is your thing, then you’ll be in holiday heaven. Don’t miss a stroll down Hastings Street, which is sure to tempt your boutique shopping and dining desires. It runs parallel with Main Beach, which guides you towards a path that heads to the Noosa National Park, carrying you into natural wonderlands away from the maddening crowds.
TEA TREE BAY, NOOSA
Wander away from Noosa’s Main Beach along the boardwalk that leads to the National Park. Here, you could spend all day discovering tropical treasures, but Tea Tree Bay is a must-see stop on the lush loop. With crystal-clear water and spectacular surf, it’s a favourite among the local surfers who willingly wander the picturesque paths to visit this peaceful patch with world-class waves.
It’s about a 30-minute walk from Noosa’s Main Beach, and takes you past the gorgeous Little Cove (which is also great for a swim and a frolic) and the entrance to the National Park where you’ll find a kiosk, eco-friendly toilets and free parking (if you can beat the surfers, which will be near impossible during busy tourist times).
SUNSHINE BEACH, NOOSA
Sunshine Beach is tucked away on the opposite side of the national park to Main Beach and Tea Tree Bay (you can even walk if you’re up for a hike, then catch a bus back). A slightly more serene Noosa Heads, you’ll still be spoilt for boutique-shopping-and-dining choice.
There’s a hike up the headland at the far end of the beach that will guide you to gorgeous views, or check out the Sunshine Beach Surf Club to enjoy the scenery in style. The beach in front is patrolled year round, and there’s a dog-friendly area and plenty of parking nearby.
A 15-minute drive south of Noosa, you’ll discover much more laid-back, local vibes in Peregian. One of a string of beautiful beaches between Noosa and Coolum, Peregian Beach is an easy favourite for families and people who like a funky feel without the crazy crowds.
There’s easy access to the beach and cafes from the main car park (which won’t leave you on the verge of a nervous breakdown while searching for a spot), perfect picnicking options overlooking the patrolled beach, public toilets and free barbecues to cook up a sunny sizzle. Don’t miss the free live music of Peregian Originals on the second Sunday of every month, and if you’re into cafe culture, you’ll love Skål Coffee – funky, friendly, delicious, and just a stone’s throw from the beach.
Slightly further south, and known as the place where the Sunny Coast locals live, Coolum oozes coastal chill. The vibe is down to Earth and friendly, inviting holidayers who enjoy all things chilled – from families to surfers, golfers and quiet travellers wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the neighbouring towns.
There are plenty of amenities, free barbecues by the beach, a skate park for the older kids and a dog beach that boasts expansive coastline views.
Think high-rise, stylish and stimulating with shops dotted along a luxurious beachfront esplanade, a plethora of foodie temptations and serious holiday ambience. The busy, patrolled beach has been voted one of the Sunny Coast’s best, boasting not only beautiful blue water and sensational white sand, but also regular visits from dolphins and whales.
There’s no shortage of things to do, see and eat, with something to tickle every traveller’s fancy.
POINT CARTWRIGHT RESERVE
Well known for its surfing point break, perfectly picturesque photography opportunities and whale watching, Point Cartwright Reserve is an unpatrolled beach that sits at the end of Kawana Beach. With views overlooking Mooloolaba from the iconic lighthouse, it’s a popular place for sunset picnics and social media celebs.
There’s a car park and facilities close to a grassy area that’s perfect for family picnics (pick up your supplies from nearby Kawana Shoppingworld or the Saturday farmers’ markets), and the beach is dog friendly (and off-leash from 4pm–8am).
A true local secret, Wurtulla Beach is relatively unknown to tourists (for now!). There’s little in the way of stimulation, but lots of peace, quiet and natural delights – including a consistent beach break popular with the local surfers.
A little further south, you’ll find Currimundi Lake and Surf Beach. The lake is perfect for whiling away the hours with your wildlings – you can hire stand-up paddle boards and kayaks, and there’s a barbecue area and car park. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even brave the six-kilometre canoe trail from the lake.
With beautiful beaches and having scooped the title of Australia’s tidiest town in 2012, Caloundra is more family holiday than hustle and bustle, with plenty of kid-friendly activities and outdoor adventures to indulge in – from water sports to walking trails, a weekly Sunday market and more. There’s an incredible 16-kilometre coastal pathway that follows the coast from Diamond Head, Golden Beach all the way to Point Cartwright (above), which you can walk or cycle.
MOFFAT BEACH, CALOUNDRA
Moffat Beach is friendly, vibrant and quieter than its neighbours, with (you guessed it!) yet another famous surf break, as well as jet skiing and skydiving over the water for adrenaline junkies. It’s unpatrolled, but there’s a kids’ playground, plenty of cute cafes (including The Pocket Espresso Bar for your caffeine cravings), a local brewery and a great fish and chip shop, Moffats Beachside Takeaway, on offer.
KINGS BEACH, CALOUNDRA
Perfect for a family frolic, Kings Beach has playgrounds to entice big and little kids alike, an oceanfront pool, waterpark, plenty of barbecues and all the necessary family facilities dotted along a grassy foreshore. There’s an abundance of eating options nearby and it’s home to the annual Caloundra Music Festival – a vibrant annual event that brings together musicians and visitors from near and far.