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A Three Day Itinerary for Your Sunshine Coast Holiday

Beautiful beaches, shimmering blue seas, surfing, river tours, trekking, deep sea fishing, golfing and national parks are just a few of the outdoor attractions that visitors enjoy. Those interested in food and wine can visit local wineries and enjoy fresh seafood and gourmet cuisine. 

Activities for children include zoos, theme parks, swimming and even a ginger factory. Shopping is an experience in itself with boutiques, malls and street fairs that feature crafts of local artisans. The entire family will enjoy the many local festivals that occur throughout the year. 

Day One

If you're coming to the Sunshine Coast by air, the Sunshine Coast Airport is just 30 km north of Caloundra. Transport options at the airport include car rentals, public buses, private transport and shuttles. 

The airport is convenient to the Sunshine Motorway. The National Highway M1 runs north-south, approximately 30 km inland and parallel to the Sunshine Motorway. Both allow easy access to favourite attractions, parks, and beaches. 

Starting in the south at Caloundra, the beaches down there are among the Sunshine Coast's favourites. Spend an afternoon in the surf at King's Beach. Bulcock Beach has a newly restored boardwalk and offers both kitesurfing and windsurfing. 

Other water activities include fishing, scuba diving, and sailing.

People also enjoy taking a cruise through one of several marine parks in the area, where you can view the varied wildlife and beautiful scenery. Visitors remark at the extraordinary bird watching opportunities.

Take a leisurely walk along the Sunshine Coastal Pathway, which stretches from Caloundra north to Tewantin at Noosa Heads. The 9 km portion at Caloundra passes by beaches, a lighthouse, lakes, and creeks, giving a scenic view of several environmental zones. Visitors can walk or cycle on the path.

If you are there on Sunday, be sure to check out the Caloundra Farmer's Market for local fresh vegetables, seafood and flowers. The Sunday Bulcock Street Markets offer local crafts, outdoor dining and more. 

Day Two

Just a few kilometres up the road in Yandina in the central area of the Sunshine Coast is the Ginger Factory, where the entire family can enjoy rides, tour the factory, stroll through the extensive gardens, help beekeepers extract honey and shop for scrumptious ginger products. 

Just opposite the Ginger Factory is Nutworks and the Chocolate Factory. Guests can tour the factory and taste the delectable macadamia and chocolate treats made there. The factory gives tours and has a retail store full of freshly made products. 

Adjacent to these two attractions is Mapleton Forest Reserve, where visitors can experience the hinterland forests with great views of the coast. 

Day users can see waterfalls and walk through deep forests, wetlands and palm groves. Pack a lunch and enjoy the sounds, sights, and scents of nature during your picnic. 

Emundi, a hinterland village not far from Yandina, is famous for its markets. Each Saturday and Wednesday, the small village is transformed into one of the largest outdoor markets in Queensland. 

More than 600 stalls offer homemade foods, organic fruits and vegetables, live entertainment, face painting and artwork by local craftspeople. Jewelry, clothing, furniture and toys are some of the items on offer. The market also sponsors a number of community events throughout the year. 

Day Three 

Today, stay closer to home at Coolum Beach. Coolum is one of the best-known areas for surfing and water activities. Coolum is also home to a professional golf course. The Coolum Surf Club gives surfing lessons from beginner to advanced. 

Nearby Mount Coolum is a favourite hiking area. Many hikers enjoy seeing the sun rise from the top of this remnant volcanic dome. Day hikers can take their time climbing up the natural steps to the top. The trail goes through ecological zones that include tropical forest, wetlands, and scrub inhabited by rare, native species. 

North of Coolum lies Noosa Heads. The headlands form the northern extreme of Noosa National Park. Easy trails through the park let hikers of any ability enjoy the journey through rainforests, saltwater marshes and the coastline. Koalas are often observed in the trees. 

Most visitors make their way to Hastings Street, home to boutiques and a myriad of popular restaurants. It is also the starting place for tours to Fraser Island, a World Heritage Site, and Rainbow Beach.