Take a step away from the ocean and you’ll discover that summer holidays on the Sunshine Coast are not all just about the beach.

Listen up folks

Woodford Folk Festival (1) – More than 2000 performers will congregate in sleepy Woodford village (27 December to 1 Jan) for a laidback week of the arts for folk lovers – from music, dance and film, to parades, exhibitions and a litany of workshops. This year Beth Orton (England), Brendan Maclean, Matt Corby, Blue King Brown and Phebe top the bill.

Feast (or whip one up yourself)

The foodie options on the Sunshine Coast continue to grow. Bohemian Bungalow (2), Eumundi, is a worthy newcomer with rustic atmosphere in spades.

Little Miss Saine (3), Buddina, is the brainchild of a passionate foodie who specialises in fresh and healthy home-cooked nosh such as slow-cooked pulled pork bagels.

Up at Kiels Mountain, the Australian bush and the terrain of Thailand have inspired chef Matt Conroy to open Amytis Gardens Retreat Cooking School (4), with Thai mainly on the menu.

Room to explore

The sprawling eight acres of Maleny Botanic Gardens (5), which opened in 2012, offers superb views of Glasshouse Mountains. In November, a walk-through Aviary opened so you can stroll amongst a wide variety of our fine feather friends.

A time to experiment

Up in the Hinterland, there may be a musical remedy for your stress. In Montville, recline in musician Kim Kirkman’s Sound Spa (6) treatment room as he seeks to “find the right tone that resonates with your individual mood and energy” to hopefully lull you into a relaxed and peaceful holiday frame of mind.

Back near the beach, perhaps salt therapy (7) is more your thing. A session in “man-made Himalayan salt caves” in Mooloolaba (with over 4 tonnes of pure Himalayan salt blocks in the walls alone) claim to refresh 80 mineral elements required by your body.

Family adventuring

Every Sunday (from 8am to 1pm) you can browse more than 200 stalls at the Caloundra Street Fair (8). Activities for kids, handcrafts, art and live entertainment make it worth rising early on the Day of Rest.

For children and curious adults alike, UnderWater World (9) will house five new exhibits with new species upon opening in December 2013. For the even more curious parents with kids in tow, Clive Palmer’s dinosaur exhibition Palmersauras (10) is due to open in December.


For more information, see Visit Sunshine Coast.

See other summer holiday destinations: Same old Christmas beach holiday? Not any more…