Whether you’re a ‘relaxing by the pool’ kind of holidayer, or a ‘get up and go’ person, Sunshine Coast QLD has something for everyone!
Last fortnight, we based ourselves at Marcoola Beach for a weekend getaway with friends.
Marcoola Beach isn’t too commercialised, the timeshare resorts are situated right on the beach, and you’re only a short 1hr 30 mins drive from Brisbane, or a few minutes by car from Sunshine Coast Airport. In other words – perfect for an after-work drive on Friday night.
Once there, we indulged in lazy swims at the pool, interspersed with plenty of activities around the Sunshine Coast.
Read on for my 5 tips on things to do on your Marcoola Beach holiday…
1. EXPLORE EUMUNDI MARKETS
Held every Saturday and Wednesday, it seems the whole Sunshine Coast region regularly turns out in style for these famous markets. While I admit I had my reservations about Eumundi Markets being a little too ‘touristy’ for my tastes, I happily ate my words – or, rather, ate butterscotch popcorn, a delicious organic vanilla and lemon cheesecake + spicy chai latte from the little café next to the bookstore on the main road (you’ll know it when you see it). Expect ‘artisan’ style markets, featuring fashion, homewares, art and more.
2. BAG A ‘BIG THINGS’ PHOTO
In true blue Aussie fashion, we spent part of our road trip taking photos in front of ‘Big Things’.
The Big Pineapple is something of a Queensland celebrity and we took the requisite snaps – happily, it’s had a recent coat of paint applied, so is quite realistic looking (for a 16-metre tall pineapple!). The Big Macadamia Nut has unfortunately shut down, but we did have a splendid time at the Pineapple’s animal farm, feeding alpacas, holding baby chicks and petting Belle, a 3-week old goat with a beautiful face and knobbly knees.
The startled expression on Yandina’s Big Cow topped off our Big Things adventure, with a special mention to Jeff, the animatronic T-Rex at Palmer Coolum Resort (who has sadly since burned down – RIP, Jeff).
3. GET SPLASHED ON A WATERSLIDE
Spotted! Just 2km past the Big Pineapple lies Thrill Hill Waterslide – literally, a giant 120m hydroslide owned by the lovely locals living in the attached house. You pay for unlimited rides in hour blocks, and compete with friends on who gets the most ‘air’ around the waterslide bends. Fun for the young at heart!
4. MUNCH ON A MEAL AT MOOLOOLABA
With each restaurant looking better than the last, Mooloolaba’s dining strip along the beach is a must. Plus, it’s only 15 mins from Marcoola Beach. We loved Istanbul Turkish Restaurant & Bar’s attentive waiters and delicious Turkish tea…
5. CAPER THROUGH COOLUM BEACH
According to locals, Little Lane Espresso has a richly deserved reputation for best coffee in town – served with a smile Located 10 mins away from Marcoola Beach, Coolum Beach itself is as pretty as a picture, and the perfect place to go for Sunday breakkie. We stopped by Ma Boulange Cafe Patisserie to stock up on mouthwatering French pastries to make the drive home from our mini-holiday a little less sad.