Sunshine Coast, Queensland travel guide and things to do: Nine highlights

THE ONE RESTAURANT

Set in a temple style building built around a huge pond and tropical gardens, at Spirit House and eat some of the best Thai cuisine you'll find in Queensland with an outlook that's as stunning as the menu. At night the restaurant's lit up with flares across the water and croaking frogs are all you'll hear. There's a cooking school too.

See spirithouse.com.au

THE ONE HOTEL

Boutique accommodation near the beach
The trendiest new motel in years on the Sunshine Coast is Loea - pic - TEQ
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Images supplied via Craig Tansley for Traveller, 2021
The One and only guide to the Sunshine Coast 

Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

A decrepit 1960s motel has been transformed into the Sunshine Coast's most stylish beach escape. Ten rooms look out towards a magnesium pool and green lawn stacked with lounge chairs. A vintage Citroen truck serves as reception and café. The owners say they were influenced by Malibu, yet Loea is by the river in Maroochydore.

See loea.com.au

THE ONE CAFÉ

There's oodles of coastal chic in the décor of Vanilla Food, Noosa's best cafes (at Noosaville and Noosa Junction) but none of the pretentiousness that often goes with it. All food is organic and locally supplied – while no-one should go past the hot smoked trout with dill yoghurt. The coffee's good too.

See vanillafood.com.au

THE ONE FAMILY ATTRACTION

Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium has been the Coast's favourite family attraction for 30 years. Wander through 11 themed zones, including the Little Blue Penguin observatory, Seal Island and the 80-metre-long Ocean Tunnel where sharks swim above you. You can also dive with sharks and get in the water with penguins.

See visitsealife.com/sunshine-coast/

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THE ONE BREWERY

They used to only drink XXXX, but now the Coast is one of the hottest craft brewery destinations in Australia. Sunshine Coast Brewery was the first – it started in 1998 – and they've won plenty of awards along the way. Don't let the fact it's located in an industrial estate put you off, every Friday and Saturday locals gather to socialise – there's a food truck there too.

See sunshinecoastbrewery.com

THE ONE NATIONAL PARK

Forget the boutiques and famous locals, Noosa National Park is what defines Noosa. Stretching from the edge of town, the national park borders the ocean at Noosa Headland, offering hiking opportunities alongside some of the country's most striking coastline. It's home to all sorts of creatures – from glossy-black cockatoos to koalas, and goes nearly all the way to Coolum Beach.

See parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/noosa

THE ONE BAR

It's a surf club… but this isn't just any surf club. Built in the heart of Hastings Street (Noosa's main street), enjoy a drink (there's 30 beer taps) on a deck overlooking Noosa's main beach, its national park and with water views all the way across to Double Island Point (beside Fraser Island). Even with all the fancy watering holes in town, nothing beats the surf club.

See noosasurfclub.com.au

THE ONE WALK

The scenery is stunning along the Great Walk - pic - Visit Sunshine Coast
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Images supplied via Craig Tansley for Traveller, 2021
The One and only guide to the Sunshine Coast 

Photo: Visit Sunshine Coast

If you're game, the 58-kilometre Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is a stunning trail that takes in the best of the Sunshine Coast's mountainous fringes. It can be done in four days, camping along the way. Though you don't have to do it all. There's half day walks all along the Great Walk, taking in waterfalls, rainforest and escarpments offering views over the coast.

See parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-sunshine-coast/about

THE ONE FARM

Hang out with some of the planet's most intelligent and intuitive animals near the picturesque Glasshouse Mountains, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Every camel at QCamel has its own name and personality, and you'll get to meet them as they roam freely around this organic camel milk farm.

See qcamel.com.au

ONE MORE THING

It's best to hire a car, or bring your own (major hire car companies operate out of Sunshine Coast Airport, or major towns like Noosa and Caloundra). Buses operate, as do Ubers and taxis, but attractions are spread across 60 kilometres of coastline and a sprawling hinterland.

The writer was a guest of Visit Sunshine Coast, see visitsunshinecoast.com

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