Romance | Adventure | Beach | Food and Wine 30 January 2024

You are my sunshine: A couple’s guide to the Sunshine Coast 

Me, you and the Sunshine Coast, too. If you’re planning your next romantic getaway, then you’re going to want to add the Sunny Coast to your list of dream destinations.

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Queensland, the Sunshine Coast has everything you need (and more) to embark on an intimate adventure.

From the pristine coastline and lush hinterlands, to unique experiences and local delights, the Sunshine Coast is a match made in heaven for couples seeking that magical blend of relaxation and exploration.

Living up to its name, this sun-soaked paradise is destined to etch its way into the background of the core memories that you and your partner will create during these special moments away.

Just call us Cupid, because we’ve come up with nine things you need to add to your romantic getaway to-do list on the Sunshine Coast. 

Life’s a beach

Every couple has their own love language – and all of the stunning beaches on the Sunshine Coast have their own unique charms. The one thing that connects them all? They each come with all of the sun, sand and blue waters that you could possibly ask for.

Alexandra Headlands has the best sweeping coastal views, where long looks into each other's eyes are followed by long looks out to sea. Maroochydore is always popular with couples keen to get wet with a swim or surf, while Cotton Tree is perfect for early risers, with stand up paddle  boarding proving a popular activity for morning beachgoers.

Meanwhile, the pristine Buddina Beach is one of the Sunshine Coast’s best-kept secrets, so you just might find yourselves with a beach all to yourself!

Wherever you go, make sure to take a romantic walk along the shoreline at golden hour, the most enchanting time of day (just after sunrise or before sunset), and enjoy the salty and cool ocean breeze.

Of course, you could simply lounge side-by-side on the beach, taking turns rotating between frolicking in the ocean and drip drying as you lay on a towel warmed by the sand. Sounds perfect to us. 

Take your relationship to new heights

Look beyond its famous beaches, and you’ll find the Sunshine Coast boasts another natural wonder in the form of the iconic Glass House Mountains.

Found in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland region, and easily accessible from the surrounding beachside towns, the Glass House Mountains are home to an extensive range of stunning national parks. These parks serve as the perfect playgrounds for two, giving you an opportunity to enjoy a variety of hiking trails, panoramic views, waterfalls and swimming holes together.

The Kondalilla Falls Walk is one of the most popular hikes, and for good reason. The circuit is a very manageable 4.6km, winding down from the top of the falls to the bottom and back up again. You should see some stunning flora and fauna along the way, but it’s the natural swimming hole that holds the most appeal for visitors. Pack your swimmers, as there’s no better place for the two of you to cool down and cuddle up together.

Corner the markets 

The Sunshine Coast plays host to a range of markets, each offering a treasure trove of local goodies. From fresh produce and delicious food stalls to handmade wares and local talent, you’ll find an array of stalls to explore and entertainers to dance along to.

The Eumundi Markets are the largest and arguably the most famous of the bunch, but if you want even more opportunities to taste the local wares and bring the holiday home with you, then the Cotton Tree Markets, Noosa Farmers Markets and Marcoola Markets aren’t to be missed either.

Market days and times vary, so double check what’s on during your stay before you make any plans. You can find a guide to the market scene here.

Foxtel and chill

When you’re on holiday, you can feel a lot of pressure to make the most of it and just go, go, go. But after a long day spent at the beach or seeing the sights, sometimes the most cherished and memorable holiday date nights are the ones where you just get to spend some quality time together. And really, isn’t connecting as a couple the whole point of taking a trip together?

So no matter how busy your schedule is, make sure you leave room for at least one cosy night spent curled up on the couch together.

The rooms at Oaks Sunshine Coast Seaforth Resort come with Foxtel and a fully-equipped kitchen, so you’ll have everything you need for your holiday date night.

Set your pulses racing

Remember the early days of your relationship, when you’d get butterflies in your stomach every time you touched? Well, there’s no better way to recreate that feeling than with a good old-fashioned adrenaline rush.

The Sunshine Coast will give you plenty of opportunities to get your endorphins flowing together, from tandem skydiving, jet skiing and helicopter rides to ziplining, snorkelling, scuba diving and even horse riding experiences on the beach. The list goes on and on…

Bookings can be made through ExperienceOz – but they will fill up, so make sure you reserve your spot if there’s an experience you just can’t bear to miss out on.

Strawberry kisses

Why BYO when you can PYO (Pick Your Own)? Yes, you already picked each other – but in this case, we’re talking about picking strawberries. It’s the farm-to-plate experience in its most raw and authentic form, and it also makes for a super cute date.

Cooloola Berries is where the magic happens. You can wander through the strawberry patch together, picking and sampling the 10 different varieties of berries as you go. We don’t know why or how, but strawberries definitely taste sweeter when you pick them yourself, and we aren’t questioning it.

You can finish off your foraging with a strawberry cider and a strawberry-inspired dessert at the on-site cafe. It’s a punnet-load of fun!

This activity is only available during the strawberry season (usually May to September, depending on weather and growing conditions), so make sure you check the Cooloola Berries website before you head to the farm.

Find the perfect pairing

Other than you and your partner, nothing goes together quite like food and wine – and the Sunshine Coast has no shortage of either.

Whether you’re a passionate foodie, a wine connoisseur, or you just appreciate a good drop, there are a variety of food and wine tours you can book that will have you tasting your way through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

Most of these tours include some combination of popular stops like the Flame Hill Vineyard, the Maleny Cheese Factory, The Barrel at Clouds Vineyard, QCamel Dairy Farm, Dingo Creek Vineyard and the Maleny Chocolate Co – all Sunshine Coast must-dos.

Looking for a cheesier date? Book in a cheese-making class at the Woombye Cheese Company for a wheely good time.

Donut stop now

Located just under an hour away from the heart of the Sunshine Coast, Kenilworth is a country town that’s full to the brim with charm and character, and it’s well worth dedicating a day to.

First on the itinerary? Coffee. But not just any coffee. Head to the Kenilworth Country Bakery to experience your coffee in a donut – yes, you read that correctly. This World Heritage listed bakery also has a famous one-kilogram donut challenge, and if you manage to eat it, you’ll get your money back and a personalised plate on the wall. Challenge accepted. (This is a particularly popular spot, so make sure you pre-order your giant donut in advance.)

Next, make your way to Booloumba Falls, where you can digest your baked goods while floating in one of the area’s many pristine water holes, before exploring the beauty of the surrounding national park.

Once you’ve worked your appetite back up, food is back on the menu. We recommend digging into a cheese platter at Kenilworth Dairies, before finishing up a day well spent by sinking a beer at the Kenilworth Hotel.

Our top tip? Bring a cooler bag on this adventure, so you can come away with enough tasty treats to last the rest of your holiday.

Do a little soul-searching 

Tucked away in the coastal farmland of Bli Bli, you’ll find Tank Farm Bathhouse, a luxurious oasis offering a rejuvenating experience for the mind, body and soul. Designed for couples, you'll have the place to yourself, with only two guests allowed in the bathhouse at any given time.

On the agenda? Four magnesium baths, a traditional hot stone western red cedar sauna, a Moroccan-style wet steam room, a couples treatment, and lunch or dinner. Yes, please.

Ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic getaway to the Sunshine Coast? Stay at Oaks Sunshine Coast Seaforth Resort, just footsteps from the sand. Stay in for the night and watch your favourite movie together on Foxtel.