TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND
Eat, Pray and Love your way around the Sunshine Coast this winter.
In a list of Australia’s best foodie spots, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast would rank somewhere near the top. Which isn’t surprising considering the freshest seafood, thriving craft beer community, and innovative people doing great things with local produce that call this place home. Over 800 restaurants and cafes stretch along the coast, with something for every mood and every palate.
Here’s how to eat and drink throughout what locals affectionately call the Sunny Coast.
Of the sea
If you have a seafood itch that needs scratching, this is the place to visit. Thanks to year-round warm water, every morning trawlers bring cargoes of Fraser Island Spanner crabs, Mooloolaba shrimp, swordfish and export-grade tuna to port.
And because the Sunny Coast is one of the biggest seafood ports on Australia’s east coast, Mooloolaba is where they often come. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many fish and chips along the Mooloolaba Spit or try one of the city’s best restaurants such as Mooloolaba spice bar, View Restaurant and Pier 33 or, if you prefer to move the scenery with your meal, a seafood lunch with Mooloolaba Coastal Cruises.
Heading for the Hills
Yes, the Sunshine Coast is justifiably famous for its over 100km of golden sandy beaches and bath-like water. But the magic doesn’t stop there. Drive the car into the Sunny Coast hinterland where not only will you discover pretty postcard towns and villages that look more European than Australian (we’re talking about you, Montville), but you can also feast on Les Australia’s finest produce – from pineapples and macadamia nuts to ginger and limes – grown not far from where you’ll consume them.
Your first stop on a backcountry food pilgrimage should be Maleny. Cheese, gelato and ice cream, and a reputation for not skimping on them, is what makes Maleny such a popular spot. Nestled at the southern end of the Blackall Range, the outback town is a honeypot of restaurants and artisan food producers, including Maleny Food Co. Their impressive walk-in cheese shop offers up to 250 cheeses from Australia and around the world, but it’s the more than 100 flavors of gelato and ice cream, made with milk from the end of the road, that punters flock here. . Not sure which flavor to choose? Try several, you’re on vacation!
To meet the innovative people behind this region’s vibrant food scene, sign up for a farm-to-fork tour with Tours and creative events Where Tasty visits. Just be sure to wear pants with an elasticated waist.
If you love beer, you’ve come to the right place. The Sunny Coast is widely recognized as the craft beer capital of Australia, with over 21 breweries dotted around the region.
One of the best is Brasserie Brouhahawhich four local guys opened in 2016. There are over 30 styles of beer on offer, including their Strawberry Rhubarb Sour, Milk Stout and even an NZ Pale Ale.
Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at craft breweries, allowing you to meet the brewers and try their wares. Plus, someone else is driving.
If you prefer gin, vodka and rum, you won’t be disappointed. A number of distilleries have recently sprung up, including BeachTree Distilling Co, Pomona Distilling Co and sun and son where, in the shade of the Big Pineapple, spirits infused with Maroochy River sugarcane and double-roasted macadamia nuts promise a taste sensation like you’ve never had before.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves
So you’ve had some amazing culinary experiences so far. Why not learn how to recreate them at home with a cooking class? In Yandina, the Spirit House Restaurant offers some of the best Thai food this side of Bangkok. Nestled behind swaying bamboo trees in two acres of lush tropical gardens, there is also a cooking school where you can learn to prepare a range of delicious dishes.
A great foodie vacation should end on a high note, so for your last supper on the Sunny Coast, head to an upscale restaurant. The long apron in Montville or Harry is on Buderimand toast to your culinary adventures.
Check visitsunshinecoast.com/immerseyourselfnz to plan your next gourmet trip.