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May 5, 2008

Wikipedia: Sunshine Coast, Queensland

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Sunshine Coast
Population: 290,645* (2005)[1] (11th)
Location: 100 km (62 mi) from Brisbane
State District: Caloundra, Maroochydore, Kawana, Noosa, Nicklin
Federal Division: Fisher, Fairfax

The Sunshine Coast (population 290,645 with up to an additional 50,000 in visitors and seasonal workers) is a coastal region located in South East Queensland, north of the Queensland capital of Brisbane. The Sunshine Coast has recently been united into a single Local Government Area, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. The Sunshine Coast is bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the east, and extends to the local government boundaries beyond the Blackall Range to the west. Occasionally, the towns of Gympie, which is 30 minutes’ drive north of Noosa Heads, and Caboolture, 30 mins drive south of Caloundra, have been included in a broader definition of the Sunshine Coast region.



Caloundra, Sunshine Coast

Caloundra, Sunshine Coast

Since the Glass House Mountains were first sighted by James Cook from the deck of HM Bark Endeavour in 1770, the Sunshine Coast’s history has been as diverse and colourful as its scenery.

The Sunshine Coast’s first white inhabitants were three castaways who shared the life of the Aborigines for 8 months; it became the home of numerous runaway convicts who preferred life among the Aborigines to the living hell of the Moreton Bay Convict Establishment; it was the scene of some of the most bitter skirmishes of Australia’s ‘Black War’.

Timbergetters used its rivers and lakes as seaways to float out their great logs of cedar, gold diggers scaled its mountains to reach the Gympie gold. With the coming of the railway line to Gympie, the coastal towns, founded as ports for its early river trade, were bypassed, and grew slowly into quiet holiday resorts whose peace remained undisturbed until the development boom of the 1960s and 1970s – just 200 years after Cook had passed that way. [2]

Urban structure

Localities and suburbs within the Sunshine Coast region include Maroochy Shire suburbs such as Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore, Buderim and Nambour. The Sunshine Coast also produces many varieties of tropical fruit and nuts and, until recently, sugar cane.

Coolum Beach, looking south

Coolum Beach, looking south


The region is characterized by beautiful beaches, expansive coastal views and rich fertile soils in the hinterland. Many World and Australian-renowned beaches are located at Noosa Heads, Alexandra Headlands, Mooloolaba, Coolum and Kings Beach in Caloundra. There are popular surfing areas along the beaches and headlands.


The Sunshine Coast is a centre for tourism, containing attractions such as Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, UnderWater World marine park, Aussie World with the Ettamogah Pub, The Buderim Ginger Factory, Big Pineapple and the Majestic Theatre.

Coolum Beach, looking north

Coolum Beach, looking north

National Parks

The Sunshine Coast region is home to more individual national parks than any other region in Queensland[3]. The natural biodiversity of the area has been protected by five separate parks in both coastal and inland regions, including Mapleton Falls National Park, Kondalilla National Park, The Glasshouse Mountains National Park, Noosa National Park, and the Great Sandy National Park, which includes sections on Fraser Island and in Cooloola near Rainbow Beach.

Golf Courses

The Sunshine Coast boasts numerous golf links, including North Lakes, Pacific Harbour, Noosa Springs, Peregian Springs, Twin Waters, Hyatt Regency Coolum and Pelican Waters.



The Sunshine Coast’s infrastructure includes, but is not limited to:

  • Universities – The major university campus being the University of the Sunshine Coast, with Central Queensland University having a small campus based in Noosa.
  • TAFE – five campuses at Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Nambour & Noosa.
  • Schools – Many varied denomination, private and public primary and secondary schools.


Nambour Hospital is the region’s major hospital and attended to over 35,000 cases in 2005[4]. There are smaller hospitals located in Caloundra & Maleny, but due to limited facilities at those hospitals, most cases are referred to Nambour Hospital, thus leading to overcrowding & under-staffing at Nambour Hospital.

A number of private hospitals exist throughout the region, most notably The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital at Buderim, Caloundra Private Hospital (formerly known as Andrea Ahern) at Caloundra, Selangor Hospital at Nambour, the recently established Kawana Private Hospital, and smaller facilities at Noosa.



The car is the dominant mode of transport for Sunshine Coast residents, with the region connected to Brisbane via the Bruce Highway. The Nicklin Way & Sunshine Motorway are the major arterial roads, which passes through most major areas of the Sunshine Coast. Many Intercity and interstate coach operators also operate daily bus services to Brisbane using the major corridors.


Flights from the Sunshine Coast depart from Sunshine Coast Airport 10 km north of Maroochydore and fly direct to Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne with Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways.

Public Transport


The Sunshine Coast has an extensive public transport network, with QR Citytrain’s Nambour and Gympie North railway line operating numerous interurban services daily, with most trains running express between Caboolture and Bowen Hills stations. The train lines run through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, connecting buses run to the coastal strip. Going north beyond Nambour station the trains only run once or twice per day.


Bus services are operated by Sunbus, which operates under the TransLink public transport system, in which buses connects the suburbs and localities within the Caloundra, Maroochy and Noosa Local Government Areas. Noosa Shire Council operates free bus services connecting Noosa Heads to surrounding suburbs and major park and ride stations during the peak summer holiday period.


There is a public ferry that operates between Tewantin, Noosaville, Noosa Waters, Northside and Noosa Heads

Youth Culture

Youth culture on the Sunshine Coast is limited to a small number of facilities. The most popular youth area is the Sunshine Plaza, a large river-side shopping centre located in Maroochydore close to the mouth of the Maroochy River, and Mooloolaba close to the mouth of the Mooloolah River, where many diverse groups gather for shopping, fun, night-clubbing and entertainment.

Due to its proximity to the beach, the coast has a strong beach culture. Many surfers live on the coast, with beaches such as Mooloolaba famous for their cleanliness and large waves.

There are numerous skate parks on the Sunshine Coast, with one of the most popular being at Alexandra Headland.

There are a number of Youth Groups on the Sunshine Coast, some of the biggest being Goodlife, Suncoast, and Kings.

Annual events

  • Schoolies (November)
  • Noosa Triathlon (October)
  • Mooloolaba Triathlon
This text comes from Wikipedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikipedia.

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