Queensland

7 Sunshine Coast resorts for relaxing and unwinding in style

Golden sands or lush rainforest retreats? You can escape to both on the spectacular Sunshine Coast.

Just one hour north of Brisbane, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is sometimes overlooked as a holiday destination in favour of Australia’s more famous beaches down south. With a slightly quieter, more laid-back feel, the Sunshine Coast is home to some of the best beaches in Australia—without the massive crowds and huge price tags of more renowned destinations like the Gold Coast and Bondi Beach.

The Sunshine Coast has a plethora of activities to keep you busy, no matter the style of vacation you’re planning. Venture into the lush green rainforest, hike through national parks filled with native wildlife, or learn about sea creatures at the world-class Sea Life Aquarium. And, of course, there’s also lots of great shopping and dining experiences to enjoy after a day of sun and sand. To help you make the most of your holiday, we’ve assembled a list of some of the best resorts on the Sunshine Coast.

Calm waters and convenience in Caloundra

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Situated on the waterfront at the quieter, southern end of the Sunshine Coast at Caloundra, Rumba Beach Resort has great access to beaches without the hustle and bustle that you get at some other holiday destinations. The water here is perfect for smaller children or less confident swimmers, plus the resort has two beautiful pools and a Jacuzzi if you’d prefer to stay within easy reach of your room. Cafes and restaurants such as The Coffee Club and Hog’s Breath Cafe are situated at the front of the resort, making your stay convenient and low-stress even without a car.

You’ll be a few minutes’ walk from The Esplanade and postcard-worthy Bulcock Beach, plus Rumba also rents out bicycles if you’d like to explore further and go for a leisurely ride along some of the many great bike paths that run alongside the water—the best part is they’re mostly flat, so are suitable for all fitness levels.

If you happen to be staying over a weekend, be sure to check out the Caloundra Street Fair, a local market featuring more than 100 unique stalls (every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.). You’ll find everything from local food, beverages and crafts, to live music and street theatre.

Rumba Beach Resort

Top rated
Caloundra, 10.5 km to Aussie World
9.2 Excellent (1692 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Outdoor swimming pool
Hotel CTA

A Sunshine Coast resort nestled in the rainforest

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What many visitors don’t realise is that the Sunshine Coast is home to more than just great beaches—it also has stunning rainforests where you can really escape from the rat race. Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat might not be the typical sandy beachfront property you think of when you picture the Sunshine Coast, but this five-star bed and breakfast is the perfect place to escape for a weekend with your significant other.

Situated on the border with Kondalilla National Park, you’ll be surrounded by the sounds of birds chirping and the breeze idling through the trees. This is the perfect spot for a secluded getaway—the eco-friendly pavillions have been designed with privacy in mind, spread out amongst the trees so that you will feel like you have the place all to yourself. Surprise your partner with chocolates and flowers on arrival before warming up with a soak in the luxurious whirlpool spa bath. Slip into the fluffy slippers and robes that are provided in all rooms and settle down for a relaxing, cozy evening by the fireplace.

After a relaxing sleep-in, fire up the Nespresso coffee machine in your room before taking a leisurely drive through the rainforest to the nearby towns of Montville or Maleny to enjoy a hearty breakfast at one of the delightful little cafes before strolling through the craft and gift stores. Stop for lunch and a few drinks at Brouhaha Brewery (the milk stout & Maleny Wagyu bangers & mash is to-die-for), then swing by Flamehill Vineyard and Maleny Cheese to pick up some supplies for a relaxing afternoon back at your rainforest retreat.

Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (237 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Outdoor swimming pool
Restaurant
Hotel CTA

A Sunshine Coast resort offering french-inspired luxury

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When it comes to luxury accommodation on the Sunshine Coast, it’s hard to go past the offerings from Spicers. Spicers Clovelly Estate is a french-inspired luxury resort situated in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. From the provincial architecture to the expertly manicured gardens, everything about this property is a little piece of Europe, but with an Australian twist. With views out over the treetops to the lake below and top-rated service from the attentive and friendly staff, there’s no better place to book for a secluded luxury getaway.

But the real crown jewel of this luxury property is its renowned restaurant, The Long Apron. Chef Chris Hagan will take your tastebuds on a gastronomic adventure, the likes of which you’ve never experienced before. The restaurant features a French-inspired organic menu which changes over time to highlight the best produce the Sunshine Coast region has to offer. It’s no wonder this restaurant has received a coveted Chef’s Hat award and receives rave reviews from everyone who dines there.

Take a trip into the lovely little mountain town of Montville during the day to discover all sorts of cultural treasures. You’ll find plenty of arts and crafts for sale in all the quaint European-style buildings, with everything from cuckoo clocks to paintings and fashion accessories. Don’t leave without buying some of the local treats; sample the many flavours of handmade fudge at one of the outlets in the main street.

Hotel Spicers Clovelly Estate

9.3 Excellent (238 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.4 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Wellness centre / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

A Sunshine Coast resort set on the Sunshine Strip

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Oaks Seaforth Resort offers family-friendly accommodation located right in the heart of the “Sunshine Strip” at Alexandra Headland. This beachfront property has spacious, modern rooms and is conveniently located to all the best attractions.

Just a couple of kilometres away, you’ll find the Sea Life Aquarium where you can learn all about what goes on under the oceans. Afterwards, take a stroll along the boardwalk and find a spot for lunch at one of the cafes or a barbecue on the beach. If you’re in the mood for shopping, head up the road to the Sunshine Coast’s largest shopping centre, Sunshine Plaza.

After a day exploring all the Sunshine Coast has to offer you will have worked up quite an appetite. Thankfully, there are a variety of great dining options at your doorstep, including Sang’s East Asian Cuisine (standout dishes include Panang curry, pineapple fried rice with pork, or any of the dumplings). Those who prefer to cater for themselves will be glad to find a fully self-contained kitchen, with a convenient grocery store located right outside the resort.

Kids will love playing in the resort’s lagoon-style pool while you relax on the lounges, or if you feel like you need to burn off the previous night’s indulgences, swim a few laps in the lap pool or work up a sweat with a session at the well-equipped and modern gym facilities.

Oaks Seaforth Resort

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (2703 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Gym
Outdoor swimming pool
Hotel CTA

A mix of western luxury and eastern tranquility

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Up the road, in Maleny, you’ll find Spicers Tamarind Retreat, the sister property to Clovelly Estate. Just like other Spicers properties, it exudes luxury and charm and makes for a lovely romantic getaway on the Sunshine Coast. But unlike the French-inspired theme of Clovelly Estate, Spicers Tamarind Retreat is more East-meets-West, mixing opulence and tranquillity in a rainforest setting.

Take a relaxing dip in the spa while looking out over the rainforest canopy, or hike one of the nearby trails if you’re feeling more adventurous. You can also indulge in some of Queensland’s best Thai dishes like jungle curry or whole crispy fried fish at The Tamarind restaurant, or get your hands dirty and learn some new skills by taking a class at The Tamarind Cooking School. If you can’t decide where to eat dinner, transfers are also available for guests to dine at The Long Apron across at Spicers Clovelly Estate, so you can have the best of both worlds.

Spicers Tamarind Retreat

9.2 Excellent (227 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.5 / 10
Car park
Wellness centre / Spa
Outdoor swimming pool
Restaurant
Hotel CTA

Panoramic views over secluded bays in Coolum

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On the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, you’ll find Coolum, where sparkling, secluded bays provide ideal swimming spots. Hotel The Point Coolum Beach is the pick of resorts here, and with one-, two- and three-bedroom self-contained villas available. These spacious dwellings feature open-plan living with a lounge and well-equipped kitchen should you get the urge to cook up a feast.

Coolum Beach is a great place to experience all the Sunshine Coast has to offer, and the resort is situated across the road from First and Second Bays, both of which make for excellent swimming spots. Or head into Coolum Village for some shopping and dining or for a hit at one of the several golf courses in the area.

And if you happen to be feeling extra energetic, hike up to the summit of Mount Coolum for some spectacular views of the region. This volcanic dome is a fairly easy climb for those of average fitness—as well as for kids—and it’s an excellent way to work up an appetite before heading to one of the beachfront cafes for a well-earned breakfast. Ma Boulange Cafe Patisserie is perfect for a nice strong coffee and an authentic French croissant, and Freddy Fuddpukka’s “big breakfast” will satiate even the largest appetite.

Hotel The Point Coolum Beach

Top rated
Coolum Beach, 1.9 km to Coolum Beach
8.9 Excellent (1166 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Wellness centre / Spa
Hotel CTA

A bush retreat by the water

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Nestled amongst 36 hectares of natural bushland, Novotel Twin Waters Resort offers easy access to both the beach and the Maroochy River. If you’re the adventurous type or have kids with lots of energy to burn, there’s no better place to be.

The resort is home to an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, outdoor gym, and the whole family will love “Activity Central” (free for resort guests), which features a mini-golf course and an array of exciting water sports available including sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and a water trampoline. Twin Waters is also located next to the Sunshine Coast Aqua Fun Park, a floating water park with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Kids of all ages will love bouncing their way around the inflatable circuit, which also includes one of the world’s tallest floating slides.

Novotel Twin Waters Resort is only a few minutes from the heart of the Sunshine Coast, though you never really have to leave the grounds, since there are plenty of dining options located within the complex. Casual options like the Deli Cafe & Market and Grabit & Go are perfect for a quick bite to eat without too much fuss. For a more sophisticated evening, sample some cocktails at Aqua Lounge & Bar followed by a delicious seafood dinner at Nouveau Restaurant overlooking the alfresco pool area.

If you have a longer stay planned, take a drive to Noosa National Park, where you’ll find kilometres of easy walking tracks along the headland and plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the stunning vistas. As you walk through this natural conservation area, keep your eyes peeled for koalas and other native wildlife (check the chalkboard at the entrance to the park for the latest sighting locations).

Novotel Twin Waters Resort

8.0 Very good (2816 reviews)
Very good Location 8.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Wellness centre / Spa
Hotel CTA