What’s new on the Sunshine Coast?

Star chef Alejandro Cancino with staff at his newly opened cafe Lola's Pantry, located in Kuluin on the Sunshine Coast.

Star chef Alejandro Cancino with staff at his newly opened cafe Lola’s Pantry, located in Kuluin on the Sunshine Coast.

What’s new on the Sunshine Coast?

Imagine touring the Sunshine Coast in a Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible, the salty breeze whipping through your hair as you power along the coastline.

Next visualise a scenic trip through the hinterland, stopping along the way to visit local food producers and sample the region’s craft beer.

These are just some of the new experiences available on the Sunshine Coast, giving visitors – and locals – even more reason to get outside and explore all the region has to offer.

From the Mary Valley Rattler to Australia’s most exciting new culinary festival, here’s “what’s new” on the Sunshine Coast.

What’s new in: EVENTS

Foodie delight

The Curated Plate, a new four-day destination food festival, is set to make its debut on the Sunshine Coast in August next year. The festival will be held from 8-11 August 2019 and bring together the region’s finest produce with the best chefs in the Australian and international dining scene, including Japan’s ‘best restaurant’ chef, Zaiyu Hasegawa. Exclusive culinary events will span the region from the coast to the hinterland with local experiences, including food trails and farms tours, featured in the program. The festival’s key themes will centre around local produce and producers, sustainable practices, artisan culture and health and wellness. The Curated Plate full festival program of events and talent line-up will be revealed in March 2019.

Shooting goals

Mooloolaba’s iconic main beach will be transformed in to a netball court for Netfest. The sporting event was held for the first time on the Sunshine Coast in October 2018 and saw netballers from around the country visit the region to play. As well as the beach tournament, Netfest hosts games at Maroochydore Multi-Sport Complex. A highlight of the event sees some of the country’s best netballers take to the sand for a celebrity match.

Push it to the limit

Fancy crawling through mud, tackling obstacles and pushing your body to the absolute limit? Then the Spartan Race is for you. The gruelling event will be held on the Sunshine Coast for the first time in April 2019, allowing visitors to test their stamina on the “world’s best” obstacle course. The course sees competitors run through mud, swim through dams and conquer obstacles, attracting athletes from around the globe. Spartan Sunshine Coast will be held in April 2019, with the venue set to be announced soon.

What’s new in: FOOD

Spicing things up

With items on the menu such as Honey Truffle Mooloolaba Prawns and Chilli Caramel Mushrooms, Kiki Bar in Maroochydore is quickly earning a name for itself amongst local foodies. Kiki was opened earlier this year by husband and wife duo Aaron and Kym-Sarah Ruttan, who also own the successful Spice Bar restaurant in Mooloolaba. Kiki Bar focuses on small plates and creative cocktails that use Australian spirits. They also stock local beers, boast a boutique wine list and have kombucha on tap. The bar is located on Maroochydore’s Duporth Ave, visit here for more.

Ignite your taste buds

Award-winning chef Alejandro Cancino is changing the face of the Sunshine Coast food scene with the opening of his café: Lola’s Pantry. The Visit Sunshine Coast Food Ambassador is the former executive chef of Brisbane’s only three-hatted restaurant, Urbane, and has travelled the globe working in some of the world’s top-ranking restaurants. Now based on the Sunshine Coast, Argentinian-born Alejandro is helping put the region on the map as a food tourism destination.

Food and brews

Follow the journey from paddock to plate, and pair it with the perfect brew, on a food-lovers tour of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. In late November Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours will share the stories of local producers in a combined brewery/farm tour. The tour will showcase two local producers followed by lunch at Brouhaha Brewery where guests will get to sample local food paired with the perfect local brew. Guests will be told how the grain used to brew beer in the hinterland is passed on to local farmers, who use it to feed their cattle before sale to local restaurants. The combined brewery and producers tour has a wide appeal for food, as well as beer, lovers. Visit here for more.

Brewing up a good time

Their beer has been described as “Queensland in a tinny”, and now the team at Your Mates Brewing Co are on the path to making their brewing dreams a reality. The Sunshine Coast based craft beer business is open to the public three days a week in Moffat Beach where they serve up their craft beer offerings, including their popular “Larrycans”. Going forward the team plans to open their own brewery, allowing visitors to see just what goes in to creating the perfect brew and further adding to the Coast’s ever-expanding craft beer scene. Visit here for more.

What’s new in: ACCOMMODATION

Resort revamp

Novotel Twin Waters Resort is set to undergo major changes, with Shakespeare Property Group purchasing the resort for $100 million from Abacus Property Group. Shakepeare’s immediate intentions are to improve the resort’s current facilities to reposition Novotel Twin Waters as one of Queensland’s leading business events venue and leisure resorts. This in turn will further establish the Coast’s position as a business events destination. Read more here.

Best of both worlds

Direct Hotels has opened their newest complex, Aquarius Kawana, on the Sunshine Coast. Aquarius is conveniently located within walking distance of the Sunshine Coast Health Precinct, the central location allowing for corporate or leisure guests. A range of short or long-term accommodation options are available, and hotel facilities include an outdoor pool area and barbecue. Visit here for more.

Live like a farmer

Set against 60 acres of rolling cattle fields, The Eumundi Dairy offers two self-contained guest houses – the farms original Dairy and Homestead – that together provide accommodation for up to 14 people. The Dairy has been expertly renovated with concrete floors and exposed ceiling rafters, while The Homestead, which dates back to the early 1900s, is an original Queenslander farmhouse brimming with character. The property is located less than five minutes’ drive from Eumundi township. Visit here for more.

At one with nature

Get back in touch with nature at Mapleton Springs B&B. The new offering in the hinterland town of Mapleton offers expansive views over rolling hills, an infinity pool, spa and delicious cooked breakfast. The owners are also animal carers, so you’ll often find rescue joeys, as well as an abundance of local wildlife, around the property. Visit here for more.

Makepeace Island

Makepeace Island, the Australian home of Sir Richard Branson, is set to reopen next month after undergoing a major refurb. The heart-shaped island, ideally situated on Noosa River, offers guests their own private sanctuary on the Sunshine Coast. The resort will re-open with a fresh new look this November. Visit here for more.

Glamp on the wild side

Nestled on 65 acres of natural bushland, with a 500m beachfront on Noosa River, Habitat Noosa is a wilderness experience like no other. The world-class eco-facility is home to a large eastern grey kangaroo population and offers guests a range of accommodation, dining and tour options. The Everglades Ecocamp relaunched this year having been built on an existing campground. It offers paperbark tents, cabins and wilderness tents for guests as well as powered or unpowered sites for campers, motorhomes and RVs. Habitat Noosa is located just five minutes’ boat ride from Noosa Everglades, or a 25-minute drive to Noosa Heads. Visit here for more.

True coastal living

Offering expansive views over the sea, Peppers Noosa has long been a favourite for the luxury traveller. Recently the resort has undergone a soft refurbishment of its one and two-bedroom apartments, with the new contemporary theme giving the rooms a lighter, brighter feel. The refurb incorporated natural coastal elements to complement the beauty of the surrounding Noosa National Park. Visit here for more.

Room with a view

Loved for its beachfront location, Mantra Mooloolaba has further embraced their water views with the launch of two new room types: the one-bedroom superior and one-bedroom superior ocean. The refurbished rooms have seen kitchen cabinets resurfaced, stove top and dishwasher included, and a privacy decal added to the bathroom. Visit here for more.

What’s new in: ACTIVITIES

A sun run adventure

Harness the power of the sun to fuel your next adventure with Eco River Rides. The tour company uses innovative solar-powered canoes to take visitors on an unforgettable journey through the Maroochy River Wetlands, the first of its kind in Australia. With no paddling required, visitors can simply sit back and relax over a three-hour self-guided tour which includes stops to explore the boardwalk and visit to the Wetlands Sanctuary Information Centre. Visit here for more.

All aboard the steam train

The Mary Valley Rattler has been restored to its former glory, with the century-old track and its fleet of historic locomotives and carriages undergoing extensive upgrades. The Rattler will open to the public from 7 October, taking passengers back in time on scenic journeys through the Mary Valley. The Rattler will operate twice-daily three days a week on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The return journey will take passengers from Gympie or Amamoor Stations via Dagun. As well as being a celebrated piece of history the Rattler is a major tourism drawcard for the Gympie and Mary Valley regions. Visit here for more.

Water park making a splash

A $450 million lifestyle, tourist and water-themed active park, named Actventure, has been proposed for the Sunshine Coast. New concept plans from development and investment company Sanad Capital reveal their vision for the 25-hectare site in Glenview. In the plans they have proposed cabins, powered sites and glamping-style accommodation, a water park, tennis court and gym.

What’s new in: TRANSPORT

Come fly with me

Works have begun on the major Sunshine Coast Airport expansion, scheduled to be completed in 2020. The expansion will open the Sunshine Coast up to a range of new markets thanks to the longer and wider runway. The runway expansion will allow for direct flights from around Australia and across Asia and the Western Pacific. The expansion will see an increase in the number of visitors to the region, further cementing the Coast as a leading tourist destination.

Travel in style

Travel in style on the Sunshine Coast with Porsche Indulgence. Holiday-makers can feel the salty breeze whip through their hair as they tour the coastline in the Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible. The car is available for tours, events, formals and weddings, with travellers given the freedom to create their own itinerary and explore the region in first class luxury. Visit here for more.

Cruising in luxury

A record number of cruise ships are scheduled to dock on the Sunshine Coast in 2019. Among them is Asia’s newest luxury liner, Explorer Dream, that recently underwent a $30 million refit. The liner has confirmed six visits to the Coast, with travellers predominately from the Chinese market. In total, 13 cruise ships will visit the Coast from January to December 2019, injecting a major boost in to the tourist economy.

For more information, go to visitsunshinecoast.com

Source = Visit Sunshine Coast
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