Beaches and natural wonders aren’t the only drawcard of the Sunshine Coast. If you're looking for something different, try one of these activities from our local's round up of the best shopping, art, pampering and off-beat activities in the region.
Where to Shop
Peregian Beach Markets
Don’t skip town without swinging by Peregian Beach Markets, held on the first and third Sunday of the month. Make a beeline for Lilla by Fia’s stall, where you’ll find organic-cotton and hemp threads hand-dyed with avocado seeds and lentils. And be sure to take a look at the handmade ceramics at Eve Simmons’ Liquorice Moon Studios stall.
Kingfisher Dr, Peregian Beach
The Romantic (07 5471 3235) offers a tight edit of garments and homewares from labels including Bassike and Kip & Co.
4/12 Grebe St, Peregian Beach
The Travelling Kimono
Designers Janelle Rawlins and Nicki Edmiston are the “soul sisters” behind Noosa Heads store The Travelling Kimono. Working with two actual sisters in Vietnam, they rescue fabric from scrap piles in Vietnamese markets and transform them into ethically made, limited-run kimonos and silk slips. They also stock handcrafted espadrilles from Spanish company Ritmo BCN.
Shop 1 19/21 Sunshine Beach Road, Noosa Heads
Collective Haus in the sugarcane town of Yandina, 15 minutes’ drive inland from Coolum Beach, is a petite church filled to the rafters with vintage Levi’s, sparkly dresses, antique furniture and one-off curiosities. Fuel your spree with a coffee from the hole-in-the-wall at the entrance.
19 Farrell St, Yandina
Where to Get Your Culture Fix
The Sunshine Coast Art Gallery Trail
You could plan an entire holiday around the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery Trail, which links more than 40 galleries, studios and events. It includes the art centre in Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre, a former butter factory built in 1930, as well as Maleny’s Fried Mudd, where you can get your hands dirty with pottery classes.
Another highlight is Montville Art Gallery, housed in a 1919 Queenslander and run by Tracey and Wayne Malkin. The couple moved north from the Gold Coast a year ago, drawn by the hinterland’s creative spirit. They sell work from some of the region’s best artists, with pieces ranging from $200 to $15,000.
The Majestic Theatre
Beyond all the canvas and clay, there’s The Majestic Theatre, Pomona’s heritage-listed cinema, built in 1921. It shows silent films by Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd accompanied by piano, on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. Settle in at midday and give a nod to 85-year-old Ron West who tickles the ivories. Ron owned the theatre for 32 years before selling it to the volunteer-run Pomona Arts Inc. He has one of the world’s largest collections of silent films.
3 Factory Street, Pomona
Where to Spend a Sunny Morning
Hinterland Feijoa Farm
Saturdays are for farm-gate dates with mini-ponies Twinkle Toes and Smokey the Bandit at Hinterland Feijoas. The organic farm in Belli Park, a half-hour drive from Noosa, is a labour of love for Peter Heineger and Sally Hookey. They stumbled on the “broken-down piece of land” 12 years ago and turned it into the bucolic, picture-book farm it is today. While the kids play Jenga on the lawn, join the queue at the farm’s coffee caravan, known as Myrtle, where you’ll find freshly baked scones and Sally’s famous pork and feijoa sausage rolls, all made from the farm’s produce and local goods.
Noosa Kayak Tours
Hire a kayak from Kanu Kapers at Boreen Point to explore the Noosa everglades, known as the “river of mirrors” for the melaleuca reflections that dance on the tannin-stained surface.
11 Toolara St, Boreen Point
Where to Get Pampered
Opened in 2001, Ikatan Spa takes its cues from Bali’s best day spas, right down to the tropical gardens. Ikatan has its own range of products, utilising hand-picked spices, and offers everything from massages and facials to full-day retreats incorporating yoga, meditation and treatments. To really go all-out, pre-arrange high tea or a tasting platter to enjoy in the tranquil surrounds.
46 Grays Road, Doonan
At Noosa Springs, 15 minutes’ drive north-east of Ikatan, you can soak away your cares in the floatation pool, designed to make the body feel weightless and the mind calm. The magnesium-rich waters are said to provide six hours of rest in 60 minutes – so zen is achievable in less time than it takes to play a round of golf on the fairways outside.
Links Drive, Noosa Heads
Photo credits: Kara Rosenlund