If your clients are looking to find their moment in the sun in 2022 – this is it. Tell them to dust off their travel bags and get ready to remember that blissful feeling of falling in love with travel with Visit Sunshine Coasts’s list of 22 things to do on the Sunshine Coast in 2022.
And if love of travel is what they’re after then the Sunshine Coast is the place to be, with the Tourism Sentiment Index revealing last month something we’ve known for years: that our little slice of paradise is officially the most loved destination in the world.
The sentiment-based list studied 1.8 billion online conversations and content pieces to determine how people felt about destinations around the world. With new accommodation, food offerings, craft beer, attractions and events, there’s even more to love in 2022 on the Sunshine Coast, and your journey starts here.
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1. HOLA Eumundi
The vibrant Hinterland village of Eumundi is known for its talented creatives, free thinkers, musicians, producers and performers, in fact, it’s what helped put the famous Eumundi Markets on the map. So it’s extremely fitting that Eumundi’s newest accommodation offering – HOLA – pays homage to the town’s roots. HOLA, which stands for House of Local Art, is a 15-room escape nestled behind the iconic Imperial Hotel, where each room is a showcase of local art for sale. From the paintings on the walls to handmade basins in the bathrooms, the contemporary chic rooms encompass the laidback Eumundi spirit, with more than a hint of Eumundi quirk. Visit www.holaeumundi.com.au.
2. Maleny Lodge
The talented team behind one of the Sunshine Coast’s most talked about properties – Loea Boutique Hotel – have turned their focus to a new challenge in the Hinterland hills. Maleny Lodge is a heritage accommodation offering in Maleny that was first built in 1894. This April the property will reopen with a new lease on life, having undergone an extensive renovation that celebrates the buildings heritage charm and original features. Full of luxury finishes and unique vintage finds, Maleny Lodge will blur the lines between holiday home and boutique hotel. Accommodating up to 14 guests, it will be the perfect space to relax, unwind and reconnect with loved ones or friends. Visit www.malenylodge.com.au.
3. Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort
Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort has undergone an extensive renovation, revealing updated guest rooms and overwater bungalows, reinvigorated recreation spaces including a refreshed resort pool precinct and lagoon beachfront, as well as a new Pilates Studio. As part of its refurbishment, Novotel has introduced two new, elevated accommodation categories – Grand Overwater Bungalows and Deluxe Overwater Bungalows. Visit www.novotelsunshinecoast.com.au.
4. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast is poised to open in the new Maroochydore CBD this May. The 167-room hotel will feature a swimming pool, bar and dining venue, conference and function facilities, and ground-level retail. As well as catering to leisure travellers, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites CBD location and proximity to Sunshine Coast Airport will make it appealing for business travellers.
5. BIG4 Breeze Holiday Park – Rainbow Beach
It’s the holiday town favoured by the Hemsworths, and now Rainbow Beach can add another feather to its cap with the addition of 27 new beachside cabins at the BIG4 Breeze Holiday Park. Ranging from three-bedroom cabins to spa villas and studios, the extensive addition has been complemented by an upgraded picnic and barbecue area and renovation of 12 existing cabins. With the Great Sandy Strait and Rainbow Beach on your doorstep, it’s truly an A-list experience. Visit www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/qld/sunshine-coast/rainbow-beach-holiday-park.
6. Kenilworth Coastal Bakery, Mooloolaba
It’s the little bakery known for it’s larger than life treats (1kg donut, anyone?) and now Kenilworth Bakery has brought its country charm to the heart of Mooloolaba with a new storefront at The Wharf. Open every day in their new coastal digs from 8am-3pm, you’ll find all your favourites baked goods. Visit www.facebook.com/kenilworthbakery.
7. Alba Noosa
His name is synonymous with the Noosa dining scene, with his latest venture hotly anticipated by foodies around the country. And Peter Kuruvita’s newly opened ALBA by Kuruvita did not disappoint. With locally grown Sunshine Coast produce as its heart, the new restaurant, café and bar combines a providore and pizzeria with relaxed all-day dining. Visit albanoosa.com.au.
8. Red Hot Chili Pepper launches new cooking school
They have been spicing things up in Caloundra for years, but in 2022 Red Hot Chili Pepper is once again turning up the heat with a number of new cooking classes. As well as their Spice Blending workshops, Red Hot Chili Pepper will offer a fusion of spice blending and cooking classes, all based around the extensive travels of owner Vicki Taylor. Learn about spices to help you create traditional and complex Sri Lankan curry spice blends, before bringing it altogether in a mouthwatering dish. Visit www.redhotchillipepper.com.au.
9. Saltwater Coffee and Catering launches
The team behind Saltwater Eco Tours, who run Indigenous cruise experiences out of Mooloolaba, are bringing a taste of their tour to dry land with a new food cart. Saltwater Coffee and Catering dishes up bush-tucker inspired food, including Lemon Myrtle cocktails, coffee, home-made and locally sourced food including a variety of meat and vegan options. As well as being available at The Eumundi Markets, Saltwater Coffee and Catering will be available for events, markets and weddings.
10. Eumundi welcomes three new restaurants
Eumundi is a town renowned for its twice weekly markets, but beyond the bustling stalls this quaint Hinterland town is packing some serious flavour. Three new restaurants have recently opened their doors in Eumundi, including Popina where locally sourced seasonal produce is the hero of each dish. Foodies will also love Bask, which hold long lunches every Friday and Saturday, followed by ‘Wine and Bites’ sessions in the evening. There’s also Bungalow Eumundi, where menu highlights include mussels in white wine and herb broth, crispy skin barramundi and morish pizzas.
Craft beer and artisan beverages
11. Sunshine Coast, Australia’s Craft Beer Capital
With the largest number of breweries per capita in the country, the Sunshine Coast has claimed the title of Australia’s Craft Beer Capital. At last count, the region was home to 21 craft breweries (more if you take into account that some breweries have multiple venues!) making craft beer somewhat of a Sunshine Coast institution. From beachside brewers to Hinterland hops visiting our breweries will take you on a journey, and we guarantee you’ll be able to taste the sunshine in every glass. Visit www.visitsunshinecoast.com/craftbeercapital.
12. CAVU Distilling to launch Australia’s finest rum
Since their conception in 2020 CAVU Distilling have pitched themselves as ‘not the makers of Australia’s finest rum- yet’. Fast track to 2022 and the wait is over, with the lids to be taken off the first barrels of Australia’s finest Nil Desperandum Rum this February. Inspiration for Nil Desperandum comes from the cane fields of the Sunshine Coast and the world’s best rums – distilled in the Caribbean since the 1600’s. Using Australia’s only commercial quantity of Organic Molasses, the finest methods including natural ‘wild’ fermentation, and bespoke German Copper Stills, every bottle of Nil Desperandum is produced with love, art and science. Visit www.nildesperandum.com.au.
13. Moffat Beach Brewing best in Australia
The Sunshine Coast is now home to Australia’s best Small/Medium Brewery, with Moffat Beach Brewing Co taking out the coveted title at the recent 2021 Independent Brewers Association Awards. And the accolades didn’t stop there, with Moffat Beach Brewing Co also awarded State Champion Brewery in Queensland, alongside a swag of awards for their brews including Champion Session Beer for their flagship ‘Moff’s Summer Ale’ and Champion India Pale Ale (IPA) for their ‘Trilogy Best Coast IPA’. Visit www.moffatbeachbrewingco.beer.
14. Brouhaha Brewery opens new venue
One of the Sunshine Coast’s most-loved breweries, Brouhaha, has just opened the doors of its second location, complete with a world-class custom tap-room that will see the independent brewer increase production by 500 per cent. Located at the Aura Business Park in Baringa, inland from Caloundra, Brouhaha Sunshine Coast features two mezzanine levels, a brewers lab, a double storey tap-room and 16 sour and hoppy taps. The new seaside venue will produce a staggering 1.25 million litres of beer per year, while its original sibling venue in Maleny continues to operate and acts as a pilot lab, creating new and bespoke drops in the Hinterland. Visit brouhahabrewery.com.au.
15. Beachtree Distilling Co
Recently opened Beachtree Distilling Co, a First Nations business located in Caloundra, has recently expanded on their offerings to include a new distillery tour. The tours run at set times on Monday through Friday, taking you behind the scenes with their Master Distiller to see what goes into creating their small-batch, hand-crafted spirits including their Organic Koala Gin, Organic Quokka Gin and Tiger Quoll Vodka. Tours cost $15 and run at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Visit beachtree.com.au.
16. Down Under Submarines
For the first time in Australia tourists will be able to dive to depths of up to 30m below the ocean’s surface onboard a fully submersible hybrid tourist submarine. Down Under Submarines has opened for tours in Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, and is the only operating submarine of its kind in the world. What makes the SUBCAT-30 so unique is it is a hybrid vessel, meaning it can both dive underwater and travel on top of the water’s surface like a catamaran. Visitors will be given the opportunity to experience both, with dive experiences and sunset cruises available in the pristine waters off Mooloolaba. Visit www.downundersubmarines.com.
17. Tank Bathhouse
A new luxury day spa, Tank Bathhouse, has opened in Bli Bli offering four concept tank baths – including three hot tubs and one cold plunge pool – spa treatments including massages and facials, a sauna and steam room. Guests can also book in for a wellness package that includes a treatment and gourmet degustation lunch, high tea or brunch, a bottle of Chandon to enjoy with friends, and the option to stay on for a candle making class. Visit www.tankspa.com.au.
18. Australia Zoo opens Elephantasia
Australia’s Zoo’s herd of Sumatran elephants have moved into their expansive new home: Elephantasia. Wati, Widya, Christine and Raflesia new state-of-the-art habitat is now open for guests to experience, and with less than 2,500 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild, Australia Zoo is proud to be continuing Steve Irwin’s mission to protect these animals for future generations. Visit www.australiazoo.com.au.
19. Bellingham Maze expands
Bellingham Maze has been revitalised as an enchanted world filled with fun, excitement and magic. Due to relaunch in March 2022, this aMAZEing attraction will soon include immersive Augmented Reality experiences, a new children’s maze, nature playground (including water-play), observation deck, birthday party and school group undercover zones, amenities and more. The additional activities will complement the venue’s existing 80x80m living hedge maze, timber maze, mini golf and café. Bellingham Maze is also set to undergo a rename and rebrand in 2022, watch this space! Visit bellinghammaze.com.
20. The Rangebow Festival
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland will come alive this August with a celebration of creativity that encompasses the spirit of the Hinterland’s ‘Range’ communities. The week-long Rangebow Festival will be held in locations across Nambour, Mapleton, Flaxton, Montville, Maleny and Crystal Waters Eco Village, with events focusing on diversity, inclusion, sustainability and reconciliation. While the full program is yet to be released, confirmed events include Cabaret nights, garden parties, a glittering parade, Dreamtime stories and sustainability workshops. Visit therangebowfestival.org.
21. Horizon Festival
Horizon Festival, the Sunshine Coast’s leading contemporary multi-arts festival, is returning in 2022 with 10 days and nights of visual art, music, theatre, dance, words and ideas, film and creative workshops; all inspired by the stories and beauty of the Sunshine Coast. Horizon Festival believes that art is transformative and celebrates home-grown and global artists who create artistic experiences that reflect the here and now, igniting new ideas and fuelling the cultural vibrancy of the region. The festival delights in the natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast, with a program that honours the Traditional Custodians of this Country; the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara Peoples. Visit www.horizonfestival.com.au.
22. That’s not my dog
What happens when Shane Jacobson, Fiona O’Loughlin, Michala Banas and Dave O’Neill get together with some of Australia’s best bands and musical talent? We’re not quite sure, but we know it will be hilarious and a lot of fun! More than 20 of Australia’s biggest names in comedy and music will feature at a three-day festival of laughter, tunes and food on the Sunshine Coast later this year. ‘That’s Not My Dog – The Festival’ will take place from Friday 26 August to Sunday 28 August 2022 at King’s Beach Amphitheatre, Caloundra. Visit www.thatsnotmydogfestival.com.au.
Lead image: BIG 4 Rainbow Beach