Visiting the Sunshine Coast may require lessons in pronouncing some of the many of the more colorful Aboriginal place names to be found in the region. The Aboriginal history of this region stretches back for millennia before settlers from Europe arrived in the late eighteenth century, and their names for wildlife, flora, and natural formations remain to this day.
Many of the names for the Sunshine Coast beaches as well as the region’s many national parks and forests are Aboriginal in origin. For instance, one popular surfing beach on the Sunshine Coast is called Marouchydore meaning “red bill,” which is the Yugerra word for the red-billed black swan found here. Sunshine Coast vacations will not only reveal stunning coastline and beautiful beaches, but also allows you to interact closely with the local Aborigine tribes. There are authentic tribal dances and feasts you can attend, and you can book an Aborigine guide for a bushwalk in one of the national parks. Another of the Sunshine Coast beaches that is popular with surfers is called Caloundra Beach, which comes from the Aboriginal word for the beech trees that are still found in the area.
Many Sunshine Coast vacations are excellent for surfing, and the beaches here are superb for the sport. Unlike Airlie Beach to the north, the Sunshine Coast beaches are not protected by the Great Barrier Reef. This makes them much better for surfing. And, although the beaches of the Gold Coast to the south have excellent surfing, the Sunshine Coast is much less developed, which is great for those who want less frenetic and crowded holidays.
In addition to surfing, there is superb Sunshine Coast scuba diving only twenty minutes out to sea. This is a fairly rocky section of coast, and the rocks extend out into the ocean, providing good dive spots. Many divers are also sailors, and sailing in this region is very popular. There are several sailing and yachts clubs in the region, and some of the Sunshine Coast hotels have their own marinas.
There are also national parks protecting both inland and coastal regions, and some of the things to do in the area involve backpacking in the wilderness that is never far away. Here also is the Australia Zoo made famous by the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, which cares for more than 2,000 rare and unusual indigenous animals from crocodiles and koalas to the little frilly lizard and the dingo. This Sunshine Coast attraction is near the Glass Mountains National Park with its unusual volcanic peaks, a wonderful area for backpacking and camping. There is also Underwater World, a marine park on Mooloolaba Beach where some of the best beach resorts and luxury hotels are located.
Your Sunshine Coast vacations also give you access to many other things to do. There are numerous golf courses, some right on the beaches. There is an excellent highway system to get here from Brisbane if you’ve obtained car rentals, as well as an airport with direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Once you’re here, you can get from place to place on a public ferry system that operates up and down the coast.