If you’re asking around about Sunshine Coast surf spots, you’ll likely hear Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba mentioned. It’s a bit confusing, but these popular beaches, along with neighbouring Cotton Tree, make up the conglomeration of suburbs officially referred to as Maroochy. Each beach has its own style, but all feature a strip of cafés and shops lining a main street running parallel to the beach. This is the most developed patch of the Sunshine Coast and is becoming permanent residence to more and more Australians each year. The downside of all this migration is a growing suburban spread, but happily it’s yet to turn to outright sprawl. Inland suburbs like Buderim still feature quiet roundabouts and shopfronts looking like they date from the 1950s.
Book ahead if you arrive during the summer school holidays (Christmas through as late as the third week of January).