In partnership with Visit Sunshine Coast.
The Sunshine Coast never fails to surprise. Where else can you drive from a beach where world-champion Ironmen have conquered the waves and just 30 minutes later be in a rainforest with the only sounds being the calls of exotic birds?
Relaxation or adventure, the Sunshine Coast really does have it all. The beaches are self-explanatory, but through a quirk of geography, the Blackall Ranges has provided a dramatic backdrop that not only offers spectacular views across to the coast, but also a vast range of attractions from mountain bike trails and waterfalls to verdant golf courses and spa retreats.
The landscape has helped fashion a rich food scene, which is showcased throughout the region in venues such as the famous Eumundi Markets, the Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking School and Woombye Cheese, where you can now take part in cheese-tasting masterclasses.
Nestled between the valleys are a collection of boutique farm stays, which provide the perfect combination of a relaxed natural environment and the convenience of having 300 attractions, great restaurants and cafes, and sublime beaches just a short drive away.
Here are some of the best.
The Sunshine Coast's newest country-luxe farm-stay is - unsurprisingly - set on sixty-six acres just a pineapple's throw from the iconic Big Pineapple. The six two-bedroom designer 'farm quarters' are set around a lake, and feature expansive decks, wood-burning fireplaces, freestanding baths, full kitchens and the best of stylish mod-cons. Ideal for couples, family groups or even a wedding party, there are plenty of activities from pitch and putt golf, nature walks and feeding the farm animals. The cute village of Woombye is just up the road with excellent cafes and bars. See sixty6acres.com
Originally built by the Smith family in 1908, this is the oldest house in Mapleton. An enchanting farm stay, Smith House combines history and luxury with large open living areas, spacious bedrooms and an expansive deck overlooking the spectacular Obi Obi Valley. An ideal holiday base, the house is perfect for families, honeymoons, couples or small, intimate groups of up to eight. A prime attraction is nearby Falls Farm, a glorious and welcoming oasis of regenerative farming, which supplies the historic Mapleton Public House restaurant for a true paddock to plate experience. See thefallsfarm.com
Situated on a 100-acre working farm in the stunning Noosa Hinterland, and yet just 35 minutes from Hastings Street, Mayan Luxe Villas features extravagant yet sustainable accommodation in an expansive earth rammed property. Built around a central living and dining area, where indulgent feasts can be prepared, the east and west wing suites offer a deck, king-size bed and ensuite bathroom. One suite also has a kitchenette and outside "bath with a view", while a third queen bedroom, and sofa bed option, enable occupancies of up to eight guests. It is a perfect entertainer, with a pizza oven and firepit, as well as plunge pool, adding to the outside entertaining ambience. See mayanfarm.com.au
Nestled between two spring fed creeks: Little Yabba and Booloumba - Yabbaloumba Retreat is a 200-acre working farm that hosts four luxury private cottages perfect for a romantic getaway. The property has nature on the doorstep with exclusive access to private swimming holes on Booloumba Creek, fishing, bird watching and walking tracks. Nestled amongst the Conondale Ranges in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the retreat is peacefully situated in the beautiful Mary Valley, yet only five minutes from Kenilworth - famous for their bakery, cheese factory and heritage hotel and brewery. See yabbaloumbaretreat.com.au
Located ten minutes outside of Maleny, this modern working dairy farm sits on a mammoth 700 acres. The self-contained cottages are set on a ridge overlooking Lake Baroon and the Kondalilla National Park. Ideal for families and small groups as well as couples, guests can explore 5.5 kilometres of walking tracks through the property's rainforest complete with waterfall viewing areas. Right on the doorstep are Hinterland attractions such as Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World and Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, as well as high-quality restaurants, spa venues, art galleries and artisan shopping in Maleny and Montville. See wittacork.com.au
Bonza has established a base on the Sunshine Coast, with direct flights into Sunshine Coast Airport from Melbourne Tullamarine and nine regional cities including Avalon, Mildura, Albury, and Newcastle. There are also direct flights by other carriers from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.