Find your happy place on the Sunshine Coast and indulge yourself on a budget with these great, cheap options, from magnificent wines to old world elegance.
Although known for its beaches and surf, the Sunshine Coast has lots of other attractions and activities. Unfortunately, many of these cost premium dollars, which many of us are trying to conserve, so here are some cheap, fun times to choose from. They are listed in no particular order.
Embassy XO Yum Cha
What a very civilized way to indulge on a weekend. This restaurant is pretty snazzy and not cheap if you go for dinner, so this Yum Cha is great value at $34 per person. It’s currently rated at 4.9 on TripAdvisor. Located at Sunshine Beach, you could while a way the afternoon very easily. Yum Cha is available Friday – Sunday 12-2. Book here
Thai Lotus, Mooloolaba
Located on Brisbane Road, the Thai Lotus has excellent reviews and the mains at lunch are only $10-$15. The dinner prices are slightly higher. It’s also a BYO.
Montville Winery – Flame Hill
A gorgeous spot with stunning views where you can have a few free tastings: what’s not to love? There’s fine dining too, but if your budget isn’t up for that, there’s sharing platters or brunch. It is a farm to table restaurant. This place is a day time venue only, except for accommodation guests. Accommodation is pretty expensive at $300-$530 per night.
Cruise for lunch or sunset
There are loads of cruises on offer around the Sunny Coast, but the best value for money is Coastal Cruises Mooloolaba. They offer a seafood lunch cruise runs for 1.5 hrs for $39 pp or a 2-hr sunset cruise at $35 pp. Food on the sunset cruise is optional and both cruises have full bar service. Both cruises take you through the harbor, river and canals. The tranquility of sailing and the stunning coastal views are worth far more, but we won’t tell them. You can check out the offerings and also book here.
At $39 per adult and $27 per child, it could get a bit expensive, but it still is worth a visit. Not only are there the underwater views of everything you’d expect, there are also beautiful seals, a touch pool and a reef. Book online here and save.
Maleny Botanical Gardens
The Gardens only price here is $17 each, or $33 per person if you choose the gardens and aviary. To be honest the gardens are worth more than the birds. The aviary, although as large as an aeroplane hangar and hold quite a few different types, including blue Macaws, it is quite a stark space which left me feeling a bit depressed for our feathered friends. There’s also an animal enclosure. I’m not sure if that’s included in the garden only package, but no one chased us out. You can get close and personal with sheep, goats and a llama if that’s what you’re into.
The gardens though are large and beautiful offering lots of little pockets that feature different types of garden and the views are magic. There’s a café serving Devonshire teas, but a picnic would be perfect here.
Whale One Cruises
Watching the whales migrate each year is a much-loved event for sunny-coasters. There are loads of whale watching cruises available, but this one is one of the better priced. You can choose a sunset, no whale cruise for just $25, or for $49 you can go out looking for these majestic beasts. Obviously, there are no guarantees, but at the right time of year your chances of seeing one or two is pretty high. Click here to find and book your cruise.
If you want to avoid crowds and parking mayhem, go on a Wednesday, rather than a Saturday. Even then it’ll be fairly crowded as these markets have become very popular. Also, don’t eat before you go, there is a huge range of food to suit every taste. Click here to visit the website.
These ‘artisan’ markets open from 8.00 am and goes by the mantra of “make it, bake it, sew it, grow it.” However, the gender bias of products available is skewed towards women. There are mixed view on these markets, but maybe it just depends if you’re a market person or not.
The town itself is worth a wander around too.
The Majestic Theatre – Pomona
Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, at 12 noon, you have the chance to step back in time and watch an original silent movie as intended, with live music playing. The theatre is run by volunteers who bring this old theatre back to life. Tickets are around $30. To see screenings, click here.
This is the relaxed version of lawn bowls. There’s a lawn bowls club in every town on the Sunshine Coast and most have a barefoot bowls, or party bowls night. For less than $15 you get to play bowls for 90 minutes, often with guidance from an instructor. The other good thing about bowls clubs is the food and drinks are very cheap. You may have to pay a small joining fee, but in many cases, this will allow you to access the courtesy bus too. Click here information about where to find bowls clubs on the Sunny Coast.
The Noosa Ferry runs a few different cruises. The casual sunset cruise is only $25 per person for an hour cruise in Woods Bay, past the waterside mansions and Lake Weyba wildlife. It is BYO. For $49 you can experience the Eco-Cruise, which includes a short walk. Alternatively, grab an all-day ferry pass for $25 and spend the day hopping on and off on your own adventure. Book here.
So, I know it’s not quite 10, but I decided to throw in an extra. This is my list, what’s on yours? Leave me a suggestion in the comments, I’d love to try out some of your ideas.