People may automatically think of Melbourne or Sydney as the foodie destinations of Australia, but with the tropical fruit and vegetables farming, cattle raising and warm climate wineries that Queensland boasts don’t write off the eating experience Australia’s sunshine state can produce.
Below is the ultimate guide for making your way from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast in five days of fantastic food and local produce.
Day 1: The Gold Coast
Fly into Gold Coast airport early in the morning a hearty breakfast from the Bam Bam Bakehouse in Mermaid Beach. I would recommend the Egg Nasi, an asian inspired breakfast with a little bit of spice and a lot of flavour. Grab a few croissants and other pastries for later on when you hit the road (plus one to have fresh) and then make your way to the beach for the morning.
Grab a late lunch as you go through Surfer’s Paradise at Brooklyn Depot and get a nice big burger. I always like to keep it simple with burger joints and go for the signature burger and go for the Brooklyn Classic with skinny fries, but the ribs and wings section is well worth a look as well.
That is a big day of eating, but if you’re game for some snacks to round out the day make your way inland for a 40 minute drive to Witches Chase Cheese Company in Tambourine Mountain and load up on a variety of rich, cheesy goodness for a grazing dinner later on. It closes at 4pm everyday so make sure you get there before then!
Make the drive up to Brisbane (a little over an hour) to get an early start in the state’s capital.
Day 2: Brisbane
Start the day in Indooroopilly with a breakfast at the Nantucket Kitchen & Bar. Also a fine dining establishment and wedding venue, they also do a must try breakkie food.
Then, seeing as you don’t have to hit the road, check out Phat Elephant, for great modern Thai food and delicious cocktails to drink late into the night. (If you stay out real late and get peckish again the Pancake Manor is open until 11pm on the weekend)
Day 3: Brisbane/Gold Coast
Start the day at Harvey’s Bar and Bistro for a classic breakfast experience that every Brisbane local has had at some time in their life. Try the wild mushrooms and lentils on toast, grilled haloumi and lemon or just go standard with eggs and you won’t be disappointed.
For lunch try a Prosciutto Pizza at Julius Pizzeria and then get ready to head back on up the coast. Make sure you’re on your way before 2pm. Not because it is a long drive but so you can snag a sausage roll from Brewbakers before you leave the city.
The drive to the Sunshine Coast takes just under and hour and a half. Once you get there book into Sand Dunes Resort and kill some time before heading to Orleans in Maroochydore for dinner
Day 4: The Sunshine Coast/Noosa
Wake up and make your way over to Palmwoods to eat at Homegrown for great coffee and a fantastic menu full of homegrown ingredients.
To enjoy the rest of the day you can either enjoy the picturesque beaches and squeeze a lazy lunch at Milk and Beans following up with any number of their to-die-for range of sweets, or if you’re feeling more active hit the road and try a tour of some of the best wineries The Sunshine Coast has to offer.
Once you’re done here hit the road again up to Noosa and finish the day with a classic pub meal and local beers at the Bonsai Brewhouse.
Day 5: Noosa
You’re as far north as we’re going now, so we might as well finish off with a bang.
Start the day with amazing pancakes from Noosa Hot Bread Shop. There is also doughnuts, croissants and other delightful pastries on offer, but seriously you won’t be able to go past the pancakes.
Then lunch. The best burgers in Noosa are Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. or simply head down to the Junction Seafoods Market lad up on fresh, fresh seafood and enjoy a lunch with a view anywhere that overlooks the wonderful Noosa Heads Coastline.
With that done you’re on your way back home. Drive down to Sunshine Coast airport with a full belly and start planning your detox on the flight back.
About the author: Sandra Gray promotes tourism in Queensland and runs Sand Dunes Hotel and Resort and is passionate about the local experiences available in her state.