The Sunshine Coast is as it sounds. And it’s perfect for a winter interlude.

The Sunshine Coast is as it sounds, so it's easy to understand why it's a holiday favourite. Just back from its golden shores you've got chilled out coastal towns, and just back from the seaside enclaves a refreshing hinterland that overlooks it all. Spend a weekend here and you'll get why the locals have that healthy glow – spend a week and you'll be indistinguishable from the crowd.

We packed our *togs, shades and SPF, and got stuck into the hard task of searching out some winter sun. From the riverbanks to the beachside hangs and rolling hills beyond, we’ve pinpointed the Sunny Coast’s best places to break away. Ready to get out of your layers and into fresh seafood, rainforest walks, hidden coves and sunsets on the sand? Then get into these eight escapes.

*This is what Queenslanders call 'swimmers'

The Queen, Moffat Beach

the queen

The QUeen

Located along the Moffat Beach headland, The Queen’s hilltop position means incredible views out to the long break and access to the water’s edge by simply strolling down to the sand. This beach house is all about the breezy living areas. The entertaining terrace – sheltered and cooled by the surrounding coastal vegetation – is made for socialising. And when you’re ready to retreat there are sunny nooks and bedroom balconies to read or take a nap. Hot tip: Stop into the area’s Pocket Espresso Bar for a killer iced-coffee to kick-start days at the beach.

Grandview Coolum, Coolum Beach

grandview coolum

Grandview Coolum

Aptly named, this beach house at the highpoint of Coolum has breathtaking ocean views. Capturing the coastline from Mooloolaba to Noosa, here, you’ll want to enjoy your meals alfresco, looking across treetops to the incredibly blue water below. In fact you’re likely to spend most of your time outside. Because with hammocks, cushiony cane chairs and luxury sun loungers, why wouldn’t you? Have a quick kip with the waves crashing in the distance, or curl-up in your favourite chair with a good book. And did we mention the 12-person Jacuzzi? Perfect for everyone piling in, glasses of sparkling in tow. To top it all off, when you pull yourself from the outdoor perches, the beach is an easy 450 metres away.

Noosa Lake House, Lake Weyba

Noosa Lake House

Noosa Lake House

Nestled just back from the beaches of Noosa, staying in the lakes area means secluded shores and plenty of serenity. Right by Lake Weyba, this architect-designed beauty is made for you and your special someone to relax in style. Set on two-acres complete with tennis courts and an outdoor spa, you’ve got everything needed for fun in the sun. Stroll along the banks, pack a picnic to spread-out when you find your favourite spot, and drag the kayaks down to the river for a workout with a view. And at the end of your exploring, you’ll love returning to Noosa Lake House to sit-back on the deck.

Oceans Mooloolaba, Mooloolaba Beach

Oceans Mooloolaba

Oceans Mooloolaba

The Sunshine Coast’s hub for fun and the sun is Mooloolaba’s main strip. And smack bang in the centre of the esplanade’s bustling boutiques, smoothie bars, gelaterias and surf clubs, you’ll find Oceans Mooloolaba towering over the beach. Its luxe lap pool takes in all the action on the shores below, as does the spa. And when you’ve had your fill of golden rays and waves, hire the hotel’s private cinema and enjoy some timeout. Sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it?

Lost in Leela, Maleny

Leela

leela

Lost in Leela sounds a bit mystic sci-fi, doesn’t it? And that’s only the beginning of the curiosity. Two ‘twelve-sided spheres’ sit level with the surrounding treetops – one sphere is for socialising, with a sunken conversation pit and lounge made for kicking back with bottles of wine – the other is for resting, with four bedrooms each accessing a wraparound deck. The house’s design both complements and captures the stunning setting, windows drawing in gorgeous scenery on every side. This is a truly unique back-to-nature retreat, and one you won’t forget soon.

Noosa Holiday House, Castaways Beach

noosa hh

noosa hh

Noosa Holiday House is a fresh white beach pad that matches the sun-soaked, unspoiled surrounds, its massive windows framing the incredibly blue waters of Castaways Beach. While only a few minutes drive from Noosa’s hub, the house’s position on the headland of a quiet stretch of sand makes for one private retreat. With an entertaining deck, pool and bedroom balcony, you won’t be short of spots to enjoy the great weather. We’d suggest grabbing a scoop of organic gelato from Massimo’s on Hastings Street, and savouring the cool treat on a wander through the cove-lined National Park.

Eumarella Shores Retreat, Lake Weyba

eumarella

Eumarella

Another Lake Weyba beauty set in the less-trodden part of this popular coastal enclave, at Eumarella Shores Retreat you can look forward to peace and quiet on the riverbanks. Settled onto a huge eco reserve at the resovoir's edge, there are nine retreats to choose from, each with private lake access and luxe outdoor spaces. We’d recommend luxury lake house ‘Gooloowaa’, located just eight metres from the water with a spacious balcony and its very own boardwalk. With complimentary canoes on offer you can push off from your retreat for a paddle, and when you return, simply step out to assume position on the deck.

Glass on Glasshouse, Glasshouse Mountains

glass on glasshouse

glass on glasshouse

The Sunshine Coast hinterland overlooks rolling farmlands all the way to the sea. And with floor-to-ceiling windows on every side, Glass on Glasshouse takes advantage of the view. Three cottages each look out to the volcanic cores of the Glasshouse Mountains, where many a hiker has climbed to watch the sunrise. Located near the towns of Montville and Maleny, staying here will mean visits to cute cafes, handmade fudge and chocolate shops, and then working it all off on trails through rainforests and around waterfalls.