- Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Infobox Australian Place | type = region
name = Sunshine Coast
state = qld
pop = 290,645* (2005)ABS LGA statistics of Caloundra, Maroochy & Noosa [http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/3218.0Main%20Features42004-05?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3218.0&issue=2004-05&num=&view=] ]
poprank = 11th
stategov = Caloundra, Maroochydore, Kawana, Noosa, Nicklin
dist1 = 100
location1= BrisbaneThe Sunshine Coast (population 290,645 with up to an additional 50,000 in visitors and seasonal workers) is a coastal region located in
South East Queensland, north of the Queenslandcapital of Brisbane. The Sunshine Coast has recently been united into a single Local Government Area, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
The Sunshine Coast is bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the east, and extends to the local government boundaries beyond the
Blackall Rangeto the west. Occasionally, the towns of Gympie, which is 30 minutes' drive north of Noosa Heads, and Caboolture, 30 mins drive south of Caloundra, have been included in a broader definition of the Sunshine Coast region.
Since the Glass House Mountains were first sighted by
James Cookfrom the deck of HM Bark Endeavourin 1770, the Sunshine Coast's history has been as diverse and colourful as its scenery.
The Sunshine Coast's first white inhabitants were three castaways who shared the life of the Aborigines for 8 months; it became the home of numerous runaway convicts who preferred life among the Aborigines to the living hell of the Moreton Bay Convict Establishment; it was the scene of some of the most bitter skirmishes of Australia's '
Timbergetters used its rivers and lakes as seaways to float out their great logs of cedar, gold diggers scaled its mountains to reach the Gympie gold. With the coming of the railway line to Gympie, the coastal towns, founded as ports for its early river trade, were bypassed, and grew slowly into quiet holiday resorts whose peace remained undisturbed until the development boom of the 1960s and 1970s - just 200 years after Cook had passed that way. Queensland Government Profile of the Sunshine Coast [http://www.health.qld.gov.au/hospitals/community_profiles/profile.asp?ProfileName=Sunshine%20Coast] ]
Localities and suburbs within the Sunshine Coast region include Maroochy Shire suburbs such as Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore, Buderim and Nambour. The Sunshine Coast also produces many varieties of
tropical fruitand nuts and, until recently, sugar cane.
The region is characterized by beautiful beaches, expansive coastal views and rich fertile soils in the hinterland. Many World and Australian-renowned beaches are located at Noosa Heads, Alexandra Headland,
Mooloolaba, Coolum and Kings Beach in Caloundra. There are popular surfing areas along the beaches and headlands.
The Sunshine Coast is a centre for
tourism, containing attractions such as Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, UnderWater World marine park, Aussie World with the Ettamogah Pub, The Buderim Ginger Factory, Big Pineapple and the Majestic Theatre.
The Sunshine Coast region is home to more individual
national parksthan any other region in QueenslandSunshine Coast Australia.com National Parks Section [http://www.sunshinecoast.org/things_to_see/national-parks.cfm] ] . The natural biodiversity of the area has been protected by five separate parks in both coastal and inland regions, including Mapleton Falls National Park, Kondalilla National Park, The Glasshouse Mountains National Park, Noosa National Park, and the Great Sandy National Park, which includes sections on Fraser Islandand in Cooloola near Rainbow Beach.
The Sunshine Coast boasts numerous
golf links, including North Lakes, Pacific Harbour, Noosa Springs, Peregian Springs, Twin Waters, Hyatt Regency Coolum and Pelican Waters.
The Sunshine Coast's infrastructure includes, but is not limited to:
*Universities - The major university campus being the
University of the Sunshine Coast, with Central Queensland Universityhaving a small campus based in Noosa.
*TAFE - five campuses at Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Nambour & Noosa.
Schools - Many varied denomination, private and public primary and secondary schools.
Siena Catholic College
Sunshine Coast Grammar School
Nambour Hospital is the region's major hospital and attended to over 35,000 cases in 2005Nambour Hospital Profile [http://www.health.qld.gov.au/wwwprofiles/sunshine_nambour_hosp.asp] ] . There are smaller hospitals located in Caloundra & Maleny, but due to limited facilities at those hospitals, most cases are referred to Nambour Hospital, thus leading to overcrowding & under-staffing at Nambour Hospital.
A number of private hospitals exist throughout the region, most notably The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital at Buderim, Caloundra Private Hospital (formerly known as Andrea Ahern) at Caloundra, Selangor Hospital at Nambour, the recently established Kawana Private Hospital, and smaller facilities at Noosa.
The car is the dominant mode of transport for Sunshine Coast residents, with the region connected to Brisbane via the
Bruce Highway. The Nicklin Way & Sunshine Motorwayare the major arterial roads, which passes through most major areas of the Sunshine Coast. Many Intercity and interstate coach operators also operate daily bus services to Brisbane using the major corridors.
Flights from the Sunshine Coast depart from
Sunshine Coast Airport10 km north of Maroochydore and fly direct to Sydney, Adelaideand Melbournewith Jetstar, Virgin Blueand Tiger Airways.
The Sunshine Coast has an extensive public transport network, with QR
Citytrain's Nambour and Gympie North railway line operating numerous interurban services daily, with most trains running express between Caboolture and Bowen Hills stations. The train lines run through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, connecting buses run to the coastal strip. Going north beyond Nambour station the trains only run once or twice per day.
Bus services are operated by Sunbus, which operates under the TransLink public transport system, in which buses connects the suburbs and localities within the Caloundra, Maroochy and Noosa Local Government Areas. Noosa Shire Council operates free bus services connecting Noosa Heads to surrounding suburbs and major park and ride stations during the peak summer holiday period.
There is a public ferry that operates between Tewantin, Noosaville, Noosa Waters, Northside and Noosa Heads
Youth culture on the Sunshine Coast is limited to a small number of facilities. The most popular youth area is the
Sunshine Plaza, a large river-side shopping centre located in Maroochydore close to the mouth of the Maroochy River, and Mooloolaba close to the mouth of the Mooloolah River, where many diverse groups gather for shopping, fun, night-clubbing and entertainment.
There are numerous skate parks on the Sunshine Coast, with one of the most popular being at Alexandra Headland.
There are a number of Youth Groups on the Sunshine Coast, some of the biggest being [http://goodlifeyouth.org/ Goodlife] , [http://www.suncoastcoc.org.au/ Suncoast] , and [http://www.myspace.com/kingsyouth_empire Kings] .
* Schoolies (November)
* [http://www.sunshinecoastfinda.com.au/ Sunshine Coast finda ] - Local news and community events for the Sunshine Coast, QLD.
* [http://www.sunshinecoast.org/ Sunshine Coast Tourism Board] - Includes information on how to reach the Coast.
* [http://www.thedaily.com.au/ Sunshine Coast Daily ] - Newspaper of the Sunshine Coast.
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