This is sponsored content for Visit Sunshine Coast.
What is immediately striking about the Sunshine Coast is the lushness of the landscape, and while famous for its beaches, what lies beyond is just as impressive.
The benefits of a terrain crafted from volcanic activity some 25 million years ago are two-fold: you have spectacular vistas from peaks such as Mt Ngungun and Mt Ninderry, and, below, the rich volcanic soils can nurture just about any produce from big pineapples through to therapeutically-charged Lion's Mane mushrooms.
With agritourism one of the fastest growing trends in travel, Sunshine Coast farmers have opened up their gates to share with visitors paddock-to-plate dining experiences, fresh organic produce, and even camel cuddles. There's sure to be something on the menu for every taste.
Boeuf Bourguignon, Steak Diane and Beef Stroganoff. Mushrooms and beef have long been deemed the ultimate food pairing, and this family-run farm is serving up both in droves. You'll find Eastwell Farms in the rolling hinterland pastures of Kin Kin. Home to a unique breed of cattle and exotic mushrooms, visitors will be introduced to the farm's regenerative practices (and unconventional mushroom varieties) through farm trails and open days - including the all-important tasting and online shop.
If the Sunshine Coast could be bottled into one spirit, Sunshine & Sons would be the perfect genie. Step through the distillery door for an interactive experience worth raising a glass to. A tour is the best way to fully understand and appreciate the local favourite's philosophy and commitment to sustainable production. Sip on the essence of the Sunshine Coast under the golden afternoon sunlight, best enjoyed paired with a local cheeseboard from Woombye Cheese that's located just up the road.
From aged cheddars and ash brie, all the way to creamy camemberts, Woombye Cheese has established an enviable reputation for transforming local milk into world-beating cheeses. While the cheese is now available from outlets and restaurants across Australia, visitors to the Sunshine Coast can taste their cheeses in Woombye in a new masterclass session. You can sample six different varieties in an interactive session best enjoyed with good company (like all good cheeses). Be sure to try the Blackall Gold Washed Rind - recently voted Australia's Best Cheese at the 2023 Australia Dairy Awards.
For a one-of-a-kind feel-good encounter, plan a visit to QCamel farm - the world's only Certified Organic Camel Dairy. Not only do they manufacture and sell high quality milk, feta and skincare products, QCamel also offers a 'Camel Cuddles' experience every Saturday. Over 100 of the farm's gentle giants open their arms (well, necks) to welcome visitors and put their friendly personalities on show. After a cuddle, enjoy morning tea while gleaning insights into the farm operations and sample the camel milk products.
Exceptional local produce that speaks for itself is the culinary philosophy of Warrior Restaurant & Bar's Head Chef, Graeme Mair. Opened in early 2023 and nestled among the native bushland at the Irwin family's famed Crocodile Hunter Lodge, the restaurant's menu focuses on local produce from handpicked Sunshine Coast farms and suppliers, complemented by crafted cocktails and an extensive wine list. Graeme's culinary style is a combination of classical techniques and championing local, ethically-sourced ingredients. For the ultimate experience, stay the night at Crocodile Hunter Lodge, dine at Warrior Restaurant and spend the next day exploring Australia Zoo.
Coffee lovers will enjoy Montville Coffee's 'Build your Dream Blend' immersive workshop. Visitors explore each step in the coffee-making process, from discovering the diverse global flavours through to turning coffee from bean to brew. See, smell, sip and taste your way towards a blended brew that hits just the right flavour notes for your own palate. Not only will guests leave well-educated on one of the world's most consumed beverages and the developing countries in which majority of the world's beans are sourced, you'll also be armed with a bag of your very own handmade blend. Located in the coastal hub of Caloundra, Montville Coffee are pioneers in sustainability as a registered B Corp in the business of sourcing Fairtrade, certified organic coffee for all to enjoy.
Perched in absolute serenity on 100 acres of Noosa Hinterland farmland, Mayan Luxe Villas is a farm stay like no other - with an in-house chef to serve up fresh farm produce direct to your villa. Settle back into a hammock with a glass of wine while overlooking the vast paddocks, followed by a sumptuous farm-dining experience. For a truly special luxury stay, Spicers Clovelly Estate's European oasis in the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Montville is the place. Its restaurant, The Long Apron, offers an intimate French bistro experience that's a destination in its own right.
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. On the way, you can enjoy produce on board directly from the Sunshine Coast - including Sunshine & Sons.