5 Reasons Why Australia’s Sunshine Coast Is The Next Big Gourmet Destination

Go beyond Australia's biggest gourmet market and the highest concentration of gin distilleries and beer breweries in the Sushine Coast.

Published On Jun 14, 2023 | Updated On Mar 06, 2024

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While the region around Brisbane and Gold Coast is already popular among international travellers, it is the Sunshine Coast - a cluster of coastal villages and towns - that has come under the radar of trendy travellers. Not only has it become a hotbed of culinary activity, with celebrity chefs setting up base here, but it also boasts a thriving gin and beer culture. Of course, the quintessentially Australian outdoor, adventure activities can be found at every corner. We recently explored Sunshine Coast and here are our recommendations.

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An absolute must-do when in the region is the Saturday market in the tiny town of Eumundi. During the week, this might be just any other sleepy rural Aussie town, but it all comes alive on Saturday morning with Australia’s biggest gourmet market. You will see anywhere between 300-400 independent producers descending upon the main square of Eumundi selling things with a strong focus on local. From stores selling local flavoured honey, farmers with black garlic, butchers with prime cold cuts, dealers of local macadamia nuts and more. Besides farm produce, you can also try out coffee from local coffee roasters, gourmet sandwiches, pie sellers and more.

The Original Eumundi Markets is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

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For all those who’ve followed celebrity Australian-Sri Lankan chef Peter Kuruvita’s culinary journeys on TV, don’t forget to visit his ultra-chic outpost, Alba, in Noosa. We lunched here in the company of Peter himself, who showed us around the cavernous space, which also includes a private kitchen theatre for hosted dining experiences with the chef. Here, between headily spiced courses of local lobster, barramundi and lamb, fused into Sri Lankan favourites like kotthu, black curry and a selection of Sri Lankan sambols, Peter will chat with you about how he put Sri Lankan fare on the global page. At Alba, you can even book yourself into a Sri Lankan cooking class with Peter. 

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We absolutely love it when chefs set up shop in the most nondescript of locations. This is exactly what celebrity Australian pâtissier Adriano Zumbo - a MasterChef Australia regular - has done. In the back alleys of Noosa, discreetly tucked away behind a parking lot, with no visible branding, Adriano’s highly-rated patisserie is Noosa’s hot address. We hunted Zumbo Test down, following multiple rave reviews, to find a cheerful Adriano behind the counter, serving up some highly desirable (and Instagram-worthy) pastries, along with great local gourmet coffee. We absolutely loved the Zumbarons (Zumbo macarons), the tarte au citron and the tart with chocolate, caramel and macadamia. 

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Fun fact: locals tell us that Queensland’s Sunshine Coast possibly has the highest concentration of gin distilleries and beer breweries in Australia. Given the profusion of local breweries and cool gin brands regularly dotting the region, the cocktail scene here is thriving… all fuelled by local labels. We dropped into the Heads of Noosa Brewing Company, which specialises in Noosa-brewed lagers. The brewery is situated in a massive 1,700 sq metre warehouse-style space, which also has a large taproom, where you can enjoy a sampling portion of these homegrown brews. This would include a Japanese-style lager, a fruity Amber lager, a Bavarian-style pilsner and a mid-strength Australian lager. 

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When in Noosa, don’t forget to check out one of the hottest tables in town. The interestingly named Sum Yung Guys is a modern Asian eatery tucked away in a quiet suburb of Noosa. This cavernous restaurant cum bar is packed to the rafters so book your table well in advance. The concept at Sum Yung Guys borrows from the culinary traditions of Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and even China, but is presented in a sharing format, using proudly Australian produce and ingredients. We absolutely loved the soy braised eggplant, the classic pad Thai, short ribs with garlic and kafir lime and the roast duck curry served with fresh Asian vegetables. The cocktail list is pretty impressive too. 


Photo: Eumundi Markets; respective restaurants

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