Struggling to get your match’s digits? Never get to go on any good dates around the Coast? (Being bought a $4 vodka basic at Fridays—sorry, the Helm—doesn’t count.) Say no more!
We’ve handpicked 37 of the most date-worthy (least cringe-worthy) activities for you and your could-be love, that are guaranteed to make you seem like the most thoughtful, organised, mature, effortlessly cool single person left on the Sunshine Coast.
Whether you’re swiping right on Tinder or bumping into your beau three cocktails in at Lot 104, listen up and prepare to virtually high five us for creating what we’d like to label “Dating for Dummies: The Sunshine Coast edition”.
1. Go to Betty’s Burgers and help each other choose the best angle and filter for an Insty close-up of your pulled pork and slaw—Valencia is always a winner.
2. Borrow a trusted pal’s ute, fill it with cushions and blankets, and drive up to Gerrard’s Lookout in between Montville and Maleny for a romantic stargazing session. Make sure your date is definitely not a serial killer before trying this one—it’s secluded.
3. Check out the next Starry Nights Outdoor Movies at Eumundi and channel Sandy and Danny (or Rizzo and Kenickie if the chemistry is really good) with a cuddly evening of screen-watching .
4. Go to the Beach Bar and Grill Mooloolaba on a Thursday night, order two cheap parmies and guess which other couples are also on a first date.
5. Test your mood compatibility by hiring two kayaks and paddling against the tide along Pumicestone Passage. Not only will you get a wicked arm workout, you’ll figure out early on how your could-be partner handles frustration!
6. Book a canapés and vino lunch at Flame Hill Vineyard and let the wine drive the conversation. In all seriousness, this will get to you second date status. No questions asked.
7. Take your special someone for a skatey sesh at the Caloundra Rollerdrome. There’s nothing like some uncoordinated amateur roller-skating to encourage hand-holding on a first date.
8. Head to the Noosa Farmers Markets, pick a bounty of fresh produce and drop hints you’d like your crush to cook something for you…“I’m really craving pesto anchovy gnocchi today”.
9. Rate each other’s flexibility by attending a SUP yoga session together. Now, get your mind out of the gutter!
10. Channel The Notebook and do the rope swing at Gardner’s Falls. If you blur your eyes, he/she might look a bit like Ryan Gosling/Rachel McAdams.
11. Have a game of mini golf at Top Shots Maroochydore and see how patient he/she is waiting for the kids in front of you to hurry up. Parent material? Tick!
12. Actually Netflix and chill together (we recommend a Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black or Jessica Jones binge). Always better with a bag of crispy M&M’s.
13. Go out for a $15 prawn linguini special at The Bridge Seafoods in Minyama—awesome quality food, beautiful presentation and easy on the pocket if your date turns out to be a dud.
14. Show off your wild side and take him/her koala spotting in the Noosa National Park. This will make you seem local, cultured, and earthy—even better if you suggest sharing an organic, gluten-free quinoa-based meal afterward.
15. Impress them with your foodie skills over an afternoon of yum cha at Embassy XO in Sunshine Beach. Seriously cute décor, seriously delicious eats.
16. Show off your dance moves and steal a sneaky kiss in the dark at the next No Lights No Lycra session in Nambour. Seriously though fellas, hold on the Lycra.
17. Share a chocolate brownie sundae at Ben and Jerry’s Mooloolaba and take special note of if they mention carb-loading, protein and/or calories. RED FLAG.
18. Test some beds on sale day at Harvey Norman. This way you’ll know which one to layby once your engaged/married/makin’ babies.
19. Get a big bag of juicy fresh prawns from Fisheries On The Spit at Mooloolaba, pack your best Mandala throw and have a sunset picnic at the water’s edge.
20. Surprise them with a day at the Aqua Fun Park and try your hardest not to crack a tooth with your impressive leaping skills. Girls, this is not an occasion to wear your new itty bitty, chic bikini.
21. If you’ve seen Ghost, you’ll know it worked for Patrick Swayze. Get handsy with your girl/guy during a pottery lesson.
22. Pack your best brie and go for a rainforest picnic on the green at Buderim Falls. A rainy stroll and waterfall never fails to impress!
23. Do a day trip to Rainbow Beach and write each other’s name with love hearts in the sand at Carlo Sand Blow.
24. Go yabby pumping on low tide at Cotton Tree Beach (don’t go if he/she is squeamish).
25. Turn it into a weekend-long date by taking your bounty of yabbies and going for a romantic fish at Baroon Pocket Dam. Fishing is romantic, right?
26. Go for a splurge shop together at Colin James Fine Foods in Maleny and sample the Wedding Cheese Tower for good measure.
27. The mother of all first dates (in our opinion), take your admirer on a sunset Set Sail yacht cruise across the Mooloolaba breakwater. At $30 per person with antipasto and champers included, it’s almost cheaper than a pub feed, and with better views too!
28. Hold out on your date until the next Nights on Ocean, then reel them back in again with the promise of market-quality salt and pepper squid, washed down with a Nutella cronut. Mmmmmm!
29. Get their heart racing (LOL) with a few phat laps at Landsborough’s Big Kart Track. Is there anything more attractive than a low speed crash on a first date?
30. If you’re not into trying too hard, the classic meal and rom-com works a treat at Sunshine Plaza. We recommend the newly renovated and super lush Rozzi’s Italian Canteen for a pre-cinema feast.
31. Go bush to beach on a dreamy beach horse ride at Noosa’s North Shore. Wear all white and take a portable speaker so you can play “You are the wind beneath my wings” as you ride into the breeze together.
32. Polish their culinary skills from the get-go with a cooking lesson at The Spirit House Cooking School. Lunch is included and you’ll also get to sample the wine, so he/she won’t even notice when you burn the hokkien noodles. Score!
33. Have a night in and order takeaway Thai. Stop by Dan’s for a bottle of red on the pick-up route and you’ll be in for a good night.
34. Take each other on with a game of indoor laser skirmish at Laser Zone Kawana. Bonus points if you go during school hours. Keep it adult friendly, but remember you’ll have CCTV watching.
35. Share a potato slinky and a snog at Eumundi Markets on a Saturday morning. If you want to seem smarter than you really are, suggest a quick peep at Berkelouw Books just across the road—“Last time I was here I bought an original edition of Lord Byron’s The Siege of Corinth”.
36. Show him or her that you’re not afraid to tuck into a taco or two, with the Tunes and Tacos Sunday special at Prickly Piñata. Who can say no to $5 tacos?
37. Surprise your fellow lovebird with a chocolate hunt at Sweet Tempered Chocolateria. Keep in mind dark chocolate is totally an aphrodisiac…