Cocktails, white tablecloths, and leather-bound menus TOTALLY have their place…
But that place is inside, with glass and furniture and an almost impenetrable labyrinth of prams between you and the great outdoors.
Forget about being cooped up inside over the summer and make the most of our beaches, hinterland, lakes, and rivers with the ultimate Aussie dining experience—the BBQ.
Fill your esky with a few of bottles of sparkling, pick up a couple of kilos of prawns and fresh lemon wedges, smoky paprika-spiced steaks, old-fashioned snags, or even marinated mushrooms and haloumi if that’s your thing (true Aussie BBQs are totally non-discriminatory), because we’ve rounded up the Sunshine Coast’s best BBQ spots with stunning views.
Noosa Botanic Gardens | Lake MacDonald
This secret spot is tucked away in Cooroy, on the shore of Lake MacDonald. The Noosa Botanic Gardens are eight hectares of romantic, flower-lined paths, a Grecian amphitheatre, and stunning views of the lake. And best of all, they’re open 24/7, so you can even sneak in for a moonlight picnic. Just alongside the gardens, on the opposite side of the boat ramp, there’s a park with a couple of electric BBQs under the tall gum trees. And if you have any leftovers from your BBQ, chuck them in at the edge of the lake and you might be lucky enough to get a visit from the googly-eyed turtles that live here. This is a leashed dog area too, so don’t forget to bring along your best furry buddy.
James McKane Memorial Lookout | Cooran
There’s some parts of the Sunshine Coast that people don’t think of as “the Coast”. Cooran is almost at the edge of the Mary Valley, but it’s still only than half an hour from Noosa and totally worth the drive! The BBQ spots are next to undercover picnic areas, and the endless views of the Noosa Hinterland are spectacular.
Peregian Beach Park | Peregian Beach
Home of the Peregian Originals, a sick-as skate park, and some of my favourite playground equipment (yeah, I pretend I’m there for the kids, but I’ll really use any excuse to go down a slide), this park is just as good when there’s no markets or music happening. You’re so close to the beach, you have to be careful not to get sand in your mojito, but you’re still near enough to BBQs, picnic tables, and toilets that you don’t quite feel like you’re roughing it.
Glass House Mountains Lookout | Beerburrum
You’ll feel like the king of the world, surveying your domain as you gaze up north towards the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, out towards the Coast to Caloundra and south to Brisbane. Sausage sandwiches (white bread and tommy sauce only, please!) cooked on the free gas BBQs just make it that much sweeter.
Lions Park | Noosaville
While some BBQ areas are always a bit crowded and you are stuck queuing behind a group of 25 people celebrating a family reunion, this place always has plenty of space. There are half a dozen BBQ spots lining the river walk, so even if Beryl and Shirl are taking their time cooking 150 honey soy chicken satays, you can always find a (clean, well-maintained) BBQ to fire up. The covered eating areas are well-lit, with plenty of power points to hook up your portable speakers, and the playground has just had a massive overhaul and is full of heaps of kids’ equipment. And we’ll let you in on a secret—sunsets on the river are next-level.
Clarke Place Park | Happy Valley, Caloundra
This spot is a favourite for weddings, which gives you an idea of how beautiful it is. The park overlooks Happy Valley with a great kids playground, BBQs, and picnic tables. And if you burn the bacon and egg rolls on the BBQ, you’re just a stone’s throw from some of the best breakfasts in Caloundra.
Russell Park | Noosaville
As long as you don’t mind a few kids running about, and people hanging their towels out to dry, this spot is stunning, overlooking the mouth of the Noosa River, alongside the caravan park. The BBQs practically back on to the sand, and the water is really calm, so don’t forget to bring your togs for a dip. Stop off on your way and pick up some of the most epic sausages on the Coast. We recommend the wagyu and black pepper.
Cotton Tree Park | Cotton Tree
If you like your BBQs with a bit of room to run and lots of activity, this spot is for you. The wide open spaces are perfect for kicking a ball about, there’s a SUP hire place right in the carpark, and you’re ON the Maroochy River. There’s undercover BBQ areas, plenty of seating right on the water’s edge, and an epic kids’ playground with lots of “nature play” like logs, sand pits, and sandstone boulders to climb.
RSL Memorial Park | Tewantin
Located at the end of the Tewantin shops, just opposite the RSL, this covered BBQ spot is right at the top of the hill with stunning views of the Noosa River. And the hill is pretty awesome for rolling down. Just sayin’. There’s heaps of parking, and you’re just two minutes from Zabe Espresso if you need a caffeine hit. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the resident pair of sea eagles fishing for their lunch.
Need to impress the barbecuing clan with some delicious meat? Well then, it’s time you met some of the best butchers on the Sunshine Coast.
Image Credit: Find Your Sausage Sizzle