On the Sunshine Coast, romantic dates generally involve ultra sunshine-y, above 27 degrees, outdoorsy kinda activities.
But for a few short months of the year the temperature does drop below 20 and we experience what we call “winter” (although many may argue it’s warrant to be dubbed that).
Alas, when you spend most of your year trying to find the perfect spot/outfit/activity to keep cool, transitioning to this cold spell for us locals can be hard… Especially if we’re trying to add romance to the mix.
So here are 23.5 romantic things to do on the Sunshine Coast this winter…
1. Jump in the ocean. I know, I know—it’s cooooold. But that’s what makes it fun. Go to the beach, strip off (ummm, not completely), hold hands, and run into that big cold ocean. Splash around, have a quick smooch, and then get the heck outta there. If you’re smart, you’ll use the sudden chill as an excuse to get a bit cosy with your could-be lover.
2. Make a fire. If you’re living in a unit, probably don’t make a fire. But if you have a yard, instead of dropping $100 on a meal, drop it on a fire pit or brazier, and get some flames roaring. (You know that totally means toasted marshmallows, right?)
3. Scrabble is romantic. I don’t care what anyone says, there is nothing more romantic than whipping your bf or gf in a good, friendly (or not-so-friendly) game of scrabble.
4. Book a cabin staycation. They’re cosy, private, and can be found surrounded by lush forests or sitting on the shores of lakes—romance central! Grab your lover and book a staycation at one of these 10 cabins or cottages on the Sunshine Coast.
5. The at-home cinema. Going to the cinema has been done, over and over and over… and over. But watching movies is still awesome, so do it differently by creating an at-home cinema. Drag a mattress into the lounge room, gather all the cushions and blankets you can find (maybe keep Grandma’s old lap blanket aside for another time), and make super buttery popcorn. You can even try your hand at DIY choc tops. Sounds pretty epic, no?
6. Stay in your PJs. All. Day. Long.
7. Take a bath together. Light a bunch of candles, pour a steaming hot bath, drop in a Soak Society bath soak, and rellllaaaxxxx.
8. Climb a mountain. Okay, so getting super sweaty isn’t the most romantic thing. But wait, it’s winter. You can climb a mountain sans sweat! Mount Coolum is a great one, it’s a steep but short hike with magnificent views of the coastline.
9. Learn something new. The Coast has loads of courses. Spanish? Salsa? Pottery? Swing dancing? Painting? With most you can sign up for weekly classes, which basically means this is romance you can keep milking for weeks.
10. Dine by a fireplace. Dine by firelight at one of these Sunshine Coast restaurants with fireplaces.
11. Noosa National Park Coastal Hike. This isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s 5.4km from Noosa to Sunshine Beach, takes around 2-3 hours, and is unbelievably stunning the entire way. If you’re up for the whole day do the return trip (4-6 hours), otherwise park at one end and catch a bus or Uber back to your car.
12. Cook dinner together. No, not bangers and mash. Decide (together) on a slightly challenging recipe, get a nice bottle of wine (or two), play some sweet tunes, and slowly cook your meal between intermittent kisses, occasional dance moves, and booty grabs with food-covered-hands.
13. The bouquet alternative. If you’re a sucker for a bouquet but want something a little different, instead of flowers gift your special someone a plant. Note: make sure it’s one that doesn’t need too much attention in case they don’t have a green thumb. For a serious dose of plant-giving inspo, check out these 8 indoor plants that are super cute and super easy to look after.
14. Go for hot chocolate. Swap the gelato date with a hot chocolate date and try one of the 6 best hot chocolates on the Sunshine Coast.
15. Second-hand scouting. Head to Nambour and trail their treasure trove of op shops, antique centres, and charity shops. Every find will be a special little reminder of your lives together. Naaww.
16. Go bowling. Head on down to Sun City Ten Pin in Alex for some old school bowling. Don’t forget your socks. Otherwise, ewwww.
17. Drunch. Two words: drunk lunch. Why wait for dinner to dive into the cocktails? Make a lunch date and have a bloody mary for your entree, an old fashioned as your side dish, and an espresso martini for dessert.
18. Head to a charming old pub. Pubs can be stink-holes where the only soundtrack is the ding of slot machines… or they can be filled with old-world charm and the smell of home-cooked meals. The latter makes for a great date spot and luckily we have some of those charming old school pubs on the Sunshine Coast.
19. Drive into the hills. Car heater on and tunes blasting, take a lazy weekend drive towards Maleny, Montville, and Mapleton. The winding roads are magnets for jaw-dropping views, lush greens, the odd cow, and some great (uber romantic) lookouts.
20. DIY antipasto platter. Go to Belmondo’s Organic Market in Noosa or B Fresh Deli in Warana and stock up on delectable cheeses, dips, cold meats, fancy crackers, and organic fruit. Then take those goodies to wherever you please and eat them all up… a glass of champagne won’t go astray either.
21. Read out loud to each other. Find a book you both dig and take turns reading to each other.
22. Have a “sicky” date. There’s nothing more romantic than doing something a little naughty. Call in a sicky, order takeaway, watch movies, and just relish in each other’s company. Just make sure you don’t look too loved-up when you return to work the next day.
23. Date drinks. Going out for drinks is something we usually reserve for nights out with friends, but it’s loads of fun with just your loved one. Head to Whisky Boy (don’t drive there, you’re catching an Uber home) and enjoy their hefty selection of whisky, gin, cocktails, and wine. Hinterland peeps, Rick’s Garage just got a new whisky bar and it has your name all over it.
23.5. Make no plans. This only gets half a point because it’s not really a thing to do. It’s precisely the opposite. Make absolutely no plans, wake up, and just do whatever you feel like all day long. It might sound simple, but it’s a luxury most of us never give ourselves and there’s loads of opportunity for all kinds of romantic spontaneity.
Craving more romance in your life? Check out 23 of the most romantic things to do on the Sunshine Coast.
Image Credit: 500 Days of Summer