Things To Do

7 Of The Best Sunshine Coast Events Heating Up Our Calendars This Winter

By Morgan Reardon

The temps might be dropping but your social cal is about to get oh so hot, with the Sunshine Coast hosting a bunch of diverse festivals and events you’re going to want to get around. With clear sunny days ahead, this year-round destination is exactly where you’ll want to be this winter. From culinary adventures to incredible live music gigs under the stars, these are the best Sunshine Coast events and festivals to check out. 

Sunny Coast Showdown

Film buffs converge at this two-day celebration of the big screen, showcasing the Sunshine Coast’s brightest talent. Day one (Friday 21 June) kicks off with a long lunch at Bella Venezia in Mooloolaba where, over wine and delicious eats, you’ll hear stories from film sets from a live panel of industry experts. At night, bliss out to island beats at the Pacific Island Filmfest, where you can catch award-winning short films curated by Film Fiji. The festival culminates with the Showdown Showcase, where a red carpet will make way for the premiere of six locally-made flicks by Sunny Coast creatives. 

The Details

When: Friday 21 June to Saturday 22 June 
Where: Bella Venezia, Mooloolaba and The Station, Birtinya
Get your tickets here

Queensland Garden Expo

garden expo

Green thumbs will want to cancel any plans they have in July, because the Queensland Garden Expo is taking over the hinterland town of Nambour to celebrate its 40th anniversary. There are over 150 free lectures and demos from Australia’s most inspiring landscapers and gardeners, plus a slew of workshops to get your hands dirty at (including some for the kids). You don’t need to be a gardening guru to enjoy it either—catch Aussie gardening royalty, Costa Georgiadis, on The Cook's Garden Stage, as well as chef Matt Gollinksi as he reveals how to truly embrace garden-to-table cooking. Plus there are over 30 food stalls to work your way through so arrive hungry. 

The Details

When: Thursday 4 July to Sunday 7 July
Where: Nambour Showgrounds
Get your tickets here

Noosa ALIVE! Festival

With the sugar-white sands of Main Beach and the lush green hinterland as its stage, the Noosa ALIVE! Festival is a true celebration of art and culture. Expect everything from live music on the beach, theatre, ballet, comedy, opera in the hills and cabaret, to loads of food and wine events at this not-to-be-missed festival spanning 10 days. Looking for a laugh? Catch Tom Gleeson on stage at the J Theatre.  Thriller fans will want to snag a seat at the Crime Panel where Australia’s most beloved crime fiction writers Michael Robotham, Candice Fox and JP Pomare share insights on their craft. And foodies won’t want to miss the three-course seafood feast at Ricky’s River Bar and Restaurant. 

The Details

When: Friday 19 July to Sunday 28 July
Where: Various locations.
Get your tickets here

The Curated Plate 

plate of food

A true nirvana for foodies, prepare for a gastronomic adventure at The Curated Plate. The 10-day program is brimming with drool-worthy food and drink events. While everything on the schedule is worth your time, some of our faves include an Indigenous food cruise in Mooloolaba, a Long Table Lunch in the Maleny Hinterland, and the Asian food festival (yes, we’re talking a food festival within a food festival!). There’s also Chefs in Conversation—hosted by Hayden Quinn, he’ll have a yarn with the coast’s top chefs. And be sure to check out Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry Live at The Station, showcasing the best local eats the coast has to offer. Finally, fill your basket with tasty delights from over 70 of the region's top producers and makers. Hungry? 

The Details

When: Friday 26 July to Sunday 4 August
Where: Various locations.
Get your tickets here

The Rangebow Festival

While we don’t like to play favourites, this festival is seriously special. The not-for-profit Rangebow Festival is all about celebrating diversity, sustainability, creativity, reconciliation and expression via a packed program of art, drag, opera, music, and First Nations food and cultural experiences. Running for a long weekend across multiple sites in the stunning hinterland—Maleny, Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton—this festival is utterly soul-nourishing. With more than 30 events and activities to explore, gather your crew and start planning your visit now. 

The Details

When: Thursday 1 August to Sunday 4 August
Where: Various locations
Get your tickets here.

Australian Wearable Art Festival

two girls at wearable art festival

Art and fashion collide at this unique festival, where designers and artists get the chance to showcase their thought-provoking works on a 27-metre-long catwalk. Taking place in Bokarina in August, there'll be 40 incredible entries to marvel at—both from Australia and right around the world. Immerse yourself in the world of creative expression and discover how high-end fashion and the sculptural world combine across the festival’s four main categories—Trashion, Sustainability, Avant Garde and Floriana. Prepare to have your mind blown. 

The Details

When: Friday 9 August to Saturday 10 August 
Where: Bokarina 
Get your tickets here

Gympie Music Muster

Grab your cowboy hat and dig out your swag, because the Gympie Music Muster is back and it’s a guaranteed good time. Running from 22 to 25 August, vibe out to more than 100 artists (think: Brad Cox, Chris Cain and Lee Kernaghan) performing across six venues nestled within the green wonderland of Amamoor State Forest. With the soundtrack of country, roots, blues, folk and rock music filling your days - as well as workshops, bush poets and a kids club to check out - at night, you’ll camp under the stars. It’s an absolute must-do event this winter on the Sunshine Coast.

The Details

When: Thursday 22 August to Sunday 25 August
Where: Amamoor Creek State Forest
Get your tickets here.

With golden beaches, a lush hinterland and a vibing food and bevvy scene, there’s loads more to explore on the Sunshine Coast. Start planning your next getaway right here

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Visit Sunshine Coast and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. To find out more about who we work with and why read our editorial policy here.

Image credit: Supplied.

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