Kick off the new year with a summer carnival, cruise ship themed cabaret, banging live music festivals, a new whisky and gin distillery and a decadent espresso martini festival.
If you’re looking for ways to start 2021 the right way (and say cya to 2020), then load up your calendar and check out our epic list of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast this January.
Sunshine Coast Jazz and Brews Fest
Let’s celebrate the return of live music with the Sunshine Coast’s first jazz and beer festival! The Sunshine Coast Jazz and Brews Fest is set to be six hours of craft beers, fine wines, gourmet nibbles and incredible jazz from some of Queensland’s top jazz artists. Sit under the marquee or dine under the stars and sip a smooth brew as you enjoy swinging classics, gypsy jazz, smooth grooves, soulful singers and incredible world jazz. This is not just for the hardcore jazz lovers, there will be plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained and if in doubt, head to the grazing tables or indulgent dessert stations. Need we say more?
When: Sunday 24 January, 3pm-9pm
Where: Glass House Brewery, 330 Mons Road, Forest Glen
Comedic cabaret set on board a cruise liner? Count us in! Holy Ship is an action-packed, comedic cruise ship cabaret which is set to be a night of boat rocking fun. Experience the hospitality and entertainment of cruising without having to leave port and with drinks flowing all night, you might just get ship faced. This is defs going to be one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast this January — whether you’re a repeat cruiser or virgin voyager, this is one itinerary you don’t want to miss.
When: 21-23 January
Where: The Link Theatre, 16 Mitchell St, Nambour
Espresso Martini Festival
The espresso martini has fast become the go-to drink of our coffee-loving, alcohol-sodden times and what better way to celebrate our favourite cocktail than with a festival dedicated to it? The Espresso Martini Festival, held at Kings Beach Tavern, will be pumping out classic espresso martinis, Golden Gaytime martinis and double choc chip martinis all night long, so be sure to enjoy the deliciously decadent takes on a true classic. Bring your fellow cocktails lovers and boogie away the evening to the epic lineup of classic tunes.
When: Saturday 30 January, 9pm-2am
Where: Kings Beach Tavern, Caloundra
20 20 Distillery
A brand-new distillery slinging single-malt whisky and premium gins has just hit the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and you’ve gotta check it out ASAP. 20 20 Distillery oozes laidback vibes in the funky warehouse space and has taken things back to their roots by showcasing traditional distillery methods dating back to the 1800s. The extensive gin menu will send gin lovers into a frenzy—think creative twists on martinis, negronis and seltzers—and if gin isn’t your tipple you’ll be well looked after with their wide selection of draught beers. Bookings are essential so grab your pals and check out the hottest new kid on the block.
When: Open Friday 3pm-8pm, Saturday and Sunday midday-8pm
Where: U1/5 Taylor Ct, Cooroy
If you’re anything like us, you’re dying to get your groove on at a festival. Well, we’re here to deliver good news—Airwaves Festival is blasting off at the newly opened NightQuarter this January and boasts a banging lineup that is truly out of this world. The outer space themed festival is showcasing Sneaky Sound System, Boo Seeka, Bootleg Rascal, Peach Fur, Space Cowboy and many more talented artists which are sure to get your good vibes flowing. Tickets include entry to post festival kick-ons and DJ sets at the Malt Shovel Taphouse, so what are you waiting for? Get those tickets, pronto.
When: 23-24 January, 2pm onwards
Where: NightQuarter, Birtinya
The Bavarian Bottomless Boards
If you didn’t get your fix of charcuterie boards piled with endless amounts of gourmet meats and cheeses over the holiday period don’t fret. Thanks to The Bavarian, who's dishing up bottomless meat and cheese boards, filled with gourmet cheese, hams, liverwurst, pretzels and more, for all of January, it’s safe to say that you haven’t missed your chance to indulge this summer. Be sure to wear loose pants because you have 90 minutes to eat your fill and everything will be replenished once you’ve finished, so you might just end up rolling out of there.
When: Until 31 January
Where: All The Bavarian locations
Cost: $25 per person (minimum two diners)
Summertime Vino and Vibes
Summer is well and truly here so celebrate these sunny months in style at the month-long Vino and Vibes pop up event overlooking the gorgeous Mooloolaba Beach. Sip on your favourite vino, sample the latest releases and nibble on buckets of Mooloolaba’s famous fresh prawns (perfect for pairing with a cheeky glass or two). Relax to the tunes of local buskers and settle in for a balmy afternoon of summer vibes.
When: Every day until 5 Feb, 2pm-8pm
Where: 13 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba
Alex Summer Carnival
Everyone loves a good old-fashioned carnival so round up the kids (big and small) and head to the Alex Summer Carnival to join in the funfair. If you’re feeling brave, jump on Australia’s biggest touring Ferris Wheel or bring out your inner kid with dodgems, sideshow games and circus workshops. Dagwood dogs, fairy floss and live entertainment are sure to bring back the nostalgia and keep you busy. We reckon spending a day at the sun-kissed beach and heading to the Alex Summer Carnival at night is the perfect summer day, sorted.
When: Every day until 12 January, 5pm-10pm
Where: Alexandra Park Conference Centre
Cost: $3 per person
Bearfoot and Band of Frequencies
Two of the Sunny Coast’s biggest acts are coming together for an epic night of tunes, to kick 2021 off the right way. As part of the NightQuarter ‘Rise’ series—a concert series with a curated lineup of the most explosive local live acts—homegrown talent Bearfoot and Band of Frequencies will be bringing the night to life this January with reggae-meets-dub and genre-bending beats. Before you settle in for a night of high-energy performances, sink a few at NightQuarter’s themed bars and grab a nibble at the foodie stalls.
When: Friday 22 January, 4pm-10pm
Where: NightQuarter, Birtinya
Coastline BMW Sunshine Coast Cup Day
Fashion, drinking, punting and friends - nothing quite says summer like a day at the races. The Coastline BMW Sunshine Coast Cup Day is kicking off January in style and is set to be an epic day of summer vibes, drinking trackside and kicking off your heels (obvs). Bring along the whole family with free entry for under 18s and they’ll be kept busy with the rock-climbing wall and jumping castle. If you’re looking for a more exclusive experience, there’s a range of packages to spoil you including drinks and lunch, premium seating and prime viewing. Start planning your race day outfit because they’re back in action!
When: Saturday 30 January, 10:30am onwards
Where: Sunshine Coast Turf Club
Cost: General Admission Adults: $20, Seniors $15, Under 18’s: Free
If you’re strapped for cash after a wild holiday season, don’t fear—Australian Venue Co. has created the ultimate, multi-venue happy hour which will save your pennies. During “Happy Days”, you’ll be able to cop 50% off your food and drink bill at all of their venues, from 5-6pm every single day until 31 January. No, we’re not joking. There’s a whole heap of taverns and pubs you can check out, so round up the squad and get excited to actually stick to your budget this January.
When: Until 31 January, 5pm-6pm
Where: Australian Venue Co. restaurants in Queensland
Summer Series Foodie Markets
The iconic Eumundi Markets are mixing it up with groovy tunes and delicious market food this month. The Summer Series Foodie Markets will be showcasing Sunny Coast favs, Band of Frequencies and The Moonsets, so you can kick back, browse the delightful range of local stalls and listen to the sweet tunes of talented artists. Tuck into the gourmet food on offer but be sure to leave room for Eumundi’s famous potato slinkies. Friday night plans, sorted.
When: Friday 15 and 22 January, 5pm-8:30pm
Where: 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi
Image credit: Lumea Photo for Urban List