By Caitlin Zerafa.
The local winter tourism season has begun, with Visit Sunshine Coast launching the second phase of their ‘Come to Life’ campaign.
The Sunshine Coast is a hotspot for tourists in summer, but the region is also a popular winter destination with a range of activities for those wanting to escape the southern colder weather.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford says the campaign is aimed particularly at those areas with direct flights to the Sunshine Coast airport.
“The campaign demonstrates that we are more than just beaches – of course beaches are a hero but we have also created commercials to highlight our wonders of nature, fresh local food and immersive encounters,” he says.
Queenslanders were also targeted in the campaign to encourage them to holiday close to home.
“The first phase of Come to Life was launched in February 2017 and targeted the drive market of Brisbane and visitors within a four-hour drive radius,” Latchford says.
Latchford says most interstate visitors stay in coastal areas of Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Coolum and Noosa, with Queenslanders opting for the hinterland towns of Montville or Maleny.
Visit Sunshine Coast is hoping visitor numbers will exceed those that broke records in 2016.
According to Tourism and Events Queensland’s regional snapshot results, the Sunshine Coast had nearly 3.4 million domestic visitors and 219,000 international visitors last year.
“Anecdotally from airline figures and also information from our accommodation sector, we know that we are an attractive destination for southerners during the winter months,” Mr Latchford says.
“We want to continue and maintain this growth in 2017.”
Montville’s Secrets on the Lake owner Aldy Johnston says winter is popular as people can still do everything they can in summer without being exhausted by the heat.
“People are able to spend time outdoors because winter days are beautiful weather; it’s not too hot,” she says.
“People can walk the track to Kondalilla Falls and lookouts and take a picnic.”
Travel + Leisure has featured Noosa in their top 50 Best Places to Visit in 2017, a worldwide list that only features two Australian destinations.
Latchford’s top three picks for winter are:
- Book into a cosy hinterland B&B with its own fire
- Swim with humpback whales (seasonal from early July)
- Put on your lycra and get involved or see all the action of global cycling event, Velothon (13-16 July)
Some ideas to do while here:
- Australia Zoo and the Wildlife Hospital
- Taking an eco-cruise or kayak through the Noosa Everglades: one of only two Everglade systems in the world (the other is in Florida)
- Laze by the beach: the Sunshine Coast has more than 100km of beaches
- Four-Wheel Driving: if visitors don’t have their own 4WD, they can take a trip with Great Beach Drive 4WD Tours along the sandy beaches from Noosa to Rainbow Beach return
- Walk and visit waterfalls and lookouts: there are more than 60 national and conservation parks,
- Create your own personalised food trail taking in the region’s best