The minimum legal 'drinking' age is 18. When going to bars and nightclubs you should carry identification to prove you are at least 18 years old. You may not be let in otherwise. No one may buy liquor from a bar or liquor store (bottle shop) unless they are at least 18. Buying liquor for a 'minor' is illegal.
The Sunshine Coast has one of the highest sunshine readings in the world, averaging seven hours a day. The variation between summer and winter is much less than you experience in Europe, North America, and northern Asia. Ocean temperatures range from 26 degrees Centigrade in summer to 19 degrees C in winter (79 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit). Summer average temperatures between December and February range from a minimum 17 degrees Centigrade to 28 degrees C maximum (63 to 82 degrees F). Though there are warmer days the coastal areas enjoy sea breezes. Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) temperatures range from 13 to 25 degrees C (55 to 77 degrees F). Winter (June to August) ranges from 7 to 22 degrees C (45 to 72 degrees F). Temperatures in the Blackall Range can be several degrees cooler.
All banks have automated teller machines (ATMs) accessible 24-hours a day, generally outside the branch or in the foyer. Check with your card issuer that your charge or account-linked credit card can be used in this way, and at which bank as none accept every brand of card.
The Australian dollar is divided into 100 cents. One and two cent coins are no longer in circulation, but many items in shops and supermarkets are priced in odd amounts, such as $1.97 or $9.99. The law provides that the TOTAL bill is rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents. So $19.97 becomes $19.95, $19.98 becomes $20.00. Coin denominations are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c $1 and $2. Notes are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, are colour coded and made from a plastic compound that will survive a wash or a swim.
Australians drive on the left, which can be disconcerting for visitors used to driving on the right side of the road. Roads are generally good and major routes well signposted. Speed limits and distances are expressed in kilometres and vary substantially from 50 kph in residential and heavy traffic areas to 110 kph on freeways. Drink driving is a serious offence and heavily policed. The legal limit of .05% is quite low - roughly equivalent to two small glasses of wine in the first hour and one an hour thereafter for men, less for women.
For more holiday information on the regions of the Sunshine Coast, please visit our accommodation page.
General Maps: Sunshine Coast Map (Bribie Island to Noosa)
The Sunshine Coast has two daily newspapers, The Sunshine Coast Daily, and the Courier Mail (Queensland wide). The Sunday edition is called the Sunday Mail. A national broadsheet, The Australian, appears daily except Sunday, as does a national business tabloid, The Australian Financial Review.
Australian health care professionals are highly trained and medical services are among the best in the world. Visitors from the UK, New Zealand and Finland are entitled to free or heavily subsidised medical and hospital care under reciprocal national health care agreements with the taxpayer funded Medicare organisation. All other visitors should take out travel insurance when visiting Australia. Several Australian-based travel insurers have special cover for visitors which are very much less expensive than travel cover sold in the US, for instance. Major hotels have doctors on-call.
Visitors who have a medical condition requiring treatment should ensure they carry a letter from their doctor outlining their condition and the medication required. Most medication is available in Australia, but only on a doctor's prescription. Prescription drugs are dispensed by qualified pharmacist at 'pharmacies' or 'chemist' shops.
Queensland Rail operates regular electric train services to and from Brisbane. The main station for the Sunshine Coast is at Nambour 101 kilometres north of Brisbane. Nambour sits half way between the sea and the Blackall Range and half way between Caloundra and Noosa Heads - half way from anywhere! The rail service is geared for residents and business travelers but can be useful for tourists needing transport options in the region. If traveling further in Queensland a number of rail options are available. Travel Online can book your train journey requirements, vist our trains website for details.
The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia's most talked about culinary centres - cosmopolitan, innovative, light, fresh and satisfying. Superb local seafood and delicacies flown in from other parts of the country, the freshest fruit and vegetables and great meats leave nothing for chefs to do but put them together with flair and imagination. Australia has the cleanest food in the world and even the most simply prepared meal is a delight. The climate lends itself to al fresco dining, day or night.
In Hastings Street Noosa you could be at a coastal resort somewhere on the Mediterranean. There are more than 100 restaurants in the Noosa area alone. More and more are winning top culinary awards with each passing year. Some of our favourites are Ricki Ricardos, Seasons and Cocos.
The Sunshine Strip from Mooloolaba to Maroochydore too offers plenty of choice and great quality, though a little less avante garde. For excellent country style cuisine, head into Blackall Range. The only drawback to dining on the Sunshine Coast is that you will never be able to sample all the delights on offer!
Travellers cheques, especially in foreign currencies, are generally NOT accepted EXCEPT by hotels and big stores and tourist shops. These display a 'travellers cheques welcome' sign. Cash your cheques at a bank or Bureau de Change to ensure you have enough spending money. The same holds true for foreign currency, which is not generally accepted by Australian businesses and shops.
No service charge applies in Australia. Tipping is not mandatory but a tip in restaurants and hotel bars is optional for exceptional service.