The Sunshine Coast is one of the most populated areas in Queensland State. Transfers from Sunshine Coast Airport to Brisbane, The area lies around 100 kilometres away from the state capital Brisbane. The area was initially a European settlement in the 19th century and progressed steadily hand in hand with the growth of tourism. There are multiple coastal zones in the area including Caloundra, Noosa Heads, Kawana Waters and Maroochydore among others. Key commercial centres in the area include Maleny and Nambouramong others. In the year 1770, James Cook was the first ever European to sight the iconic Glass House Mountains which lie to Caloundra's southwest. The Sunshine Coast was declared as a Bunya Reserve by Governor George Gipps in the year 1842 and the Bunya groves and trees were protected thereafter. Many of the towns in the area were initially jetties or ports for timber industries during the 1860s to 1870s. Timber was shipped to Europe from this region.
The Gympie Gold Rush in 1867 saw people scaling the Sunshine Coast mountains in order to create better roadways linking the area to the Gympie gold fields. Once the railway line was constructed, the river and coastal towns steadily lost their importance. By the 1890s, the area's timber and cattle driven economy was substituted by small farming of both dairy and fruit. In this regard, it must be said that pineapples and sugar were huge produces for the entire district and all the produce was exported elsewhere. The Sunshine Coast first proved to be a surfing and holiday destination after the Second World War. The development boom in the 60s and 70s also fueled this trend along with the creation of multiple theme or tourist parks including the Big Pineapple by Woombye. There were several spiritual centres and craft industries established in the area during this time.
Several small farms in the entire area have now disappeared along with many theme parks. The Moreton sugar mill was one of the last big casualties. In today's times, businesses like tourism, catering and retail have assumed bigger importance in the area. There are several places of importance within the region including the Noosa Shire, Noosa River, Mooloolah River, Caloundra City, Stanley River and more. The area is home to several beaches including Sunshine Beach, Coolum Beach, Kings Beach and Alexandra Headland among many others.
Tourism is a huge revenue earner for the area and it gets approximately 3.2 million visitors from all parts of the globe every year. Transfers from Brisbane to Sunshine Coast Airport, There are several huge attractions for tourists including Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, Aussie World, Under Water World Marine Park, Ettamogah Pub, The Big Pineapple, The Buderim Ginger Factor and the Pomona based Majestic Theatre. The area also has a thriving sports tourism circuit and hosts several iconic events including the Noosa Triathlon and the Sunshine Coast Marathon. There are several national parks in the entire region and ensure adequate protection of natural biodiversity of the area. These parks include the Mapleton Falls National Park, Glass House Mountains National Park, Kondalilla National Park, Noosa National Park and the Great Sandy National Park.
The economy of the Sunshine Coast mainly depends on tourism and construction along with retail. Agriculture still has a strong presence in the area and efforts are being made by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to develop knowledge centric, green and clean businesses in segments like health, communication, information technology, clean technology, aviation, creative industries, food and beverages and education among numerous others. The area is home to several startups in these sectors and is also home to the Innovation Centre established by the University of the Sunshine Coast. This Sippy Downs site has been recognized as a Knowledge Hub and is part of the Government's infrastructural plans for the region. This is set to be the first ever university town in Australia with the capacity to house almost 6, 000 professionals in several businesses. This is also being touted as Australia's Silicon Valley in recent times. Education is a booming sector in the area with the presence of the University of the Sunshine Coast along with several other leading educational institutions like the Central Queensland University and numerous public and private schools. The Lexis English Group also has a significant presence in the area. Nambour Hospital is the biggest healthcare provider in the entire region and there are several smaller hospitals present in areas like Maleny and Caloundra. However, most cases are referred to the Nambour Hospitaland hence the pressure on the same. However, there are several private hospitals in the area including the Caloundra Private Hospital, Sunshine Coast Private Hospital, Selangor Hospital and the Kawana Private Hospital among others. The Sunshine Coast University Hospital is set to come up in Kawana by the year 2016.
Travelling in the area is a hassle free affair through the Bruce Highway which connects it to Brisbane. The Sunshine Motorway and Nicklin Way also connect the area to several important destinations. There are several intercity and interstate coach operators who pass through the area while regular bus services to Brisbaneare also available for travellers. The Gympie North railway line and Queensland Rail City train's Nambour basically offer daily services with express trains between Bowen Hills and Caboolture. The Sunshine Coast Stadium is located at Kawana Waters and plays host to the premier sporting teams of the area including the Sunshine Coast Fire FC, Sunshine Coast Falcons rugby teamand others. There are several golf links all across the area including Pelican Waters, Headland Golf Club, Noosa Springs, Pacific Harbor, Twin Waters and Mount Coolum among many other well known courses.
The vibrant, free spirited lifestyles of locals and their friendliness and hospitality make tourism the biggest industry in the Sunshine Coast. The lovely climate, the dashing beaches and pristine coast and the plethora of attractions promise adventurous and enriching holidays for tourists all over the world. Sunshine Coast now represents development at its best without compromising on local attractions, landscapes and biodiversity in any manner whatsoever.