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The great escape


The great escape

Simon Latchford says the region is offering an action-packed schedule for the upcoming break.

It has been a great start to the year and as a tourism industry we are keeping our foot firmly down on the accelerator. In particular, we want to be the holiday destination of choice for the upcoming April holiday period.

There will be a lot going on with Easter and the buzz of Commonwealth Games, which is why we are running several promotions in our surrounding drive markets including Brisbane, the Gold Coast and New South Wales for people to ‘escape’ to the Sunshine Coast.

Local operators are still offering some great deals during the holidays (even for residents wanting to holiday at home) and it is exciting to see lots of activities and events being staged.

If you prefer cheese and wine to chocolate eggs, then the Kenilworth Cheese, Wine & Food Fest on Easter Saturday (March 31) is a free event which kicks off with a cheese rolling competition, the Cheester Egg Hunt for children aged four to seven years and gourmet cooking demonstrations showcasing beautiful produce from the Mary Valley.

And it’s not only cheese and wine that will be on the menu over Easter.

On Easter Sunday (which is April 1), Maroochydore will be transformed into a celebration of diversity at the Ocean Street World Festival. The free event, expected to attract some 50,000 people, will feature a stellar line-up of performers from Bolivia to Budapest and Jamaica to Japan. Samba will rub shoulders with Bollywood, and djembe players will jostle with belly dancers as Ocean Street becomes a melting pot of customs, colours and flavours.

Surfers will be attracted by one of Australia’s oldest surfing competitions: the Pa and Ma Bendall Memorial Surfing Contest, held over the Easter Long Weekend (from March 30 to April 1) at Caloundra’s Moffat Beach. The surfing contest began in 1974 and has attracted some big names over the years including Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, Simon Anderson and Hawaiian legend Gerry Lopez.

Caloundra will hold family-friendly twilight markets from 5pm to 9pm on Friday nights (From March 30 through to April 13).

Children can also enjoy live music and a treasure hunt at the Original Eumundi Markets on Easter Saturday (March 31). This will be another fun and free activity that includes a hunt with clues through the market with a chocolate surprise at the completion of the journey.

Attractions will also be popular for families including Robert’s treasure hunt at Australia Zoo, a range of new rides at Aussie World, Willy Wonka at the Ginger Factory and Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast.



Simon Latchford is the CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast. For more information about the region, and what is happening, visit

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