The Sunshine Coast might have the most sunshine in Australia—or perhaps it chose the name first. Now known for being a hub of technology start-ups (especially in the Sippy Downs neighborhood), Sunshine Coast has a population of a quarter of a million, which makes it the 10th-largest city (it is actually a collection of towns) in the country and the third-largest in Queensland itself (thus, no lack of Sunshine Coast MICE venues).
Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY) serves this region. It was formerly called Maroochydore Airport, hence its designated three-letter code. The airport is between the suburbs of Marcoola and Mudjimba, 10 miles north of the start of Sunshine Coast's most famous beach, Mooloolaba. Service to here comes from the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney, although there is international service to New Zealand in season.
There is no large-scale convention centre here, although a 2012 feasibility study put forward the idea of the Sunshine Coast Entertainment, Convention & Exhibition Centre, which would be expected to open in 2020. Until then, the main MICE venues in the Sunshine Coast are both the Noosa Convention & Exhibition Centre and Alexandra Park Conference Centre, which have space for up to 300 and 500 persons, respectively.
MICE hotels in the Sunshine Coast include the 361-room Novotel Twin Waters Resort, which has 10 meeting rooms for up to 1,400 persons; the 178-room Mantra Mooloolaba Beach, which has space for up to 250 persons; the 176-room Sheraton Noosa Resort & Spa, which has 176-room Sheraton Noosa Resort persons theatre-style; the 126-room Landmark Resort Mooloolaba, which has one meeting room for up to 60 persons; and the 55-room Maroochy River Resort & Bungalows, which has space for up to 160 persons.
Everywhere you look seemingly there is a national park in this beautiful area. Unique MICE venues in the Sunshine coast that can host events include the riverside Queensland Conference & Camping Centre, 15 miles inland in the mountaintop village of Mapleton; it is an educational and team-building center with dormitory-style accommodations for up to 300 persons, as well as all manner of expedition options. Sunshine Coast Function Centre, in the suburb of Caloundra, has, among its other spaces, the Diamond Ballroom for up to 1,200 persons. Maroochy Surf Club, not surprisingly right on the Pacific Ocean, has a banquet room for 200 persons with unforgettable ocean views. Tree Houses of Montville, which sits in rainforest on the edge of the Kondalilla Falls National Park, has 20 acres of wildlife and walks, 24 deluxe guest cabins, and the capability of hosting groups of up to 60 persons. Twin Waters Golf Club has an 18-hole course, clubhouse, and restaurant.
Wonderful dining spots along the Sunshine Coast include trendy Ba Vigo with modern Spanish fare; Duporth Tavern, which has been in operation since 1911 and has a bistro restaurant and private room; Mulu Char, known for its contemporary Australian cuisine and which has a private function room and an edible-sounding location on Cornmeal Creek; 4th Floor Restaurant, which has great ocean views and has banquet space for up to 300 persons; and, right where Mooloolaba Beach curls around to a point, Fish on Parkyn, which does serve seafood and has a 170-seat main restaurant and a 70-seat private room.