The Sunshine Coast is a haven for holiday makers. Families flock here from all around Australia on school holidays and long weekends, so most Sunshine Coast restaurants and cafes cater to family’s with kids – whether it’s providing high chairs and booster sits, a box of crayons and paper or basket of toys in the corner. But some do it better and take kid friendly eating to a whole new level.
Leave the iPad and iPhone at home, these are the top picks of Sunshine Coast restaurants and cafes that go above and beyond to help keep your kids whine free while you enjoy some great local food.
Apollonian Hotel, Boreen Point
A hidden little gem about a 20 minute drive north from Noosa and 5 mins from the warm, shallow, extremely child friendly Lake Cootharaba at Boreen Point. The Apollonian Hotel is an old colonial style hotel in a bushland setting. Seating is mostly outdoors on the wide verandas and overlooks a very large grassed area for kids to run and play. Impromptu game of backyard cricket or other lawn sports are a common sight on weekends. On hot days, the sprinklers on the lawn provide endless fun for little ones to run around and keep cool. Bookings are not essential but advised for weekend dinners, especially on school holidays and long weekends.
19 Laguna St, Boreen Point. Phone: (07) 5485 3100
Café Doonan, Doonan
Situated in between Noosa, Noosaville, Eumundi and Peregian Beach, Café Doonan is a bit of a local’s secret. Not only do they serve up great food and coffee but they have a fantastic outdoor sandpit and play space to keep active kids happy. You can bring your own diggers, bulldozers, buckets and spades but there are always plenty on site for communal kiddy use.
777 Eumundi-Noosa Rd, Doonan. Phone (07) 5471 0781
Noosa Marina, Tewantin
A few minutes’ drive from the heart of Noosa and the more family focused Noosaville, Noosa Marina is open late evenings on the weekend for dinner. Choose your meal from a great array of Sunshine Coast restaurants located on the marina and then sit outside and enjoy your meal and a glass of wine or coffee while kids run, explore, play and watch the Noosa ferry come and go. The Harbour Wine Bar has live music from 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights with a family focus and there is plenty of room for the kids to safely bop and boogey along to the music outside in the marina.
2 Parkyn Court, Tewantin.
The Velo Project, Mooloolabar
Tucked away in the backstreets of Mooloolabar, The Velo Project is well worth searching out if you’re looking for a child friendly and relaxing Sunshine Coast restaurant. They have a superb little kid’s play area in the garden out the back and their kids menu is a notch above the typical kiddy friendly fare of nuggets, chips and pizza.
19 Careela Street, Mooloolaba. Phone: (07) 5444 8693
The Bohemian Bungalow, Eumundi
Found just up the road from the iconic Eumundi Markets, the Bohemian Café is a great spot to eat and relax with kids away from the crowded market hustle and bustle. Staff are extremely kid friendly and layout is spacious, making it easy to navigate with a pram or stroller throughout. It’s filled throughout with fantastic and whimsical curios to delight kids both young and old. The outdoor garden courtyard has plenty of space for active kids and their extensive kids menu is filled with healthy and delicious options that are well priced.
69 Memorial Drive, Eumundi. Phone: (07) 5442 8679
Kawana Waters Hotel, Kawana Waters
Kawana Water’s Hotel has a well-equipped outdoor playground and an indoor air-conditioned kid’s play area with a mini cinema that plays kids movies and Play Stations for the older kids. Throughout the week they also have kids face painting and a jumping castle. Kids’ meals are standard bistro style options.
Nicklin Way, Kawana Waters. Phone: (07) 5444 6699.
Nambour RSL, Nambour
Nambour RSL has a great playroom with puzzles, toys, TV, video games and arcade style games. Kids eat for free – for every adult that purchases a main meal worth $15 or more, one child’s meal is free.
Mathew Street, Nambour. Phone: (07) 54412366.
Goodlife is more of a community centre and café than a Sunshine Coast restaurant, however, if you’re on holidays in the area and looking for somewhere in the lush green hinterlands to have a relaxing well-priced, healthy lunch and tire the kids out then Goodlife is great choice. Set amongst beautiful rainforest gardens with a free jumping castle on the lawns next to the cafes outdoor seating. For older kids there’s a free skate park – make sure they bring helmets though as they have a strict “no helmet, no skate” policy.
100 Buderim Pines Drive, Buderim. Phone: (07) 5444 2126
Spoiled for choice is a great way to sum up the many and varied Sunshine Coast restaurants. Amongst all the great places to eat, these are some of the best family and kid friendly venues that really stand out.