About The Sunshine Coast
Our beautiful Sunshine Coast is famous for its healthy, laid-back outdoors lifestyle, its pristine surfing beaches, rich hinterland subtropical forests boasting rock pools and waterfalls, freshwater rivers and lakes, as well as the world-acclaimed Noosa Biosphere Reserve – the first in Queensland, established in 2007 to recognise the region’s highly diverse ecosystem.
The Sunshine Coast also has the second-largest number of towns whose names are derived from the Aboriginal language – Darwin in the Northern Territory tops this list.
The name “Coolum” is derived from the local Aboriginal word “gulum” or “kulum” meaning “blunt” or headless”, referring to the shape of Mount Coolum, which has no peak. According to Aboriginal legend, Ninderry was a man from a neigbouring clan who stole a beautiful young woman called Maroochy from Coolum – the man she was to marry.
When Coolum rescued his bride, Ninderry chased them. He caught up with them, and, throwing a boomerang, succeeded in knocking off Coolum’s head which rolled into the sea and is represented today by Mudjimba Island. His body is represented by Mount Coolum. For his treacherous attack, Ninderry was turned into stone by the wrathful gods. Maroochy fled inland, where she wept so much that her tears flowed down the mountain to form the Maroochy River.
Coolum boasts a big variety of cruisey cafes, restaurants and clubs; beautiful boardwalks, parks and picnic areas; pretty bush walking paths as well as world-class surfing beaches and bays. In September, the whales pass through very close to the shoreline on their annual migration, while all through the year dolphins play in the surf and turtles bob around the bays and rocks.
How to get here
The Sunshine Coast is one-hour’s drive north from Queensland’s capital, Brisbane City which is serviced by domestic and international airports. Regular train and bus services run between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast has its own airport (Maroochy Airport) just 10 minutes ’drive from Coolum. The airport offers daily flights to and from Sydney and Melbourne and seasonal flights to and from New Zealand. Accommodation:
Local accommodation providers have generously supported our exciting new festival by providing sponsored accommodation for our international and national guests and discount rates for our festival goers. Please go to our 'Accomm Deals' page for further information.
The Festival will be held at Coolum Beach in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Festival events will take place in Coolum Civic Centre and Jack Morgan Park which wraps around the civic centre. Two marquees will operate in the park: The Dreamtime Stories Marquee and the Publishers' Marquee as well as our free Children's Art and Craft Marquee. Coolum Library, also in the park precinct, is hosting a three-hour workshop on Sunday. Our 'Start with a Laugh' Breakfasts are at the beautiful My Place Restaurant, our 'Smorgasbord of Authors' is held at Coolum Bowls Club's outdoor function area, our Intense Workshops at Coolum Surf Club's function room, and our Closing Night celebrations will be held in Tickle Park next to the beach so that we can all enjoy magnificent fireworks on the beach by the Sunshine Coast's only born-and-bred fireworks company, KC's Fireworks Displays - 30 years in business and simply the best.