Where’s the most popular elopement destination?
Our most popular wedding destination for elopements and small weddings, is the Sunshine Coast, Queensland followed by Cairns, and then the Gold Coast. Why? We think it’s because the weather is amazing, and you get a choice of perfect beaches without a crowd, beautiful hinterland and a host of parks and gardens. There’s just so much choice. South-east Queensland offers some fabulous touristy stuff to really round off your destination wedding. So we thought we’d showcase the beautiful Sunshine Coast for you:
The hottest elopement holidays right now go like this: Our couples from around the globe and around Australia fly into either Brisbane airport, or if flights are available, straight into the Sunshine Coast airport (also called Maroochydore Airport, which is weird because it’s not in Maroochydore, it’s actually at Mudjimba).
They take a cab to a local resort such as the Novotel Twin Waters Resort. They meet their celebrant for the first time and complete the paperwork, then usually the following day the wedding preparations start. Hair and makeup professionals come to your hotel room and get you ready. Your flowers are delivered. The celebrant and photographer arrive and you walk together to your wedding on North Shore Beach – it’s laid back and beautiful. You get married in a sweet ceremony, and sign the legal paperwork, then off you go to get some gorgeous couples pictures with your photographer. Nex, it’s back to the resort for lunch or dinner and your first night as a married couple.
Stay a few days and then off you go to explore the rest of this gorgeous country. There’s other ways to structure your elopement or small wedding, but this seems to be hot right now. Our clients are all so happy with their choice!
The Sunshine Coast is about an hour north of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. It’s a popular tourist destination and our numbers more than double in peak season. We’re not as glitzy as the Gold Coast and our Council (to date) haven’t allowed high-rises along the beaches like you see in Surfers Paradise. We’re homely and friendly and largely rely on the tourist dollar.
The Sunshine Coast typically stretches from Caloundra in the south up to Noosa in the north and across to our spectacular hinterland which includes Maleny and Montville. Every area of the Sunshine Coast is popular for weddings because our beaches are to die for, our countryside is dreamy and our hinterland is divine – that’s why the Sunshine Coast is in the top 10 most popular places in Australia to be married and Elope to Australia’s most popular wedding destination.
The weather is kind, but our summers can get ridiculously hot and humid and on occasion we’ll get bashed by a few nasty storms that rip roofs off houses. We haven’t had a cyclone here for years, they’re more likely to be further north. We’d suggest avoiding a Summer elopement if you come from say, England, because it’s a bit hard to handle if you’re not acclimatised.
Temps on the Sunshine Coast are something like this:
Summer: December – February is not prime time wedding season because of the heat and unpredictable weather. In saying that, there’s still a lot of weddings going on during this time, with weddings picking up from February. Temps are hot hot hot.
Autumn: March – May is huge for weddings on the Sunshine Coast – its because of the perfect weather! Temperatures are perfect.
Winter: June – July is another downtime for weddings here, with July the slowest month in this period because it’s the coldest. June can be busy! (If you love the idea of log fires this is a great time to be married in one of the many places in the hinterland) Temps are cool.
Spring: September – November. Often you need to book the popular wedding spots years in advance if you want a Saturday afternoon wedding in Spring. Get in early! Trust me! Elope to Australia packages are usually held on Mondays-Thursdays so we don’t have issues with availability. Temps are perfect.
Other than getting married, what else can you do? 16 things to keep you entertained when you’re not getting married!
Any of our amazing beaches will keep you entertained – remember to swim between the flags though!
If you have kids, take them to Kings Beach in Caloundra there’s a water playground everyone just loves!
Head up to the hinterland and spend some time walking through the gorgeous Maleny and Montville – you can spend a whole day meandering into cute little shops and having tea and scones! Make sure you stop off at all the tourist stops to check out the amazing views from Caloundra to Noosa – the whole of the Sunshine Coast lies before you. Love!
Have a barbie breakfast at the Loo with a View in Mooloolaba – a popular spot and Mooloolaba has loads of great shops to check out along the beautiful foreshore.
Learn to scuba dive – and go for a dive off the wreck of HMAS Sydney which lies off Old Woman Island near Mudjimba.
Take some learn to surf lessons while you’re here then go home and boast to your friends.
Go fishing – head out to the ocean on a charter boat or fish off the beach.
Have a yummy seafood feast from Seafood Markets
Go on a winery tour through our hinterland or visit the Maleny Dairies and Kenilworth Cheese factory.
Head over to the Eumundi Markets on a Saturday morning – it’s a ‘must do’ and people come from everywhere, it’s THAT good! Lots of beautiful handcrafted goodies.
Australia Zoo – The home of our Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. It’s iconic! Pat a kangaroo, hold an albino python, cuddle a koala, watch the crocodile show.
Aussie World – a smaller sized theme park with rides, dodgem cars, sideshow alley and a Ferris wheel.
Golf – the coast is home to so many fabulous courses – choose a resort course or a more rustic golf course.
Climb Mt Coolum and take in the view – it’s a relatively easy walk. Other bushwalks to consider are Glasshouse Mountains, Wildhorse Mountain or Noosa National Park – there’s loads.
Go horse-riding – hire a horse and gallop through the surf or canter through the Australian bush.
Go-cart racing is a popular way to spend some time – and its near Australia Zoo – you could do both in one day.
When it rains everyone heads to the Sunshine Plaza, the Sunshine Coast’s major shopping centre complete with all major stores, a cinema, pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Check out the events calendar of things to do on the Sunshine Coast – we’re host to fabulous events like Ironman, Music festivals, Food and Wine festivals, Kite festivals and loads of others!
Go whale watching in the later part of the year – the Sunshine Coast sits on the migration path of these beautiful creatures and there’s always sightings!
When you want a change of pace, head to Brisbane by train. There’s so much to see and do in Brisbane, the whole family will be entertained.
Want some serious theme park fun – head to the Gold Coast, home to Wet n Wild, Seaworld, Dreamworld, Movieworld as well as gorgeous beaches, the picturesque Tamborine Mountain and some fabulous nightlife. Then come back to the Sunshine Coast to recuperate!