The jewel of the coast is ready to eclipse the rest

A Sunshine Coast tourist gem famed for its natural beauty could soon eclipse other top destinations as a stunning transformation gathers momentum.

Mooloolaba is experiencing a renaissance with new 4.5 and 5 star hotels, the recent opening of a new $16 million park and an overhaul of major roads.

This is in addition to revitalizing the “tired” Wharf district into a vibrant restaurant, retail and entertainment hub.

The injection of millions of dollars could help make Mooloolaba a destination rivaling the famous Noosa, Port Douglas and Surfers Paradise.

In fact, Mooloolaba Beach was the only beach in Queensland to feature in TripAdvisor’s Best South Pacific Beaches of 2022, stealing the show from other prominent locations.

The “tired” tourist infrastructure has been updated to enhance Mooloolaba’s natural beauty. Photo: Brendan Smith Photography SkyShots

Developer Kenneth Wagner, who is building the $50 million Avani Mooloolaba Beach hotel, is one of many investors who see even more potential.

Mr Wagner said Moooloolaba, and the Sunshine Coast in general, still had a “huge opportunity” for more domestic and international tourism.

He pointed to the significant lack of quality hotels as a factor holding back visitor numbers, which would change with the arrival of his hotel and the five-star Aria project.

“Ultimately, as a few of these destination-type developments come to fruition, Mooloolaba will become a very thriving tourism and recreation area,” he said. Sunny Coast News.

Mr Wagner said Mooloolaba was blessed with natural beauty and would soon have the tourism infrastructure to better support it.

“With the coast and Mooloolaba, it’s about capitalizing on that natural beauty and producing a product that enhances that natural beauty,” he said.

The region’s north-facing beaches have been ranked among the best in the world. Photo: Brendan Smith Photography SkyShots.

The Sunshine Coast Council has invested millions of dollars to transform the area into a “world-class destination”, including a four-stage transformation of the foreshore.

Stage 1 Northern Parkland opened in June and Stage 2 has been prioritized for 2024/2025 and will focus on the central meeting place near the Brisbane Road entry point.

A new four-lane bridge over Brisbane Road is also due to open by the end of this year, which aims to ease traffic congestion on arrival at Mooloolaba.

Construction to expand the road from two to four lanes reached halfway through this month, with two of the Mayes Canal Bridge’s four lanes open to traffic.

The remaining two new tracks will be built over the next few months.

Opening of two of the four lanes of the new Mayes Canal Bridge – pedestrian and cycling infrastructure to come.

Mooloolaba Chamber of Commerce President Graeme Juniper said businesses were already noticing the ripple effect of the park’s recent opening and the new children’s adventure playground was “the place to be”.

Juniper said the outdoor space, with walkways and waterside barbecues, was bringing more people to Mooloolaba who, in turn, patronized local businesses that had previously missed foot traffic.

It is expected to attract thousands more visitors, injecting approximately $5.5 million in additional spending into local businesses each year.

Mr Juniper said more people were about to find out why Mooloolaba was “one of the best destinations in Australia.

“We have an amazing north facing beach and environment and you can watch the water while you shop; it’s quite extraordinary,” he said.

“The locals have something special here, something world-class in our backyard.”

Mooloolaba saw a new dawn. Photo: Brendan Smith Photography SkyShots.

Local councilor Joe Natoli said the changes underway could make Mooloolaba the top tourist destination to rival Noosa.

“Hopefully Mooloolaba will start challenging key locations like Noosa, Port Douglas and Surfers Paradise, and it will continue to evolve. It has it all,” said Cr Natoli.

“He has everything in the toolbox to make it an incredibly successful place. The dynamic is building. »

Stunning beauty in our backyard. Photo: Brendan Smith Photography SkyShots

However, there were still controversies around some unfinished projects such as the future of the famous Loo with a View, with opinions divided to keep it and replace it.

The new multi-storey car park remains underused after it opened in December 2020 and local businesses continue to demand that it be free to the public or have a free period.

Cr Natoli said ongoing road works will also be difficult and encouraged people to support affected businesses.

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