• Written by Liz Tuckett

Queensland's Sunshine Coast is showcasing its rich food culture via a new mobile site that will enable visitors to build their own personalised food trail.

The new interactive food trail will allow visitors to discover the region's best produce, markets, restaurants, cooking schools and events, with over 400 Sunshine Coast businesses featured across the region.

The new site – which will be available via – has been developed by Sunshine Coast Destination (SCDL) in partnership with Tourism Events Queensland and the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Noosa Councils and Destination Gympie Region.

The food trails are designed for a wide range of visitors – from businesses and serious foodies wanting to discover the latest new cheese or herb through to tourists wanting to get a taste of the region's renowned produce while on holiday.

The new mobile site is built around an interactive map that allows visitors to build their own specific trails based on:

1) The experiences they're interested in – markets, restaurants, cooking schools, farm-gates, wineries and more
2) Geographic locations – Hinterland, Gympie, Mooloolaba, Noosa, Caloundra
3) Type of operator:
- Full time tourism operator (eg restaurant, winery, market);
- Part time tourism operator (eg an operator who runs their business seasonally or a few days a week such as a strawberry picking farm);
- Wholesaler (eg beef cattle farm that supplies meat to local butchers, supermarkets and restaurants). (For trade only).

Visitors can click onto a 'pin' on the map which will produce a pop-up, with brief explanation of the experience/business, photo, operating times and contact details.

Once the trail has been designed, it can then be sent to Google Maps for directions or saved, edited and printed.

With the Sunshine Coast's ease of access and relatively compact space, the drive trails can be designed to suit a half-day 'taste' all the way through to a multi-day 'buffet'.

“We believe the Sunshine Coast is qualified to own the title of Queensland's leading 'food tourism' destination and this new mobile site will help visitors truly engage and interact with the region's extensive and diverse product mix,” said Simon Ambrose, CEO of Sunshine Coast Destination.

“From the earliest days, the Sunshine Coast has been synonymous with food. It was a great dairy region, followed by the early pioneering days of Buderim Ginger. The Big Pineapple's famous 'pineapple parfaits', Noosa mud crabs and Suncoast Gold Macadamias.

“Vibrant markets such as Eumundi opened, allowing specialist producers to blossom, so much so, that today the Sunshine Coast produces everything from snails to feijoas.

“The produce is complemented by a wide range of chef-hatted restaurants and the country's most exciting collection of cooking schools, with Spirit House (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary) leading the way.

“Visitors will be able to follow an authentic year round food tourism trail and add seasonal product and part time producers to their itineraries, along with key festivals, markets and restaurants that feature Sunshine Coast product.

“Our trail will provide a strong platform to leverage Tourism Australia's new 'Restaurant Australia' initiative in international markets and, will be used by our Business Events team as a tool to attract more conference groups to the region.

“Additionally, our trade partners (including restaurants, markets, retail outlets, chefs and caterers) will be able to use the mobile site to search for suppliers of unique produce and food products, thereby creating new distribution channels for producers,“ added Mr Ambrose.

For further information and to access the trail:

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