Maroochydore is the most popular holiday destination on the Sunshine Coast, and second-most Australia-wide. Pictured is an aerial view over Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore. Picture Lachie Millard
Maroochydore is the most popular holiday destination on the Sunshine Coast, and second-most Australia-wide. Pictured is an aerial view over Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore. Picture Lachie Millard

Why our holiday hotspots are booming

THE Sunshine Coast is in high demand these school holidays, with three suburbs among the country's top-10 most sought-after destinations.

According to travel website Wotif, Maroochydore is the second-most popular destination in Queensland and Australia these September school holidays.

Coastal suburbs were a common thread with Caloundra placing sixth in the Queensland rankings and 10th nationwide.

Noosa was the sixth-most popular spot in Australia.

The list does not include Capital cities.

Wotif travel expert Chris Milligan said 97 per cent of Australians were motivated by "natural sightseeing", and 40 per cent travelled specifically for events and festivals.

"With several events and activities currently on in Maroochydore like the Sunshine Coast Oktoberfest Parade and Party (September 28-29), it's the perfect time for a weekend getaway that the whole family can enjoy," Mr Milligan said.

He said the two-week break was the perfect opportunity to "recharge the batteries", and the Sunshine Coast had long been a family favourite.

"Our research shows more than half of Aussies (53 per cent) say they have never been disappointed by a destination when travelling in Australia, so it's fantastic to see the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast come out on top once again these school holidays," he said.

Top Australian destinations:

1. Surfers Paradise

2. Maroochydore

3. Cairns

4. Broadbeach

5. Townsville

6. Noosa

7. Hervey Bay

8. Coffs Harbour

9. Newcastle

10. Caloundra