The area was officially named “Sunshine Coast” in the early 1960s and there was a boom in development that attracted numerous tourist attractions. Artists soon became attracted to the area and a large arts and crafts community developed in the Sunshine Coast interior. The area was first settled by Papuasians migrating from Northern Australia. Europeans settled in the area in the 19th century, and development progressed slowly until tourism became a major industry.
The area has several coastal centers in Caloundra, Kawana Waters, Maroochydore and Noosa Heads. Nambour and Maleny have been developed as main shopping centers for the interior of the country. During the Gympie Gold Rush (186), prospectors climbed the mountains of the Sunshine Coast to build easier roads to and from the Gympie goldfields. A distinctive feature of the Sunshine Coast are the Glass House Mountains, which were named by Captain Cook in 1770.
Sunshine Coast is served by Sunshine Coast Airport, 10 km north of Maroochydore, although many tourists also arrive from Brisbane Airport, which is 100 km to the south. The name Sunshine Coast was first launched in December 1958 at the opening dinner of the Sunshine Coast branch of the Queensland Real Estate Institute, which took place at the Caloundra Hotel. The Sunshine Coast region, governed by the Sunshine Coast Council and the Noosa Shire, governed by the Noosa County Council. Several stretches of the Sunshine Coast are lined with uninterrupted beaches, from Sunshine Beach, near Noosa, to Coolum Beach (17 km (11 km) (11 km) (11 km) (11 km) (11 km)); the Maroochydore—Mooloolaba stretch (5.6 km (3.5 miles)); and from Buddina, passing through the Caloundra business district, to Pelican Waters (22 km) (22 km (14 miles).
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Sunshine Coast also attracted people attracted to alternative lifestyles. On March 15, the municipalities of Noosa Shire, Maroochy Shire and Caloundra City merged to form the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. This resulted in two geopolitical areas occupying the area generally recognized as “The Costa del Sol”. Many of the cities on the Sunshine Coast began as simple ports or docks for the lumber industry during the 1860s and 1870s, as the area once had magnificent forests.
The Sunshine Coast region's agricultural land covers 1,100 square kilometers, or 36 percent of the region. The first mayor elected to the recently merged Sunshine Coast Regional Council is Mayor Bob Abbott. Kathleen McArthur, a fierce activist, fought and won many important battles for the waterways, beaches, wildlife and landscapes of the Sunshine Coast, as well as for the Cooloola watershed on the Noosa River. In 1842, Governor George Gipps made the entire Sunshine Coast and the interior, from Mount Beerwah in the north to approximately Eumundi, declare a Bunya Bunya reserve for the protection of the bunya, after Andrew Petrie informed him of the importance of bunya forests in Aboriginal culture.
The most common land use by area is grazing native vegetation, which covers 530 square kilometers or 17 percent of the Sunshine Coast region. The Sunshine Coast is a coastal region of Australia located in southeastern Queensland, north of the capital of Queensland, Brisbane.