Looking back: Sunshine Coast – a holiday destination since the 1800s
  • Monday 16 March 2015

With its beautiful waterways and beaches, the Sunshine Coast has long been a haven for fishing and swimming.

Not long after the early days of settlement, holiday makers filled up popular guest houses on both the coast and in the hinterland.

The late 1800s saw the North Coast railway line open and by early the next century, holidaymakers arrived by train and coastal steamer.

The development of Sunshine Coast tourism increased once again due to increased car ownership during the 1920s and 1930s with the journey from Brisbane improving with the opening of the Bruce Highway in 1934.

The Blackall Range, with its cool summer temperatures and crisp mountain air, also became a thriving mountain holiday destination where guest houses prospered.

Guests enjoyed bush walking, waterfalls and magnificent scenery.

All of these pursuits are still enjoyed by those who visit our region today.

An early guest house on the Coast was Kings Grand Central, built by Allan and Eliza King who married in 1890 and settled in Caloundra not long after.

Kings Grand Central was built near a sand track later to become the corner of Edmund and King Street.

It was a popular place to stay and, in 1935, a second storey was added to the wooden structure to accommodate the increasing number of holiday visitors.

The building was demolished to make way for the construction of the Perle Hotel, which was opened on the site on August 1, 1957.

In 1991, the Perle Hotel was rebuilt and is now known as Kings Beach Tavern.

Picture: House guests on the bowling green at the Elston Guest House, Montville, in the 1930s.