Just a quick post to recommend the Sunshine Coast as a destination for anyone travelling the East Coast of Australia. I'm based in Mooloolaba at the moment, been here three weeks, and loving it so far. The SC is a lot less built-up than the Gold Coast to the South, so if you're looking for amazing beaches, good surf and a laid-back aptmosphere, get yourself here!
Mooloolaba itself has a great beach, good shopping and restaurants on the Esplanade. There are river cruises, Underwater World and fishing charters down at the Wharf, and it's only a short drive to other attractions such as Australia Zoo, Buderim Ginger and the Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore.
I've been staying at Mooloolaba Backpackers, the only hostel in Mooloolaba. They offer dorm, twin or double rooms with free breakfast, and free hire of kayaks, surfboards and bikes. They have some great food and Thursday night's 'Goon Pong' is legendary! Check out (Admin: link deleted). It's only 5 mins from the beach!