Origin of name

Peter Sharpe, the local manager of T M Burke (and later Noosa Shire Councillor), proposed the name Sunrise Estate at Sunshine Beach for the development of the lands on the west side of David Low Way.  Subsequently, Sunrise Beach was adopted as a place name.

History of settlement

T M Burke, the original developer of Sunshine Beach, was awarded the tender by the Queensland Government to extend the coastal road (now known as David Low Way) from Pacific Avenue southwards to the common boundary of the former Noosa and Maroochy Council areas just to the south of the commercial area of the present Peregian Beach township. This road was opened in April 1960 and ultimately linked with similar roads from the south to connect Caloundra to Noosa Heads.

Initially, the T M Burke Company concentrated its development efforts on Peregian Beach and selling the remaining parcels of land it held in Sunshine Beach. It wasn’t until 1970 that the company turned its attention to the ocean front land on the east side of the David Low Way and later still that development began on the western side of David Low Way.

Sunrise Beach consisted of lands owned freehold by the company and lands held under a development lease arrangement that saw a percentage of the sale price forwarded to the Government with the balance retained by the developer to offset the development cost of the David Low Way and the internal construction cost of the estate and to provide the developer’s profit. The estate featured power, water, and later sewerage connected.

A caravan park site on the beach front was advertised for sale in 1970 and was much loved by surfers and backpackers. This site is now a gated community.  Another early development was the Shingle Chalet, a bar, restaurant and residence, which later became a shop and is now a coffee shop and unit development.

Prior to opening up the balance of the estate the company, with the agreement of the road authorities, opted to construct a bridge on the highway that allowed for an underpass in order that residents did not have to navigate crossing a main road when going to the shop or beach.

Various stages of residential areas were taken up progressively as the market dictated, particularly from the late 1980s with the estate completed by the early 2000s.

The southern boundary of Noosa Shire was extended to encompass all of Peregian Beach (down to the roundabout at the junction of David Low Way and Emu Mountain Road in 2003.

With the increased population in the area, Noosa Council met a need by developing a small local shopping centre on land it held fronting Ben Lexcen Drive, adjacent to Sunshine Beach High School and close to the Uniting Church in Girraween Court. A remaining vacant parcel has development approval for an aged care centre.

A feature of Sunrise Beach is that the streets are named after Australian coastal shipping or other nautical themes including America’s cup contestants, which was topical at the time of development.