The Sunshine Coast through the eyes of Luke Egan and Briohny Smyth

17 Nov 2017

Visit Sunshine Coast chatted to Briohny Smyth, yoga teacher, and Luke Egan, professional surfer, while they were visiting Wanderlust Sunshine Coast 2017 and asked them what their favourite parts of the festival and region were. 

Luke Egan:

Luke Egan is no stranger to the Sunshine Coast and having grown up in Newcastle, New South Wales, he’s also no stranger to good surf, a similarity between the two places he was more than happy to chat to about. 

Now residing in Sydney, Luke has had a professional surfing career winning four World Championship Tours before going on to coach at the elite level on the world tour for WSL. Retiring in 2005, Luke says that his passion now focuses on sharing his knowledge with the younger generation and passing on his experiences to those that are starting to compete. 

Given his passion for coaching and teaching, it’s no surprise that Luke decided to offer a surfing 101 class at Wanderlust Sunshine Coast. After a quick 90-minute class on the banks of North Shore Beach, Mudjimba, there was a 90% success rate for participants in Luke’s class, most who had never been on a surfboard before, let alone ride a wave on one! 

Now with kids of his own to teach, Luke has been a keen explorer of the Sunshine Coast and raves about the spectacular white secluded beaches that’s literally on everyone’s doorsteps. With his dad visiting the area nearly every year for the Noosa Festival of Surfing, Luke says it’s these inclusive family-friendly events that make you cherish the time you have with your loved ones. 

It’s pretty obvious to assume that Luke wouldn’t have very many regrets in life, but when pressed to pick, Luke points at the beach and says, “the beach is my office, my happy place, and I can’t complain that this has been where I’ve come to work for the past 20 years.”

And on what Wanderlust Sunshine Coast has taught him over the weekend? Luke says that it was a good reminder how strenuous surfing can be on the body. With students of the class in awe of how professional surfers can spend hours paddling through waves, Luke realises how important training is for the surfers he coaches. 

“It’s important to be in peak fitness levels for competitions and it takes everything to stay on top of the game”. 

Briohny Smith: 

Briohny Smyth is Wanderlust’s golden child. Emitting a ray of positivity wherever she goes, Briohny is part of the Wanderlust family, and seamlessly transitions from being one of the faces of the world-renowned event, to teaching yoga and closing the festival with one of her classes.

Talking to Visit Sunshine Coast, Briohny emits an easy-going nature and oozes positivity when talking about all aspects of her life, so it’s no surprise she fits right in on the Sunshine Coast. 

As a teenager, Briohny was a popstar in Thailand who then found yoga and meditation in India before transforming and devoting her life to the practice. Now, Briohny is fully immersed in the yoga community, with almost 90k followers on her social media channels who follow her for yoga advice, inspiration and to see her adventure from around the world. 

Travelling 60% of the year means there’s not a lot of down time scheduled in between events, but Wanderlust Sunshine Coast is a favourite for Briohny and her family. She loves how undiscovered the region still feels, but also how open it is to change. One example she gives is the small coastal café that she often visits while on the Sunshine Coast, “When we came here last year I suggested to them that they should offer kombucha at their café and when visiting this time, not only did they remember me, they had kombucha!”, she says excitedly. 

It’s these personal touches that makes the Sunshine Coast feel like home to so many and with spectacular natural surroundings, there’s no better place to recharge, put your wellness first and unwind. Namaste 😊