The coast is a great centre for tourism, and there are plenty of attractions and points of interest to keep everyone happy. One of the most well known would be Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, located at Beerwah, at the foot of the Glass House Mountains. The Zoo is laid out well, with plenty of wildlife to see and of course the crocodile shows at the Crocoseum. You know you can't miss that! They also have elephants and tigers and such, in addition to the native Australian critters that you'd expect to see.
Moving further up the coast you have a wide selection of beaches to choose from. One of the things that many Australians take for granted is how lucky they are to have relatively uncrowded, beautiful beaches. I guess that's one of the best parts of travelling; seeing how your country differs to others. Some of my favourite stretches of beach are located near Coolum. It's a smaller, quieter area than Caloundra or Noosa. However, if it's nightlife and culture you're after, then Noosa is the place to see.
For the sports fans, there's horse racing at Corbould Park in Caloundra, more than 10 golf courses to choose from, and the Big Kart Track (Go-Kart racing) in Landsborough.
All of the places I've mentioned are possible to visit as a day trip from Brisbane, but to really see and enjoy the area, I would suggest spending a couple of days on the coast in one of the smaller towns so that you can get a real feel for the place.