Come summertime, the Sunshine Coast is brimming with visitors from near and far. Offering some of the most stunning beaches in the country, it’s no surprise the ‘Sunny Coast’ is one of the Sunshine State’s most popular holiday spots.
But it’s not just the perfect place for a beachside vacation – it’s also a great area to call home.
Study up on the pros and cons of the Sunshine Coast before you make the move.
In a rush? Skip to the info you need:
- Pros and cons of living on the Sunshine Coast
- Best Sunshine Coast suburbs to live in
- Moving to the Sunshine Coast from other cities
- Sunshine Coast’s dining scene
- Culture on the Sunshine Coast
- Sunshine Coast’s climate
- Getting around the Sunshine Coast
Living on The Sunshine Coast: Pros and Cons
Sure, the top-notch beaches may be a massive factor for why you’d want to live at the Sunshine Coast, but this beautiful area is home to more than just great surf and sand. It’s not all pristine beaches and natural beauty though. Like any spot, the Sunshine Coast has some less-than-favourable parts too.
Pro: There’s plenty to see and do
Whether you’re in the mood to enjoy a dip in the surf, take a hike in the hinterland or splash some cash at the shops, the Sunshine Coast offers activities, attractions and events to keep everyone entertained. The perfect combination of city, sea and countryside, there’s always something new to tick off the bucket list.
Con: Peak seasons can be hectic
While some spots on the Sunshine Coast can seem a little sleepy during off-peak season, come school holidays, most areas are chock-full of families. The beaches and streets can become pretty crowded, especially around Christmas time (and especially at holiday hotspot Noosa). So if you’re looking for a quiet beachside lifestyle, you may have to look elsewhere during peak seasons.
Pro: It has incredible beaches
We probably don’t need to highlight how brilliant the beaches are, but we’re totally going to anyway. Hosting some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect spot for surfers and beach lovers. Some of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast include:
- Noosa Heads Main Beach
- Mooloolaba Beach
- Coolum Beach
- Kings Beach, Caloundra
- Mudjimba Beach.
Con: Public transport could be improved
The Sunshine Coast is a pretty big area, and getting around isn’t always easy. In fact, 83% of locals think the Sunshine Coast needs more public transport. Some areas have more bus services than others, and getting where you need to go via public transport can mean a long wait.
Pro: The laidback culture
One visit to the Sunshine Coast and you’ll see just how relaxed the culture is. The friendly locals are always up for a chat and happy to help. If you’re keen on a laidback lifestyle, the Sunny Coast’s calm atmosphere is perfect for you.
Best Sunshine Coast Suburbs to Live In
Whether you’re flying solo, in a couple or have a few kids in tow, the Sunshine Coast offers a suburb to suit every lifestyle.
Eumundi – Sunshine Coast Hinterland
If you’re more drawn to the lush greenery of the Sunshine Coast hinterlands than you are to the white sandy beaches, Eumundi is your ideal escape to nature. This small town is home to a thriving art and live-music scene. It also hosts the famous Eumundi markets and offers a friendly village-like community. There are two primary schools in Eumundi, but no big supermarket.
Noosa Heads – North Sunshine Coast
Noosa has it all. From the beach and boutiques to the bars and restaurants, this busy spot isn’t just great for holidays. Noosa offers plenty of activities for people of all ages and is home to several schools and childcare centres. As a hip and trendy place, it can get busy on weekends and during the school holidays. If you’re feeling flustered from the occasional crowds, you can take a walk at Noosa National Park.
Buddina – Inner Suburb
This seaside suburb puts you in prime position to enjoy all the Sunshine Coast has to offer. It has a beautiful beach with fewer crowds than some, and it’s great for getting the whole family outdoors and active with its walking/bike paths. The large shopping centre also has a cinema complex, if you’re looking for some retail therapy or indoor activities.
Peregian Beach – North Sunshine Coast
Want to be walking distance from the sand, but don’t want to share your spot with a crowd of people? Located between Sunshine Coast central and Noosa, Peregian Beach is a quaint seaside village with a big heart. It’s perfect for young families, offering parks and playgrounds for weekend fun. Here you can enjoy a laidback lifestyle without the hustle and bustle of busier Sunshine Coast spots.
Mooloolaba – Inner Suburb
Sure, it’s a little ‘touristy’, but Mooloolaba is a beautiful spot to plant your roots nonetheless. The esplanade is dotted with boutiques, restaurants, and cafés. Mooloolaba is home to one of the best beaches on the Sunny Coast, and it’s also known for its great nightlife, while remaining a safe and family-friendly place to live.
Moving to the Sunshine Coast from Other Cities
Escaping your current Aussie city for the Sunshine Coast? Be prepared with these quick tips.
Moving from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast
- Journey time: 11hr 10min drive or 1hr 30min flight
- Sydney to Sunshine Coast removalist cost: $2,500 – $3,500
- Housing costs: The median price of a house on the Sunshine Coast is $165,000 more affordable than the median price of a house in Sydney ($650,000 vs. $815,000)
- Rent: Renting on the Sunshine Coast is roughly $140 more affordable than renting in Sydney ($400 vs. $540 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from Sydney: The nightlife
- What you’ll love about the Sunshine Coast: The laidback lifestyle
Moving from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast
- Journey time: 19hr 20min drive or 2hr 10min flight
- Melbourne to Sunshine Coast removalist cost: $2,875 – $4,025
- Housing costs: The median price of a house on the Sunshine Coast is $3,000 more affordable than the median price of a house in Melbourne ($650,000 vs. $653,000)
- Rent: Renting on the Sunshine Coast is roughly $30 more affordable than renting in Melbourne ($400 vs. $430 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from Melbourne: The culture
- What you’ll love about the Sunshine Coast: The beaches
Removalist costs are based on the average cost of moving the contents of a 3-bedroom home. Prices will vary depending on your needs.
The Sunshine Coast’s Dining Scene
Living on the Sunshine Coast doesn’t just put you on the sandy doorstep of some outstanding beaches. The area is also buzzing with cafés, restaurants, bars and pubs to sink your teeth into. From tasty takeaway to fresh seafood and fancy fine dining, the Sunshine Coast has something for everyone.
Take a stroll along the beachfront esplanade and see what fare takes your fancy. From authentic Thai to just-caught fish and chips, from famous wood-fired pizza to classic hearty pub fare, the Mooloolaba Esplanade offers plenty of variety for every meal of the day. The view is just the cherry on top.
The Wharf, Mooloolaba
If there’s not enough choice for you along the esplanade, check out the recently revitalised Wharf precinct in Mooloolaba. This old favourite has been given a modern makeover, with a trendy new eatery or bar popping up before you can finish your entrée.
Hastings Street, Noosa
Your go-to for a long lunch or a quick bite after a cool dip, Hastings Street hosts endless cafés, restaurants and bars to keep your tummy full and your tastebuds happy. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy burger, an acai bowl or some freshly shucked oysters, pull up a chair and enjoy hours of people-watching, alfresco style.
Alexandra Parade, Alexandra Headlands
A little closer to the CBD, Alexandra Parade offers seaside dining at its finest. The Alex Surf Club is a local favourite, putting you in prime position to enjoy a bite while watching the sun set. Other tempting cuisines include Thai, Indian, fresh seafood, and more.
Culture on the Sunshine Coast
If spotting a celebrity on the beach in a budgie-smuggler isn’t enough culture for you, the Sunshine Coast has plenty of venues for you to get your art and culture fix.
The Events Centre – Caloundra
The self-proclaimed Sunshine Coast’s premier performing arts centre, The Events Centre (originally the Caloundra Cultural Centre) is home to events spanning music, dance, and theatre. The venue is family-friendly, offering shows suitable for all ages. So if you’re looking to get the kids out of the house, you’re sure to find something exciting on the events calendar.
The J – Noosa
Noosa’s biggest and best community, arts and entertainment hub, The J offers entertainment in the form of cinema, comedy, dance, live theatre, and live music. It also hosts exciting children’s shows to keep the little ones happy.
Solbar – Maroochydore
This hip and happening spot is the Sunshine Coast’s one and only dedicated live music venue, so if you can’t go a weekend without a gig, Solbar is sure to become your new go-to. It’s not just the latest local up-and-comers and international names on the bill, either. Open mic night (7pm every Wednesday) gives you the chance to show off your musical talents in front of an audience. Solbar also hosts stand-up comedy shows if you’re up for a laugh.
The Sunshine Coast’s Climate
It’s called the Sunshine Coast for a reason. But that doesn’t mean this summer-loving spot doesn’t see the occasional storm. Be prepared for every season.
Summer at the Sunshine Coast welcomes warm weather and cool breezes, making it perfect for the beach. The average temperature is around 28°C during the summer months.
With mild weather and temperatures averaging around 13-25°C, autumn at the Sunshine coast offers pleasant days and nights. The hinterland area welcomes red and orange leaves in a beautiful display of the changing seasons.
Don’t expect to get too rugged up for winter on the Sunshine Coast. Average temperatures can reach the high teens or low 20s, with late nights and early mornings bringing the most chill factor.
Spring on the Sunshine Coast brings clear, sunny days with average temperatures of 15-25°C. While these warmer days can call for a trip to the beach, the water may still be a bit chilly during the spring months.
Getting Around the Sunshine Coast
Public transport on the Sunshine Coast is pretty easy and affordable, and you can choose from buses, train services, and taxis. A prepaid Go Card allows you to travel on every bus, train, tram and ferry service in South East Queensland.
The Sunbus service provides regular bus services throughout the Sunshine Coast. Glasshouse Country Coaches operate bus services throughout the hinterlands, including services from Maleny to Nambour via Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton (Monday-Friday) and Maleny to Landsborough (7 days).
Wherever you are on the Sunshine Coast, you’re bound to find a taxi nearby. Taxi ranks can generally be found in popular areas such as outside shopping centres and nightclubs, or you can hail one in the street or call one on your phone.
Queensland Rail (QR) operates regular train services between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, making it a great options for professionals commuting to and from Brisbane city.
Take some stress out of your move to the Sunshine Coast with these 10 tips.