Sunshine Coast

Living on the Sunshine Coast

sunshine_coast_bannerThe Sunshine Coast has a population of around 330,00 people and is an area of Queensland situated on the eastern coast, about one and a half to two and a half hours drive north of Brisbane. As with the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast is an area with beautiful beaches and stunning hinterland, all in one.The Sunshine Coast Location

So what is the difference between the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast? People in these parts can argue all day long about which is best but they’re both great. But they are different.

In a nutshell, the difference is that the Gold Coast is more commercial, it’s busier and it is the home of many theme parks. But if you like your beaches a little quieter, although not too quiet, go Sunshine Coast.

Right in the middle of the Sunshine Coast is my favourite beach, Mooloolaba. The towns of Mooloolaba and Maroochydore are so close together they are almost one. Between them they offer beautiful beaches, plenty of cafes and restaurants, large shopping centres and the beautiful Maroochy River.

Nearby, the “world famous” Eumundi Markets are open each Wednesday and Saturday morning until around 2 PM in the afternoons with over 1000 arts and crafts stalls selling their wares. Described as more than just a market, fabulous food and world-class music.

Another world-class attraction not quite within the area, probably about 15 km outside, is the Australian Zoo, probably one of the best zoos in the world.

The real beauty of the Sunshine Coast is when you’ve had enough of the beach, you are literally 10 to 20 minutes drive away from stunning hinterland. The scenic drive from Maroochydore to Mapleton via the Bli Bli Road is breathtaking. When you arrive, you can enjoy a relaxing beer in the historic pub whilst taking in the rolling hill views looking back towards the sea.

You could continue your scenic drive by taking in Montville and Maleny and even push on about 20 km outside the Sunshine Coast area to see the Glass House Mountains.

The Sunshine Coast may not be as popular as the Gold Coast but it is less expensive and still has plenty to offer.

What’s the weather like?

Sunshine Coast Annual WeatherAgain, being so close to Brisbane the weather is very similar to the climate in the city. So no need to worry about winter and like the Gold Coast, you can use the beaches all year round.

And it will come as no surprise that possible severe weather that may affect the area from time to time. Those looking to move to this area and concerned about flooding should do some research.

If you Google “Sunshine Coast flood hazard mapping” you should easily find the Queensland government page with that information. Unfortunately, last time I looked, Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater needed to be installed in order to view it, and that particular software is no longer recommended due to potential security issues.

If you already have it installed on your browser though, then the map is certainly worth a look.

Here’s a map of the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Map
The Sunshine Coast can be broken down into three main areas:

Questions about Sunshine Coast?

If you have any question about living in Sunshine Coast, please please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Or if you know this city well, why not tell us what you think of it or maybe even help out by answering some of the questions people have about the area. I’m sure anybody thinking of moving here would be very grateful for any help you can give them.

Visa Assessment Service

 

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{ 504 comments… add one }
  • Nguyen Thanh Son November 24, 2019, 3:25 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Our childrent are 5 and 3 and we are going to move to Sunshine coast or anywhere in QLD in Mar 2020 excepted Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipwish, and we prefer sunshine coast to others because its weather and beaches; furthermore, objective is finding any kind of job in order to apply PR after 2 years stay in QLD.
    could you please give us any advices for our immigration?
    Thank you!
    Sean

    • BobinOz November 24, 2019, 5:47 pm | Link

      I would be happy to help if I can, but you would need to be more specific on the kind of advice you want. If it is where to live, then Sunshine Coast is a great area in which to live.

      Mooloolaba is a particular favourite of ours and anywhere near that town is pretty good.

  • Leigh Coombs June 6, 2019, 1:45 pm | Link

    Thank you for all the information in your site Bob, it has been our go to resource whilst we apply for our visas. We hope to be successful soon. Just to let you know there is (at the time of writing this) a broken link above on the “Flood Information Map” (sorry).
    All the very best
    Leigh

    • BobinOz June 6, 2019, 6:28 pm | Link

      No need to apologise Leigh, I appreciate you telling me about that broken link. I have kind of fixed it, you’ll see what I mean if you take a look at it.

      Glad to hear my site has been helpful to you with your research and I hope you secure your visas soon. Cheers, Bob

  • Nicole April 23, 2019, 6:55 am | Link

    Hey Bob , I am from New Zealand and my partner and I are looking at moving to the sunshine coast with out 3 boys, i have family in Nambour already but would like to know the best areas to raise a family? Great schools and great neighbours lots to do, I just want the best start for the kids as it will be a scary change for them!
    Thank you
    Nicole

    • Hannah Megennis June 21, 2019, 3:39 pm | Link

      Looking to do the same thing so would love to hear what you have to say on this 🙂

      • BobinOz June 21, 2019, 7:49 pm | Link

        Firstly, apologies to Nicole, for some reason I didn’t get a notification of her comment. So from what I know about the Sunshine Coast, I really like Mooloolaba and the surrounding area and I do know that the suburb of Buderim is well thought of and has good schools.

        If you go to the search function from the top menu of this website and then search for Mooloolaba, you’d see quite a few articles to read here.

        So that would be the area I would be looking in. Good luck, Bob

  • Edwina April 4, 2019, 10:02 pm | Link

    Hi,

    Can you tell me the best area of the Sunshine Coast to live by the beach and also private schooling , am from Melbourne .
    Thank you

    • BobinOz April 5, 2019, 4:59 pm | Link

      Personally, my favourite beach area on Sunshine Coast is Mooloolaba, but Noosa is very nice as well. Have a read of all the comments made below though, you will get a broader perspective by reading what others have to say as well.

      I have no idea about the schools, but my page Which school? might help.

  • roopali March 31, 2019, 11:52 pm | Link

    Hey Bob,
    i am from India and have got an invite to move to a regional are through visa 489. I am really nervous and worried as I do not know anyone in Sunshine coast and have no clue whom to ask for help regarding accommodation or jobs.Could you recommend a link or any group that helps immigrants with finding a house and job?

    • BobinOz April 1, 2019, 4:23 pm | Link

      Well, I haven’t heard of any such group that actively helps immigrants when they arrive here, but hopefully my pages Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia will give you some help. Good luck, Bob

      • roopali April 1, 2019, 6:55 pm | Link

        thanks a ton Bob…I will check on the links you sent….and also I will keep troubling you for more advise 🙂

        • Claire April 17, 2019, 10:15 am | Link

          Hi roopali!
          There are lots of pages on Facebook like groups around Sunshine Coast, if you put that in the search bar you will find lots! Lots of people on there who live there with good information and social clubs you can join to meet new people when you arrive there!

  • Emmanuel Dos Santos March 21, 2019, 11:03 am | Link

    Hello Bob,
    I’m looking to move into Sunshine Coast, but I would like to know what is the region where are more restaurants/cafes/bars.
    Thanks fo the help

    • BobinOz March 22, 2019, 7:56 pm | Link

      I’d say that would be Noosa, but it is very touristy there and be quite busy during the holiday seasons. Second would be Mooloolaba, third would be Caloundra, so no surprises, they are the three biggest towns on the Sunshine Coast.

      It’s not an area brimming with nightlife though, it’s a bit more laid-back than that and not much will be happening past midnight. You need to be in a city for that.

  • Gemma January 29, 2019, 9:29 pm | Link

    HI Bob,

    Looking at movinh to the sunny coast…. Can you tell me a bit about Nambour please? 🙂

    Many thanks,
    Gemma

    • BobinOz January 30, 2019, 8:13 pm | Link

      If you search for ‘Nambour’ on this page, most browsers allow you to search for a specific word on a page, you’ll see there are at least 15 mentions of it. Alternatively, scroll down to October 11, 2017 and a comment from Fais, then start looking at the answers below that.

      There are some very different views from different people about Nambour, but either way, I think you might find what’s been said already quite interesting.

      If anybody reading this wants to add their take on Nambour we love to hear from you.

  • Leann Murray November 26, 2018, 11:17 pm | Link

    Hi there ,
    Your information and knowledge is so helpful to read . Myself my husband and our two children ages 3 & 13 are looking to emigrate from Dublin Ireland to Queensland. I myself have lived in Perth before and loved it . My husband works for BMW cars and has the opportunity to transfere over . We are looking at the area of Calhundra at the moment but any advice you have would be so much appricated . We are looking for a costly suburb with good schooling and family area , a good place to bring up your children. Where would you suggest would be a good place ? Thanks Leann

    • BobinOz November 27, 2018, 8:59 pm | Link

      Sunshine Coast is a great place to bring up kids, so I do highly recommend your choice. Caloundra is not bad, and of the three main towns in Sunshine Coast, it’s probably the cheapest for property. The further north you get, the higher the prices.

      In the middle is Mooloolaba, and I just love that place, and would highly recommend it. Property is a little dearer than Caloundra, but in my view, worth paying the extra. At least check out Mooloolaba for yourselves if you can.

      Furthest north in SC is Noosa, probably the most expensive for property and also it’s very touristy, to the extent where it can get quite crowded during holiday periods.

      So my choice would be Mooloolaba, and as for schools, I don’t know which would be best, but you can research it on my page called Which school?

      Hope that helps and good luck with your search. Cheers, Bob

      • Leann Murray November 28, 2018, 7:31 pm | Link

        Thank you so much Bob for your reply & advice it’s much appricated I will be sure to check out all the info you mentioned . Just another quick one for you we are having a total head spin with seeing which visas we need to apply for lol I read your link on the mara emergration agents on helping you with your visa application etc you think this is the best way to see which visa that we need ? And to go with the one you recommended on your page? Thanks
        Leann

        • BobinOz November 29, 2018, 8:32 pm | Link

          Yes I do, definitely. As you have found out for yourself, it’s a bit of a minefield and it can be very difficult to work out which visa or visas you might qualify for and which is best to go for.

          A MARA registered migration agent can work that all out for you.

          I do highly recommend my MARA agent, he is very good and you will get excellent value if you go through the Visa Assessment Service.

          Good luck, Bob

          • Leann Murray December 3, 2018, 10:37 pm | Link

            Thanks so much Bob
            Your help has been great 🙂
            Leann

  • Russ October 26, 2018, 9:34 pm | Link

    Hi Bob! Russ from the USA back again! I wanted to let you know I have been in Australia for 6 weeks now. I landed in Brisbane, but stayed briefly in Surfers Paradise. I was told to check out Byron Bay and headed there for a week. I really liked it there but school holiday made it impossible to stay longer. On a side note, if anyone reads this, you really must go check out Nimbin. Very friendly people.

    From there I headed to Mooloolaba and stayed on the esplanade by the wharf. I went swimming with the wales! I’ve done all sorts of things, but can say the weather has been on the cool side and rained quite a bit. I was told told to head north….
    I am now in Port Douglas. This is a fantastic place, not to mention the Daintree in your backyard! And snorkeling in the Great Barrier reef. The weather has been magnificient! I will report back but can say this area has been my favorite.

    I still like Mooloolaba, and am very greatful I found your site.
    I have been told flat out that buying an investment type property in ALL the places I have visited is never going to make money and the payback will be decades at least. That’s ok. If I come back to Australia, I would most likley return to Port Douglas and spend a fraction of the cost of buying for a nice 6 week rental. This area is definately a vacationland / retirement destination and tourism is the main job provider. I know they are looking hard for younger people to work in service type jobs up here.
    Russ

    • BobinOz October 29, 2018, 5:41 pm | Link

      Hi Russ,

      Well, I’m not surprised you are having fun, you’ve pick some absolutely beautiful spots to visit.

      Firstly, Byron Bay, I absolutely love it there. I have been many many times, and I’ve written quite a few articles about it, is one of them…

      https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/21631/the-alternative-lifestyle-in-australia-byron-bay/

      A couple of years ago, I did a road trip up the Queensland coast, from Brisbane up to Port Douglas. Only spent three days in Port Douglas, fell in love with it. I can easily see myself retiring there. Must be great having places like Cairns and Daintree on your doorstep…

      https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/22588/6-must-dos-in-cairns-and-port-douglas-a-queensland-coast-road-trip/

      And Mooloolaba, we go there at least twice a year, maybe three times for a long weekend beach break. So in Byron, Mooloolaba and Port Douglas you have probably picked my three favourite towns in all of Australia. And then there’s Nimbin, what can I say about Nimbin? This…

      https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/19724/nimbin-the-most-unusual-small-town-in-all-of-australia/

      Interesting what you say about property prices, because recently I’ve been looking at prices in Mooloolaba, and whilst historically they have been very steady, rising about 25% in nine years, in the last year they have risen by about 17%, according to my research. Sounds like they are going through a property boom, so it does happen. Probably fuelled by people escaping Sydney and Melbourne 🙂

      Glad to hear you are having fun, it’s made me think that perhaps I need another road trip myself. Take care, Bob

      • Russ December 14, 2018, 3:30 pm | Link

        Hi Bob, I finally made it back home to the USA after a 2 month long vacation! So, the very first thing I learned the day I arrived in Australia: Lite beer in the USA means reduced calories…..in Australia it means reduced alcohol! I had 4 of them at the pool before I realized the problem. Why Corona and Peroni are so big there I do not understand? Lastly, beer is damn expensive. The fact that you don’t have to tip 20% for meals and drinks makes up for it though.

        Regarding the real estate and the payback, I am hamstrung by the Foreign Investment Review Board, so I can only purchase a brand new property. If I could buy ANY property then that would make things easier… I had no interest in Brisbane or Surfers Paradise, but was told Broad Beach was the place to invest. That area was also not of interest to me as I want what ended up being like a Port Douglas setting. Byron Bay is built out, and unless you are Thor and have his $$$, that too would be a problem. I did see his mansion/estate being built while in town.
        Mooloolaba was by far the most built out on the waterfront / esplanade. I also found out that I had been mispronouncing it for 6 months as well. Moo-loo-laba is NOT the way to say it….lol But there were so many little restaurants and cafes. Char has a great steak, but also some really great Italian places as well.
        Port Douglas was also built out and it looks like they are playing smart and restricting new growth. As you know, the weather was amazing the entire stay. They have amazing restaurants there as well, especially seafood. I had a Thai style, wild caught, whole baby baramundi at a place called 2Fish. I went back and got it 3 more times over a month it was so good.
        On a not so nice note, there was a young woman murdered on Wengetti beach between Port Douglas and Cains when I was there. Looks like there hasn’t been any progress on finding those responsible. I think it’s the first murder there in modern times. Other than that, I could not be happier with my vacation. Weather was a little off for the first part around Brisbane area, but headed North cured that problem. Upon my return I have been seeing a lot of clouds on the horizon for the World economy. I am glad I was able to get over there and would love to return someday.
        Thanks again for your site!
        Russ

        • BobinOz December 17, 2018, 7:15 pm | Link

          Well, you’ve only got yourself to blame Russ with that light beer, you should have read my post Lights, Heavies, Mids and Schooners Explained 🙂 Glad to hear you didn’t drink them for the entirety of your stay, that would have really spoilt the holiday. Yes, beer is very expensive here, so it is very lucky that we do not have a tipping culture.

          Didn’t know if they still had that rule, sounds like they do, and I think they clearly want foreign investors in property to boost our economy by building new property and so creating jobs for our tradies. Byron Bay is ridiculously expensive now, and as much as I love visiting for a short break now and then, I think living there would drive me mad. It gets so busy at times and the roads can’t cope, you can be in gridlock just coming back from the grocery store.

          Ha ha, that made me laugh, I used to mispronounce Mooloolaba myself. We also have a suburb near where I live called Indooroopilly, I used to pronounce it in-doo-roo-pilly when I first got here, because that obviously made sense, but no, it’s pronounced indra-pilly. Much easier to say though.

          Yes, shocking that murder, and as you say, that sort of thing doesn’t happen often in those parts. Made big news here in Queensland and you are right, so far no one has been charged, although police do say they have several ‘people of interest’. Hope they catch whoever did it soon.

          Anyway, sounds like you pretty much had a blast while you are here, well, how could you not, you’ve visited some of the best places on our eastern coast. Hope you get the chance to come back again someday soon.

          Cheers, Bob

  • Paul bennett October 23, 2018, 8:42 pm | Link

    Where should we retire too
    We visit WA a lot and love a suburb south of Perth called Mandurah. Canal type homes
    But we’ve been told MOOLALOOBA or NOOSA across east are the places to retire too
    I did visit Brisbane some 30 years ago and loved surfer paradise and Noosa. But I’m guessing in the 30 years there have been changes we’re looking for beaches safety canal type home with jetty. Coffee shops nice bar. Restaurants

    • BobinOz October 24, 2018, 7:43 pm | Link

      I’ve been to Mandurah, only passing through on the way to Margaret River, but if I remember it would be quite a place to kick back and relax. We stopped for a snack there at lunchtime on the boardwalk’s overlooking the sea. Very pleasant.

      Noosa would be a lot busier and more commercial these days, I’ve been there quite a lot and it can get very busy with tourists. Property in Mooloolaba is cheaper, but prices have risen quite substantially in the last 12 months. We love Mooloolaba, but I couldn’t really say how it would compare to Mandurah.

      It’s really difficult to say which would be best, if possible though, maybe you should visit Mooloolaba and Noosa for a two or three week break to check it out over here? Then you can compare it with Mandurah which, by the sound of it, you know pretty well.

      Pretty sure any one of them would be a great place to retire though.

    • Bernie October 27, 2018, 8:23 am | Link

      Hi there
      I live at the moment in Bendigo.
      Thinking as well where to retire.all depends on what you like and how much money you have.
      We like the sun and hate the cold.
      So for us we will buy a place in north queensland and another place in Europe.we have a house in vegas already which is rented out.but we will have possession when we retire.
      North queensland is too humid and hot for us in summer.but 6months of the year, march to sept it will be great to live there

      • BobinOz October 29, 2018, 5:51 pm | Link

        Port Douglas would be worth looking into, beautiful town on the coast.

  • Juliet October 15, 2018, 3:02 am | Link

    Hi, I will be migrating to regional Queensland in some months time but the truth is I don’t know the city to migrate to. Am a health promotion officer, married with 3 kids(5,3,1).

    I would like an inland, access to train, airport and parks. I would really love a city with job opportunities.

    Please which regional area would best suit me?

    • BobinOz October 15, 2018, 9:05 pm | Link

      Queensland is a massive state, and as far as I’m aware, the only place with a train network of any real use to the general public would be Brisbane, and that’s not regional.

      May I suggest you have a look at my page about Queensland and the list of towns and cities I have on there and try and narrow down your search from the list of cities that you are allowed to go to under your visa?

      Also, have a look at the comments on that page as there is some chat about what these towns are like. You could also look for the words ‘road trip’ from my tags menu (see the very bottom of the page in the orange bit) as I have written quite a bit about some of the towns and cities on the Queensland coast.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Tan August 9, 2018, 10:10 pm | Link

    Hi.

    I read a ton about Noosa and it sounds like a great place to live in but looking at the population, there are almost no chances of meeting anyone. I will be honest, I want to live somewhere that is near the beach, relaxed but not abandoned and where I can actually meet someone to date.

    I don’t want to live in a huge city with millions of people but Noosa and other small places seem too small and perfect for families but not for people who are single and actually want to meet someone before they are 30.

    Any advice where on the Sunshine Coast (or Gold Coast, I am open to both) I can find a place that has nature, is safe and has beaches but is also perfect for someone in her twenties that doesn’t want to retire and abandon all chances of meeting anyone because she doesn’t live in Sydney?

    I hope you or anyone else on this website has any advice.

    Thank you a ton,

    Tan

    • BobinOz August 10, 2018, 7:07 pm | Link

      Yes, it’s true, Noosa only has a population of around 4000 or so, but the population of the whole of Sunshine Coast is 280,000. It’s full of lots of small suburbs, for example Mooloolaba is one of my favourites, and that has a population of about 8000.

      But they all kind of merge together and the beaches are fantastic.

      That said, given your age and the kind of thing you want to do, I would not go to Sunshine Coast, there is very little nightlife and it’s not a place for young people really.

      I would definitely go to the Gold Coast which has a population in all of 570,000.

      Surfers Paradise is the busiest suburb, but given as you prefer quiet and safe, I wouldn’t go there. I would check out some of the suburbs a bit south of there if I were you, and if you look at my page about Gold Coast and in particular the comments, your see lots of talk about the suburbs and what they are like.

      Good luck, I hope you find somewhere and someone here in Australia that you very much like.

    • Cara December 19, 2018, 8:11 am | Link

      Hi Tan,

      I am 24 and want to move to Sunshine coast for the exact same reasons as you- nature, safe beaches and young people who enjoy the natural outdoor life! I am not into drinking or clubbing just love to be outdoors and active with people young and keen to have a good time!

      I am still in UK and want to move to Sunshine coast but no idea where to move where there are sociable young people and jobs- how are you getting on? Would love to hear from you?

      Cheers!

      Cara

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