The Sunshine Coast is one of the most beautiful and admired places in Australia. It is a region rather than a single place like the Gold Coast.
- It covers 1,633 square kilometres.
- The urban area spans about 60 kilometres
- Population 346, 522
- It has several coastal hubs, no just one
- There are 17 main beaches, some with unbroken coastline
- It has more National Parks than any other region in Queensland.
Although this is a region and not a single place, a rating is still possible because the similarities of the towns and major hubs far outweigh the differences. The Sunshine Coast runs from Noosa to Caboulture, how far inland it goes depends on who you’re speaking to. It seems to be reaching further and further inland and more towns lay claim to being a part of it, some even hundreds of kilometres from the coast. Noosa is the more exclusive end of the Sunshine Coast and as you head south it becomes progressively less exclusive.
|Overall Experience||With its beaches, natural beauty, relaxed lifestyle and just enough fine dining, it is iconically Australian. It is a major urban area, so there’s good services and transport links, but the roads can get clogged. You don’t have to be a mad surfer to enjoy the area. This place makes you feel like you’re always on holiday.||18/20|
|Accommodation||The most expensive is in Noosa, but it gets cheaper as you head south or inland. Because it is a large area there’s a lot of choice in options, standards and costs. You can get a fully furnished apartment for under $200 per week, but it won’t be very close to the beach. An extra $100 p/w would get you much closer.||14/20|
|Food – DIY and Dining out||Because it’s a major tourism hub, food is wonderful in this area of the world, but sometimes a bit expensive. There’s just about every cuisine you can think of and the ingredients are often quality, local produce. There’s also the full gamut of fast food options.
If you want to DIY there’s the usual supermarkets, but also local farmers markets as well as butchers. This article tells you the best markets on the Sunny Coast. Buying fresh local seafood is more difficult than you’d think, with most advertised seafood markets turning out to be little more than a fish and chip shop.
|Ease of getting around||The best way to cope is to settle yourself close to amenities to reduce your need to travel too much. The road system in many places hasn’t caught up with population growth and can be difficult, particularly at peak times. However, there are loads of busses and they often, but they take long convoluted routes. Uber recently started operations. Train could be handy for getting to Brisbane. The place needs a light rail system.
A major plus is a local airport, which though still a bit limited, is expanding to international status.
|Interest level||The Sunny Coast gives you the options of a city, without the chaos and cost. Here’s some choice free things to do and here’s some cheap things to do||18/10|
|Safety||Mostly it’s safe. Take normal precautions. Be careful in the sea and stay between the flags when swimming. On the streets, people are mostly friendly. Mooloolaba and, to a lesser extent, Maroochydore are the party precincts, so there’s the usual late night drunken fiasco’s you get anywhere.||17/20|