Are you considering a move to the Sunshine Coast? Located approximately 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast has a reputation for sun, surf, good times and friendly people – something Joe Bautista knows from firsthand experience.
Joe completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast and now works in the region as a nurse at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Insider Guides spoke to Joe about moving to Australia from the Philippines, his experience as an international student in a new city, and the things he wished he knew before moving to the Sunshine Coast.
1. The Sunshine Coast is a great place to live
When you think of Australia, places like Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are usually the first that come to mind. However, there’s so much more to Australia than the big cities.
“The Sunshine Coast is a developing region, but it’s already rich in culture and attractions,” says Joe. “The landscape of the Sunshine Coast – from the coast, foothills and hinterlands – is also so good for people like myself who yearn for a multitude of activities to do while studying and exploring the country.”
From sandy beaches, rainforests, national parks and historic villages to wineries, breweries, galleries, shopping centres, sporting facilities and dining experiences, you’ll always have something to do!
Its subtropical climate also makes the Sunshine Coast an ideal year-round destination to live, study and play.
“From the first time I set foot on the Sunshine Coast, I knew that I wanted to stay,” says Joe.
2. Public transport is great but get a car if you can
Public transport is an affordable, sustainable and viable transport option on the Sunshine Coast. However if you have the option, Joe recommends driving a car to get the most out of the area.
“It’s better owning a car on the Sunshine Coast if you want to explore the region,” he says. “Whilst buses are able to reach most places here, especially key infrastructure and popular tourist destinations, driving a car is the more convenient option.”
If you aren’t able to own a car outright, you could always consider renting a car if you wanted to do some day trips to the surrounding regions.
3. Get ready to learn some slang words
While locals may know their ‘avos’ from their ‘arvos’, familiarising yourself with classic Australian slang can be quite the adjustment for those coming to the country for the first time.
“The Aussie slang is really something no one could ever prepare themselves for,” says Joe.
But instead of feeling alienated, Joe saw this as a learning experience.
“It was exciting to learn the meaning behind Aussie slang words. I saw it as part of embracing the culture of the country I decided to become a part of,” says Joe. “I’m still learning new slang words – even to this day!”
4. Despite being regional, the Sunshine Coast is still bustling
Not only is the Sunshine Coast one of the most popular regions in Queensland, but it’s also one of the most popular regions in Australia. This means that the region can get busy during periods such as long weekends and school holidays.
“While I consider myself to be living in paradise, the streets and popular tourist destinations in the region can get heavily crowded during holiday seasons,” says Joe.
If you’re on the Sunshine Coast during one of these busy periods, you can use it as an opportunity to explore some of the lesser-known spots in the region or spend time unwinding in the comfort of your own home instead.
Otherwise, you can embrace it! Head out amongst the crowds and soak up the atmosphere!
5. The Sunshine Coast is a UNESCO Biosphere
In 2022, the Sunshine Coast was declared a Biosphere by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
A biosphere is an international site of excellence recognised by UNESCO as an area of natural beauty where active conservation sits alongside sustainable living and development.
“This is well-deserved recognition for the undoubted beauty of the Sunshine Coast, but also the region’s ongoing commitment to sustainability,” says Joe.
“If there is a piece of the Sunshine Coast that I wish I could bring back to my home country, it would be practising sustainable living consistently to minimise the impact of human consumption of goods on the environment.”