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Moving to Sunshine Coast Hinterland: All You Need To Know

Are you considering moving to Sunshine Coast Hinterland? The first thing you need to do is your research. The Sunshine Coast covers an area of 1,633kmsq, so there is a lot of ground to cover. It is located along the Coral Sea and spans 60 kilometres of coastline and Hinterland, offering a family-oriented lifestyle setting that combines both sea change and tree change. 

Moving to Sunshine Coast Hinterland provides an abundance of options for families who want to leave the busy city lifestyle and head to the fresh country air, with the ocean just a stone’s throw away. It’s the best of both worlds.

Sunshine Coast at a glance

According to the 2018 census, the Sunshine Coast population was 333,436, with the median age being mid-40s.

The Sunshine Coast and Hinterland is home to an abundance of surf beaches, across numerous suburbs, but you’ll also find some of Australia’s most stunning national parks, including the beautiful Glass House Mountains National Park and Great Sandy National Park (including parts of Fraser Island).

Economically, the Sunshine Coast is strong and diverse, with tourism bringing some 3.2 million visitors every year. Agriculture also plays an important role in the region, equating to around 2% of the total gross value of Queensland’s agricultural production. There are abundant activities in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland for kids, and a range of options for Sunshine Coast Hinterland properties. Keep reading to learn more about this stunning region of South East Queensland.

Living there

Life on the Sunshine Coast is bliss. Not only do you have the beauty of the natural landscapes, it’s also affordable and has plenty of lifestyle options to suit all family types. Here are some key figures.


Moving to Sunshine Coast Hinterland means taking a look at local prices. The median house price for the Sunshine Coast sits at $825,000, as of August 2021, an increase of 23.1% compared to 12 months prior. While prices for property for sale in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland are high from a local perspective, compared to the price you’ll pay in Sydney (median $1.4 million) and Melbourne (median $1.022 million), the Sunshine Coast is much more affordable for families. Shopping for Sunshine Coast Hinterland houses for sale could nab you a bargain, but if you want acreage and views, expect to pay top dollar.


ABS statistics in 2019 found that there were 184,200 people employed across the region, with the largest employing sector being the health care and social assistance sector. Construction was next, followed by education and training, then accommodation and food services, and retail.


The Sunshine Coast hinterland is teaming with high quality childcare centres and schools for children of all ages. There are a range of private schools for all ages and public schools that offer fantastic education options. STEM, Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Steiner/Waldorf systems are just some of those on offer at various institutions. For higher education, you’ll find the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, both of which have numerous campuses across the region.

Sunshine Coast Hinterland Primary Schools

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is teeming with primary schools for children in Prep through to year 6. There are both private schools and public education available, and some provide girls or boys only education, religious-based learning, and so on. If you want to find out more about the education performance of various schools in the area, visit www.myschool.edu.au. Check within your local region to see what’s available.

Sunshine Coast Hinterland Secondary Schools

One of the most crucial decisions to make for your child’s education is which secondary school they will attend. This is the school that provides the transition from education to working life. You’ll find a range of curricular programs and extra-curricular activities within secondary schools on the Sunshine Coast. Keep in mind that the public school your child attends will generally be based on catchment areas, or you may opt to apply for private education instead.

Costs for schooling varies. While public schools are free, private schools will range anywhere from $1,500 a year up to $15,000 and beyond.

Check out Sunshine Coast School Open Days here.


Given the proximity to the ocean, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland generally has cool breezes year-round, whether they are ocean breezes or mountain winds. The average temperature in summer is 28°C, autumn is a mild 13-25°C, the days in winter can reach late teens and up to 25°C with early mornings the coldest with possible single digits. Spring is similar to autumn, averaging 15°C to 25°C. In some places across the Hinterland, the nights in winter can get frosty, though there’s no snow to be found.

Getting there & around

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is around a 2 hour drive from Brisbane, 11 hours’ drive from Sydney, and 19 hours from Melbourne. When you’re there, you’ll find a variety of public transport options with buses, taxis, Uber and other rideshare services, as well as metro trains that can transport you south to Brisbane or North as far as Cairns.

Things to see & do

Moving to Sunshine Coast Hinterland offers an abundance of activities for all ages, starting with the short drive to the region’s beaches. 

The beaches generally encompass stunning white sands and abundant sea life. Head to Noosa Main Beach, Kings Beach at Caloundra, or Mooloolaba beach (the Spit). There’s also Rainbow Beach with its stunning coloured sands, Coolum Beach with whale watching views from the shore in winter-spring, and the beautiful, hidden Tea Tree Bay where you can unwind away from the crowds in Noosa National Park.

Move to Sunshine Coast Hinterland Noosa Main Beach

The national parks are what makes the Hinterland one of the most vibrant regions in Queensland, and across the country. Explore the ancient volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains, take a hike through dense rainforests and check out the panoramic views, explore the waterfalls, enjoy a kayak, and take a dip in crisp, clear waterholes. Lose yourself in the natural beauty surrounding you.

The Hinterland is also home to an abundance of other activities. Take a walk through the villages of Mapleton and Montville, visit the cheese factory at Maleny, go strawberry picking, try the 1kg cream donuts at Kenilworth, explore Bli Bli Castle, or hit Australia Zoo to see Steve Irwin’s legacy brought to life. Explore the charming cafes and Sunshine Coast Hinterland restaurants, book an Airbnb for staycations, or pick up some antiques and local artworks to decorate your home.

Move to Sunshine Coast Hinterland National Parks

Where to live on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

While the Hinterland offers many destinations where you could easily see yourself setting up home, a few localities are increasingly popular with people moving from interstate. Here’s a brief rundown.

Moving to Buderim

Although Buderim is not in the Hinterland, it’s close enough that you can enjoy the best of both sea and tree change. Buderim is considered a safe place to live, with upmarket retail centres and charming atmosphere. It is highly sought-after, so property can be hard to come by. There’s plenty of fun in Buderim for kids, including kids’ fitness gyms, sports classes, and parks. Visit Buderim restaurants, explore waterfalls nearby, head to Buderim Ginger Factory, and explore some of the Sunshine Coast’s most prestigious schools. 

Moving to Nambour

A great town for families, Nambour is one of the most affordable places to live on the Sunshine Coast and it’s just 16km from Nambour to Maroochydore. Nambour State College and Nambour Christian College are great educational choices, and there are many cafes and restaurants, and fun activities in Nambour for kids. Head to the Big Pineapple, visit Thrill Hill Waterslides Woombye, or visit the Nambour pool.

Moving to Woodford

A quiet country town, Woodford had a reported population in 2016 of 3,458 and is located between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane (around an hour’s drive to each). There are lots of fun things to do near Woodford for kids and families, and it’s just less than an hour drive from Woodford to Maroochydore.  Check out Woodford Gardens café, visit other Woodford cafes and restaurants, and stick around for Woodford Folk Festival held annually over New Year’s (COVID permitting). 

Moving to Maleny

things to do on the sunshine coast with friends
Maleny Botanic Gardens

You’ll find plenty of things to do near Maleny and things to do in Maleny and Montville, which is nearby. Just 30 minutes from stunning beaches, this part of the Hinterland has a relaxed lifestyle with alternative culture. It is very artistic, with lots of local crafts sold at Maleny markets, and there is plenty to do in Maleny for kids, including a visit to Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World, Maleny Dairies, Maleny Manor, and of course, hitting local Maleny restaurants and cafes. 

Moving to Landsborough

Just a minute from the famous Australia Zoo, Landsborough is a great place for families, offering safe and quiet neighbourhoods, acreage and affordable living. You’ll find abundant things to do near Landsborough for kids and the entire family, including various parks, bike trails and museums. Landsborough schools have a quality reputation, and it is just a 25-minute drive from Landsborough to Maroochydore for when you want to get to the beach and explore.

Why you should move to Sunshine Coast Hinterland

With a strong economy, dramatically increasing property market, and an abundance of top-quality schools and working opportunities across the region, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland provides the ideal blend of sea and tree change. If you’re considering moving to Sunshine Coast Hinterland from interstate, you’ll find it is the perfect mix of chilled vs dynamic, sporty vs academic, country vs city. It will encompass everything you and your children need today and into the future to ensure you lead a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Thinking about other parts of South East Queensland? Read our guides.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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