Living on the Sunshine Coast

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Living on the Sunshine Coast


As well as a world-class learning destination, the Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s best lifestyle locations.

USC's Sippy Downs campus is centrally located to all the Coast has to offer from white-sand beaches, stunning hinterland, diverse cafés, restaurants and entertainment venues, vibrant attractions and markets to the people themselves—genuine and welcoming. These reasons and more are why approximately 2.8 million * visitors, from around the world, travel to experience the Sunshine Coast's unique casual coast culture each year. Enjoy these attractions on your doorstep daily. Best of all, most of these experiences are free to enjoy.

The Sunshine Coast region continues to grow rapidly and now has a population of more than 300,000 people. As the region develops, so too do the business and employment opportunities. USC graduates are enjoying greater diversity in career choices as they study and develop their careers locally.

* Tourism Queensland: Sunshine Coast Regional Snapshot, September 2013.

Sunshine Coast facts

Population: 278,202 (ABS ERP 2013)

Location: 90 kilometres north of Queensland's capital city, Brisbane

Features: warm weather all year round, relaxed lifestyle, natural beauty

Temperatures: 17–28°C in summer (December–February), 7–22°C in Winter (June–August)

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For further information

The University of the Sunshine Coast is located at Sippy Downs on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The transport services to and from USC campus give you access to all the Sunshine Coast has to offer:

  • 15 minute drive to the beautiful beaches at Mooloolaba
  • 90 kilometres north of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane
  • 30 minute drive to Sunshine Coast Domestic Airport
  • 1 hour drive from Brisbane International Airport

Refer to the campus maps and directions for directions on how to get to USC's Sippy Downs, Gympie, Fraser Coast, South Bank and Noosa locations and the Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre.


USC's modern bus interchange connects with trains to Brisbane and services the whole of the Sunshine Coast.

Both buses and trains can assist you in exploring the Sunshine Coast region:

USC supports initiatives to promote the use of sustainable transport to help you get to and from campus including an express shuttle, carpooling, pedestrian and cycle pathways and dedicated bike hubs.

Whether you enjoy live music, playing team sports, or relaxing at the beach during your down time, the Sunshine Coast offers a variety of options to keep you entertained.

You can find a great guide on attractions, events and things to do at the Visit Sunshine Coast website.


The Sunshine Coast calendar of events attracts visitors from around Australia and the world. Experience the best the Sunshine Coast has to offer in sporting, music, art and food at some of these events:

  • Woodford Folk Festival (27 December–1 January)
  • Ironwoman and Ironman series (December–February)
  • Mooloolaba Mile Ocean Swim (February)
  • The Noosa Summer Swim (February)
  • Noosa Festival of Surfing (March)
  • Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival (March) 
  • Dingo Creek Jazz & Blues Festival (April) 
  • Great Noosa Camp Out (Easter) 
  • Kenilworth Cheese, Wine and Food Fest (April)
  • Australian Body Art Carnivale Eumundi (May) 
  • Noosa Food and Wine Festival (May)
  • Indigenous Dreaming Festival (June) 
  • World Environment Day Festival (June)
  • International Rally of Queensland (July)
  • Noosa Long Weekend Festival (July)
  • Queensland Garden Expo (July)
  • Gympie Country Music Muster (August) 
  • Noosa Jazz Festival (September) 
  • Coolum Kite Festival (September) 
  • Kenilworth Celebrates! (September to October)
  • International Fashion Week Noosa (October)
  • Caloundra Music Festival (October) 
  • Noosa Triathlon (October)

The Sunshine Coast also has a great range of local community events. For more details on upcoming local events visit the MySunshineCoast website.


The Sunshine Coast region has a variety of attractions to explore the local natural beauty, unique wildlife and food and culture:

  • World Heritage-listed Fraser Island 
  • UnderWater World SEA LIFE
  • Australia Zoo 
  • The coloured sands at Cooloola National Park
  • Rainforest and waterfalls at Kondalilla National Park and Buderim Forest Park
  • Hiking and rock climbing at Glasshouse Mountains
  • Noosa Everglades
  • Ettamogah Pub
  • Aussie World
  • Big Kart Track
  • Maleny Dairies
  • Big Pineapple
  • The Ginger Factory

The Sunshine Coast offers the perfect climate for sports and activities to keep you active and enjoying the outdoors. You can choose from team sports, swimming, surfing, fishing, kayaking, hiking, cycling and windsurfing to name a few.

There are kilometres of cycling and walking paths along the coast. The Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is 58 kilometres of trails through the scenic hinterland.

The Sunshine Coast offers all types of water activities including jet-skis, stand-up paddleboarding, kite-surfing, parasailing, yachting, fishing charters, diving, you can learn to surf, take a cruise through the Maroochy Wetlands or Noosa Everglades or just relax on the many beautiful beaches.

USC’s sports precinct provides first-class sporting facilities including a three court indoor sports stadium, gym, outdoor courts and playing fields, athletic track and Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The Stockland Park Precinct in Kawana offers sporting fields including national standard playing facilities and grandstand, a premium Aquatic Centre and a venue for rowing, kayaking and canoeing.

Food and shopping

Located just over one kilometre away from USC, Chancellor Park Marketplace has a supermarket, newsagency, bank, post office, medical centre, pharmacy, travel agent, bakery, retail and food outlets and a tavern.

Explore the shopping and dining options of Noosa's Hastings Street, Maroochydore’s Duporth Avenue, Montville and Mooloolaba’s Esplanade which offer a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes and retail outlets. Surf Clubs at Noosa, Maroochydore, Caloundra, Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba beaches provide beach-front views and bistro dining. Sunshine Plaza is the largest shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast with 100's of fashion chain stores and department stores.

The Sunshine Coast has many local produce and art and craft markets. Eumundi Markets is the largest and runs each Wednesday and Saturday. Weekly markets are found in Noosa, Peregian Beach, Maroochydore, Cotton Tree, Maleny, Blackall Range, Caloundra, Nambour, and offer fresh local produce, arts, crafts, clothing, second-hand shopping, food and live entertainment.

Art and culture

If you are seeking to enrich yourself, your cultural journey could include one of the many art galleries, exhibitions, festivals and shows found around the Sunshine Coast, including:

  • USC Art Gallery
  • Australian Body Art Carnivale
  • Kenilworth Celebrates!
  • Caloundra Music Festival
  • Hinterland Gallery Trail
  • Sunshine Coast Museum Trail
  • Noosa Long Weekend Festival

You can choose to live next to campus, near the beach or in other parts of the region.

Three privately–owned, fully–furnished student accommodation complexes are conveniently located next to the University. UniCentral, Varsity Apartments and The Village are a short walk to campus via connected pathways and are close to public transport and the local shopping centre. For more details visit:

The Student Guild manages an off-campus accommodation register. For assistance with tenancy or share accommodation issues contact Student Wellbeing.

You can also search rental listings managed by local real estate agents in surrounding suburbs.

Living costs

Regional areas of Australia generally have a lower cost of living than cities.

A student at USC would normally require approximately A$360 per week to live comfortably on the Sunshine Coast. ^

This covers typical accommodation costs, food, transport and other daily life expenses.

^ This information is sourced from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

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