Budget tips for holidaying on the Sunshine Coast

By Madeleine McKinlay.

Photo: Madeleine McKinlay


Holidaying can be expensive.

You splurge that little bit extra to have a nice time with your friends and family but once the trip is over it’s back to the working world. The Sunshine Coast has been a favourite holiday destination for many past and present generations but with businesses raising prices during peak holiday season, cost is a big reason many people don’t visit.


Here are some budget tips on how to enjoy the Sunshine Coast without breaking your bank account. From where to stay to where to play, this is your ultimate guide.


  • If you can, visit during the off-holiday season. Spring and autumn are two seasons that go (maybe: are) underrated for the Sunshine Coast. In the autumn months, fishing is largely popular among the locals. Whereas during the springtime there are plenty of night markets and free festivals welcoming the warmer months.

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  • Stay outside of the Mooloolaba and Noosa areas. While you’re close to the well-known party scene and finer dining experience, you will be tempted to spend that little bit extra. You can find budget accommodation such as Air BnB’s, hostels and camping sites in popular surrounding areas such as Caloundra or Cotton Tree.
  • When looking for accommodation on the Sunshine Coast try booking an apartment with a kitchenette. While there are plenty of tempting restaurants on the Sunshine Coast, preparing your own meals will save you hundreds.
  • If you are wanting to take the scenic route and get in some exercise, there are plenty of mountain hikes you can do (maybe: mountains you can hike) from the Glass House Mountains to Coolum. These hikes range in fitness level so choose appropriately. But don’t think the hardest hike has the best view. They all have something special and unique to offer when you reach the top. If mountain climbing isn’t an option, the lighthouse at Point Cartwright has spectacular views all day and night and it doesn’t require stair climbing.
  • If family fun parks are more your pace, the Sunshine Coast hosts some of the most well-known theme parks in Queensland. These parks include: Australia Zoo, which is perfect for seeing native and foreign animals; Aussie World, offering over 30 different rides and attractions; The Ginger Factory, which includes educational tours, fun rides and largest range of the wo
    rld’s finest ginger products and lastly Underwater World, a marine mammal park and wildlife sanctuary that educates adults and children on marine life while also providing diving or supervised hands on experience. To get discounted entry be sure to book online for any deals prior to your visit.
  • Clubbing can easily throw your budget off. Put aside a little bit of money for a night out on Ocean Street located across from the Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore. Some bars and clubs such as Old Soul, the Post Office and Soul Bar offer free entry. Translink buses run from Caloundra to Coolum until 3am, so save your money and take public transport instead.
  • To finish it up, spend a day at the beach. Why go on a beach holiday and not soak up the sun, sand and salt? Pack a picnic, bottle of water, SPF 50 sunscreen and a beach towel. Australia has some of the best beaches in the world and the Sunshine Coast is no exception to this.
Map notation by Madeleine McKinlay



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