I’ve been moaning to my friend Annabel Candy of Get In The Hot Spot about Sydney’s hideous traffic. She’s often told me that I just need to move to the Sunshine Coast. Now, she’s getting serious, with this highly persuasive article.
3 Reasons to Move from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast
As the Sydney days get shorter and colder do you find yourself fantasising about moving to warmer climes?
Come winter thousands of Sydneysiders flock to Queensland for a holiday and a much-needed boost of sunshine. Then they have so much fun playing on the beach, hiking in National Parks and browsing the shops and restaurants that a lot of them end up wishing they could move here.
The Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast are the most popular vacation spots for people from Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand who want to escape cool, dark winters and frolic on a warm beach. Every year many of these holiday-makers start thinking about making the move permanently. And why not?
As a Kiwi who moved to the Sunshine Coast eight years ago, seeking warmer weather, and the chance to swim in the sea all year round, I’ve got no regrets. Much as I love visiting Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand, I couldn’t live in any of those places.
I have friends who love winter. Cool weather seems to be especially popular with my fashionable friends who welcome the chance to wear interesting layers, break out their boots and drape themselves in scarves. Personally, I’d rather avoid the cold at any cost.
But I get that it’s just too hot for some people on the Sunshine Coast during the summer months. Everyone who lives here feels the heat in January and February. But it’s a fair pay off; I’d rather be too hot for a few months of the year than too cold for most of it.
Anyway, it’s not just about the climate, it’s the whole lifestyle that makes me appreciate living here all year round. If you’ve ever thought about moving to the Sunshine Coast here’s why you should go for it.
Like Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast gets around 2,884 hours of sunshine each year compared to 2,592 hours of sunshine annually in Sydney.
The average ocean temperature never drops below 21°C so you really can swim or surf all year round, although you’ll probably want to wear a wetsuit if you’re in the water early in the morning when the air temperature’s far cooler than the sea.
It’s never really cold in the daytime though, especially if you sit in the sun. Even in our coldest month of July, the temperature range is from 9 to 21°C.
I’m emphasising climate so much because it’s crucial to living a better lifestyle. Warmer weather and more sunny days means more opportunities to stay active year-round and get out and enjoy the beautiful beaches, bush or hinterland areas like Maleny.
Better yet, you avoid the negative aspects of winter, including an endless round of winter colds and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter.
Yes, it’s proven that less sunshine doesn’t just make people feel depressed, it actually causes depression.
2. Relaxed way of life
While we don’t have as many entertainment options as you’ll find in Sydney, we do have a more relaxed lifestyle. The holiday vibe people head to the Sunshine Coast for is part of the laid-back atmosphere. Everything is less formal, from the way we dress to the way we do business.
If you’re dreaming of a life where you can wear thongs and shorts or a maxi dress all year round, you’ll find it here.
There are far fewer people in the Sunshine Coast so you can easily escape the crowds. Even in the summer, when parking near popular tourist areas is hard and the beaches are crowded, we locals always know a few spots where it’s easy to grab a park and enjoy a quiet walk or swim.
There are still plenty of things to do on the Sunshine Coast with kids and without, including arts and cultural events as well as music festivals, sporting events and educational opportunities. The shopping is good too with everything from eclectic finds at the Eumundi Markets to designer stores in Noosa and Mooloolaba. And if all else fails Brisbane is only an hour away.
3. Follow your dream
Dreaming is easy, but many people who dream of making a move don’t do so for practical reasons. If you’ve got a secure job, a house you love, happy children and a good group of friends it’s hard to give that up in exchange for uncertainty.
Sometimes it just feels too hard to make the move, especially if you have children and a house. It took us years to gain the courage and strength to sell our successful business and leave the beautiful home in New Zealand on Waiheke Island where our children grew up.
But over-thinking things can make them seem harder than they actually are. You might find actually making the move less painful than thinking about it. Here are some tips to make bringing your dream to reality easier:
Selling or renting your house – Real estate agents or property managers will take care of your house and housing is far cheaper on the Sunshine Coast which will offset costs.
Schools – There are heaps of good schools on the Sunshine Coast, both public and private, and your kids are probably more flexible than you.
Jobs – No one moves to the Sunshine Coast to further their career. Job opportunities are probably fewer than in Sydney and salaries lower but the lifestyle is still better. If you’d prefer a relaxed lifestyle to a glittering career then you’ll fit in well.
Friends – Old friends can never be replaced and it’s sad leaving them behind. The good news is that it’s cheap and quick to go back to Sydney for visits and you’ll probably find all your old friends are keen to visit you on the Sunshine Coast – especially in winter!
It will take time to make new friends and there’s always some loneliness that comes with moving to a new place. But you will find social groups, workmates and fellow parents to hang out with and eventually form fast friendships with. It just takes time.
If you want to follow your dream you’ll have to forget practicalities for a while and take the plunge.
Could you do it?
Have you ever thought about moving to the Sunshine Coast?
Annabel Candy writes about travel and wellbeing on Get In the Hot Spot, sharing tips and inspiration for women who want to stay active and enjoy epic adventures in midlife and beyond.