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Sunshine Coast


  • The Sunshine Coast is renowned for its year-round sunny weather, spectacular beaches, surfing hotspots, nature reserves and generally relaxed atmosphere.
  • The Sunshine Coast is located 100kms North of Queensland’s capital Brisbane, to the South-East of the state, comprising of a 70km pristine coastline and stretching from Caloundra to Cooloola. 
  • Sunshine coast has a population of approximately 350,000 residents, and this number is anticipated to grow steadily over the next several years at a rate of 8,300 people per year. A large portion of the migration is predicted to be through net migration, with the average age of migrants ranging between 35-39 years and 0-9 years.
  • A majority of the total population are female; making up 51.8%, while males make up the balance 48.2% .
  • The Sunshine Coast is said to have a diverse and multicultural population, where one in every five residents is born overseas. Residents in Sunshine Coast come from over 156 countries, speak over 96 languages and have diverse religious affiliations.
  • Most of the residents have an English ancestry, followed by Australian, Scotish, Irish, German and Italian.
  • More than 18% of the residents are Roman Catholic, 16% are Anglicans, and the remainder of the population are Buddhists, Lutherans, Baptist, Presbytarian and Pentecostal.
  • The town has an energetic and lively feel, with several boutique stores, walking trails, waterways, restaurants and pubs, offering plenty of entertainment options for everyone.
  • If you are an outdoorsy person or a nature lover, sunshine coast would be the ideal destination for you to live and study, with plenty of opportunities during your free time for surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, paragliding, hiking, horse riding and more.
  • Sunshine Coast has many farmers markers, fairs, boutiques, and plenty of live music to keep you entertained. It also has several amusement parks like Aussie World, Underwater World and the Australia Zoo.
  • The natural heritage site “ Fraser Island”, the largest sand island in the world is located in close proximity to Sunshine Coast and can be explored by 4WD. It is a great location to go camping with friends and is popular for its rainforests, white sandy beaches, salt water lakes, champagne pools, coloured sand dunes, creeks, walking trails and more.  
  • The Sunshine Coast is expected to open its International Airport in 2020, which is projected to increase annual visitors to the city by over 2 million by 2040.


Many people think of Sunshine Coast as the artistic heart of Queensland. A place that allows one to immerse in its culture and find the peace and tranquillity it has to offer.

Sunshine Coast is home to painters, artists, glass artisans, potters, timber and stone carvers and precious metal craftworkers. It is therefore no wonder that the city is filled with an array of galleries, craft and antique shops, featuring unique art from some of the country’s best artists. Some of the more established galleries can be found in the villages of Montville, Maleny, Flaxton and Mapleton. The town of Noosa is also emerging as a popular artist town.

Apart from artists, Sunshine Coast is home to aspiring writers, musicians, producers, directors and theatre and television performers. The smaller, quaint villages in the city have a more free-spirited lifestyle, and the streets are lined with massage, spa and aroma-therapy treatment centres. Australia’s premier Artisan market, the “Eumundi Markets” are also located in Sunshine Coast.

The city also has several museums, libraries, cinemas and heritage sites that offer plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself and explore the enriching culture of the Sunshine Coast.

The “Ettamogah Pub” is situated in Sunshine Coast and is famous for being the “most photographed” pub in the whole country. The Word “Ettamogah” literally translates to “Place of Good Drinking” in native aboriginal.


Sunshine Coast has one of the most favourable climates in Australia, with an average of seven hours of sunshine per day and warm temperatures year-round. The cool ocean breezes offset any humidity that could build-up during the warmer months, and the coldest months don’t ever reach the “extremely cold” status, as experienced by most other major cities in Australia.

It is usually wet and humid in Summer and cool and dry from Winter through Autumn, with clear-blue skies. Storms are rare, and typically occur in the late afternoon or evenings. The city is also known for experiencing the most amount of sunshine in the region, hence its name “Sunshine Coast”. Most of the city’s rainfall occurs during the first few months of the year in Summer, with a yearly average rainfall of 300mm. The ocean temperatures are around 26 degrees during summer and remain pleasant at around 19 degrees during winter, offering great opportunities for swimming all-year round.

Spring (September – November) temperatures range between 13-25 degrees Celsius and continues to be clear and sunny.

Summer (December – February) temperatures range from 17-28 degrees Celsius. Sunshine Coast does not experience heat extremities unlike other Australian cities, with cool ocean breezes providing relief and protection from excessive heat.

Autumn (March – May) temperatures range between 13-25 degrees Celsius and is the season when the streets are adorned with red-leafed maple trees, camellias and sweet-smelling azaleas.

Winter (June -August) temperatures range from 7-22 degrees Celsius.

University Education

Approximately 3000 International students enrol in Sunshine Coast’s higher education institutes each year. A new campaign called “Study Sunshine Coast”, is expected to increase this number by over 20% over the next five years. 

The Sunshine Coast has several top-ranking Universities, and other private Colleges and TAFE’s, which offer plenty of opportunities for International students. The University of Sunshine Coast, CQ University, and TAFE Queensland provide International students with a range of outstanding study options and diverse career opportunities.

The Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE continuously looks for partnership opportunities with local companies, to provide opportunities for recent graduates to find appropriate jobs in the city.  Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE is also looking to foster partnership opportunities with local companies to ensure that an adequate supply of freshly skilled graduates are available to satisfy the demands of future labour requirements of companies in the city.

Some of the key study areas offered by Sunshin Coast higher education institutions include Business, Arts, Social Sciences and Science.

There are many types of student accommodation options available for International students, ranging from on-campus accommodation, private rentals, homestays, group accommodation and double or triple apartment accommodation.  Many of the accommodation facilities are located close to the education institutes, public transport systems, shopping centres and health providers, to make it more convenient for the students to get around. 

A recently introduced initiative, called “Study Sunshine Coast” was launched in joint collaboration with the Sunshine Coast Council and the Regional Education and Research Industry taskforce. It includes a STUDY SUNSHINE portal, which helps to better promote the city’s educational offering to both domestic and International students. This initiative has been identified as a key outcome of the Education Research Industry Investment Plan. The portal has an integrated social media drive which helps to increase engagement and bring in visitors to the website, along with targeted promotional campaigns. Current university students help in promoting the campaign by using the hashtag #StudySunshineCoast when posting on their social media profiles.

Employing over 13,000 persons, the Education sector in Sunshine Coast is expected to become the second largest employer in the region by 2033. The Education sector contributed approximately $700 million to the Sunshine Coast economy between 2013-2014.  Key Initiatives like the Sunshine Coast Hospital, the Maroochydore CBD and the International airport expansion is expected to create better opportunities and career pathways for future students.

Higher Education Institutions

Universities in Sunshine Coast

TAFE’s in Sunshine Coast

  • The Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE
  • Tafe Queensland

Finding Work as a student

There are many opportunities for students to find part-time or casual jobs while studying in the retail, hospitality, tourism and administration sectors in Sunshine Coast.

One way to find jobs is to polish up your CV, dress smartly and speak to the Managers at establishments like restaurants, cafes and bars, and find out if they are hiring. Establishments along Ocean Street, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Esplanade, Cotton Tree, Buderim, Bulcock Street and Caloundra are great places to look for work. 

The Sunshine Coast University hospital which opened in 2017 has also provided several job opportunities in healthcare, administrative and support staff.

Internships: There are several opportunities to find both paid and unpaid internships in Sunshine Coast, that will help you gain required knowledge and skills in your chosen field of study, helping you in your future career path. Some internship opportunities available in Sunshine Coast are:

  • Australian Internships: they are a global leader in providing internship programs
  • Sunshine Coast Council traineeships: The Sunshine Coast Council offers several entry level positions that allow students to gain experience working in a vibrant government environment.
  • USC Work-Integrated Learning: Most degree programs offered by the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) offer work-integrated learning practices, which give students the opportunity to gain experience in their field of study, as part of their study curriculum and allows them to gain valuable industry experience.

The Sunshine coast’s Future Careers program, provides opportunities in the following sectors:

  • Aviation and Aerospace: the Sunshine Coast has a diverse aviation industry, including pilot training, education, engineering, manufacturing, design, emergency services, maintenance and charter services. Popular career fields in this sector include Pilots, Advanced Engineering and Advanced operations.
  • Clean Technologies: Sunshine Coast has a vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region and therefore have plenty of opportunities for work as Environmental Scientists, Building Designers and Recycling and pollution prevention professionals.
  • Education and Research: Top Careers in this sector include Teachers, vocational trainers and educational administration staff.
  • Food and Agribusiness: The agribusiness industry is home to over 800 businesses, including food manufacturers, farmers, processors, primary producers and local food networks. Top careers in this sector include jobs as Production staff, Digital and Mechanical Staff, Marketing and Management and HR Staff.
  • Health and Wellbeing: Top careers include Registered nurses, health information management and preventive and allied healthcare.
  • Knowledge Industries and Professional Services: Careers in this sector include working as Data Scientists, Computer Systems Analyst and Software and App Developers.
  • Tourism, Sports and Leisure: The tourism industry is one of they primary industries in the Sunshine coast, and popular careers in this industry include hopitality; waiters, housekeeping, chefs and travel agents, hospitality management, event management and marketing and digital development services.

How to find work

  • Community noticeboards: Facebook groups and the sunshine coast community board are great sources of finding jobs
  • Course coordinators: Speak to your University/College course advisors and ask them to notify you if they know of any job opportunities
  • Create a LinkedIn Account and build up your profile and engage with professional networks
  • Seek.com - search for jobs on the largest job site in Australia
  • Sunny Jobs ( Sunshine Coast Job Board) – is a local job board that allows Sunshine Coast employers to post any local job vacancies
  • Sunshine Coast Daily – is the local print and online newspaper that allow employers to advertise job vacancies
  • USC Career Connect – gives you the opportunity to connect with a member of the career development team on a one-on-one basis and gain valuable information on career planning, goal setting, work preferenes, job search skills and interview coaching