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The Sunshine and Gold Coasts, which are located north and south of Brisbane, have been competing for the title of “best coast” for many years.

While the Gold Coast is all about the glamour, glam, and parties, the Sunshine Coast is calm and unhurried.

Which is better coast and city , the Sunshine Coast or the Gold Coast, and why:

The Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are ideal representations of the splendour that can be found in South-East Queensland.

Both of these coasts are coastline, enjoy plenty of sunshine, and are among the most visited places in all of Australia.

But which of these two cities do you think would be a better fit for you? We provide an explanation for it here.

When looking for a beach vacation, Australians frequently find themselves in the position of having to choose between the several coastal destinations.

This should not come as a surprise given that both of these locations are well-known for their stunning coastlines, have names that evoke thoughts of clear blue skies, and provide fairly priced opportunities for seaside vacations that do not need to leave the nation.

But what distinguishes one area from another in each region? Which of these options is optimal for various demographics of people?

Here, we provide a more in-depth examination of some of the most significant positives and negatives associated with each region.

Also Read: Things to do in Gold coast on a budget

Make arrangements for your visit to the Gold Coast.
Since we travel quite frequently and have been doing so for the past ten years, we have come to rely on a handful of reliable websites that help us save both money and time when we book lodging, flights, and car rentals.

The following companies are among our top recommendations:

  • -With 700,000+ hotels, apartments and hostels worldwide offered for your holidays. You get free cancellation on most rooms and the best price guarantee. 

Flights to the Gold Coast

Car Rental on the Gold Coast

  • is the world’s biggest car rental booking service that compares all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar.
  • For transport to and from the airport and various locations try Con-x-ion shuttles. We use them all the time to go to Gold coast airport and they’re great. Book your tickets here

Gold coast Vs Sunshine Coast- Which is better to visit

1.Culture & Landmarks

The Sunshine Coast:
Similar to its southern counterpart, the Sunshine Coast is a recently urbanised area with few established cultural institutions outside a scattering of niche tourist spots.

Although its European roots can be traced back to the early 1800s, the area has not experienced major growth until the late 1960s, thus there is not much history to draw from.

However, the Heritage and Visitors Centre at Eumundi is a good place to start looking for historical artefacts and carefully managed attractions.

For history buffs in the Eumundi region, this tiny museum is well worth a visit due to its interpretative displays and photographic documentation of early life on the Sunshine Coast.

The Gold Coast:
The Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are very similar in that they lack any sort of cultural centre.

They are both young communities that have expanded thanks to tourism and were planned with an eye towards attractions and outdoor activities rather than the cultural offerings found in the bulk of Australia’s major urban centres.

In the same vein, the Gold Coast has few truly iconic or instantly recognisable monuments, unless you count the beach itself.

The Q1 Building in the middle of Surfer’s Paradise and the Surfers Paradise sign at the entrance to its principal tourist beach are the two closest things to landmarks on the Gold Coast.

Things to do

Due to the fact that both the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are relatively newer regions, there is less of a concentration of historical sites and cultural traditions in these areas.

They do, however, have enough standouts to keep things mildly interesting, with the Gold Coast boasting a couple of unique buildings and memorials and the wonderful Glass House Mountains signifying the Sunshine Coast’s natural bent.

However, they do have enough standouts to keep things mildly interesting.

They are both wonderful destinations full of sunny skies for the majority of the year, with a slight tendency towards heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in the afternoons during the summer months.

When comparing the weather on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, it’s a matter of ‘potayto, potahto,’ which means it’s a toss-up between the two.

You won’t be let down by the sky at either location throughout your trip unless you have a string of exceptionally bad luck, so don’t worry about it.


Both the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are places that feature beautiful beaches and hinterland areas, and one of their primary selling points is their natural beauty.

Although the margin is quite narrow, the Sunshine Coast is in a somewhat better position than the other two since it has more natural beauty that has not been developed and a less developed array of built-up regions.

Yes, there are beaches on both coastlines, but the ones on the Sunshine Coast are far superior.

On the Sunshine Coast, there are more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) of sandy beaches, and one of them, Kings Beach, was selected as the greatest beach in Queensland by the Surf Life Saving Queensland organisation.

Mooloolaba Beach and Noosa Main Beach are the only beaches in Australia that face north, and both of these beaches can be found in this region.

This results in peaceful water and pleasant temps throughout the year.

There is also the option of going to Sunshine Beach, which lives up to its name and features calm waters and less people.


The Gold Coast’s many huge shopping centres earn it numerous points in its favour; also, the city benefits from the presence of outlet stores, which is a significant plus.

The Sunshine Coast, on the other hand, is home to just one major retail centre; however, the quaint and eccentric Eumundi Markets manage to make up for this to some extent.

The sheer size and amount of money invested gives the Gold Coast a wider range of things to do than the Sunshine Coast in this particular instance; however, the focal points of each destination’s activities will likely be influenced by your demographic in a way that is more significant than in any other category.

In general, the Sunshine Coast is a better place for retirees to live and for travellers looking for a more laid-back experience. On the other hand, the Gold Coast has a greater number of activities and attractions than any other city in Australia.

In spite of the fact that neither location can claim to be fully on par with the best in the world in this respect, the continuing commercial investment in restoring and extending the Gold Coast’s shopping centres contribute to give it the upper hand.

Things to do with Kids

It’s likely that the Gold Coast will continue to be the destination of choice for families with children simply because there are so many things to do there.

However, it’s impressive that the Sunshine Coast’s kid-friendly attractions are not only significantly less expensive but also fairly high in both quality and quantity, despite the fact that the region is less commercialised.

In the end, both locations will keep children entertained, but the allure of the Gold Coast’s theme parks and more variety means that there are more options to choose activities that will appeal to children of a wider range of personalities.

The traffic issue on its own is a significant win for the Sunshine Coast in this contest, and when added to the generally more efficient, clean, and safe public transport, it leaves the Gold Coast looking notably deficient in comparison.

The light rail system on the Gold Coast has fixed some small problems; nonetheless, it does not have appropriate connections, which leaves a lot to be desired.

The typical traveller will find that driving a car on the Sunshine Coast is a far more enjoyable experience.

Shop for activities to do with Kids

Gold Coast: Aquaduck City Tour and River Cruise

Take in the attractions of the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise on this enjoyable tour.

As you make your way along the river and Broadwater, take in the breathtaking scenery.

Take the helm of the Aqua-duck, and you’ll walk away with a customised driver’s licence (for children)

Buy Entry Ticket | Get your Guide

Gold Coast: Movie World, Sea World, & Wet’n’Wild Pass

This convenient entrance pass to three of the Gold Coast’s most popular theme parks allows you to save both time and money over the course of three days.

Get ready to be amazed on a range of extreme rides at Wet’n’Wild, zoom around on roller coasters at Movie World & Sea world

Buy Entry Ticket | Get your Guide


Even while the Sunshine Coast is no longer the completely quiet and uninteresting place to spend the night that it used to be in the past, the nightlife options there still pale in contrast to those on the Gold Coast.

Whether one likes it or not, the nightlife scene on the Gold Coast is an essential component of its culture and continues to be a primary reason for the existence of a significant portion of its attractions.

The Sunshine Coast is a good choice if you want to have a few drinks in peace and quiet; on the other hand, the Gold Coast is the place to go if you want a longer night out than you can get on the Sunshine Coast.

Day trips

Even while Noosa is closer to Fraser Island than Byron Bay, the Gold Coast is still only a little over an hour’s drive away from Byron Bay. Why not visit the Sunshine Coast instead, and use the time you save to travel to the largest sand island in the world?

Both Viator and Fraser Free Tours offer day excursion options for their customers.

The local company offers a number of different small group day trip choices that will take you to the primary attractions found on Fraser Island.

This encompasses locations such as Lake McKenzie, 75 Mile Beach, the Maheno Shipwreck, and Eli Creek.

A laid-back manner and atmosphere

Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast is the place to be if your primary objective while travelling to Queensland is to stay out partying till the morning light.

In general, the Sunshine Coast is far more chill and unhurried than the other coasts. Visit one of the top bars in the neighbourhood for an enjoyable evening out.

Every night, Taps Mooloolaba is open till one in the morning and features a system that allows customers to pour their own beer.

A supper club atmosphere can be found at Rumba Wine Bar in Noosa, which is discreetly located behind Massimo’s Fine Ice Creamery.

It has a wide selection of wines from both Australia and other countries, making it an excellent choice for a nightcap.

Wrapping up Note

These two districts in South East Queensland are quite similar in some respects and very different in others; as a result, the amount of enjoyment you receive out of a vacation to the Gold Coast versus a visit to the Sunshine Coast will mainly depend on the objective of your stay.

You want to unwind and get away from it all, but you don’t care much about the evening’s entertainment or the day’s packed schedule of events, do you? Make your way to the Sunshine Coast.

Are you looking for a place that offers activities at all hours of the day, despite the possibility that it will be more crowded as a result, or are you primarily concerned with keeping the children entertained?

You should head to the Gold Coast.

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