Getting around Sunshine Coast

April 11, 2020

Getting around Sunshine Coast

It’s easy to get around the Sunshine Coast. There’s a network of roads, buses, trains and taxis that mean you can easily get to where you need to be. The network is going to expand in the near future, making public transport much easier.

Driving yourself

The easiest way to get around is to drive in your own car. Whether you ship your car over from NZ or buy one in Australia, the net effect is the same. Once you’re in the Sunshine Coast, you can drive around on your NZ full driver’s licence for three months. After that, you’ll need to apply for a Queensland drivers licence. You’ll need to take your Kiwi licence, proof you live in Queensland and ID proof into a Queensland Government Agent Program office. Pay a fee (up to $200) and you’re good to go.

Parking is not as difficult on the Sunshine Coast as it is in other major Australian cities. You’ll find metered parking for short stays, and there are pay-as-you-go all day parking facilities for those who work in a town centre.

One very important thing to consider is that once you escape the populated areas of the Sunshine Coast, there are stretches of highway that are sparsely populated. Make sure you have plenty of gas and know where the next station is. If you’re getting low on petrol, don’t decide to re-fill at the next station- there may not be one for several hundred km! Also make sure you are self-sufficient with a spare tyre, all the tools needed to replace the tyre, and things like water for the radiator.

Public transport

There are the normal offerings of buses, trains and the Sunshine Coast Airport. There are also car rentals, taxis and rideshares. Download the Translink App on your smartphone to see the routes, any closures, and the best way to get to where you need to go.

Not all services will let you carry bikes or surfboards, so check that before you leave home.

Sunshine Coast has a mass transit project currently in place, and it has been underway since 2012. The local and central government project aims to link the main and smaller centres throughout the Sunshine Coast, reduce dependency on cars, and enable future expansion. This is underway, and this will allow people to easily access employment in areas away from home.

Go card

You can buy paper tickets or consider a go card if you anticipate regular travel. That way, you can top up as needed and to travel, simply touch the card to the reader at the start and end of your journey. It’s cheaper than a paper ticket (about 30% less and another 20% on off-peak times) and far simpler. As well as standard go cards, you can get go cards for seniors, children, and temporary ones for all-day or week long services. Children between 5 and 14 years old are free on the weekend, and seniors get discounts when they travel.

You can buy go cards from your local 7-Eleven or NightOwl store, or most major bus and train stations. Paper tickets can be purchased from train stations or as you board a bus.

Buses on the Sunshine Coast

There are two main bus operators, Sunbus and Glasshouse Country Coaches. Visit for timetables. The network is extensive throughout the suburbs and wider area through to Brisbane and the airport. Bus route 622 services the local airport.

There is a late-night bus service on Friday and Saturday along routes 600 and 620.

Trains on the Sunshine Coast

There are daily trains between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Most start from Nambour station, and run as far north as Gympie North. There’s also route 649 that runs between Nambour and Caboolture.

Ferries on the Sunshine Coast

There are ferries in some areas of the Sunshine Coast. From Horsehoe Bay to Langdale, there are seven sailings daily. From Earls Cove to Saltery Bay, there are eight sailings each day. From Westview to Blubber Bay, there are eight sailings a day, except on Wednesday has variations.

Sunshine Coast Council link

This is an affordable option for people over 60 years old or those with a disability. This is a door-to-door service that takes you from your home in the morning to the local shopping area. The return journey is around lunchtime. This makes shopping for your necessities easy and cheap. Check out the schedule for the Sunshine Coast here.

Taxis and rideshare

Suncoast Cabs are the largest provider throughout the Sunshine Coast. There are taxi ranks on Mooloolaba and the Esplanade, Ocean Street in Maroochydore, and Minchinton Street in Caloundra. These ranks operate on Friday and Saturday nights. A genuine cab has prominently display rank information ID number.

Uber is also located in the Sunshine Coast, simply download the app to get started.

Sunshine Coast airport

With a range of flights connecting you across Australia and overseas, the Sunshine Coast Airport has all the facilities you expect. You can fly direct to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland. The seasonal Auckland direct flight takes three and a half hours.

As well as car rentals, taxis and public bus services that run to and from the airport, there is also a shuttle bus. The Con-X-ion Airport transfer goes door-to-door throughout the region.

Cycling in the Sunshine Coast

The roads in the Sunshine Coast area lend themselves well to cycling. With rolling hills, lots of towns that are closely connected and easily navigable roads, there are options for your commute as well as pleasure rides. Because of the great weather in the area, cycling is a reliable way of getting around and it’s enjoyable year-round. Join the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club to find out more.

There are plenty of transport options in and around the Sunshine Coast. Don’t limit yourself to a car but take advantage of the buses and trains to take you where you need to go—no worries about driving, traffic or pollution.

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