Live well for less on the Sunshine Coast

We have 10 tips to live well for less on the Sunshine Coast. Freebies and cheap fun for the whole family can help reduce cost of living pressures and Council has put together this guide to help.

Live well for less on the Sunshine Coast

1. Education and entertainment  

If you still think of libraries as nothing more than masses of paperbacks on dusty shelves pleading to be loved– think again. Not only do Sunshine Coast Libraries offer an impressive collection of books, but a free library membership is your portal to plenty more freebies like movies, music, audiobooks, magazines (via the eLibrary) and self-paced learning (including LinkedIn Learning).

Library members can access hoopla and select from more than 370,000 movie titles which can be streamed immediately or downloaded to your device to be enjoyed later. Why not make use of Sunshine Coast Free WiFi at more than 35 locations across the region.

Sunshine Coast Libraries are also home to a smorgasbord of free or low-cost events, with guest speakers presenting on topics like artificial intelligence, art exhibitions, learn to sew sessions, helping people understand how to use technology or connecting the community with new ways to innovate. Check out the jam-packed events calendar.

If you have little ones, they will love coming along to Rhymetime (ages 0 to 2) and Storytime (ages 2 to 5), plus your library membership allows you to borrow toys – another savvy way to save cash and keep the kids entertained with something new.

2. Health and wellbeing

You don’t need to break the bank to move, eat, sleep, think and connect well. That’s the message from the Healthy Sunshine Coast program which offers more than 50 low-cost health and wellbeing activities throughout the region.

Whether you like to exercise in the fresh air or in the water, meditate, dance or get active with the kids, there’s something for everyone with the program catering to a diverse variety of needs and preferences. Join today.

The Sunshine Coast is also home to 55 exercise parks, where you can get fitter and stronger for free, and aquatic centres offering a range of programs and services. 

3. Cultural delights

Admission to Caloundra Regional Gallery is free and a wonderful way to immerse yourself in in arts and culture. Explore regularly changing exhibitions, participate in free activities such as the makers space and artist talks or browse the free online resources.

Visit the heritage-listed Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct in Glass House Mountains. Entry is free and you can enjoy tours of the old house, explore seasonal exhibitions and experience award winning virtual reality. Play big wooden games in the grounds or pack a picnic to enjoy against stunning views of Mt Tibrogargan. Check the Heritage ‘What’s on’ to find free and low-cost events and activities each month.

Pop over to the Landsborough Museum to gain insight into Sunshine Coast heritage. The museum is free to enter and volunteers are available to show you around. Enjoy thoughtfully curated exhibitions including Grassroots to Glory, which until 2032, will showcase the region’s sporting heritage.

Check out the Heritage website to explore a rich digital library of stories, from First Nations stories to tales of fishing and agriculture through the ages.

4. Adventure time

They say the best things in life are free and here on the Sunshine Coast we are spoilt for choice when it comes to world-famous natural areas anyone can explore.

Sunshine Coast Council has developed a website you can use to plan your outside explorations – aptly named Adventure Sunshine Coast.

The website features guides to more than 250 walking, running, paddling, cycling, mountain-biking and horse-riding trails on the Sunshine Coast.

5. Living smart tips and events etc.

Visit the Living Smart website for tips, hacks, articles and events that can help you on your sustainable journey. From what to grow for the season and saving on your energy bill to building for the climate, Living Smart can help. Learn more about DIY vertical gardens, sustainable cleaning hacks and more.

Small in size, big on impact, the Living Lab at the MET is an urban green space hosting workshops, talks, art installations and activations that foster skill building and connections.

Looking for fun local events? Check out Sunshine Coast Events for all our regions most talked about events!

6. Environment

Soak up the benefits of immersing in nature and experience our region’s natural beauty at Council’s reserves.

Discover the wonder of the rainforest at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, the stunning gardens at Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden and the tranquil vegetation and wildlife at Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary.   

Meet conservation advocates and join a guided walk or pack a picnic and meander at your own pace.

7. Parks and Beaches directory

The Sunshine Coast boasts an array of parks that offer lush greenery, breathtaking vistas and epic playgrounds. From tranquil lilyponds to vibrant beachside enclaves, pack a picnic, fire-up a barbecue or take a stroll through some of the incredible parks and playgrounds the region has to offer.      

Spoilt for choice, our region is home to 376 playgrounds, 75 basketball courts, 46 dog exercise areas and 30 skate parks! Find out more here.

Planning a wedding or ceremony? Consider our beaches and parks as a beautiful, low-cost location for your special day- find out more.

8. Skate and BMX parks- Outdoor fun

Whether you skate, scoot or blade, grab your wheels of choice and check out our 26 skate parks. Free to use and built for varying skill levels, many of the skate parks include half pipes, grind blocks and ledges, ramps, rails and more!

Looking for bike trails that will get your heart pumping and are fun for all ages and skill levels! Head to Sugar Bag Road Mountain bike trails. Grab your bike and helmet and give the pump track a go.

9. Community gardens

The popularity of community gardens has blossomed over the past couple of years and it’s a trend we’re absolutely digging.

Community gardens offer a place where people can come together to share gardening skills, grow food and meet new people. These gardens play a key role in our neighbourhoods by helping build a sense of community, a connection with the environment and provide an opportunity to learn about sustainable living.

There are currently nine active community gardens in our region and each space is unique depending on the size, environment and how it is managed.

Looking for some encourage-mint to grow your own food? Sunshine Coast Libraries Seed Library offers a selection of heirloom fruit and vegetable varieties as part of the sustainable community collection now available at Kawana and Maleny libraries.

10. Grants and funding

Are you part of a community group that could use some extra funding? Community organisations and groups can apply for funding grants to see their projects, events and one-off initiatives come to life through Council’s Community Grants program.

Council’s grants program aims to support projects that enhance the region's cultural, sporting, environmental and community wellbeing.

Finding support for you or your family

If you are experiencing homelessness or domestic and family violence you can call:

  • Housing Service Centre phone (07) 5352 7333
  • Homeless Hotline phone 1800 474 753
  • DVConnect phone 1800 811 811

The Sunshine Coast Housing and Homelessness Directory contains details for organisations that are providing services to people experiencing homelessness.

Finding support for your business

Council’s Local Business Support program connects small and medium size businesses to resources, business tools, programs, events, procurement opportunities and referrals to networks to support the growth and development of businesses.

Find tools and resources to support your business to operate sustainably and make a profit here.

This article Live well for less on the Sunshine Coast has been supplied from the OurSC website and has been published here with permission.