Both roughly an hour from Brisbane (although let’s be honest, with the Bruce AND the Pacific Motorway under pretty much perpetual roadworks, this estimated travel time is extremely flexible) the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast are culturally worlds apart.
While the Sunshine Coast is a hand-woven, fairtrade, ethical hemp sandal, the Gold Coast is a bedazzled platform wedge flip flop. The Sunshine Coast is rising with the dawn to salute the sun and sip hot water and lemon, while the Gold Coast is still wiping off its mascara and rolling into bed.
We’ve made a list of 23 other differences that make us happy to live on the Sunny Coast.
1. Despite being the Federal Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer seems to spend more time at his Gold Coast mansion than in either his Sunshine Coast electorate OR Canberra. Just to be clear, we on the Sunshine Coast TOTALLY support that.
2. Everyone on the Gold Coast is secretly jealous of the Sunshine Coast’s pristine, uninhabited beaches. Everyone on the Sunshine Coast is openly jealous of the Gold Coast’s proximity to IKEA.
3. “We need to pick up some ice on the way to the BBQ,” means something very different on the Gold Coast…
4. There’s a reason Mooloolaba prawns are world famous. Have you ever heard of “Southport prawns”?
5. Bikers on the Gold Coast wear leather. Bikers on the Sunshine Coast wear Lycra. Unfortunately for us, there’s not yet any laws to prevent the Lycra kind.
6. The Gold Coast has grey nurses. The Sunshine Coast has grey nomads. It’s debatable which ones are more deadly. I mean, have you ever seen a 70-year-old behind the wheel of a four-tonne motorhome?
7. The Gold Coast has bronzed, gorgeous meter maids sashaying between parking meters. The Sunshine Coast has angry, flapping bush turkeys launching at you and flicking mulch on to your towel. We like a challenge.
8. Beards and neck tattoos on the Gold Coast indicate your seniority in your local outlaw motorcycle club. Beards and neck tattoos on the Sunshine Coast indicate how many artisan barista courses you’ve done.
9. We don’t have an NRL team on the Sunshine Coast, but at least that means we don’t have to support the Titans.
10. You can always find an amazing green smoothie on the Sunny Coast. Because it’s all about the kale, baby.
11. Because Double Island Point is so close that we can head up the North Shore any time we want, we don’t ever have to actually go camping. Just dropping vague references about “heading up to DI on the weekend” makes us seem rugged and earthy. #GodBlessTheGreatIndoors
12. We have the mighty Big Pineapple. On the Gold Coast, they just have Big Melons. Lots of them. (I acknowledge that for almost 50% of the population, this is possibly a GOOD thing.)
13. Both coasts have a population aged about 20 years above the national average. The difference is, on the Gold Coast, you don’t notice, because everyone above 35 has had pretty much everything lifted and plumped and paralysed beyond recognition.
14. Number of groms out at Superbank in the Christmas holidays = 6000. At Granites = 8.
15. In November, the Gold Coast gets 30,000 tanned, teenaged schoolies clogging up the streets in their $29 Supre dresses, drinking cheap cocktails, and complaining about the quality of the pills. In November, the Sunshine Coast gets 8,000 middle-aged, tanned triathletes clogging the streets on their $10,000 road bikes, drinking overpriced juice, and complaining about the quality of the espresso.
16. Overseas visitors are pretty much guaranteed to see a kangaroo on the Sunshine Coast. I mean, even our university is teeming with the things.
17. The Gold Coast has Palazzo Versace, with 26 different types of marble. The Sunshine Coast has Marble Bar with 26 different types of pinot grigio.
18. The only high-rises on Sunshine Coast beaches are palm trees.
19. Gold Coast has Hermes, Gucci, Prada. Sunshine Coast has…ummmm…SES in Kawana, but we don’t need dem labels.
20. Beaches on the Gold Coast are bordered by imposing, sun-sucking high-rises and snaking highways. Sunshine Coast beaches are bordered by terrifying, blood-sucking ticks and snaking…well, snakes.
21. If you fly out of Gold Coast airport, there’s a risk you may have to fly Tiger Air.
22. The Gold Coast is practically New South Wales. And during daylight savings, we ALL know how confusing that gets.
23. Our theme parks don’t malfunction and leave visitors hanging on death-defying rides for hours at a time. Admittedly our theme parks pretty much comprise of a ferris wheel and some remote-controlled boats, but they are DEFINITELY safer.
But ultimately, despite all our differences, I think we can all agree that we’re just thankful we don’t live in Toowoomba.
Image Credit: The Salty Pixel