While the Sunshine Coast isn't quite the quiet, tranquil one-night region it was in the past, its nightlife offering still pales in comparison to it. The daily lifestyle is by far the most recognizable difference between the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. While Gold Coast is known for its lively social scene and lively nightlife, Sunshine Coast is characterized by a relaxed and carefree lifestyle. Both regions are largely driven by tourism, which adds an omnipresent holiday feeling to life along both coasts.
With that in mind, your preferred Christmas style will help you instantly decide between the two. You don't want to spend a night on a crowded beach, so the Goldcoast is definitely a better option for a weekend getaway. In addition, the Pacific Highway (M), which is supposed to be one of Australia's main roads, is limited to only 2 lanes in each direction for much of its stretch of Gold Coast, causing frequent traffic jams as people travel to and from Brisbane. Both the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are younger regions and, as a result, are somewhat lacking in monuments and culture.
As a result of the rapid expansion in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast over the past two years, transportation has proven to be a logistical challenge in both cities. Despite this fact, Gold Coast is still one of Australia's nightlife capitals and its variety of quirky bars, clubs and other establishments remain a major attraction for young, single and party-loving travellers, both domestic and foreign. They are quite similar in terms of environment, structure and design, and are basically side by side when it comes to beautiful beaches, although the beaches of the Sunshine Coast tend to be more protected and are slightly more family-friendly, and you're more likely to find less commercialized stretches of beach on the Sunshine Coast. As for nightclubs, the area is very limited and there are few options; Rolling Rock is a club with a long history that offers what you need without being incredible and is practically the central offering of this part of the Sunshine Coast.
Similarly, Sunshine Coast is one of the most populous districts in Queensland, with an ever-growing community of full-time residents. Having a car is probably still the best option for greater convenience, although the Sunshine Coast's public transport is more than enough to get around. This reflects the general environment of the Sunshine Coast: the region achieves a beautiful balance between beach life and the lush subtropical rainforest, and the lack of a large number of skyscrapers means a much more open feeling, without casting large shadows that hide the sunlight. All of these factors combine to make Gold Coast a viable vacation destination almost all year round in terms of weather.
While the Sunshine Coast isn't quite the quiet and tranquil region of a previous night, its nightlife offer is still pale compared to that of the Gold Coast. Perhaps the best term to describe shopping on the Gold Coast would be to be above average and rising. The stores here are more than decent (although some of them are difficult for travelers who don't have a car to access) and almost all types of stores from both ends of the price spectrum are covered. Between these and the multitude of supermarkets, boutiques and other stores that cover almost the entire length of Gold Coast's two main roads, there's no shortage of options.
However, after all, it's the beaches that are still the Sunshine Coast's main business card and are likely to take up most of your time, so you'll have plenty to choose from here.