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Looking to Make a Sea Change? Here Are the Best Places to Buy (or Rent) a Coastal Home in Australia

Australia has always been known to have some of the world’s best beaches and spectacular coastlines, but only recently have residents decided to opt out of the hustle and bustle of busy urban life and relocate to coastal homes closer to the beach. 

Why? In 2020, we saw remote work become normalised, and the dream of working from home in a seaside town became a possibility. Moreover, with overseas travel still off the cards, people are wanting to get out of the city to enjoy a long-term holiday.

The statistics reflect this change, too. Figures compiled by found Port Macquarie on New South Wales’ mid-north coast saw a large number of house sales in 2020 with 703 transactions. The median sale price increased by 8.24 per cent to $607,500. 

Similarly, the Gold Coast in Queensland saw incredible sales, with Surfers Paradise recording a staggering 985 unit and apartment sales, followed by Southport with 525 sales. The median prices increased by 4.64 per cent and 1.41 per cent respectively. 

According to the statistics, 10 out of 20 of the top suburbs for homes and units sold in 2020 were located in coastal suburbs, and were as follows:

  • Point Cook, VIC
  • Bunderim, QLD
  • Baldivis, WA
  • Surfers Paradise, QLD
  • Southport, QLD
  • Dee Why, NSW
  • Labrador, QLD
  • Broadbeach, QLD
  • Maroochydore, QLD
  • Port Macquarie, NSW

What was interesting was that majority of the remaining 10 suburbs were regional suburbs, proving those who weren’t making a sea change to the coast were making a tree change to the country.

If you’re looking for that sea change lifestyle, here are some of the best locations around Australia you should consider.

Most popular coastal areas to relocate to across Australia in 2021

New South Wales

According to a Domain Rent Report, Byron Bay is the most popular destination for sea changers in NSW, with rents across the Byron Bay council area increasing by 26.4 per cent in the past year to a median $885 a week for a house. 

Units in Wollongong have proven to be a popular destination for first home buyers, too, with the area receiving the highest amount of inquiries in regional NSW from April to September 2020. The area is close to many great beaches without giving up too much of the city lifestyle, and also a short 90-minute drive to Sydney CBD. 

Moreover, Coffs Harbour is one of NSW”s most popular tourist destinations but has now become a hotspot for home buyers and renters. 



The city of Jan Juc is located at the start of the Great Ocean Road and is home to some of Australia's best beaches. It’s also a 20-minute drive to the city of Geelong and only 80-minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, proving why it received the highest views per listing across all suburbs in Victoria from April to September 2020. 

Then, there’s the Mornington Peninsula on the southern fringe of the Melbourne metro area, which has continued to thrive. The area has a good track record of growth and has a range of pricing throughout its suburbs, from $500,000 to $1.5 million.



Sea changers have been flocking to Noosa, which has increased house rents up 22.6 per cent in a year to a median $650 a week. Other popular areas include Gladstone, Isaac, Rockhampton and Livingstone.

Surfers Paradise has also gained more traction with units in this city becoming the most enquired suburb in Queensland for first home buyers and investors from April to September 2020. 

If you love Surfers Paradise but you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe, the coastal town of Tugun is a great region to consider. It has a small-town feel and the appeal drawing renters and investors comes from its homey streets and the fact that it’s located only an hour away from Brisbane’s CBD.  


South Australia

The coastal town of Victor Harbor, located just outside of Adelaide, recorded the strongest growth in rents of any regional centre in the state, with rates increasing 30.4 per cent in a year to a median $450 a week, according to Domain. 

Second to Victor Harbor was Mount Gambier, which is known for being the home to the Blue lake, craters, cakes, sinkholes, underground waterways and beautiful gardens. It’s only a 20-minute drive to the coast and is a major service centre for the Limestone Coast region. 


Western Australia

The town of Port Hedland, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, recorded an astonishing increase of 36.1 per cent over the year, with the median house rent now sitting at $575. 

The town of Margaret River has also gained traction from renters and investors, and is now the second most enquired town in WA. Famous for its wines, beaches and nature trails, it’s the place to relocate to if you’re after a much-needed mental break from city life.


Want to experience the coast before relocating there? Here are 8 beautiful coastal walks around Australia you need to do at least once in your life. 

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