Long Term House Sitting Sunshine Coast, Queensland: Secrets to Success

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house sitting sunshine coast
The beautiful Sunshine Coast is both a house-sitting and surfing hotspot. Photo by Lochlainn Riordan/Unsplash

Looking for long-term house sitting Sunshine Coast secrets? After years of house-sitting, here is what I’ve learned to secure free accommodation along some of Australia’s most stunning sub-tropical beaches.

What Is House Sitting?

House sitting is a trust-based transaction between a homeowner and a housesitter, who cares for the home and pets while the owner is away, in exchange for free rent and utilities*.

*A minority are paid, but mostly for short periods, or when the house sit requires additional pet health care or property maintenance.

Homeowners save money on boarding for their pets, while increasing security in their homes by having someone there. You save money on accommodation while travelling or saving, all while receiving endless pet snuggles. House sits can be short-term (a few days) or long-term (up to a year or more).

After house-sitting full time for the past two years in Australia, here are the secrets that I have learned during that time, so you too can successfully score long-term house sitting on the Sunshine Coast (or further afield).

(c) Kate Zarb - Oh, Nomad! [ohnomad.com]
Do you want to the secrets to travelling and living for free with adorable animals? Image © Kate Zarb / ohnomad.com

Why House Sitting Sunshine Coast?

On Aussie House Sitters, there were 33 Sunshine Coast house sits listed in the 7 days before this post, slightly higher than the ever-popular Gold Coast. So, if you want to visit an area that mixes sun-soaked coastline combined with ‘alternative’ inland towns like Maleny, it’s a great alternative to the state capital, Brisbane. You can easily travel to nearby Bribie Island, Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island.

Sunshine Coast Long Term Housesitting Secrets

Queensland Public Holidays

To maximise your chances of longer-term opportunities, make yourself available during public holidays. Homeowners often add accrued leave to the days that their employers are closed, or visit friends and relatives around the times that they aren’t at work.

Queensland Public HolidaysDate/s
New Year’s DayJanuary 1*
Australia DayJanuary 26
Easter (Good Friday, Easter Saturday/Sunday/Monday)Early-Mid April
ANZAC DayApril 25
Labour Day1st Monday in May
Royal Queensland Show (Brisbane only)1st/2nd Friday in August
King’s Birthday1st Monday in October
Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)December 24-26#
*If New Years Day falls on a weekend, the public holiday may be on January 3.
#The Holidays Act 1983 provides for an extra public holiday to be added when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day falls on a weekend.

Locals also travel frequently during the colder months (June to August), so you might have less competition if you are happy to be in the area in the off-peak season.

Sunshine Coast House Sitting Locations

There are a number of regional ‘hub’ towns throughout the Sunshine Coast where you are likely to find house sitting opportunities, including: Caloundra, Kawana Waters, Maroochydore, Noosa Heads, Nambour and Maleny. The area and population are rapidly expanding, so there are many new homes needing to be taken care of.

Noosa Heads and Caloundra are two of the largest (and most desirable) destinations in the area, so if you are happy to go a bit further afield (especially inland, away from the famous beaches), you may have more success. Heading north? Consider Central Queensland and Cairns.

House Sitting Noosa Heads

‘Upscale’ Noosa Heads (often known as just ‘Noosa’) and neighbouring Noosaville and Tewantin are popular locations. Noosa National Park is great for hiking and surf spots for both beginner and pro surfers.

House Sitting Caloundra

Caloundra is the largest urban hub in the region, with a number of famous natural landmarks (including Shelly, Golden and Moffat beaches) and sprawling suburbs.

If you leave tourist destinations like Caloundra, you may secure longer house sits. Photo by Kylie Osullivan/Unsplash

Meet With Homeowners

While Sunshine Coasters are generally a relaxed bunch – homeowners like to get to know the house sitters that will take care of their home – especially long term. For house sits over a month, as soon as I’ve spoken to the homeowner over the phone, I try and organise a ‘meet and greet’. If I’m in another city, I let them know the dates that I will be near them and schedule an approximate date to meet.

I believe that this shows commitment to the house sit and this gesture will make you stand out from other applicants. It’s a great opportunity to be introduced to the pets and to get a ‘feel’ for the house, the location and what will be required from you during your stay.

If you meet with difficult or disrespectful homeowners, I’d rather know this before I spend months in their homes! Yet, you often meet with people in person only to find that you quickly bond and agree to the house sit.

Finally, if you want to maximise your chances of getting that house sit on The Sunshine Coast, here are some tips:

  • Use the ‘Alert’ feature on Aussie House Sitters to be notified via email when house sits of 2-4 weeks/1 month or more are listed and apply as soon as you can – Go to ‘My Account” > ‘Useful Tools’ > ‘My Alerts’ > ‘New Alert’;
  • Apply for a QLD Police Certificate ($42AUD) to reassure homeowners of your suitability;
  • Provide a link to your social media accounts and/or full name in your application, so homeowners can ‘Google’ you;
  • Keep it all about them – ask questions about where they are going, how they like things done around the house and their preferences. Read their ad, listen carefully and take notes of these for later. Clarify anything unclear about their expectations.

In a trust-based exchange like house sitting, the more that you show yourself to be a considerate and trustworthy house sitter, the more success you’ll have. Once you have a few good references (in addition to being available on public holidays, meeting with owners quickly and being flexible in your choice of location), you’ll be house-sitting Sunshine Coast-wide before you know it.

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