Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, it’s no wonder the Gold Coast is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. But did you know it’s a pretty great place to plant your roots, too?
If you’re thinking of making the move to the Gold Coast, read up on some of the good and not-so-good features of this Sunshine State favourite.
In a rush? Skip to the info you need:
- Pros and cons of living on the Gold Coast
- Best Gold Coast suburbs to live in
- Moving to the Gold Coast from other cities
- Gold Coast’s dining scene
- Culture on the Gold Coast
- Gold Coast’s climate
- Getting around the Gold Coasst
Living on the Gold Coast: Pros and Cons
The Gold Coast isn’t just surf, sand and wax museums, y’know. This sunny Queensland gem has a lot more to offer than just its beaches. But along with the good stuff comes the not-so-appealing stuff. Think you can handle it?
Pro: There’s plenty to see and do
From hiking in the nearby hinterland to getting a thrill at the theme parks, the Gold Coast offers endless fun activities for the whole family. This is truly where the city meets the sea (and the rainforest). You could spend a lifetime here and still not run out of things to do. Whether you’re into sipping cocktails in buzzing bars or watching the sunset with a fishing pole in hand, the Gold Coast caters for everyone.
Con: Summers can get sweaty
The Gold Coast is known for its sunshine, offering great weather most days of the year. But come summertime, things can get a little sticky. The high humidity on the Gold Coast is fine when you’re taking a dip, but when you’re not at the beach, you might find yourself hibernating in air-conditioning.
Pro: It has amazing beaches
We couldn’t not mention them. The beautiful sandy beaches of the Gold Coast make up some of the best in Australia, and are often one of the key deciding factors for people considering making the move – especially surfers. Some of the top beaches on the Gold Coast include:
- Burleigh Heads
- Coolangatta Beach
- Kirra Beach
- Main Beach
- Nobby Beach.
Con: It can be tough to find a job
While the unemployment rate (5.3% as of March 2017) of the Gold Coast isn’t awful in comparison the Queensland as a whole (6.2% as of March 2017), that’s still 1 in 20 people who can’t find a job. Just like with any city, we recommend securing employment before making the move.
Pro: The public transport is pretty good
Going up and down the Gold Coast’s long coastline is pretty easy thanks to its public transport system of buses, trams, and trains. The train is especially handy if you work in Brisbane as it can cut the commute time down and eliminate the need to sit in traffic. You can knock over your emails before you get to work (or just pass time on Facebook… we won’t judge).
Best Gold Coast Suburbs to Live In
Be in the heart of the action or opt for seaside peace and quiet with the Gold Coast’s diverse selection of suburbs.
Broadbeach Waters – Inner Suburb
Want to be walking distance to beaches, parks, restaurants, and boutiques? Broadbeach Waters is just minutes from Broadbeach central, but offers a leafy escape from the hustle and bustle.
Loved for its bike paths and stunning scenic walks, this popular suburb is great for singles, couples, and families. And if you’re aiming to go waterfront (ooh la la), you’ll find some amazing homes on the canal.
Burleigh Heads – Inner Suburb
If you’re moving to the Gold Coast for the beaches, you can’t go wrong with Burleigh Heads. This hip and happening suburb is home to one of the best beaches on the coast, along with plenty of trendy bars, cafés and restaurants to explore.
But it’s not just great for beach lovers who like a good cup of brew. Burleigh Heads also offers several children’s centres and schools, making it a top spot for young families.
Biggera Waters – North Gold Coast
Biggera Waters may be sedate, but it’s definitely not boring. Offering lower rents and property prices than the glitter strip, along with plenty of great fishing spots, a waterfront promenade dotted with cafés and restaurants, and the nearby Harbour Town shopping centre, Biggera Waters is loved by tourists and locals alike.
If you prefer a cruisier, more laidback lifestyle, this sleepy suburb is perfect for you.
Coolangatta – South Gold Coast
Another chilled-out suburb, Coolangatta allows you to slow down a little, without being dull. It has all the cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars you need for some fun on the town, but it’s most popular for its pleasant walking trails and old-school beachside charm.
If you want good beaches and friendly people, Coolangatta is a top pick.
Moving to the Gold Coast from Other Cities
Life on the Gold Coast is a little different to city-living around Australia. Find your current hometown below for a heads up.
Moving to the Gold Coast from Sydney
- Journey time: 9hr 15min drive or 1hr 20min flight
- Sydney to Gold Coast removalist cost: $2,000 – $2,800
- Housing costs: The median price of a house on the Gold Coast is $160,000 more affordable than the median price of a house in Sydney ($655,000 vs. $815,000)
- Rent: Renting on the Gold Coast is roughly $110 more affordable than renting in Sydney ($430 vs. $540 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from Sydney: The shopping
- What you’ll love about the Gold Coast: The laidback lifestyle
Moving from Melbourne to the Gold Coast
- Journey time: 18hr 5min drive or 2hr flight
- Melbourne to Gold Coast removalist cost: $2,500 – $2,500
- Housing costs: The median price of a house on the Gold Coast is $2,000 more expensive than the median price of a house in Melbourne ($655,000 vs. $653,000)
- Rent: Renting on the Gold Coast costs roughly the same as renting in Melbourne ($430 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from Melbourne: The culture
- What you’ll love about the Gold Coast: The beaches
Removalist costs are based on the average cost of moving the contents of a 3-bedroom home. Prices will vary depending on your needs.
The Gold Coast’s Dining Scene
The Gold Coast is teeming with good old-fashioned Aussie pubs, swanky bars, and the kind of cafés you just know get photographed to death by hipsters. Whether you’re licking your lips for a quick bite or a night of wining and dining you won’t soon forget, the Gold Coast has something to satisfy your tastebuds.
This bustling hotspot is located at the centre of the Gold Coast, and is alive at all hours of the day and night with cafés, restaurants, bars, and clubs. From affordable family meals to à la carte dining, you’ll find everything here from fast food to top-notch steak.
Tedder Avenue – Main Beach
Looking for somewhere casual to eat after a swim? Or perhaps you’re in the mood for sophisticated outdoor evening dining? Tedder Avenue’s relaxed atmosphere transforms come sundown, offering a range of cuisines from Indian and Italian to Thai and Japanese.
No, we’re not just talking Sizzler (though, who can say no to that dessert buffet?). Mermaid Beach has become one of the most popular foodie haunts on the Gold Coast, hosting a melting pot of delicious eateries to choose from. Indulge in fish and chips, authentic Mexican, and some of the best pastries and baked goods on the coast.
This sunny precinct is loved for its great coffee and takeaway options for those late-night cravings. From street food to hearty burgers, Palm Beach delivers the goods your tastebuds will love.
Culture on the Gold Coast
If you’re looking to get your culture fix on the Gold Coast, you might be surprised to find these laidback beach bums are pretty darn artsy indeed.
Home Of The Arts (HOTA) – 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise
HOTA is your go-to art and culture hub for cinema, theatre, dance, music, and gallery art. With a huge focus on sharing the space with local artists, you’ll catch plenty of Gold Coast talent here.
It’s home to the Gold Coast City Gallery, offering exciting exhibitions to wander, and public programs for those wanting to get a little more hands-on. Keep a lookout for much-loved HOTA hosted events including the Gold Coast Film Festival and the Bleached Arts Festival.
Gallery One – Shop 16.02, 107 Ferry Rd, Southport
Hosting a diverse display of contemporary fine art, Gallery One exhibits pieces from many high-profile Australian artists. With ever-changing exhibitions, you can expect to be surprised by something new each time you visit, making this state-of-the-art gallery worth returning to.
Gold Coast War Museum – 42 John Rogers Rd, Mudgeeraba
Housing one of the biggest collections of militaria in Australia, the Gold Coast War Museum is well worth a visit or two – especially if you love your history. Here you can discover military equipment and historical artifacts such as uniforms and weapons.
The Gold Coast’s Climate
It’s not called the Sunshine State for nothing, and the Gold Coast’s sub-tropical climate is no exception when it comes to lapping up the sun’s rays. Be prepared and check out what to expect each season.
Summer at the Gold Coast comes with some pretty humid days, with temperatures averaging 21-28.5°C. February brings the most rain, so don’t forget to pack your umbrella along with your sunscreen.
Pleasant sunny days and cooler nights are what autumn on the Gold Coast is all about. You can expect days to be around 18-25.7°C, and the beaches are still warm enough for a dip – which is perfect, as the rain has normally eased up by this time.
Winter at the Gold Coast comes with sunny, dry days around 12.5–21.5°C. Nights can be cool.
Spring offers mild weather, with temperatures average around 17-25.5°C. Days are sunny and dry, but the wind tends to pick up, particularly around September.
Getting Around the Gold Coast
Buses, trains and trams make it easy to get where you want to go. If you purchase a prepaid Go Card, you can travel on all bus, train, tram, and ferry services in South East Queensland, making it super handy if you work outside the Gold Coast.
With over 60 bus routes in the city, you’re sure to find one that can take you to your destination. The Gold Coast’s bus service is generally reliable and an affordable alternative to spending money on petrol.
Wherever you find yourself on the Gold Coast, chances are there’s a taxi nearby. You can hail a taxi in the street, and you’ll find taxi ranks in busy areas like shopping centres and dining precincts. Ubers are plentiful as well.
The Gold Coast’s train system can help you beat the traffic to major centres including Helensvale, Nerang, and Robina. The train is a popular choice for professionals commuting to and from Brisbane city.
The tram service runs from 5am to midnight during the week and over the weekend. It connects Helensvale, Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, and Broadbeach.
Make your move to the Gold Coast a little easier with these 10 tips.
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Tags: City Guides