Gold Coast

Living on the Gold Coast

Gold CoastThe Gold Coast has a population of just over half a million people and is an area of Queensland situated on the eastern coast, about one hour’s drive south of Brisbane. But unlike Brisbane, this place really is on the beach. And right in the centre of those beautiful beaches is Surfers Paradise, probably the area’s main attraction.

Gold Coast Location

But the Gold Coast is not all about beaches. The area is also enriched by the surrounding hinterlands, mountains and spectacular national parks, all of which are breathtaking. Tambourine Mountain is especially worth a visit. The Gold Coast also boasts over 400 km of canals and is home to a spectacular array of sea life and wildlife.

The Gold Coast also has a cluster of theme parks, it’s Australia’s theme park capital; with Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Sea World, White Water World, Dreamworld as well as the Australian Outback Spectacular and for nature lovers, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

So, you see? It’s not all about beaches. But the Gold Coast does still have beaches aplenty, over 40 km stretching from Southport all the way down to Coolangatta on the New South Wales border. And these beaches are just perfect for surfing.

I’m not sure, but the already mentioned Surfers Paradise may well be the most commercial Beach in Australia, that’s what I am told. But I am a guy who has been to Blackpool and I was born in Southend. Both of those beaches resorts ARE commercial. To me, Surfers was quiet by comparison.

But I am told that late nights over the weekend it can get quite boisterous. But if Surfers is still too busy for you, there are plenty of other beaches to choose from in the area that are even quieter.

So beaches, mountains, hinterland, theme parks, canals, surely this has got to be the best place to live in Australia? Perhaps, but it is very much a tourist area. Some of the more prestige properties that back onto one of the water systems or maybe overlooks the ocean can be very expensive, but there are plenty of more reasonable priced properties in the area that still give great access to the beach.

What’s the weather like?

Gold Coast Annual Weather ChartBeing only around 70 kilometres south of Brisbane, the weather on the Gold Coast is not too dissimilar from that of the city.

Although it does boast even more sunshine, getting around eight hours each day. Again, winters are very mild so you can make use of the beaches all year round.

Possible severe weather around the Gold Coast are, again, as in Brisbane, cyclones and some flooding.

The areas of the Gold Coast:

Gold Coast Map
The Gold Coast can be broken down into four main areas:

  • North Gold Coast – including Outer North and Inner North
  • Central Gold Coast – including both North Shore and South Shore
  • South Gold Coast – the South Coast area
  • The Hinterland – including the Central Hinterland and the South Hinterland

Questions about Gold Coast?

If you have any question about living in Gold Coast, please please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Or if you know this city well, why not tell us what you think of it or maybe even help out by answering some of the questions people have about the area. I’m sure anybody thinking of moving here would be very grateful for any help you can give them.

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{ 302 comments… add one }
  • Sem March 30, 2017, 5:59 pm | Link

    Hi, my wife and I have 3 kids all under 2 years of age.

    We will be looking to relocate to Australia in a few years from the UK and are looking at the Gold Coast as Sydney seems a little out of our price range.

    I was wondering if you could point to me where the most ideal area of the Gold Coast to live and work in would be.

    What we prefer:
    – Easy access to beaches
    – Easy access to theme parks
    – Easy access to site seeing, e.g rainforests / nature
    – Career opportunities
    – Safe neighbourhoods for our kids to grow up in
    – Decent proximity to good schools

    What we want to avoid:
    – Late night partying from tourists
    – Isolated house location

    Any tips and advice will be appreciated!

    Thanks Bob


    • BobinOz March 30, 2017, 8:39 pm | Link

      Pretty much anywhere on Gold Coast will give you the easy access to all the things you want easy access to and although the area has picked up a it of a reputation for being a crime hotspot, by and large the neighbourhoods are very safe for families.

      The area you would want would want to avoid would be Surfers Paradise and the suburbs close to it. That’s where most of the parting from the tourists goes on, so it’s best to keep your distance.

      I’d suggest you go shopping for houses, my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia will help you with that, and just avoid any suburb warehouses seem significantly cheaper than elsewhere has that probably means the neighbourhood is not quite so good.

  • Mo McGuire March 18, 2017, 3:33 am | Link

    Hi Bob!

    My friend and I are planning to move to the Gold Coast this upcoming September. We are in our early 20’s and are unsure as to where exactly the best place for young adults to live in this area. Could you give us any information on specific towns that would be good for us? We love the beach, would be looking for simple hospitality jobs, and would like a younger vibe. Hope to hear back, thanks!

    • BobinOz March 19, 2017, 8:25 pm | Link

      Sounds to me as though you need to be as close to Surfers Paradise as possible, it’s the most commercial part of the Gold Coast and therefore probably offers you the best chance of finding hospitality jobs. It certainly has a younger vibe.

      Accommodation in the area can be quite expensive though, so you may need to live a little further out or perhaps go to a backpackers. Good luck with your plans, Bob

    • Scott March 19, 2017, 10:09 pm | Link

      Hi Mo I think you will have a blast there. If you like beaches and are seeking hospitality work I think you will meet your expectations. Where are you moving from might help with advice also. Cheers. I would say close to Surfers also, Southport seems to be the less expensive alternative and is known for the younger crowd of people.

  • Jo March 14, 2017, 2:48 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Myself and my partner may be moving to the Goldy from Sydney in next few weeks. Probably looking at outskirts rather than central Goldy. 2 main questions we have is 1) I will need good internet to work from home, are there any bad spots you wouldn’t recommend. Looks like NBN is rolling out in some spots now but not others. 2) we have 2 dogs and would love to run them on the beach – are there dog friendly beaches?
    Thanks so much, Jo

    • BobinOz March 15, 2017, 12:56 am | Link

      Well, the broadband thing is quite easy, just choose somewhere where the NBN has already rolled out. Google NBN rollout map and start punching in addresses to find out where they have it.

      As for dog friendly beaches, I’m sure they have them down there, but I just don’t know which beaches they are. Hopefully a local will see your comment and help you out. Good luck, Bob

  • Jay March 14, 2017, 7:47 am | Link

    Hi bob , we are moving out to the Gold Coast within the next year to two years from Essex uk , your neck of the woods ..we have one son and my wife is a nurse . Where in your opinion would be best for bringing up a little one and for a job as a nurse

    • BobinOz March 15, 2017, 12:48 am | Link

      I’m not really qualified to answer fully, I don’t know Gold Coast well enough. I would suggest you would want to live close to wherever your wife will be working as a nurse, and I think they’re only half a dozen or so hospitals down there.

      So I’d wait to see where your wife will end up working and then choose a suburb nearby, but avoid being too close to Surface Paradise and the joining suburbs, that’s where it gets a little too commercial when you have a young child.

      You will like Gold Coast, it’s just like Southend…

  • bruce March 12, 2017, 9:23 pm | Link

    im bothered about the humidity living in surfers coming from England but living in Melbourne for 25 years

    is it bad in summer or will i get used to it

    • BobinOz March 13, 2017, 8:58 pm | Link

      Well, it doesn’t bother me and I’m a bit further north in Brisbane. You will also have the additional benefit of some great sea breezes as well, so I think you could be okay. Only way to find out for sure is to give it a try though. Good luck, Bob

  • HENRY March 6, 2017, 4:46 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, me & my wife + 2kids age 1 &3 currently live in Melbourne, we thinking of moving to Gold Coast due to my kid & I have bad ashma due to humidity & cold weather. My self current a machine setter for pharmaceutical & of hand job as handyman. My wife is an Administrator with degree of accounting. Can u give me an idea of suburb to live for me to find job or growth my handyman business? Our budget for buying house range between 300k to 400k house. We would like to have some big land approx 650m2 plus…
    Thanks heaps Bob

    • BobinOz March 7, 2017, 7:55 pm | Link

      I wasn’t sure what you might get for that kind of money, so I went to my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia, used the link to go to real and then searched property in Gold Coast between $300,000 and $400,000.

      I set it to minimum three bedrooms and got 624 results, mostly townhouses. When I refined the search to stipulate minimum land of 650 m², that reduced it to 22 results, some of which were 400k+. So yes, it is doable, but you will be limited as to where you can go.

      As for jobs, I have no idea where would be best for you and your wife, but my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you research that.

      Good luck, and don’t forget to leave your coats behind 🙂

  • blair March 6, 2017, 4:27 pm | Link

    Hi there,
    My husband and I are looking at the gold coast to move to for 2 month next year while he does an internship for his physical therapy program. We are from southern California and surf everyday. We love the out doors and really want to experience the best of the gold coast in the 2 months we will be there. Im also going to be by myself most the week while he is at work. Would love to have a fun active work out studio to enjoy while I’m there. Also would love to feel safe and comfortable on my own while I’m wondering during the day. =) what specific areas would you recommend.(( *affordable *safe *near the ocean =) )))))

    Blair =)

    • BobinOz March 7, 2017, 7:46 pm | Link

      If there is one thing Gold Coast has in abundance, it’s ocean 🙂 I’m not sure where you would need to go to get the most affordable, but you would want to avoid Surfers Paradise and the suburbs close by, they are the most commercial and expensive.

      Looking at suburbs further south of Surfers Paradise may give you more value, you can check out the current prices through my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.

      As for safe, it’s pretty much all safe, certainly during the day. I really liked Currumbin and the surrounding suburbs when I went there the other month.

  • Clare Butterworth March 6, 2017, 3:57 pm | Link

    Hello, I am going to be moving to the goldcoast End of the year, is there any suburbs close to any rainforests but near the ocean also?

    • BobinOz March 7, 2017, 7:39 pm | Link

      Yes, Mount Tamborine is in rainforest, and a very nice place to live too. It’s also only about 20 minutes or so drive to the beach. Check out my answer to Bridget below, dated February 14, 2017, 8:48 pm, and click on the link within that for more information.

      • Ben March 9, 2017, 11:03 am | Link

        Hi there Bob, sorry but Mount Tamborine is roughly a 50 minute drive to the closest beach. Beautiful up there but there are suburbs much closer to the beach which have close access to Rainforests. I would suggest Currumbin Valley, Tallebudgera and Mudgeeraba to name a few. All within 15 minute drive to the Beach and hidden at the base of the hinterlands.

        • BobinOz March 9, 2017, 10:05 pm | Link

          No need to apologise Ben, you are absolutely right to point it out. I really don’t want to mislead anyone, my brain must’ve had a bit of a misconfiguration when I answered the original comment.

          Yes, you are right, Tamborine to the beach is about 50 minutes, I’m not sure what I was thinking? Maybe I was thinking of the 20 minute drive it was from Mount Tamborine to that English pub…

          Maybe because it’s such a lovely drive 50 minutes seemed like 20 🙂 Either way, I got it wrong and am glad you have corrected me. Thanks also for offering alternative suggestions for Clare. Cheers, Bob

          • David Campbell March 24, 2017, 11:49 pm | Link

            You answered my ? about howfar mt Tamborine was

  • louise March 1, 2017, 8:09 pm | Link

    Hi My husband and myself are interested in moving I am 34 years old and I am a theatre scrub nurse with a degree in nursing and my husband is 36 years old and he is a Road/ Traffic engineer with a masters in road and transport planning and a degree in civil engineering. We also have 4 children, I not 100% sure which area to look first we do like the beach but not sure what we could afford to buy a 4/5 bed house. And if we would get a job thanks

    • Mark March 2, 2017, 6:40 am | Link

      First of all have a look on the skills list or SOL or the consolidated one CSOL for your jobs I am pretty sure a nurse is on there,, no idea about road traffic, or civil engineering without looking. If you are on there then its likely there is a greater need of your skills and as such a far greater chance of a job. Id imagine you will do well on the points score for a visa. So yes you will likely find a job…Treat it as a business venture, a new start up say. It will cost you some money to get out here but the rewards are bigger.
      As for where? Have a read of my answer below to Stuart Otter that is a start. perhaps more so with yourselves you need one of the bigger cities, more chance of jobs. As an example Melbourne has just announce 17 new suburbs. I cant begin to count how many new houses that is. That of course needs a bigger hospital and road infrastructure.constantly improving. Have a read through the pages on here and if all else fails, toss a coin…You cant go wrong for beaches or choice.

    • BobinOz March 2, 2017, 11:26 pm | Link

      Louise, you will be spoilt for beaches if you live anywhere on Gold Coast, the place is littered with glorious beaches everywhere. To check out the prices of housing in the area, see Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.

  • stuart otter February 27, 2017, 4:13 am | Link

    hi, what an excellent site, we are both 31 and have two boys 4 and 5 years old, we are very active, love outdoor activities and frequently travel to the coast, we like the cornish way of life and considered moving there so we are closer to family etc, but the experience of life in Australia does also seem very attractive so we would like to give this a shot first, Which area of Australia would be most suited to us? we also love eating out and socializing. I’m a roofer and my wife is a call handler for the police. We plan to work 3 or 4 days a week each. Thanks, stu

    • Mark February 27, 2017, 8:16 am | Link

      Hi Stuart First off I should say its hard to find pasties here…joking aside and having friends in Newquay most cities and more importantly surrounds will tick boxes for outdoor life… Narrowed down Adelaide, read the pages on it… Jobs might not be as prevalent as once they where ..Similarly Perth which some argue is to isolated Id agree. Darwin mmmmm Again could be said to isolated and some parts of the water are a touch more dangerous than other parts…Gold Coast and Surfers paradise again may be limiting in job and cosmopolitan feel but offer the lifestyle…Brisbane looks lovely but the proper beaches are a bit of a trek… Sydney is wonderful but not sure id like to live there and can be expensive as can Melbourne but its stretched around a bay a lot further I think than Sydney so better priced living can be had but the weather can be as mixed as can Cornwall…You may find for your points to get here that state sponsorship is a way in which case your initial choice may be limited…Have a read on here of the various city’s. Go and watch wanted down under and revisited on TV or catch up on the different city’s and then maybe even you have to flip a coin..

  • Sam February 21, 2017, 12:10 pm | Link


    My girlfriend will be going to Uni in Brisbane and I’ll be going on the Gold Coast. I was just wondering would it be worth one of moving cities to be closer, or is the drive between cities not that bad?
    Very subjective question, but any input you have would be greatly appreciated!


    • BobinOz February 26, 2017, 10:15 pm | Link

      Well, the drive is about an hour and a quarter, and sometimes not too pleasant. I suppose much depends on your schedule at uni and how much you want to be together 🙂 Good luck though, Bob

  • Georgia February 19, 2017, 8:28 pm | Link

    Hi bob!
    Love your website! My boyfriend (aged 29) myself (aged 23) and our five year old son are moving from Ireland to Australia in June. We have all visas sorted, we’re looking for a place with plenty of work. My partner is a labourer, while I have a business degree and currently working in the fashion industry. We’re Hoping for a place suitable for a young family, not too quiet, but not too loud, reasonable rent, hot weather, nice beaches and just outside a busy town/city. I no we’re asking for a lot but I would love to hear some recommendations. ,my brother lives in Sydney and his cost of living is just too expensive for us. I would love to hear any recommendations. We’re finding our age is very difficult as a lot of areas for people our age are too care free, whilst areas suitable for families do not have people our age.

    • BobinOz February 19, 2017, 11:46 pm | Link

      So, before I answer you Georgia, are you looking to specifically live in the Gold Coast (being as you posted your question on my page about Gold Coast) or are you considering anywhere in Australia?

      • Georgia February 20, 2017, 6:06 am | Link

        No, we’re not just considering the Gold Coast. We would consider anywhere in Australia at the moment. From our internet searches so far Gold Coast is our favourite, with its “tropical” style city. Although, I would love to hear any advice you have

        • BobinOz February 26, 2017, 9:28 pm | Link

          Well, I think you are probably on the right track with Gold Coast, it’s got great beaches, the weather is perfect and it has easy access to Brisbane. I’d look at the southern end of Gold Coast for the not too loud not to quiet thing you’re after, maybe around Currumbin, Tugun and Palm Beach.

          I couldn’t advise you about work though and its availability in that area, but you can search for opportunities in your fields five the links on my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

          Don’t discount the Tweed Coast either, that’s a little further south and over the border in New South Wales.

  • Robyn February 19, 2017, 3:33 pm | Link

    Hi im looking atm selling my house in geelong vic. Im then or in 2=3 months time wanting to relocate move to the gold coast
    Im not sure for my daughter whos . Aged 12 nearly
    Or wich subirb exactly etc ether yet for her & myself on which or choosing a subirb
    ?? 🙂
    As we like sirfers as all people do but expense wise hasto be considered in surfers etc , 🙂 not wanting miles away tho ether but still a beachy atmosphere close by & a high school
    So ware or which suburbs woild I suggest looking for buying a smaller house or townhouse please
    Without the suburbs areas. Lol named as bad locating areas for drugs or I guess worst suburbs to buy at
    Around 300 or a little above or little less in prices im buying somthing smaller rhan a large or family house as I have at present 🙂 and too big with just the one. Child at home now
    So im looking for suburbs to suit beaches close or by view etc. In the above price range & though also a nice place not far from the main or surfers side on gold coast . Maybe townhouse prnding prices etc. Or. Suburb on not being loud. Lol or I think ud gsther my meaning here 🙂 if any ideas or suggestions come to ur mind on u knowlegement in gold coast pls. Refer me. 🙂 or a guide thankyou

    • BobinOz February 19, 2017, 11:44 pm | Link

      Well, this is a question I will best leave to the locals, I just don’t know the area well enough to advise. I think you will be a little limited your budget, although there are some properties in the just over $300,000 bracket, but not many.

      Use the link on my page about Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia and search for houses via the link there for everything in Gold Coast over $300,000 but less and $350,000.

      That will help you hone in on some of the suburbs that fit your budget. Other than that, hopefully a local will give you more advice than I can.

  • Bridget February 14, 2017, 5:08 am | Link

    Hey Bob,
    I am moving to the Gold coast for job purpose and I wonder if you could advise me on the best suburb to live in.
    The Job is in Arundel and I do not want a long commute.
    The thing is, I love peace and quiet, authenticity, nature and old houses…
    The opposite of what the gold coast is about it seems!!

    Maybe the Tamborine Mountains would be best for me?

    • BobinOz February 14, 2017, 8:48 pm | Link

      I think you would love Tamborine Mountain, it’s beautiful up there. One of my readers who came here from the US lived there for a couple years or so, he did a post for me. He absolutely love the nature and took some wonderful photographs. You can see them here…

      Anywhere from where you will be working that is in the opposite direction of the sea is worth a look, it’s all quite stunning hinterland. Rolling hills, rainforest and countryside. Tamborine Mountain itself can be quite touristy, especially down the main street, but it’s quite new age.

      Art shops, meditation, I think there’s even a fairy store. For sure though, you are looking in the right direction.

      • Bridget February 23, 2017, 5:30 am | Link

        Thanks Bob, sounds good,

  • Hugo February 10, 2017, 3:00 am | Link

    Can I first say, you are a legend. Fantastic website. A fountain of knowledge.

    I’m a UK qualified accountant (mid thirties, two toddlers) looking to secure a 189 visa to work in Brisbane and live in northern part of Gold Coast. Is this commutable by motorcycle do you think? I currently do a 65mile commute by bike in the UK (-6 this winter was tough).
    Brazilian wife hates UK after ten years. This would be the dream…

    My primary fear – you may or may not know the answer – what do bikers do about bugs getting into helmets/gloves/boots/leathers when not in use?! I see myself needing clean underwear when putting on any of the above if a creepy crawley comes out.

    Last – my uncle is also in Aus (“£1 Pom”!). Is there any mileage in doing a family sponsor instead of skilled indep 189? Again, no probs if you don’t know!!

    If Bob or anyone has any views, I would love to hear them.

    Many thanks

    • BobinOz February 10, 2017, 7:21 pm | Link

      Recognition at last, thanks Hugo 🙂

      So, yes, I suppose it is commutable, but it would be a quite horrible ride to go through twice a day. It’s a busy stretch of the motorway and it can often grind to a bit of a halt during rush hour, especially on a Friday afternoon when maybe even more people are heading down to the coast for a weekend break.

      Being on a motorbike might help slightly, but the way people change lanes when the traffic slows up makes it rather dangerous to try and squeeze through the gaps. If you’re working in the CBD, I suspect you’ll be looking at a good hour on the road each way. So maybe not too much different from what you’re doing now.

      I wouldn’t really worry about those creepy crawlies in your helmet, I’m not sure it’s a problem any biker thinks about. A quick bash of your helmet and a squeeze of your gloves might make you feel better though. Your uncle did well at £1, everybody else was a £10 pom 🙂

      Can’t help you with your visa question, that’s one to ask a MARA registered migration agent about. Hope that helps, Bob

      • Hugo February 10, 2017, 7:50 pm | Link

        Ha! Call that a typo.

        Thanks for the response.

  • laura benefer February 4, 2017, 12:11 am | Link

    dear Bob

    We are looking to move to gold coast. Me, husband and 2 boys aged 2 & 5. Husband has a possible job opp in Coolangatta. Can you suggest other areas to live / buy houses and good schools close to here? how much would you say an average house price is in this area?

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