Living On The Gold Coast, Australia: What You Need To Know

Gold Coast living has its quirks: exquisite food, perfect all-year-round weather and multi-ethnic culture. Here's what you need to know before you move.

With stunning ocean-front locations, crystal clear water and a spectacular hinterland, there are many reasons why the Goldie deserves a spot at the top of Australia’s most alluring destinations.

The coast stretches along 70km of pristine beaches- walkable from top to bottom- interspersed with green hills overlooking the ocean and river mouths that provide a chill spot for lovers of tranquil waters.

Here is what you need to know if you want to live on the Gold Coast.

 Is the Gold Coast a good place to live?

The Gold Coast is the best place where you can live to take up a healthier lifestyle and find a balance within your everyday life occupations – work, studies, and social interactions.

That’s right. On the Goldie, the usual perks of life by the ocean are beefed up by a strong job market, affordable accommodations, and hundreds of charismatic venues.

It’s a great location for families

Families make up a staggering 70% of all households in the Gold Coast City.

Thanks to budget-friendly accommodations and endless activities available around the city, any couple will find the long-term stability needed to design a joyful life on their own terms.

As a result of numerous high-quality schooling facilities and plenty of outdoor space, this city ticks all the boxes for a sweet-natured destination.

Local community groups regularly come together to jog or cycle along the esplanade, practice yoga or meditation on the beach, or simply light up an all-welcoming barbecue in the parks, and you can join them too.

The suburbs of Bundall, Broadbeach Waters, and Varsity Lakes offer a quieter environment than the neighborhoods located next to the beach.

It’s fabulous for retirement

Every year a higher number of seniors choose to sell their property in the bigger cities to fund their relocation to this area. If you decide to spend your retirement on the Gold Coast, you won’t regret it.

The city is connected, from top to bottom, through a network of busses, tram lines, and trains, making transfers within different areas more manageable.

The Goldie takes good care of its retirees with solid health amenities, free travel on all Translink facilities, and activity programs designed to entertain and connect the gold-agers community.

The suburbs of Benowa, Miami, and Ashmore, or the beachside properties in Mermaid Beach, represent the most likable area for Gold Coast’s retirees.

It’s great for young professionals

Young professionals, welcome to La La Land. The Gold Coast is the perfect place to balance the demands of your career with chill-out vibes and fun times.

 Broadwater parklands -
Broadwater Parklands in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

The beachside areas are buzzing with water-sports enthusiasts, trendy gathering venues, and the latest-fashion boutique stores.

Here you can design a life tailored to your needs and leave nothing to chance regarding accommodation solutions, job & career opportunities, lifestyle, and fitness.

Gold Coast is the hub of a thriving community for young professionals; catching opportunities is as easy as spotting a surfer on the iconic waves of Burleigh Heads, Kirra Point, or Snapper.

The pros and cons of living on the Gold Coast

Moving to the Gold Coast as an expat or choosing to relocate here from Australia’s bigger cities can be, all considered, a very clever move that will set you up for an excellent lifestyle option.

Let’s have a closer look at the benefits or disadvantages –spoiler alert: there are not many– that this city has to offer.

The pros

1. The weather

Yes, it sounds elementary. But it is an indispensable factor to consider if you are planning to live long-term here.

Luckily, the Gold Coast has you covered all year round. The proximity to the ocean is insurance for cozy winters and breezy summer days.

You can shake off the chill of the coldest month of the year (June) with a warm jacket and a good beanie; no need for annoying seasonal wardrobe changes.

2. The beaches and the hinterland

Stunning beaches? Check. See-through ocean? Check. But lush green forests and breathtaking waterfalls? You did not see that coming, aye?

From Main Beach in the north down to Coolangatta Beach (and the secret Froggy beach), where Queensland meets New South Wales, you have dozens of unique spots. 

Swimming in the waters of Purling Brook Falls in Springbrook National Park or hiking the scenic trails in Mount Tambourine Park will give you a completely different outlook of Gold Coast city.

The world-heritage-listed forest of Lamington National Park is only 1-hour drive from the coast.

3. Hip cafes, fine-dining restaurants, and ocean-view pints

The Gold Coast is the ultimate foodies’ destination.

You can find everything here: traditional Asian dishes, greek-style decor cafes, Italo-Australian fusion restaurants, and delicious food offered in bustling street markets.

Bam Bam Bakehouse in Mermaid Beach and Paddock Bakery in Burleigh Heads are popular sweet tooth-pleasing cafes.

The modern restaurants at the Oasis in Broadbeach will give you mouth-watering sensations just by reading their menus.

And finally, if you want to enjoy a fresh pint of beer on a sunny terrace while watching the surfers in action, then the Burleigh Pavillon or the Rainbow Bay Surf Club are only two of the most famous names along the coast.

4. More affordable than big cities

Living on the Gold Coast is not just a pleasurable experience for the senses but will also save a lot of money in your pocket.

Properties and housing solutions are more affordable compared to the bigger Australian cities.

On the Gold Coast, you will be able to enjoy a high-standard living without renouncing the essential features of major cities: premium schooling facilities, growing employment opportunities, and effective public transport.

The cons

Finding the cons of living on the Gold Coast is like trying to find the needle in a haystack.

It may sound like a cliché, but the truth is that the few disadvantages of living here are easily preventable or avoidable.

1. Tourist crowds

During the high season, the coast can quickly get flooded with tourists from all over the world.

If you want to avoid the discomfort, you might consider moving to the residential suburbs on the backdrop of the coast and frequenting the spots more regularly patrolled by the locals. 

Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach are usually the most affected by the tourist phenomenon due to their teaming nightlife scenes.

2. It can get windy

The light breeze blowing from the ocean during the hotter days of the year can be an absolute relief for usual beach attendants. On the other hand, it is not the most pleasurable companion for cooler winter days.

The suburbs at the back of the first line tend to be less exposed and therefore are preferable if you want to avoid an extra layer of clothes.

3. Public transport 

The public transportation network on the Gold Coast is excellent along the coastline, around the most frequent public areas, and next to schooling and public facilities.

If you live slightly far from these, you might take an extra 5-minute walk to reach the closest bus stop.

You might consider getting a car if you decide to live inland, as it will also be easier to reach most off-track beaches.

Is the Gold Coast safe?

The Gold Coast is a safe, all-welcoming, and family-friendly city.

Here you are far from the hustle and bustle of the bigger towns and the busy streets of the capital, so apart from the most touristic destinations mentioned above, you will enjoy a peaceful environment and a cheerful community.

Emerald Lakes residences, the Gold Coast.
Emerald Lakes residences, the Gold Coast.

How much does it cost to live on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is a budget-friendly destination for anybody who wants to move here.

The cost of living on the Goldie is similar to the East Coast’s bigger cities, such as Brisbane or Sydney, but it will grant you access to much more exquisite locations while maintaining high levels of comfort.

The cost of utilities

Utilities, including power supply, water, heating, and Internet access, will cost you around 200$ per month if you live in a private apartment.

Consider that if you are sharing your flat with other people, this cost will be divided between the tenants making these expenses even more affordable.

What is the average rent on the Gold Coast?

Renting a private apartment will cost you around 400$. This price tends to vary depending on the area you choose to live in.

Practically it can slightly increase if you want a front seat along the coastline and decrease if you are settling into the inner suburbs.

Young couples and professionals can find a private room with an ensuite bathroom in larger share houses within walking distance from the beach for 300$-350$ a week.

For families, renting a three-bedroom house will cost 650$-700$ per week, depending on the area.

Property prices on the Gold Coast

Due to increased house demands caused by the pandemic, the median property price on the Gold Coast has expanded to 700K dollars in the last year.

Houses in the most sought-after suburbs are now close to 1 million dollars and over for beach-front & luxury estates. 

The cost for a house goes down to around 500k-650k dollars in the rear suburbs, slightly more distant from the beach but still at close reach.

Units prices range between 300k dollars in residential areas and 500k dollars in the chicest spots.

However, after the exponential growth of the real estate market in the last year, the prices will tend to decrease once again as a consequence of lessened property demand. 

How much do you need to live comfortably on the Gold Coast?

With a budget of 5000$ per month, a family of 4 people will comfortably afford the costs of living on the Gold Coast.

A single person can take advantage of Goldie’s perks for just 2000$ per month – consider even less if sharing the accommodation costs. 

Where is a good place to live on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast offers a wide range of great places to live. Practically, it is a very personal choice depending on your lifestyle and the activities you want to pursue the most.

You can easily pick your best choice from salty life suburbs and nature-immersed locations to quieter suburban areas. 

Where on the Gold Coast is it good for families to live?

The suburbs of Bundall, Broadbeach Waters, Ashmore, Labrador, Mudgeeraba, or Carrara are the best option for families that want to relocate to the Gold Coast.

These areas have excellent schooling facilities, green spaces, and lively shopping centers close to the notorious beaches and the stunning Gold Coast Hinterland. 

Also, Elanora, Currumbin, and Coolangatta to the south are valid options for families that want to enjoy the Gold Coast vibes in a relaxed environment surrounded by nature.

Where should I retire on the Gold Coast?

If you want an off-the-radar location with luxury riverfront mansions, well-cured green areas, and access to plenty of facilities, Hope Island is probably the first choice for people who wish to retire on the Gold Coast.

Otherwise, the suburbs of Miami and Palm Beach are two great options if you want to enjoy ocean-front residences in areas less patrolled by tourists.

Robina, with its medical facilities, shopping centers, and quieter neighborhoods, is perfect for retirees that prefer to be closer to the Hinterland.

What is the best area to live on the Gold Coast in general?

Overall, Burleigh Heads deserve a special place on the list of the top places to live on the Goldie.

With cafes, restaurants, and boutique stores, you won’t need to shuffle around too much to find everything you need.

Shopping centers and schools in the back of town and plenty of green areas perfect for picnics or family and friend reunions right in front of the beach –with Burleigh, you can’t go wrong.

Areas to avoid

Considering that the Gold Coast is a well-known touristic destination, we suggest avoiding settling down in the hotspots of this event.

If you plan to live long-term on the Gold Coast, then Surfers Paradise and the side of Broadbeach adjacent to it are probably not the best suburbs to live in permanently.

These spots tend to get very busy and noisy, especially during the summer holidays.

Tips for moving to and settling down on the Gold Coast

The Goldie is the perfect place to invest your free time purposefully. Take advantage of the many opportunities this city has to offer, and once you settle, keep exploring.

Embark on new adventures

Find your way up to the Cock Rock lookout in Burleigh Heads National Park for a jaw-dropping view over the coastline, or camp under the stars at Springbrook National Park after visiting the Glow Worm Caves.

Get a view of the city skyline from the top of Mount Tambourine and chase the waterfall dispersed along the walking trails. 

Connecting with the locals is the best way to discover uncommon spots that will make your experience truly remarkable.

Approach a mindful living

Cultivate new connections and surround yourself with good friends; the time on the Gold Coast is best when shared.

Make a habit of taking time out of your day to slow down.

Get up early and enjoy the sunrise from the beach with a cup of tea; try yoga, meditation, or breathwork with local social groups, or try to find your balance on a surfboard.

Final thoughts on living on the Gold Coast

Has it ever happened that you went on holiday to a magical place and wished you could never leave it?

This evergreen city has exactly the kind of charm that will steal your heart. With so many opportunities in its pockets and incredible natural diversity on its doorstep, it’s the perfect place for expats that want to move to Australia.

Thanks to a thriving job market, excellent facilities, and housing solutions for every budget, the Gold Coast lives up to its title of being the East Coast’s true gem.

All we can say is: you’ll love it!

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