What's it Like Living on the Gold Coast?

Gold Coast
Brighton Homes

Imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing on sandy beaches, spending your weekends exploring national parks, and enjoying a vibrant lifestyle that blends relaxation with adventure. If this sounds like a dream, you’re not alone. Living on the Gold Coast offers a unique blend of natural beauty, dynamic city life, and an enviable subtropical climate that attracts thousands yearly.

Gold Coast is renowned for its theme parks, Surfers Paradise, and year-round pleasant weather. Its hot summers and mild winters make it an iconic tourist destination and a desirable home for many. The Gold Coast's population continues to grow as more people discover its charm and potential.

This blog will explore the ins and outs of life on the Gold Coast, from the cost of living and top suburbs to the best shopping centres and tips for moving here. For more insights into why so many are making the move, check out our guide on why everyone is moving to Queensland.

Is the Gold Coast a Nice Place to Live?

Living on the Gold Coast offers an exceptional lifestyle with its sunny weather and abundance of outdoor activities. Residents enjoy over 300 days of sunshine a year, perfect for exploring the beaches and hinterland region. The Gold Coast is home to diverse suburbs, each catering to different lifestyles, from the bustling Surfers Paradise to the serene Palm Beach.

The Gold Coast's strong economy and thriving job market attract internal migration from Sydney and Melbourne. The city boasts a variety of employment opportunities, supported by significant tourism, real estate, and education sectors.

With world-class universities and a welcoming community, it’s no wonder that the Gold Coast is a great place to call home. Whether you seek vibrant city life or tranquil coastal living, the Gold Coast has it all. From excellent schools to numerous family-friendly activities, this region truly offers something for everyone.

Is it Expensive to Live on the Gold Coast?

Compared to major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, the Gold Coast offers a generally more affordable cost of living, making it an attractive option for many. While it may be slightly more expensive than some surrounding areas in Brisbane, its diverse property market caters to both luxury and budget-conscious buyers. 

The median house price on the Gold Coast sits at approximately $1.03 million, but don't let that number deter you. Whether you crave beachfront grandeur or a haven further inland, the Gold Coast caters to all tastes.

Iconic beachside suburbs like Surfers Paradise offer an unparalleled lifestyle, but naturally come with a premium price tag around $3 million. However, for those seeking a more relaxed pace, the options are plentiful. Southport offers a comfortable coastal vibe at a median price of $978,000. The scenic hinterland beckons, with charming suburbs like Nerang boasting a haven at $856,000. And if affordability is your top priority, Pimpama, further north, presents an even more budget-friendly option with a median house price of $749,000.

What are the Main Shopping Centres?

The Gold Coast offers a variety of shopping experiences, from high-end fashion to bargain outlets. Here are some of the main shopping centres you should visit for a complete shopping adventure.

Pacific Fair

Pacific Fair is one of the largest shopping centres on the Gold Coast, boasting over 400 stores. Located in Broadbeach, it is within walking distance of the beach and several luxurious properties. The centre features major department stores like Myer and David Jones, alongside international brands such as Zara and H&M.

The outdoor dining precinct offers a variety of restaurants and cafes, perfect for a relaxing meal after shopping. With its diverse range of stores and dining options, Pacific Fair is a must-visit destination for Gold Coast residents and tourists alike.

Robina Town Centre

Robina Town Centre is a premier shopping destination in the heart of the Gold Coast, featuring over 350 stores. Located just a short drive from SeaWorld and other big city attractions, it offers a mix of high-end and affordable retail options, including major retailers like Target and Kmart, as well as specialty stores.

The centre boasts an impressive selection of restaurants and cafes, providing plenty of dining choices. With its modern design and wide range of stores, Robina Town Centre caters to all your shopping needs in a comfortable and stylish environment.

Harbour Town

Harbour Town is another of Gold Coast's top outlet shopping centre, located in Biggera Waters. With over 240 outlet stores, it offers great bargains on fashion, accessories, and homewares. This shopping destination is ideal for those looking to save on big brands.

In addition to shopping, Harbour Town provides a variety of dining options, from casual eateries to more refined restaurants. The centre also features a cinema complex and is close to the beautiful Gold Coast beaches. With its combination of discounted shopping and entertainment, Harbour Town is perfect for a day out with family and friends.

Pros and Cons of Living on the Gold Coast

Living on the Gold Coast offers an enticing blend of beautiful beaches and a vibrant lifestyle, but it's not without its challenges. Here are some key pros and cons to consider.

Key Benefits of Living on the Gold Coast

Life on the Gold Coast has numerous advantages that attract many people each year.

  • Sunny Climate: With over 300 days of sunshine annually, the Gold Coast offers a lifestyle filled with outdoor activities and sports, appealing to most people.
  • Beautiful Beaches: The Gold Coast's 70 kilometers of coastline transform into a paradise for beach lovers. Sunbathers will revel in the golden sands and crystal-clear waters, while surfers ride the epic waves at famous spots like Snapper Rocks, Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise, and Mermaid Beach. Families will find idyllic havens for building sandcastles and splashing in gentle waves at Tallebudgera Creek, Kirra or Currumbin. Whether you crave relaxation, adventure, or family fun, the Gold Coast's diverse beaches cater to everyone.
  • Strong Economy: The Gold Coast has a thriving real estate market and significant job opportunities in tourism, education, and property development.
  • Family-Friendly: Excellent schools and numerous family-oriented activities make it a great place for raising a family. The Gold Coast City Council supports various community initiatives.
  • Public Transport: Navigating the Gold Coast's stunning coastline is a breeze thanks to its well-developed public transport network. Buses, trams, and trains connect you to all corners, offering a convenient and relaxing alternative to driving. Trains, in particular, prove a lifesaver for Brisbane commuters, slashing travel times and eliminating traffic woes.

Potential Drawbacks of Living on the Gold Coast

However, there are some potential downsides to consider as well.

  • Tourist Crowds: Being an iconic tourist destination, the Gold Coast can become crowded during peak seasons, including school holidays, major events, and summer. While the bustling environment can add to the city's vibrant energy, it can overwhelm residents who prefer a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Hot and Humid Summers: Gold Coast summers are a sun-seeker's paradise, but the heat and humidity can be intense, especially for those used to the milder climates of southern states or Greater Sydney. This can make escaping to the beach all the more appealing, and when you're not basking in the sun, air-conditioning might become your new best friend.
  • Housing Demand: Fuelled by population growth and migration, the Gold Coast housing market has seen high demand in recent years, pushing property prices up significantly in the past year. This surge, while positive for existing homeowners and the local economy, can strain affordability for first-time buyers and renters.
  • Commuting to Work in Brisbane: The Gold Coast's job market thrives in tourism and service industries, offering a wealth of opportunities. However, for specialised positions, competition can be high. The commute from the Gold Coast to Brisbane can vary depending on location, but on average, it takes 1 to 1.5 hours by car, with longer travel times during peak hours. Public transport options exist, but they generally add travel time.
  • Wet Season: While the Gold Coast's summers are synonymous with sunshine, don't be surprised by the occasional downpour. Queensland's wet season (October to March) brings bursts of heavy rain, particularly in the afternoons. These short-lived storms offer a welcome cool-down from the summer heat and a reminder of the subtropical climate. However, the intensity of these showers can sometimes lead to flash flooding in low-lying areas, so it's important to be aware of potential downpours, especially if you're new to the region.

Best Suburbs to Live on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast boasts a variety of suburbs, each offering unique features and amenities. Here are some of the best suburbs to consider for a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle on the Gold Coast.


Broadbeach is a vibrant suburb known for its beautiful beaches, bustling nightlife, and diverse dining options. Located centrally, it’s an attractive spot for both young professionals and families. Broadbeach is home to the popular Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, which features over 400 stores, making it a shopper’s paradise.

The area also hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, adding to its lively atmosphere. With its proximity to the ocean and various entertainment options, Broadbeach offers a dynamic lifestyle that appeals to many residents.

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads is renowned for its stunning surf beaches and relaxed vibe. This suburb is perfect for those who appreciate outdoor activities. Burleigh Heads National Park provides scenic walking trails with breathtaking views of the ocean. The area is also famous for its vibrant café culture and excellent food scene, favourite among locals and tourists alike. 

Additionally, Burleigh Heads has experienced significant growth in recent years, becoming a sought-after location within the Gold Coast property market. It's also considered one of the best Gold Coast suburbs for retirees, blending tranquillity with convenience.


Helensvale is a family-friendly suburb offering a mix of suburban comfort and modern amenities. It boasts excellent schools, parks, and recreational facilities, making it an ideal choice for families. The suburb is also well-connected, with easy access to public transport and major highways.

Helensvale Town Centre provides a range of shopping and dining options, catering to the needs of the residents. The price of houses in Helensvale is relatively affordable compared to other Gold Coast suburbs, making it a popular choice for those looking to settle in a new area.


Southport is one of the oldest suburbs on the Gold Coast, known for its rich history and cultural significance. It serves as a major commercial and educational hub, housing several universities and TAFE institutions. Southport also offers diverse shopping and dining experiences, with the Australia Fair Shopping Centre being a central attraction.

The suburb’s proximity to the beach and various recreational facilities makes it an appealing place to live. With ongoing development and urban renewal projects, Southport continues to grow, attracting both young professionals and families.

For more details on our display homes across the Gold Coast, visit display home locations in Gold Coast.

Moving to the Gold Coast From Interstate

Relocating to the Gold Coast from other parts of Australia offers a fresh start in a vibrant, sunny locale. With its stunning surf beaches, family-friendly suburbs, and booming growth, the Gold Coast is an enticing option for many Australians looking to move.

Moving from Sydney to Gold Coast

  • Travel time from Sydney to the Gold Coast: 10-hour drive; 1.5-hour flight
  • Average cost of removalists: $4,000 on average for a 3-bedroom home
  • Average house price: Around $1.03 million, compared to $1,600,000 in Sydney
  • Biggest difference to expect: A significant reduction in the cost of living, with more affordable houses and overall expenses.

Moving from Melbourne to Gold Coast

  • Travel time from Melbourne to the Gold Coast: 18-hour drive; 2-hour flight
  • Average cost of removalists: $4,500 on average for a 3-bedroom home
  • Average house price: $1.03 million on the Gold Coast, compared to $950,000 in Melbourne
  • Biggest difference to expect: A warmer climate and a more relaxed lifestyle, with plenty of opportunities to spend time outdoors at the beach and enjoying nature.

For a smooth transition, read the checklist for moving into a new house to ensure you have everything covered.

Gold Coast Climate

The Gold Coast enjoys a subtropical climate with warm, humid summers and mild, pleasant winters. During summer (December to February), temperatures range from 20°C to 31°C, making it perfect for surfing and beach activities.

Autumn (March to May) brings cooler evenings and average temperatures between 18°C and 26°C, ideal for outdoor sports and exploring national parks. Winter (June to August) is mild, with temperatures from 10°C to 21°C, allowing for year-round enjoyment of outdoor activities without the intense heat.

Spring (September to November) sees a gradual warming, with temperatures between 16°C and 25°C, rejuvenating the landscape with blooming flowers. This favourable weather encourages an active, outdoor lifestyle, enhancing the daily lives of Gold Coast residents.

Things to See and Do Around the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast offers a wealth of attractions and activities to suit all interests. Natural wonders include stunning beaches like Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads, perfect for surfing and sunbathing. The hinterland region features beautiful national parks such as Lamington National Park, ideal for hiking and exploring lush rainforests.

Similarly, man-made attractions are equally impressive. Visit world-famous theme parks like Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World, and Dreamworld for thrilling rides and family fun.

The Gold Coast also boasts vibrant shopping centres like Pacific Fair and Robina Town Centre. For culture and nightlife, head to Cavill Avenue in Surfers Paradise, packed with restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, ensuring there's always something exciting to do.

Your New Life Awaits with Brighton Homes

Embrace your new Gold Coast lifestyle with Brighton Homes, Queensland’s leading home builder. Discover our extensive range of house and land packages or visit our stunning display homes conveniently located across the Gold Coast. Our newest location is Skyridge which includes our single storey Evie 27 and double storey BLK 43A, Grayson and Monterey designs.

Whether you're a newcomer seeking your perfect spot or a long-time resident yearning for a fresh start, Brighton Homes has something for everyone. We can help you build your dream home from the ground up or transform your existing location with our trusted knockdown rebuild services. Contact us today to begin your exciting new chapter on the Gold Coast – or explore our guide, What's it Like Living in Brisbane? to discover if another vibrant city in southeast Queensland might be your perfect fit.