Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

Get all information you need to make a successful and stress-free move across the ditch.

The Gold Coast is a vibrant modern city built on 57km of beautiful coastline with all year sunshine.

Its surrounded by stunning beaches, lush rainforests and a relaxed lifestyle. It is a playground of theme parks, watersports, top end shops, delicious food and exciting nightlife. Its home to Australia’s most famous theme parks including Dreamworld, Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet’n’Wild.

The Gold Coast is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia and attracts a lot of tourists with 12 million visitors a year. Its home to 500,000 people, making it the sixth largest city in Australia and is a diverse cosmopolitan place to live.

The cost of living is very affordable but real estate is rising strongly. The central hub is filled with high-rise apartments and hotels, many bars and clubs, busy shopping district with all the top brands and an amazing surf beach.

Population: 500,000 people
Climate: sunshine all year round
First Home Buyer Award: $15,000-$20,000
Top draw cards: relaxed lifestyle, perfect surf conditions, sunny year-round, adventure playground
Public Transport: bus and car

The Economy

The Gold Coast is thriving on tourism and hospitality. Work in sales and retail, construction and building are popular options for job seekers. One of five people in the Gold Coast region work for themselves. This makes the Gold Coast fertile ground for new entrepreneurs and Small to Medium Enterprises.

The Gold Coast Pros:

  • Stunning weather
  • Beautiful beaches (57km of white sand)
  • Canals with beautiful homes
  • Lush rainforests
  • Affordable
  • Excellent surf conditions
  • The best theme parks

The Gold Coast Cons:

  • Schoolies Week (November-December)
  • Horrendous traffic
  • Drug related crime
  • Called tacky, trashy and tawdy
  • Bull sharks infest the canals

Introduction to the Gold Coast

One of Australia’s largest cities on the coastline is the Gold Coast, popularly known as the “Glitters strip”. It is located 70 kilometers southeast of Queensland, between New South Wales in the south and the state capital Brisbane in the North. It is a popular tourist destination, especially because of its surfing hub and tourist activities. The Gold Coast has a number of districts and its population is estimated to be close to 480,000.

The Gold Coast boasts of a sub-tropical climate, relaxed atmosphere, great ambience, amazing nightlife and perfect sandy beaches. The beaches run across the entire length of the city and are poised on the backdrop of the blue Pacific Ocean. No wonder the Australian general public has voted it as the most favorite Australian destination.

The most famous nightclubs of Gold Coast are placed on Orchid Avenue and Cavill Avenue. More than 500 restaurants are located on the coast, the most popular ones being on the streets of Broadbeach and Main Beach. National parks are located in the interiors just behind the city and include Tamborine, Lamington and spring brook featuring heritage sites. Mt. Tamborine and Hinterland are popular for their world-class wineries.

Geography of the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast City Council and the Tweed Shire in New South Wales govern the Gold Coast. An integral part of Greater Brisbane, Gold Coast is a city of more than three million residents who share some common infrastructure, amenities, services and market places with the residents of Brisbane. The common mode of transportation between the two places is road and rail.

Contrary to the popular belief, many of the high rise buildings in Gold Coast are local residential, often giving Gold Coast the tag of an undeserving tourist trap. The Gold Coast extends about 35 kilometers from Paradise Point to Tweed Heads. Surfers Paradise is the nucleus of all the leisure activities.

Gold Coast Suburbs

The Gold Coast suburbs comprise of rural districts, towns and suburbs within the regions in Southeast Queensland. It includes two different geographical regions. The local government area covers much of the north to the southern end of the metropolitan city of Brisbane, to the hinterland region. The second, a heavily populated and expanding suburb of 41 kilometers towards the north of the pacific coast in Coolangatta of New South Wales. Here is an insight into the suburbs of Gold Coast from North to South:

Northern Suburbs

Hollywell, Paradise Point, Labrador and Runaway Bay are important residential northern suburbs.


An array of reputable shops, hospitals, industry, offices and businesses make Southport an incredible commercial hub.

Main Beach

A suburb for the elite and classy, with number of resorts and high-rise buildings.

Surfers Paradise

One of the most popular commercial centers, with a large number of attractions and accommodations.


One of the most popular tourist suburbs with a casino, two shopping complexes and a number of restaurants and high-rise buildings.

Mermaid Beach and Miami

Primarily includes low-rise suburban restaurants and motels beside the highway.

Burleigh Heads

A number of high-rise residential buildings with a not-so-big commercial area. The beaches in this suburb are quite popular among local families and surfers.

Palm Beach

Is essentially a residential suburb.

Currumbin, Bilinga and Tugun

Is a popular residential suburb that is relatively closer to the motorway and the airport.

Kirra, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads

Are an integral part of the southern end with a number of high-rise apartments and a small entertainment and shopping area.

Gold Coast Waterways

The Gold Coast boasts of a spectacular network of waterways. This amazing network is primarily made up of five key rivers, a number of creeks, canals, lakes and a splendid Broadwater.

Beaches of the Gold Coast

Gold coast city has a vast spread of 57 Kilometers of coastline that is regarded a Surfers Paradise and includes Main Beach, The Spit, South Stradbroke Island, Mermaid Beach, Broadbeach, Burleigh Beach, Miami, Nobby Beach, Tallebudgera Beach, Currumbin Beach, Palm Beach, Tugun, Kirra, Froggies Beach, Rainbow Bay, Greenmount, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads.

Just across the New South Wales state boundary in Tweed Shire is Duranbah Beach, officially named as Flagstaff Beach. It is one of the World’s best Surfing beaches that is often mistaken to be part of the Gold Coast.

Many other beaches are also part of the Gold Coast’s stretch of 860 kms and include the popular Budds Beach, Southport, Marine Stadium, Tallebudgera Estuary, Jabiru Island, Currumbin Alley, Jacobs Well, Paradise Point, Santa Barbara, Evandale Lake and Harley Park Labrador.

Tourism in the Gold Coast

Tourism is the most thriving industry in the Gold Coast and makes a total income of $2.5 billion per year. Gold Coast is the fifth most popular Australian destination in the World that accommodates over 13,000 rooms in five star Hotels and Resorts, thereby providing $335 million Australian dollars to the native economy. The most widely sought after accommodation is a three/four stars or self-living apartments.

The main attractions in Gold Coast include the surf beaches and theme parks namely Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World, Dreamworld, WhiteWater World, David Fleay Wildlife Park, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Paradise Country and Australian Outback Spectacular.

The Q1 building, which is the world’s tallest residential tower, 230 meters (755 feet) high and is considered as the most liked tourist destination since 2005 and second chosen public spot, the first being the Eureka tower in Melbourne.

Climate of the Gold Coast

Gold Coast enjoys a sub-tropical climate that is humid and dry in summer and moderate during winters. This coastline city experiences occasional thunderstorms during the humid summer season and at times experiences heavy showers that could last a whole week. The average temperature throughout the year ranges from a comfortable 25 C to a mild 17 C, making June to August favorable for beach activities.

February receives the maximum amount of rainfall. On an average every month the Gold Coast gets close to 177.3mm, with September getting the least with an average of 43.6mm. Winters are mild, pleasant and sunny, offering travelers and locals a glimpse of the best of the beaches as well the theme parks.

More Information on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is an incredible place to settle in, especially if you are intrigued by natural beauty and splendor!

If you are looking for more on information on the Gold Coast you can visit, which includes information on getting into the Gold Coast, getting around, what to see, do, buy, eat, drink, sleep, contact, getting out and staying safe in the Gold Coast.

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Still, got unanswered questions?

If you’ve read the above content and the answer to your question isn’t there, please write a comment below and I’ll research the answer for you. Please note, if the answer to your question is in the content above, I will not reply. Sorry, I just get too many questions these days and I can’t keep up.

Is there something else you want to know about?

If you need advice on moving to Australia from New Zealand, I’ve created a helpful little questionnaire to point you in the right direction. It takes less than 30 seconds, so give it a go!


  1. Claire Williams

    March 9, 2021 at 6:00 am

    I am looking to move to the Sunshine Coast from NZ. Will sell my house prior to moving as not a rentable proposition for many reasons and don’t want to be stung with CGT one become an Aus resident. (Although I am now confused re temporary residency and loophole although I don’t want that to affect being eligible for the pension in years to come but then I have always lived in NZ and am 59 now so not a problem? I am also considering also eventually possibly moving my very active over 90 year old mother to a retirement village over there also. Obviously have to take into account asset testing but unsure as to what would happen should she need to go into hospital retirement care etc?? Any info regarding this would be great.


    • JJ Smith

      March 14, 2021 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Claire,
      Thank you for your comment.
      The Sunshine Coast is such a warm beautiful place to retire.
      Regarding retirement care, here is a good article to read:
      Just like NZ, you need to pay for retirement villages/accommodation yourself.
      Regarding healthcare, New Zealanders (protected and non-protected SCV holders) who are residing in Australia are eligible for Medicare and may be issued with a Medicare card upon presentation of documentation proving residence:
      Under Australia’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with New Zealand, New Zealand residents visiting Australia are also entitled to services as public patients in a public hospital (including outpatient services) for medically necessary treatment and prescription medicines which are subsidised under the PBS.
      Regarding selling up before you move, it is the easiest option. There is the tax loop but your home will still be taken into account with your income asset test.
      Before you transfer your money to Australia, make sure you sign up with either XE or OFX, as you will end up with a lot more money in your pocket instead of the banks:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  2. Arvind and Lorraine

    February 20, 2021 at 7:49 am

    Any ideas where the best surbub is which enjoys a safe and pleasant environment. We both work at the moment and in good health. 65 in April and 70 in May 2021
    Will look to buy a nice house.
    Many thanks

    • JJ Smith

      February 21, 2021 at 10:03 pm

      Good morning,
      Thank you for your email.
      Are you planning on buying before you move?
      We spent the first three months moving up and down the Gold Coast trying to find a right fit for us. We definitely preferred the more quieter suburb of Main Beach, which is nestled between Southport (great mall) and Surfers Paradise (where all the action is) while still close to the beach. However, we never moved inland and I’ve heard Robina is a great suburb.
      The Gold Coast also has a spectacular network of waterways. This amazing network is primarily made up of five key rivers, a number of creeks, canals, lakes and a splendid Broadwater.
      We ended up moving up the Coast to Brisbane, as it was more us (theaters, larger city and the river is wonderful).
      If possible I highly recommend getting temporary accommodation on the Gold Coast and exploring the city yourselves before you commit to buying a property. Being close to the things you love to do will definitely improve your lifestyle on the beautiful cost, e.g. boating, swimming, surfing, dog walking, worshiping and/or hiking.
      This is a great website to research the Gold Coast:
      This is the main website for buying a house in Australia:
      Make sure you read this post so you keep more of your money when you transfer it to Australia:
      And you may even be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) if you are happy to buy a new home:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      • John

        February 21, 2022 at 3:24 am

        Hi JJ,

        Is there any chance you could tell me what people generally do about accommodation when they first arrive?
        It may take a while to get into a rental I imagine.
        What do people do between arriving and getting a rental?


        • JJ Smith

          February 21, 2022 at 5:19 am

          Hi John,
          Thanks for your comment.
          It does depend on if you are moving with a family or by yourself.
          I recommend looking at the below and deciding what is best for you:
          AirBnB – there are so many renting options, so a room to an entire place. It allows people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms at great rates:
          Rent a Hotel, Motel or Hostel – most short term Australian rental accommodations will give a special rate for a fixed term stay of five weeks or more. You will need to contact each place directly (Google search) but the rate will end up close to what renting will be without having to sign into anything long term. This will give you time to explore your new city and it’s suburbs. This is what my husband did when he first arrived:
          Craigslist – on Craigslist you can find a lot of different housing options including: apartments / housing, housing swap, housing wanted, office/commercial, parking/storage, real estate for sale, rooms/shared, sublets/temporary and vacation rentals:
          Most importantly make sure you have all your paperwork ready before you leave, so you can start applying for rentals. Make sure you get personal references, a written reference from your previous landlord, proof that the bond was repaid in full and documents for the 100 points identification check. You can find out more in my post Australian Real Estate:
          Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
          Good luck with your move.

  3. Natalie

    February 13, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Hi there,
    I am thinking of moving to Gold Coast but almost need to have a conversation with someone before hand.
    My two good friends moved there from NZ and are loving it. However they were mortgage free here, sold their house and bought two small units over in the GC, and now air b&b one out as their passive income.
    My main and ( long winded ) question is,
    I own a loverly but small brand new home in Hobsonville Auckland. I’ve been in it 4 years. My mortgage is not paid off, but i bought this house very cheap and if i sell it now, I will make roughly $450K on it. After taking out real estate fees and moving costs and all those types of expenses and then changing money to AUS$ I will have enough to buy a small unit in the GC with cash and become mortgage free. I have friends I can stay with while i house shop and rennovate if required. It’s kind of a no brainer . However most of my friends and family I talk to say I should rent my house out here, but then i wouldnt be able to live the mortgage free lifestyle like I am planning.
    I am quite scared to let go of my house, So i guess my questions are,
    How easy is it to get work over in the GC? I work in film and Tv and have zreo contacts over there.
    However I’m not opposed to finding a retail job for a while.
    Is it cheaper to live in GC, opposed to Auckland ?
    Is it safe to live in the GC as a single female ?
    Is it easy to make friends there ?
    And , is selling my house to move to GC to become Mortgage free a wise move, or am I a little bit over enthusiastic or crazy ? Basically I wouldnt be able to come back to NZ as house prices are way too high . I guess if worst comes to worst, I would be able to sell my GC home and have 350 – 400K to deposit back in NZ
    I love big cities, and sunshine and beaches, shopping , I love a buzzy vibe, and I’m just a bit sick of Auckland if i’m honest .
    Also , I have been watching house prices in the GC for about 2 years now and I can see they are rising. How long do you think before they go through the roof ?
    As I type this out, I feel like i’m not making much sense and am answering my own questions, But i have been wanting to talk to someone who isnt a friend or family member to get some good advice. I guess my mind is made up, I just dont want to make any stupid finacial moves .
    Thanks for your time ,

  4. May

    September 4, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Hello JJ

    I’m going to move Gold Coast early next year.
    Can you please tell me about the job in Gold Coast. It easy to get the job there?
    My current job is customer consultant.
    And I also want to know about the rental apartment?
    How can I rent the apartment without job ?
    Seem like very difficult to move from to nz to Gold Coast.
    Please give me advice what I have to aware of before I move there .

    Thank you JJ
    I’m looking forward for your reply ^^

    • JJ Smith

      September 8, 2019 at 11:56 pm

      Hi May,
      Thank you for your comment.
      The Gold Coast is actually an easy place to move to if you are a good worker and have enough savings to carry you over until you get a job.
      Read this post about the moving to Australia process:
      I recommend looking for a job on Seek, which will give you a good idea of what you would be paid and what jobs are available: I don’t think you will have much luck applying from NZ, but Australian’s love hiring kiwi’s because we are hard workers. You could always get a job in hospitality while you’re job hunting.
      You would be better off finding short term accommodation until you find a job. You can approach any of the motels and negotiate a good fix term rate:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  5. Dana Dodge

    February 17, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Hello I am thinking of spending Sept-March on The Gold Coast – 6 mos
    I am 50 years old and very active.
    What can I expect to spend in rent if I want a 1 br or studio, updated, walking distance to the beach and shops and public transport?
    And where specifically do you receommend?
    thank you!

    • JJ Smith

      February 19, 2019 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Dana,
      Thank you for your comment.
      It is hard to recommend somewhere for you to live, as there is so much to take into consideration. However I will let you know from our experiences.
      You will want to stay out of the main central suburbs. You will easily be able to walk in as it is flat and you are active. So stay away from Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
      We loved Main Beach because it was quite, close to the beach, restaurants and Southport shops. But also check out Burleigh Heads through to Tweed Heads. These are further away form the main shopping area, great restaurants and hustle, but have what you need close. I don’t know much about Varsity Lakes sorry, but it is close to Burleigh and has a lot of properties for rent.
      From my research you will be looking between $270 and $420 per week for rent for furnished.
      The public transport is really good in Australia and in particular the Gold Coast. The buses are frequent and the stops are convenient.
      Make sure you read the below articles:
      Please feel free to ask me any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      • Dana

        February 24, 2019 at 10:02 pm

        Thank you!
        Wondering…. since Sea Worlds is at Main Beach … isn’t it always crowded with tourists and the shops and restaurants are more expensive?
        What don’t you like about Broadbeach?

        • JJ Smith

          February 24, 2019 at 10:04 pm

          Hi Dana,
          It is completely personal preference where you live. Broadbeach is lovely and has great restaurants, bars and clubs. Go for it.
          JJ Smith


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