Moving Guide – Australia

Moving to Goldcoast

A high number of immigrants are moving to Gold Coast annually, for a better job, a better life or a better education. Although living in Gold Coast paints itself as a dreamy destination with its beautiful scenery, good schools and affordable cost of living, it is important to know all about this beautiful city before you dive into the idea of moving over. Below is a detailed city guide on how you can find your feet if you decide to move.

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Jaden Foo

Melbourne expert

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Jaden Foo

Melbourne expert

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Overview

Located at the south of Brisbane in Australia’s east coast, Gold coast is known mostly for its sandy beaches (perhaps a reason for its name) and its unique birds and forests that have a way of endearing you to nature. It is also a surfers’ paradise, home to surfers and individuals who relish in riding the waves of serenity as steady as the ocean.

Weather

Gold Coast has sub-tropical climate and experiences sunny days almost all year round.

Summer (December – February)
– 21 – 28.4 degree celsius
– highest rainfall in February
– humidity is high

Autumn (March – May)
– 18 – 25.7 degree celsius
– less rainy than summer months

Winter (June – August)
– 12.5 – 21.5 degree celsius
– Clear skies, dry air and cool nights

Spring (September – November)
– 16.9 – 25.4 degree celsius
– mostly dry, windy especially in September

Cost of living

Here is a rough gauge of the daily expenses that you may incur. For instance, a meal out at a neighbourhood restaurant would cost about A$20, monthly public transportation ticket costs A$124 and 1 litre of gas costs A$1.43.

We love
  • The many sparkling beaches
  • Abundant water sports
  • Laidback outdoor lifestyle
  • Nightlife
  • Theme Parks
  • Waterfalls, rainforests and mountains!
We’re not a fan of
  • High Humidity
  • Packed with tourists
  • Giant stinging jellyfish
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Housing

Housing Rental

A$1,633 – A$2,153 per month

Average Rental

An estimated monthly rent for a 900 sqft fully furnished apartment in an expensive area costs A$2,153, and a house in a normal area with the same specification would cost A$2,052.
An estimated monthly rent for a 480 sqft fully furnished apartment in an expensive area costs A$1,986, and a house in a normal area with the same specification would cost A$1,633.

You will have to submit the following documents for a tenancy application in order to meet the 100 point identification check:
• Bank statements for the last 3 months
• A reference from your previous landlord
• The contact information for the previous landlord
• Proof that you do not owe any money
• Identification document (passport, birth certificate, driver’s license)
• Document proving your current residence

The internet is the best place to look for a rented property:
• RealEstate.com.au
• Domain
• allhomes.com.au

Buying Property

A$690,000

Median House Price (Forcasted for 2021)

Migration to Gold Coast is driving up the property prices. In 2018, the median house price for the Gold Coast region hovers around A$630,000 with a forecast growth of 9.4% between 2017 – 2021. The median house price is predicted to reach A$690,000 by 2021. In suburbs such as Hollywell, median price range reaches as high as A$770,000 – A$810,000

Unless you are a citizen or permanent resident in Australia, or a citizen of New Zealand, you will have to first apply to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for permission to purchase property in the country. The conditions attached to the approval for temporary residents are that the property has to be re-sold when they leave, unless their status changes to permanent resident or citizen later on.
Most applications for vacant land or new land are usually approved; the same does not apply for established dwellings, where most applications are denied.
Applications are submitted to the FIRB, with a fee, depending on the value of the house it starts at A$5,000 for one valued at $1million. It can take up to 30 days for you to find out if it has been approved or rejected.
Mortgages for home buying are available for FIRB approved purchases.
As a general rule the cost of buying a property is roughly 5% of the purchase price and includes legal fees, stamp duties, loan establishment fees and other costs.

Sites to search for properties in Adelaide include:
• Realestate.com.au
• Homesales.com.au
• Property.com.au
• Domain
• allhomes.com.au

Utilities & Connectivity

A$130–A$181 per month

Average Utilities Bill

A$35-A$120 per month

Average Internet Bill

A$20-A$100 per month

Average Mobile Phone Bill

The average monthly utilities bill for electricity, heating, cooling, water and garbage for a 45m2 apartment is estimated at A$130 per month while 85m2 aparment utility bill is between A$173 – A$181.

There are 134 internet plans available in Gold Coast with NBN, Optus, Telstra and Belong being some of the main providers. Depending on your monthly data need, the plans begin from A$35 to A$120 per month. Compare the different plans and prices here.

Gold Coast gets a solid mobile coverage across the three main Australian mobile networks Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Each service provider offers a variety of plans depending on your needs. The contract plans start from 6 to 24 months and you can get them for as low as $20 to A$100. Visit this website to compare the plans and prices

Mobile service providers we recommend:
Telstra
Optus
Vodafone

Internet service providers we recommend:
Sumo
Dodo
Telstra
Optus

iiNet

Tax Rates

From the moment you move to Australia on a permanent basis you are liable for tax. You will also be a fiscal resident if you preside in the country for more than six months, holding the same job and lived at the same address over that period.

The tax rates for Australian residents in Gold Coast are as follows:

A$0 to A$9,700 — 10% of taxable income
A$9,700 to A$39,475 — A$970.00 + 12% of the amount over A$9,700
A$39,475 to A$84,200 — A$4,543.00 + 22% of the amount over A$39,475
A$84,200 to A$160,725 — A$14,382.50 + 24% of the amount over A$84,200
A$160,725 to A$204,100 — A$32,748.50 + 32% of the amount over A$160,725
A$204,100 to A$510,300 — A$46,628.50 + 35% of the amount over A$204,100
Over A$510,300 —- A$153.798.50 + 37% of the amount over A$510,300

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Employment

The first thing you should consider before taking a leap and changing your living location is to search for a job. Fret not, for Gold Coast offers a plethora of job opportunities for individuals in different sectors.

Job Opportunities

AU$49,645 and AU$67,917

Average Salary

Health and medical, Information Communication technology, International education and training, Marine

Top Industries

Research shows that the employment rate in Gold Coast is approximately 94.7%. While unemployment rate is kept low, there is admittedly competition out there and you have to stand out from the crowd to land yourself a job

Growth Industries in Gold Coast:

1. Health and medical
The emerging Gold Coast Health and Knowledge precinct provides Australia’s newest and most comprehensive environment for clinical research innovation

2. Information communication technology
The city’s expanding digital infrastructure, progressive culture and networks help to create an environment where ICT businesses have flourished.

3. International education and training
There is rapid growth in the city’s universities especially in research and innovation.

4. Marine
The city is the headquarters for internationally recognised marine brands and home to the nation’s largest recreational boat builders and refitters

Employment Permits

The search for a job in Gold Coast would require a work permit especially if you are a foreigner. A work permit allows you to work in Australia for a couple of years until your permit can be renewed. To get a work permit, you have to apply for the Australian Temporary Skill Shortage visa – this visa allows employers to sponsor immigrants for 4 years. You can be sponsored either via a standard business sponsor or a labour agreement. It is also important that the employer who decides to sponsor you is eligible for this and that you meet the specific needs required for your visa to be approved. You can find all the requirements for an Australian work permit here.

Job Seeker Sites

Gold Coast has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Australia at 4.6% compared to the state average of 6.1%. There are many places to look for work and many employers advertise in newspapers, at private employment agencies and on online job sites. Try the following websites:

1. Careerjet
2. CareerOne
3. JobServe
4. Seek

Professional and trade associations

Being a part of the trade and professional associations has its advantages, one of which is, providing networking programmes. These corporations look out for the well being of their members, and thus, can help with employment. Some of these associations advertise jobs that might not be on newspapers or job seeker websites.

Australian American Association of Victoria
Australian American Chamber of Commerce
Australian British Chamber of Commerce
Australia China Business Council (ACBC)
Australia India Business Council (AIBC)
Australia-Malaysia Business Council 

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Getting Around

Public Transport System

AU$116

Average Public Transportation Cost

Gold Coast has a pretty robust public transport that will help you to get around the place. The main modes of transportation are buses and trams.

The G:Link (Tram)
– connects Broadbeach South through to Helensvale with stops at Southport or Surfers Paradise

Public Buses
– via Surfside Buslines
– search bus timetables by bus number here https://jp.translink.com.au/plan-your-journey/timetables
– search for bus routes (and train/light rail) via the journey planner at https://jp.translink.com.au/plan-your-journey/journey-planner
– buy a ‘Go-card’ that allows you to pay for buses, trams, ferries and trains

Intercity Trains
– via the Gold Coast Rail Line which connects the Gold Coast and Brisbane

Taxis and Water Ferries

Driving

Getting a driver’s license is important especially if you intend to travel around by yourself. They are various ways to go about this:

You can apply by visiting a transport and motoring customer service center. You can visit this link for more detailed information. A list of centers with their opening hours and the kind of services they offer is displayed.
Queensland Government agent programme (QGAP) office. This offers remote services and this link would take you to the page that consists of various regional remote service centers with their opening hours and services.
You can also decide to visit any licence issuing police station around your area. You can find a detailed list here.
Before a driver’s licence can be issued to you, it is necessary that you complete a driver’s licence application form CF3000 at police stations and various QGAP offices. You can view a PDF format of this form here.

Booking an appointment

You can easily book an appointment by visiting any VicRoads customer service center. You do not need any documents to book an appointment.

Here’s what you should bring on the day of your appointment:

  • Evidence of identity (current interstate license).
  • Proof of a new address, that is, any document that shows your new address. It could be utility bills, your rental agreement, or an updated bank statement.
  • A secondary form of identification, like an ATM card.
  • Your current overseas license written in English. If you have it in another language, then you will need to get it translated into English.
  • A letter of confirmation. This is necessary if your current overseas license is currently unavailable, you should get a letter with a formal letterhead to confirm your story. This letter could be written by your issuing country’s driver license authority.
  • A completed license permit application form.
  • Payment of necessary fees. A new driver’s license usually costs around $80.

Once all of this is verified, you will be issued a temporary form of license, until your plastic license is ready.

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Banking

Living and working in Australia requires that you have a bank account. Wages are usually deposited into an account.
If you open a bank account within six weeks of your arrival you will only need your passport as identification. If you wait more than six weeks then you will be asked for extra identification, such as a birth certificate, driver’s license and a bank or credit card.
The biggest banks in Australia are:
• ANZ
• Commonwealth Bank
• National Australia Bank
• Westpac
• Bank of Queensland

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Healthcare

Healthcare is an important factor to think about when deciding to relocate. In Gold Coast, you can be assured of a well instituted healthcare system. Their healthcare system tends to both kids and adults alike, with well trained personnel to attend to you when needed.

Healthcare systems

Australia has a healthcare system called Medicare which sponsors nearly all costs related to your health. Getting approved for Medicare is usually dependent on your country or your residence status. Your family and you are eligible to get Medicare if you have a permanent visa or if you are visiting from affiliated countries like Finland, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden, Belgium, and Norway. However, it is advised to take out additional health insurance from private copmanies because Medicare does not cover some costs such as dental care and ambulance servicest.

Visit this page to learn more about the different hospitals, centres and services available.

Medical Benefits

Everyone in Australia needs to have government- sponsored or private health insurance. Medicare is the government-sponsored health care system and anyone with a permanent visa and their dependents will have automatic access to the scheme. The scheme covers hospitalization and emergency department visits if you are a public patient in a public hospital. Until you can be covered by Medicare it is best to have private health insurance. Medicare does not cover dental care and glasses and these can be covered with additional private insurance.

Medicare covers:
1. seeing a GP or specialist
2. tests and scans, like x-rays
3. most surgery and procedures performed by doctors
4. eye tests by optometrists

Medicare doesn’t cover:
1. ambulance services
2. dental services
3. glasses, contact lens and hearing aids
4. cosmetic surgery

Documents required to register for Medicare:
1. Passport
2. Travel documents
3. Permanent visa

The registeration should be done one week after your arrival. Do note that the process takes between three weeks and a month.

Medical Insurance

Prices vary depending on if you will just have a hospital plan or an all inclusive medical plan. It is very difficult to price insurance because there are many factors that will affect the cost: family members, age etc.
• Gold Coast Health Plan
• Bupa
• Medibank
• HCF

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Education

The Gold Coast educational system caters to every phase of your child’s life from primary to high schools to universities and even TAFE (Technical and Further Education).

Pre-school

Schooling becomes mandatory from the age of six, but children can attend a prep year from the age of five. Prep is the start of the early stage of learning which continues until Year 2.

Learning in Prep :
1. speaking, listening, reading and writing
2. mathematics and problem solving
3. science, exploring interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world
4. history, beginning to examine and enquire about the past to develop curiosity and imagination.
5. negotiating rights, roles and responsibilities and developing social skills for working and playing with others
6. diverse social and cultural practices of people in their community
making healthy choices
7. experimenting with materials in a variety of creative, imaginative and innovative ways
8. technology in everyday life
9. music and movement.

How to enrol:
1. check if you live in the school’s catchment area and are eligible to enrol
2. contact the school or check their website for any specific enrolment procedures
3. complete an application for student enrolment form

Required documents:
1. your child’s birth certificate or passport
2. any documentation that is required if the school has a catchment area (e.g. a current lease agreement, rates notice, utility bill) for proof of residency
3. information about your child’s medical condition, medications (if applicable) and doctor
4. details of any relevant Family Court orders or other court orders (if applicable)
5. details of your child’s previous education and care providers

Unfortunately, there is very little information about both public and prep school fees in Gold Coast. The best option is to call the school directly to find out more. Here is a listing of all the kindergarten in Gold Coast https://www.careforkids.com.au/pre-school/qld/gold-coast .

Public school system

Public Primary Schools

Again, as with the pre-schools above, the huge number of public schools across the TEN different areas in Gold Coast make it difficult to shortlist any schools here at all. It is best to head to this page https://www.careforkids.com.au/pre-school/qld/gold-coast to find for primary schools that are in your region and to contact the schools directly regarding school fees.

Public Secondary Schools
Students are eligible to enter the first year of secondary school, Year 7, after completing 6 years of primary education (Prep to Year 6). Unfortunately, there is very limited information on the enrol process or school fees. It will be best to contact the school directly or visit their website for details. Head to this page https://www.careforkids.com.au/pre-school/qld/gold-coast to see the listing of secondary schools in Brisbane according to your district.

Private school system

Just 33% of children in the region attend private schools. Many are run by the Catholic or Anglican Churches. There is one self-designated international school in the Brisbane, St Paul’s) area, three Queensland state high schools and three Queensland Academies that offers IB Diploma Program:

1. Indooroopilly State High School
2. Mountain Creek State High School
3. Cairns State High School
4. The Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology
5. The Queensland Academy for Creative Industries
6. The Queensland Academy for Health Sciences

For more information about IB Programs that are divided into Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme, you can visit this page (https://www.ibo.org/en/programmes/)

The cost of private school varies depending on the school so you should contact the school directly to get an accurate figure. But here is the range of private school fees:

Private Primary School fees
1. Prep
~A$900 – A$17,990
2. Year 2
~A$900 – A$17,990
3. Year 4
~A$900 – A$18,970
4. Year 6
~A$900 – A$22,320

Private Secondary School fees
1. Year 8
~A$1,455 – A$26,740
2. Year 10
~A$1,525 – A$26,740
3. Year 12
~A$1,931 – A$26,740

Tertiary education

There are quite a few tertiary institutions to choose from in Gold Coast with Bond University, Griffith University and Southern Cross University investing heavily in infrastructure, research and delivering world-class education.

Check out this page for a comprehensive listing with informative overviews of universities, vocational education and colleges in Gold Coast. https://www.studygoldcoast.org.au/study/types-of-study/

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Food & Culture

Food & Grocery

Just like its counterparts, Gold Coast is home to a variety of grocery shops. Some of the common top supermarkets in the country include Coles, Woolworths, and IGA.

If you are looking for grocers selling geography-specific products, you might want to try these:

1. Mrs Flannery’s Natural Food Supermarkets
2184 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami, QLD, 4220
Flannerys Miami provides natural and organic products including organic frutis and vegetables, gluten free products, frozen and refrigerated meats and dairy products.

2. Ho & Sons Asian Food Market
1/2370 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218, Australia
This affordable asian grocery store offers an excellent range of Asian products from sauces, noodles, dried products, herbs and spices and everything Asian!

3. Tugun Supermarket
499 Gold Coast Hwy, Tugun QLD 4224, Australia
This economical supermarket carries a good range of quality products including organic and health foods, frozen goods, dairy products and fresh flowers!

Dining

The number of cafes and restaurants in Gold Coast are so abundant that you might never be able to work through the list! But here are some of the most popular eateries:

1. Bam Bam Bakehouse
2519 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218, Australia
From overlooking a leafy park to its impeccably styled interior to its to-die-for food, Bam Bam Bakehouse has received multiple rave reviews online. Innovative Acai bowls, juicy burgers and pastries at Bam Bam will leave you fully satisfied.

2. The Fish House
50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Australia
Overlooking the blue waters of Gold Coast, this seafood-centric restaurant awaits you with the freshest fish, shucked oysters and river king prawns. Be mesmerized by its sleek and stylish interior as you work your way through the array of stellar dishes.

3. Little Truffle Dining Room and Bar
2444 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218, Australia
Described as a gem on Gold Coast, this restaurant serves American dishes that have Italian, Spanish and French influences. The restaurant offers a special three course menu, a six course degustation menu, and a five course vegetarian degustation menu. The impressive reviews on the internet speaks for this restaurant!

Entertainment

Not only is Gold Coast a beach paradise, it is also a cocktail paradise with an array of cool and fun bars. Here are some of the bars that locals love to hangout at:

1. The Cambus Wallace
4/2237 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
This highly recognized bar that is decorated to resemble a shipwreck serves some of the best and most creative cocktails in Gold Coast.

2. Bar Hellenika
2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
This Santorini style rooftop bar is a hit with the locals. Work your way through the extensive menu of cocktails, beers and ciders while munching on zucchini chips.

3. Lockwood Bar
7B Justins Lane, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Australia
Listed on nearly every bar guide, this classy bar with exposed brick walls and pièce de résistance creates the perfect atmosphere for you to enjoy your whiskeys.

If you would rather be off somewhere to be one with nature, Gold Coast has plenty spots to offer apart from the populated Surfers Paradise:

1. Burleigh Hill
This iconic landmark is a go-to place for epic viewpoints of the sparkling blue sea and humpback whales during the migration season. Visit this place at sunrise or sunset for a breath-taking view!

2. Tallebudgera Creek
This place is home to stunning clear turquoise waters and several sand bars. Head to the deeper section of the creek for a 5-meter jump into the waters below.

3. Gold Coast Hinterland
Drive out to Hinterland during the weekends with your loved ones and explore the numerous beautiful parks, lookouts, waterfalls and cafes!

Safety

While Gold Coast is a relatively safe country, it still experiences moderate level of crime with theft and sexual assaults as the most reported crimes. Be cautious when you are out at night and be extra cautious if you are having a night of drinking. Invest in the safety of your property and car!

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All things Gold Coast

1. Multiple Beaches 2. Nightlife 3. Theme Parks 4. Rainforest Hinterland 5. Laidback lifestyle

Fun facts

1. Gold Coast is Australia’s leading tourist destination

2. Gold Coast has 57kms of beaches

3. 300 days of sunshine every year

4. Tropical rainforest with abundant wildlife and numerous bush walks

Do’s and dont’s

Dos:
1. Do take advantage of the sunshine
2. Do visit the beautiful beaches
3. Do explore the Gold Coast Hinterland
4. Do have lots of funs.

Don’ts:
1. Don’t go out without sunscreen
2. Don’t swim in restricted areas
3. Don’t neglect your surroudings whether on land or in sea
4. Don’t litter wherever you enjoy the outdoors, and if there are no bins provided, take rubbish back with you.

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