Moving to the Gold Coast
Are you moving to the Gold Coast?
Crown Relocations are an international moving company specialising in international relocations, storage, moving overseas, movers insurance, relocation services and lots more. We will even relocate your vehicle and pets! Crown Relocations offer a genuine, professional ‘one company’ standard and have over 50 years experience as a market leader in both New Zealand and Australia. Let us help you plan your relocation and discover everything the Gold Coast has to offer.
For more tips and information about moving to the GC read our blog – Destination Gold Coast
The Gold Coast was originally known as the South Coast because it was south of Brisbane. However, inflated prices for real estate and other goods and services led to the nickname of “Gold Coast” from 1950’s.
Today, the Gold Coast is a major tourist destination with sunny subtropical climate, and has become widely known for its beautiful long sandy beaches popular especially for surfers, modern high-rises, world-class theme parks, buzzing nightlife, and rain-forest hinterland. The city is also part of the nation’s growing entertainment industry with television productions and a major film industry.
The Gold Coast is emerging as a city abundant in arts and culture, and hosts a full calendar of festivals, exhibitions and community events. This, as well as an abundance of sporting clubs, walking and cycling tracks, combined with a year-round subtropical climate, makes the Gold Coast ideal for an active lifestyle.
Visas / Permits
There are many different kinds of visa that migrants to Australia may be eligible for. For information about which types of visa are available to you visit the Department of Immigration and Border Control website. When applying for visas it is now compulsory to complete a skills assessment form. This form requires personal information based on previous work experience and qualifications, this can be found on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website.
If you are a New Zealander wanting to live and work in Australia then you are automatically eligible to do so without needing to apply for any kind of specific visa. However a Special Category Visa (SCV) will be assigned on arrival to the country. The SCV allows New Zealanders to live and work in Australia indefinitely. However it does not provide you with the same rights as Australians citizens or permanent residents. New Zealand citizens no longer have an automatic right to a permanent residency in Australia – applications for this must also go through the DIAC.
The currency used in Gold Coast is the Australian dollar. Each dollar is worth 100 cents and coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents as well as $1 and $2. Notes are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. There are many different choices that can be made when it comes to converting currencies. It’s strongly suggested not to take large sums of money or travellers’ cheques with you to convert overseas — this is because banks are known to charge high conversion rates when dealing with cash.
Migrants may find it beneficial to open up an Australian bank account before actually arriving in the country. This also helps to minimise the amount of cash that needs to be carried while travelling. When it comes to opening an Australian bank account without actually being in the country yet, several banks offer application forms that can be filled out online — Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and NAB all provide an online sign-up service.
The best way to convert large sums of money is through online transfer companies, who provide a much cheaper rate. Crown has entered into a partnership with OFX to provide an easy, reliable and cost effective solution for clients who are moving their funds internationally. The deals offered by OFX are at super competitive exchange rates and in most cases there’s no fee. The cost structure is so good that the saving you make may even pay for the entire cost of your relocation. To register and for more information visit OFX
Like the rest of Australia, in Gold Coast you will see drivers using the left-hand side of the road. The speed limit is 50km/h in built-up areas unless stated otherwise and 100km/h on highways or freeways. A valid overseas license allows you to drive in the state of Queensland for up to three months after arriving.
The conditions of this are that you must:
- Only drive the class of motor vehicle authorised by your license.
- Comply with the conditions (if any) of your license
- Show your license to a police officer when asked to do so
You become ineligible to drive on your overseas license if:
- You are deemed medically unfit to drive safely
- You have been residing in Queensland for over three months on a SCV or resident visa
After three months in Gold Coast on an overseas license you’re legally required to hold a Queensland State driving license. To obtain a full license you will need to contact one of the local Transport and Motor Service Centres around the Gold Coast area.
If you are a New Zealander holding a current New Zealand license then you will not need to pass the written road rules test or the practical driving test to get an Australian license.
Australia is subject to International Driving regulations – which mean that the acquisition of an International Drivers Permit or license allows overseas drivers to continue driving in Australia without further tests or applications, provided that a current drivers license is still held. More can be found out about International Driving Permits from The National Roads and Motorists’ Association website.
The City of Gold Coast has an extensive network of arterial roads that link coastal suburbs with inland suburbs. Gold Coast has an extensive public transport network that includes buses, heavy rail and the new light rail for commuting to work, visiting attractions, and travelling to other destinations. For more information about Gold Coast’s public transport services including timetables visit the Translink website.
The standard of education is high across most areas of Gold Coast. There are more than 100 primary schools, both private and public, and all offer excellent educational facilities. Entry into public schools is most commonly determined by whether you are living in the particular zone or boundary of the school. The Gold Coast is a fantastic place for tertiary study with Griffith University and the private Bond University both with excellent campuses here. There are also many TAFE campuses as well as other higher learning centres.
With so many great education institutions available on the Gold Coast, there is something available for every learner. If you are having trouble deciding on a school do not hesitate to contact Crown for assistance. Schools in Gold Coast typically run on a four-term schedule: Term 1 goes from late January through mid-April, Term 2 from late April to early July, Term 3 from mid/late-July to late September and Term 4 from mid-October through mid-December.
Public school students often use public transport as a means of getting to and from school. Student concession cards are available for bus and train services in the area. Independent schools often provide their own bus systems for students.
Like other cities in Australia, health care in the Gold Coast is of an extremely high standard. Gold Coast has both public and private health care systems. Most residents are covered under Medicare Australia – the government health agency that is responsible for providing public health services. Medicare provides payments and services that can help when you, or someone you provide care for, use health care services or buy medicines.
Eligibility for Medicare depends on a number of factors. You are able to sign up to Medicare if you:
- Are an Australian or New Zealand citizen — with certain conditions
- Are a permanent resident
- Have applied for a permanent visa
- Are covered by a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with another country.
Medicare provides free hospital care and free or subsidised doctor and specialist visits, however many Australians, almost 50% still opt to get private health insurance. This is recommended by the Australian government as private health insurance covers costs which Medicare does not, such as; ambulance use in emergencies and dental care.
If the insurance company you were with in your home country is a member of the International Federation of Health Funds, you may be able to transfer your policy to Australia without penalty — at a similar level of cover. Check with your insurance provider for details.
There are over 81 suburbs on the Gold Coast and new ones are still being developed to cater to the rapid growing population. When you drive around the city fringes, you will notice that waterfront canal living is the main character of this town. Most canal frontage homes have pontoons. Residential canals were first built in the Gold Coast in the 1950’s and construction still continues. There are over 890 kilometres of constructed residential waterfront land within the city that is home to over 80,000 residents.
Proximity to workplaces and schools are often the deciding factor for expatriates when they are looking for a new home. The most popular areas of Gold Coast are; Bilinga, Tugun, Burleigh Waters, Carrara, Labrador and Paradise Point just to name a few.
There are some restrictions in place when it comes to non permanent residents buying property in Australia, for more information about this please visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website. Expatriates most often choose to rent homes in Gold Coast, this is due to high taxes (known as stamp duty) on the purchase of any real estate. When organising a property to rent, landlords typically ask for four to six weeks rent in advance before the collection of keys. There is also a security deposit or bond to be paid before moving in.
For more information on renting a home in Gold Coast visit the Residential Tenancies Authority.
The electric current for Australia is 230/250 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50 cycles per second, which is compatible with UK appliances. Standard plugs have three flat pins (Australian pattern) and lamp fittings are of the bayonet type. Television and video communications operate on PAL color, System B.
Newcomers to Gold Coast most often integrate in to the wider community with ease. It is less common to assimilate into a close-knit group on arrival, however there are multiple newcomer groups that expats can choose to join. Families are typically able to network through either their workplaces or their children’s school and corresponding events such as sports and fundraising activities.
Gold Coast has a well-renowned sporting culture and attending sports events is a popular choice for a social night out. The vibrant nightlife scene also offers locals with opportunities to socialise in style. There are also several reputable singles networking associations that arrange evening and weekend activities such as dinners at restaurants, sightseeing and touring.
Crown Relocations has over 50 years of experience moving individuals and families to Gold Coast and throughout Australia. Contact us today for more information about our services and a FREE moving quote on: 0508 227 696 or you can use our online quote forms: Quote Wizard, Quick Quote or Home Visit Request
To convert your money to Australian dollars the cheapest and most reliable way, check out our guide for Moving Your Money.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.