I’m sorry Brisbane. It’s not you – it’s me. I’ve fallen in love with the Gold Coast and I don’t think I can ever go back.
A Brisbane girl born and bred, I’ve always nursed a soft spot for the coast. I grew up with frequent trips down the highway to the beach and hinterland, so appreciation for its natural beauty has been embedded in me from a young age.
While the sunny skies and pristine beaches are the obvious drawcard, the Gold Coast truly offers more than meets the eye. For those that are quick to brush off our city as no more than a tourist haven I have news for you – the Gold Coast is coming of age and bears no sign of slowing down.
A diverse and growing city
One of the fastest growing cities in Australia, the Gold Coast is no longer a shanty beach town. With around 600,000 currently calling the coastal city home, the city’s population is expected to swell to more than a million within the next couple decades. Traditionally known for a strong focus on construction and tourism, the city’s employment sector has expanded to include a wide range of industries.
With health and innovation one of the city’s biggest job growth sectors, the Gold Coast is quietly putting its best foot forward on the global stage. Home to the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, the 200 hectare area incorporates Griffith University, Gold Coast University Hospital, and Gold Coast Private Hospital along with associated research and allied health facilities. With the likes of the Institute for Glycomics and second-stage human clinical trials for a malaria vaccination, we’re driving medical breakthroughs in our very own backyard.
The film industry is also booming, contributing an estimated $1.8 billion to the local economy since the 1980s. A screen production hot spot, the Gold Coast has boasted numerous domestic and international productions such as Aquaman, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Thor: Ragnarok, San Andreas and Dora the Explorer to name a few.
The Gold Coast has also welcomed start-ups with open arms. With the highest number of entrepreneurs per capita in Australia, the have-a-go spirit is alive and kicking on the Gold Coast. From IT tech-heads, cutting edge fashion labels to teeth-whitening services (we’re looking at you HiSmile), there is room for every type of business to grow on the Gold Coast.
Thriving culinary scene
Joining the likes of Sydney and Melbourne, Gold Coast has straightened up and tossed its culinary hat in the ring. With an abundance of new cafes, bars and restaurants popping up on every corner, you’ll never run out of options when it comes to weekend lunching or pre-work coffee runs. Foodies will rejoice with multinational cuisines on offer, paying homage to the Gold Coast’s diverse multicultural population.
P.S – anyone who says Melbourne does the best coffee clearly hasn’t gotten their caffeine fix on the Gold Coast. Nice try Melburnians, but you just miss the mark on this one.
Gold Coasters are fiercely proud creatures; their suburb is the fairest in the land, no questions asked. While many Southerners will associate the Gold Coast as a whole with the glitter strip’s Surfers Paradise, the reality couldn’t be more different. Each suburb and every neighbourhood has its own distinct Gold Coast identity. Main Beach locals fawn over Tedder Ave, Cooly kids froth over their surf breaks, Burleigh locals lap up the views from the national park while the hills are alive with the sound of serenity at Currumbin Valley. No two spots are quite the same, allowing for people from all walks of life to find their own pocket of paradise.
Embracing the outdoors
From pre-dawn runs, early morning surfs, a quick cycle to work or sunset strolls, Gold Coasters have an unrivalled love for the outdoors. While our glorious weather and post-card scenery is likely to be a heavily contributing factor, it still brings a smile to my face to see the community enjoying life as it was intended. Gold Coasters seem to be awash with a sense of serenity that is lacking in the rat race of some of our capital cities (I suspect it’s something to do with sea salt in the air).
Keeping those good vibes rolling
In 2018 alone, the Gold Coast hosted 30 major events – along with this little old thing called the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
When I first moved to the Gold Coast, I was amazed by the sheer volume of events on offer each week. From music festivals to surfing titles, movies in the park and footy matches, you’ll find events big and small in this sun-drenched city. A mecca for those that love to explore and experience, you’ll never be lost for inspiration on what to do with your weekends on the Gold Coast.
While I’ll sing the coast’s praises to anyone who will listen – for those that don’t want to, that’s ok. You’ll have to see it for yourself to embrace the magic of this magnificent city.