Gold Coast is in the state of Queensland. Located approximately 69 km south of Brisbane, it is the sixth largest city in Australia. The region, once called the South Coast, was a hugely popular vacation destination for servicemen returning from World War II and, by the end of the 1940s, real estate speculators and journalists began calling the area the Gold Coast.
The name was adopted by the local authority and the expansion of beach facilities and accommodation in the 1950s and 60s turned the area into the popular vacation destination it is today.
The Gold Coast covers some 414 square kilometers and its famed coastline stretches for 56 kilometers, from South Stradbroke Island to Rainbow Bay. The population was 540,000 in 2012 and the area has one of the fastest growing populations in Australia. With 35% of Gold Coast residents born overseas, it is also the most culturally diverse place in Australia.
The Gold Coast area has a huge variety of flora, fauna and wildlife. Recent research undertaken for the City Council's Nature Conservation Strategy shows, that Gold Coast is particularly interesting from a biological viewpoint. Its vegetation ranges from mountain rainforest to coastal wetlands and it is home to many species of birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
For many expats, the favorable weather is one of the main reasons for moving to Gold Coast. The area has a subtropical climate with 287 days of sunshine annually.
Gold Coast enjoys annual average high temperatures of 25°C, but the summer months of December and January can get particularly scorching. Unlike many areas of Australia, Gold Coast experiences regular rainfall, and temperatures rarely reach uncomfortably high levels.
There are a variety of visas available for people who wish to move to Australia permanently. The main categories are Skilled Independent Migration, for those under 50 who are not sponsored and have qualifications relevant to occupations on Australia's "skilled occupation list". 'Skilled occupations' include engineers, accountants, actuaries, vets, special needs teachers, dentists and electricians. The Employer Nomination Scheme is for people sponsored by an overseas employer and Business Migration is for entrepreneurial businesspeople and investors.
Australia also offers retirement visas for people aged 55 or older, as long as they have no dependents (excluding a partner), are self-supported and are able to make a significant long-term financial investment in Australia. This means they must have assets of at least 750,000 AUD, or 500,000 AUD for those settling in regional Australia. They must also have access to a minimum net income of 65,000 AUD (50,500 USD), which can be pension income.
Take a look at the dedicated visa section of our article on Moving to Australia, or refer to the visa section on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for more information on this topic.