Download our guides Your Next Career Accommodation Money and banking Cost of living Visas Employment Health and safety Language Life in Australia Studying Getting around Travel Advertise

The Best Student-Friendly Suburbs on the Gold Coast

gold coast suburbs

This article is sponsored by Study Gold Coast

The Gold Coast offers a magical mix of a laid-back beach lifestyle, world-class universities and incredible opportunities for international students. 

What’s more, there are so many cool suburbs on the Gold Coast to explore, each with its own unique vibe and lifestyle.

To help you decide which one is right for you, here’s our helpful guide to the best suburbs on the Gold Coast for international students.


Boasting many newly developed houses and units, Robina is handily located close to Bond University. It has a lot to offer its residents, including great parkland and lots of shopping options, like Robina Town Centre

It’s also the home of CBUS Super Stadium, making it an ideal base for anyone who loves live sporting or music events. 

Perhaps most importantly, Robina is only a ten-minute drive or bus ride from the ever-popular Miami, Mermaid and Burleigh Beaches. 

Robina is connected to the whole Gold Coast region by public transport, and you can even catch a train to Brisbane in just 90 minutes. 

Surfers Paradise

gold coast suburbs

Surfers Paradise, known by locals as ‘Surfers’, is a beachside suburb known for its high-rise buildings, bars, cafes and nightclubs, as well as for being the heart of the Gold Coast’s pumping tourism industry. 

Moving to Surfers means living along a pristine coastline with incredible beaches and amazing surf at your doorstep. 

Surfers is located just a 15-minute drive or a 20-minute bus ride from Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus. Additionally, it’s easy to get around, as the area is connected to many other hotspots via tram. 

You’ll most likely need to rent a private apartment to live in Surfers, as there aren’t many houses or student accommodation options in the area.


gold coast suburbs

Located inland from Surfers Paradise is Southport, which is home to Griffith University, TAFE Queensland and the Gold Coast Student Hub, as well as many of the city’s English Language Schools and other educational institutions.

This bustling suburb is popular with international students because of Griffith University’s on-campus student housing and its proximity to parklands, cafes and nightlife. 

Southport has a great public transport network, so you can catch a bus or tram to any local destination. Trams run every 15 minutes between 5 a.m. and midnight on weekdays and operate 24 hours on weekends, which makes getting around even easier. 

You’ll find a variety of accommodation options in Southport, including private rentals and student housing. 

Burleigh Heads

gold coast suburbs

When choosing where to live on the Gold Coast, you have to consider one of the most popular areas for locals and international students alike: Burleigh Heads. 

Home to a world-famous surf beach, Burleigh offers a more laid-back lifestyle than the heart of the Gold Coast. You’ll find hiking trails in the nearby national park, plus plenty of trendy cafes, bars and restaurants. Burleigh Hill is also perfect for picnics and whale watching in the winter. 

Burleigh is conveniently located only a 15-minute drive or 30-minute bus ride from Bond University. 

Because of its popularity, this suburb comes with a slightly higher price tag, so expect to pay a little more here than you would elsewhere on the Gold Coast.


Nerang is an affordable up-and-coming area located just 10 minutes by car from Griffith University.

This area boasts a relaxed country feel, thanks to the beautiful Nerang National Park and the local farmers’ markets

Getting around is simple, as Nerang is well-connected via train to the rest of the Gold Coast and is only an hour away from Brisbane. You’ll also be close to shopping, movie theatres and the theme parks Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet’n’Wild


At the southernmost point of the Gold Coast is the easy-going suburb of Coolangatta. Home to Southern Cross University, Coolangatta is the perfect place for someone looking for a slower pace of life. 

Here, along with some of Queensland’s best secret beaches, you’ll find fewer tourists and a more authentic ‘Aussie’ feel. Despite its relaxed vibe, Coolangatta still has many excellent cafes, restaurants and pubs. 

On weekends, you can head further south to explore places like Byron Bay, Kingscliff and Cabarita, all within an hour’s drive. 


Coomera is another area with a fantastic combination of lifestyle and affordability. Nestled amongst canals and waterways, Coomera is known for being extremely clean and green. 

Almost 10 per cent of the suburb is parklands, and it borders the lush Gold Coast hinterland and Mount Tambourine, making it the ideal choice for those who love being close to nature. 

The nearby shopping precinct is there for all your retail and food needs, and a quick trip to the train station connects you to the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

What’s more, living here means you’ll be right by the TAFE Queensland Coomera campus and just a 20-minute drive from Griffith University.