The Gold Coast is a coastal city in southeastern Queensland on the east coast of Australia. The city is 94 km (58 mi) south of the state capital Brisbane. It is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and the most populous non-capital city in Australia. The Gold Coast has the largest cross-state metropolitan area population in Australia, due to the inclusion of Tweed Heads, New South Wales in its metropolitan area. The Gold Coast's metropolitan area converges with that of Greater Brisbane, forming part of an urban conurbation of over 3 million people.
While the origin of the city's name is debatable, the name "Gold Coast" was bestowed upon the city by real estate investors. The first settlement in what is now South East Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for upper class Brisbane residents.