Is it easy to make friends in the Gold Coast?

After living in NZ for 10 years we intend to relocate to the sunny Gold Coast.
The main reason that led us to this decision is a looking for better lifestyle with a better weather throughout the year.
One of the things we'd like to know before moving is: what is like being a foreigner over there? Having raised two children in NZ (from zero to 9 years) we put this need in the second place (we were very busy with our lives and had little help being emigrants here too) but after 10 years we found ourselves having serious difficulties in penetrating that sort barrier that kiwis place between work and private life. Don't get me wrong, we know many people here and they are kind, very friendly and open to interactions during working hours mainly but their private life is kind of an insurmountable wall and our weekends have become boring without having a group of good friends to meet up on regular basis. Maybe it's due to the fact that many locals were born and raised here so apart from their childhood friends and family they don't feel the need to expand their friendships... I don't know and, in all honesty, I lost even interest in finding the reasons behind it (life is too short to get stuck when something doesn't work out). The matter of fact is that we value friendships (We are from Italy and UK) and for us interacting with other beings is an import component of life.
I would appreciate any feedback or personal experiences on this topic
Thanks in advance
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