Top Tips for Getting to the Gold Coast
Flying to the Gold Coast
When flying to the Gold Coast you have two main options. There is Coolangatta Airport just outside Gold Coast itself and Brisbane Airport around 90 minutes away. Both offer great connections to Gold Coast city and the popular spots along the coast.
Coolangatta/Gold Coast Airport
Coolangatta is a small airport just 27kms from Surfers Paradise, making it the most convenient airport for visiting the Gold Coast. It offers domestic flights to Adelaide, Hobart, Perth, Cairns, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and Newcastle and a few international flights to South East Asia, New Zealand, the US and Europe.
Getting to and from this airport is pretty straightforward with a great network of buses connecting it to the main Gold Coast destinations.
The SkyBus Airport Shuttle operates 7 days a week providing transfers for all flights from Tugun to Main Beach. They also provide a fast daily Byron Bay service. These buses depart from just outside the main terminal building, tickets can be purchased online and they all have free WiFi. Tickets cost around $15 one-way.
Alternatively, you can take a public bus directly from the airport.
Bus 777 will take you to the Broadbeach South Tram Station where you can catch a G:Link service (light rail service) onwards to destinations, such as Surfers Paradise. It runs every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm and to Surfers Paradise costs around $5.70 one-way.
Bus 760 will take you to the Varsity Lakes station where you can catch the Brisbane train. This bus runs every 30 minutes and costs around $4.70.
Taxi and car hire
If you would prefer to take a taxi, there is a rank right outside the main terminal building with vehicles from GC Cabs. From the airport to Surfers Paradise the journey takes around 40 minutes and will cost roughly $52.00 and to Broadbeach the journey is around 30 minutes costing about $45.00.
If you would like to hire a car, there are car hire desks as you exit the domestic terminal. Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, and Europcar are available at Gold Coast Airport, but make sure to book in advance for the best prices and vehicle availability. You can also hire a car in Surfers Paradise.
Brisbane is a major international airport offering a great range of domestic and international destinations. While it is further away from Gold Coast Airport, flying to Brisbane can be a more convenient choice due to the greater choice and frequency of the available flights. You will have little trouble finding flights to most domestic airports.
One of the easiest ways to get from Brisbane Airport to the Gold Coast is via the Airtrain service. This train service connects directly to the airport and serves all major stations along the Gold Coast, including Ormeau, Coomera, Helensvale, Nerang, Robina and Varsity Lakes. At Helensvale you can catch the G:Link service to Southport, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. The journey takes at least 90 minutes.
During the peak hours the train runs every 15 minutes and every 30 minutes during the off-peak periods. Ticket prices start at $10 and there are special tickets that combine the Airtrain and G:Link services. A standard adult fare to Surfers Paradise from Brisbane Airport costs $40. For accurate prices and the best deals, you should book your tickets online in advance at the Airtrain website.
Private transfers and car hire
If you want to reach the Gold Coast a bit quicker you can arrange a private transfer or hire a car from the airport. By car it takes about 80 minutes to reach the Gold Coast.
There are car hire desks in both the domestic and international terminals with the following companies available: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise Holdings and Thrifty.
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