Top Tips for Getting to the Gold Coast



Jet Boating » Top Tips for Getting to the Gold Coast

Getting to the Gold Coast

If you want to join us for an unforgettable adventure on the Gold Coast, but are not sure how to get here, then you are in the right place. Below we will take you through all the different travel options and offer some top tips and advice for your trip. Whether you are thinking of flying, taking the train, coach or driving yourself, we have you covered.

Finding Airport parking

If you are thinking of flying to the Gold Coast and plan to drive to the airport, make sure you book your airport parking in advance. Airport parking can be really expensive and the prices are even higher if you book last-minute or even worse, on the departure day.

Luckily there is an easy way to find great value airport parking and save up to 60%, if you book in advance. You simply need to use a comparison website, such as Flyparks. With it’s easy to use comparison tool, you can find great prices in seconds. Say you were looking for parking near Melbourne Airport, you just choose your airport in the drop-down menu, enter your dates and hit ‘Search’. You will get a list of the available services ranked from the least to the most expensive. With clear icons, you can see what each car park offers in a quick glance, choose the one that best fits your needs and finalise your booking in less than 5 minutes.

Gold Coast Airport

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.


Bus transfers

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 Airport

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.


Train transfers

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.



Taking the train to the Gold Coast

Taking the train is a great option if you don’t want to fly, as you can sit back and relax while enjoying the beautiful scenery go past. Unfortunately, it is only possible to take a direct train to the Gold Coast from Brisbane, due gauge differences between Queensland and New South Wales. That said, there are good connections from Sydney and northern Queensland, you just need to change lines a couple of times along the way.

From Brisbane you can catch the Airtrain which serves all the main stations along the Gold Coast, such as Ormeau, Coomera, Helensvale, Nerang, Robina and Varsity Lakes. If you are headed to the beach you can hop on the G:Link at Helensvale for access to Surfers Paradise or meet connecting bus and shuttle services at Nerang or Robina. From Brisbane the train takes around 90 minutes to reach the Gold Coast.


Travelling by bus to the Gold Coast

If you are looking for a budget option, then taking a long-distance coach with Greyhound, Premier or Murrays, could be a great option. There are regular services available from Cairns, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane which stop at Surfers Paradise. Keep in mind that there are discounts for students and seniors and that prices will vary depending on how far in advance you book your trip.


Driving to the Gold Coast

If you want full flexibility on your journey then driving to the Gold Coast is a fantastic option. It gives you the freedom to stop where you like and check out those out of the way places along the way. Make sure to plan your journey ahead, checking for road works and delays on the Pacific Highway (undergoing development) and make time for frequent stops at least every 2 hours.

Below you can see the distance and driving time from major cities to the Gold Coast.

  • Brisbane – 80kms – 1 hour 2 minutes
  • Sydney – 850kms – 10 hours
  • Canberra – 1251kms – 15 hours
  • Melbourne – 1840kms – 21 hours
  • Adelaide – 2100 – 24 hours
  • Darwin – 3500kms – 41 hours
  • Perth – 4600- 48 hours

We hope that these tips will help you plan your trip to join us on the Gold Coast for an unforgettable adventure on one of our jet boat tours. You can find us at Surfers Paradise and Main Beach.

Queensland Rail
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