07th November, 2011

A – Z Guide for Getting Around the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of the major tourist destinations in Australia, receiving over 10 million visitors in any given year. With its year-round subtropical climate and coastal location, the Gold Coast is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the country. If you’re visiting the Gold Coast, read this article to find out how to get in and around the city for your next visit.

Getting In

At the heart of the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise, the core suburb of the Coast. Here visitors can find some of the liveliest night life, pubs, dining options, and late night shopping. Luxurious Surfers Paradise apartments can be found close to the beach in the centre of the suburb, particularly well-located for getting to the key attractions.

Surfers Paradise is around 30 minutes by car or bus from the Gold Coast Airport, also known as Coolangatta Airport. Coolangatta Airport is a busy regional airport, with around 3.5 million passengers passing through every year.

Shuttle buses run routes from Coolangatta airport between Tweed Heads and Surfers Paradise. You can also get to the Gold Coast by flying into Brisbane Airport and hiring car, shuttle bus, or a direct train to Nerang. Nerang is around eight kilometres from Surfers Paradise and there are buses that run from the suburb directly into the Gold Coast.

Getting Around

The Gold Coast covers an area of around 415 sq km and most places are easily accessible by car, taxi, or public transport. The following are just some of the most common ways for getting around on the Gold Coast.

By Car

Like elsewhere in Australia, it’s easy to drive in the Gold Coast. Roads are well-planned, with clear street signs and good traffic conditions. Most of the key attractions on the Gold Coast and surrounds are easily accessible by car, with theme parks, malls, and other attractions well served by large parking lots.

If you want to park on the streets, remember to prepare some change to feed the parking metres, especially in the inner city areas of Surfers Paradise, Southport, and Burleigh Heads. Other outer suburbs may provide free on-street parking.You will also want a photo taken with the famous metre maids with their bikini uniforms at Surfers Paradise.

There are cheap parking services in Surfers Paradise operated by the local council, car park companies, and shopping centres. These may cost anywhere from $1 or more per hour. There are plenty of car rental companies operating in Surfers Paradise so finding a rental for a day, the weekend, or a couple of weeks won’t be difficult.


Taxis are widely available throughout Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast, although, like anywhere else, you may need to wait on busy nights. A taxi ride from Coolangatta Airport to Surfers Paradise typically costs around AUD$50 to AUD$60.

By Bus

Surfside Buslines are the most active public transport company on the Gold Coast. Most main roads will have bus stops. Buses run all hours of the day and night, though they’re much more frequent during the day. These buses run routes from Surfers Paradise to the key attractions in and around the Gold Coast.

Airport transfers run at least once every 30 minutes from the airport to Surfers Paradise, sometimes right to the door of your chosen Surfers Paradise accommodation. Air shuttle buses cost around $20 per person for a one-way ticket.