Your guide from the moment you step off the plane, train or automobile.

As soon as you arrive on the Gold Coast, located on Queensland’s stunning East coast, you instantly know you’re in for the holiday of a lifetime. With its world-class beaches, sub-tropical climate boasting 300 days of sunshine a year and bustling café culture, the Gold Coast has something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re planning a quick weekend trip or a two-week family holiday, there’s no shortage of activities on the Gold Coast that will have the whole family leaving with a lifetime of happy memories to look back on fondly. Don’t waste time finding your feet once you arrive for your Gold Coast adventure; here is your essential Gold Coast arrival guide.


Gold Coast tourist map

Destination Gold Coast is the hub of Gold Coast tourism and provides accurate information regarding tourist activities from beach to bush, and accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

Plan in advance to make sure you don’t miss a thing, download a comprehensive tourist map here


Getting to Surfers Paradise from Gold Coast Airport

Bus and Tram

If you want to live as the locals do, catch the 777 TransLink bus from the Gold Coast Highway outside the airport and change at Broadbeach South Station to catch the tram into Cavill Avenue.

The journey from the airport to hotel door should take about 45 minutes and cost no more than $15 per person.


Download the Uber app before you arrive for a low-cost personal journey directly to your accommodation door.

Uber is safe, convenient, effective and you’re guaranteed a reliable driver approved by Uber. Make sure you set up an account and link it with your Paypal account before you leave home to save time once you arrive.


The Skybus is the cheapest and most convenient bus service that takes you from the airport directly to 15 hotel options in Surfers Paradise. You can find specific locations here

Travel in air-conditioned comfort on a purpose-built bus designed to carry heavy luggage.

Hire a car

If you want to take control of your trip, hire a car in advance through Avis, Hertz, or East Coast Car Rentals which all have bases at the airport. Conditions may apply so while you can potentially organise a car once you arrive, where possible, we recommend booking in advance to make sure you have everything you need.


Getting to Surfers Paradise from Brisbane airport

Airtrain Connect

Airtrain is an express train service that connects Brisbane Airport with the most popular Gold Coast destinations. Leaving every 15 minutes, catch a train to your Gold Coast train station and meet a chauffeur who will drive you directly to your hotel in Surfers Paradise. On the return journey, a chauffeur will meet you at your hotel and take you back to the train station to board the connecting train service to the airport.

You can book once you arrive, but discounts apply for booking up to seven days in advance.

Hire a car

The car journey from Brisbane Airport to Surfers Paradise will take approximately one hour on a clear day. If you travel at peak times, allow for delays caused by traffic going into and out of the CBD. You can find most major hire car companies at Brisbane Airport including Thrifty, Hertz and Europcar.

Bus Shuttle

Con-X-Ion bus shuttle will take you to your Surfers Paradise accommodation from as little as $35 one way or $70 return for a shared transfer with up to 10 other passengers. Prices for private transfers are available on request.


How to use public transport on the Gold Coast

You can pay each time you hop on and off a Gold Coast bus or tram, but a much more cost-effective and efficient way to travel is by purchasing a TransLink Go Card. Avoid hunting for change and queuing for each journey. Tap to register your trip each time you jump on and off the bus or tram, and your balance will automatically deduct.

You can top up online, over the phone by calling 13 12 30, or at local retail stores


Gold Coast major shopping centres

If you fancy a change from sightseeing and want to treat yourself, the Gold Coast is well known for its exceptional shopping experiences.

Pacific Fair

Pacific Fair is located in Broadbeach in the heart of the tourist hub. Easily accessible on foot or tram, take advantage of its recent multi-million-dollar refurbishment which offers a full day’s shopping whatever your style and budget. The centre also features a large open recreational space that joins on to restaurants, cafes, cinema and takeaway food outlets.

Robina Town Centre

Robina Town Centre features dozens of high-end stores as well as high street classics like Target, K Mart and Big W. Located just ten kilometres from Surfers Paradise, catch a public bus from Bundall Road which will drop you right outside the door.

While shops close at 5.30 pm, enjoy a meal at the newly-built Kitchens where you can eat whatever your palette desires from world-class Teppanyaki to Betty’s Burgers You can even head to cooking school to learn some tricks of the gourmet trade

Harbour Town

Harbour Town is the retail outlet that guarantees bargains-a-plenty! Open seven days a week, Harbour Town features designer labels such as Calvin Klein, Nike and Ralph Lauren and is located in Biggera Waters between Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast theme parks. Operating a free shuttle from selected hotels in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, Harbour Town is geared for tourists offering free WIFI, luggage storage and a tourist discount card.

The Gold Coast is one of the most accessible tourist destinations in the world with all major attractions and destinations reachable by public transport.


Where to stay on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a hive of accommodation with options to suit all tastes and budgets. Ranging from backpackers to penthouse luxury, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach are conveniently located within walking distance of the central tram line. Personal favourites include

Q1 Resort and Spa
Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa and
Peppers in Surfers Paradise

If you’d like more specific ideas and to view all options, visit Expedia which provides accommodation options at no extra expense 


Gold Coast weather

The sub-tropical climate of the Gold Coast makes it a perfect destination all year round. Through the winter months (May, June, July) you can expect bright blue skies, glassy calm waters and an average daily temperature of 21 degrees ideal for water-based activities such as whale watching. Bring a jumper as night-time temperatures can drop as low as nine or ten degrees.

Average temperatures for summer hover between 28 and 30 degrees but prepare for daily temperatures of over 30 degrees and some hot nights, particularly during January and February. With a humidity of up to 75%, the heat is often counterbalanced by the ocean breeze and late afternoon storms common during the summer months.

To find out more about getting around the Gold Coast, contact us today. Ready to plan some sightseeing?

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