Gold Coast Travel Tips
THINGS TO DO ON THE GOLD COAST
Glamorous lifestyles, adventure-filled locations and 70 kilometres (43 miles) of extraordinary beaches make the Gold Coast one of Australia’s most exciting destinations.
Places to visit on the Gold Coast
A haven for beach lovers, socialites and people watchers alike, Surfers Paradise has something for everyone. Swim, surf and take a stroll down Cavill Avenue, the ‘Glitter Strip’ that starts at the iconic Surfers Paradise sign.
At the opposite end of the Gold Coast to Surfers Paradise, you’ll find Coolangatta, renowned for its clear waters, casual beachside culture and world-class surf breaks. Walk the trail from the beach to the Point Danger lookout for a great whale-watching spot!
Discover a whole new ‘World’ on the Gold Coast. Australia’s biggest theme parks – Dreamworld, Movie World and Sea World – can all be found here, offering everything from hair-raising roller coasters to superhero encounters.
Cuddle koalas, feed kangaroos and wild birds, wander through open animal enclosures, take on a challenging high ropes course and explore 27 hectares of rainforest at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a Gold Coast institution.
Accommodation on the Gold Coast
Our buses are just the beginning. We’ve teamed up with the best hostel providers in Australia to offer flexible passes and packages that make it a breeze to secure quality accommodation that won’t break the bank, no matter where your journey takes you!
Available from 7 to 28 nights, the YHA Dreamcatcher pass allows you to pre-purchase your accommodation without locking in the dates. It can be used to book dorm-style accommodation at the Surfers Paradise YHA, Coolangatta YHA, and more than 70 other YHA hostels around Australia.
Surfers Paradise YHA
The Bed Hopper Pass, available from 7 to 60 nights, is a flexible multi-night accommodation voucher that can be used to book dorm-style accommodation at Sleeping Inn Backpackers, Budds In Surfers, and more than 20 Base, Nomads and Base-affiliated hostels throughout Australia.
Sleeping Inn Backpackers
How to get around the Gold Coast
The Greyhound bus to the Gold Coast will drop you in the heart of Surfers Paradise (10 Beach Road), Coolangatta (Warner Street opposite the Bowls Club) or Southport (34-36 Railway Street), depending which stop you choose.
Once you arrive on the Gold Coast, you’ll find that the perfect weather, scenic beaches and plentiful walking and cycling trails will make it tempting to get everywhere you need to go on foot or on a bicycle – but, with the Coast stretching on as long as it does, that won’t always be possible.
The Gold Coast’s public transport system is based primarily around buses and the G:link light rail network.
There are more than 60 bus routes on the Gold Coast, including 7 ‘turn up and go’ high frequency services that operate every 15 minutes or better, seven days a week, from 7am to 7pm.
The G:link trams link Helensvale, Parkwood, Gold Coast University Hospital, Griffith University, Southport, Broadwater Parklands, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Northcliffe and Broadbeach, and run from 5am to midnight, seven days a week.
To plan your trips around the Gold Coast on these local buses and trams, use the TransLink Journey Planner.
All TransLink services can be accessed with a Go Card, a touch-on touch-off system that allows you to travel seamlessly on all TransLink services across South East Queensland. Go Cards can be purchased at most convenience stores and the TransLink Info kiosks located at Cavill Avenue and Broadbeach South tram stations.
TransLink also offers a ‘go explore’ Gold Coast card, which offers visitors unlimited travel on Gold Coast buses and trams (including express services to Gold Coast theme parks) for a set daily fee. The ‘go explore’ cards are available from most convenience stores, tourist information centres, selected hotel desks and TransLink Info kiosks.
Taxis can be hailed on the street or at taxi ranks, and can be pre-booked online or over the phone. A number of private ferries and water taxis also operate on the Gold Coast.
To visit the Gold Coast Hinterland, you’ll need to hire a car (virtually every major international car rental agency operates on the Gold Coast, as well as a number of smaller local operators) or book a tour, like our fantastic O’Reilly’s Mountain Day Tour to Lamington National Park.
Itineraries & travel guides