If you have flown into the Gold Coast, I’d suggest that the only viable transport is by rented car. This will prove somewhat less expensive than taxis if you plan to do any exploring, and is certainly more convenient than the bus service. Ensure the hire company gives you a road map. Now, maybe this should be in the “Warnings” section, but beware the traffic jams!
As I mentioned in my introductory page, the Coast grew from a series of holiday villages which became linked and expanded to form a city. That meant they were joined by a single road which became progressively more congested. With an increasing population and consequent traffic volumes, governments wisely built a bypass motorway to the west, leading from NSW toward Brisbane (and past the airport), but unless you propose to skip on visiting the Coast, you will have to leave that and head into the traffic. When you do, try to pick an exit that takes you more or less direct to your destination – the exits are numbered to help navigation.
Mainly for the purposes of gathering material for this page, we took the ‘slow’ option on our return and followed the old road the length of the coast. Maybe it depends on how you relate to an endless series of traffic lights, but it is not an experience I would wish to repeat frequently!
There are a number of reliable car rental companies to choose from on the Gold Coast including all the major ones at the airport.
Europcar offer discounts to Virgin Blue passengers so we managed to get a good deal from them.
The 8 person Tarago cost about $1,600 for 2 weeks and the 5 person Mitsubishi wagon cost around $1,200 for 2 weeks which included insurances.
We covered a lot of miles over the fortnight on the Gold Coast so renting a car for that period was a very wise choice.
There are plenty of taxis here and public transport is also available but moving 10 people around to the various attractions would make that a challenge for us each time.
Sarah and I decided that the best way to see the Gold Coast is by hiring a car. We definitely packed on the miles with this little Renault... I would highly recommend getting a 4 cylinder to save on your petrol bill!!
We chose Budget from the online deals available from Brisbane!
Although the bus services are ok to get around along the main roads and highway, and the rail for getting to Brisbane they are not always the most convenient.
By far the handiest way to get around the Gold Coast is by car. This way you get to wherever you want to go, when 'you' want to.
There are plenty of car rental places around. Just ask at the desk of the hotel you are staying and they should be able to help you. Alternatively you could pre-book a rental car through the internet/over the phone.
New cars cost approx. $50.00 - $120.00 and second-hand cars from $30.00 per day.
While the bus system on the Gold Coast is OK, the best way to see sights off the beaten path is to hire a car. You can get great deals locally, so no need to book in advance.
There is more freedom to investigate the mountains or head down the coast into New South Wales, areas not serviced by local buses just overpriced tours.
While we drive on the left, the street system is very easy to get around. All the streets are north/south or east/west. One you know which of the high rises is your hotel, it's no problem.
We hired a car from thirfty for 6 days, and they offered us a great deal. 6 Days car hire with insurance plus buy a theme park super pass from them and get one free. Given that our passes would have been $340 ($170 each), We paid about $500 for the whole deal, so the car hire only cost us about $160. They even upgraded us to the next car.
1. Avis and Thrifty are big competitors in Australia. When hiring, compare prices first and then use the price advantage to squeeze the competitor further. I managed to secure 5 days car hire with a large size Holden Commodore from Thrifty at A$128.00!
2. If you plan to hire on the Gold Coast, Thirfty have an excelent little voucher booklet. (So does Avis I believe, but the vouchers vary). This booklet gave me 1-for-1 entry into Movieworld (saves you A$60.00) and 1-for-1 into Ripley's.
(I don't know how long this will go for, but as of October 2005 that is the case.)
To refer, please see the weblinks below. Note that the avis page is the standard page, but the Thrifty page is specific ONLY to the Gold Coast Thrifty rental venues.
When travelling by road from south take the turning at Mooball (Warning, locals pronounce it 'Moble') and go the coast road. You bypass Murwillumbah and it takes 20min off your journey. Plus it's more scenic. You come out at Kingscliff. If travellin' by plane Coolangatta airport is very accessable to all of Gold Coast.
The bus service is very good as well.
Most international airlines lands at the city of Brisbane and making your way to the Gold Coast would entails taking a coach or driving down on your own. Journey by road would roughly take about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the traffic conditions. Most major car rental companies can be found at Brisbane Int'l airport. I'd the distinction of taking a car with the licence plate...718COW.
The best way of getting around the Gold Coast is to drive. The roads there are well maintained and traffic signs are prominently display and locals are easy to get along.
Note of advice: vehicles in Australia have the steering wheel on the right.
Parking in the streets of Surfers Paradise is done on a pay-to-use basis requiring payment at a pay station after which, the ticket produced by the machine is displayed...usually on the dashboard of the vehicle.
Parking costs $2.90 per hour Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm. Parking at all other times is free. Tickets can be purchased at the street machine with coin or credit card. (no change is given).
Parking attendants do patrol on a regular basis and fines apply for failing to pay or for overstaying the limit which may be only an hour in the central area - more in less central areas. Attendants mark cars so know if you have stayed more than the Limit on the signs so you could cop a fine even if you display another pay ticket.
There are off-street parking options which may be a better option for longer stays. Centro off Hanlan Street is one parking station very centrally located. It is like all parking stations fairly expensive.
Rates: $ 3.00/ 20 mins : $ 6.00 / 30 mins : $10.00/ 1 hour : $13.00 / 90 mins : $14.00/ 2 hours : $15.00/ 3 hours : $ 8.00/ early bird = Mon-Fri in during 7am-9:30am & out 3pm-8:30pm
If you want to hire a campervan or motorhome on the gold coast my experience is that the choice is limited but I recommend a Brisbane company called Govans as they will deliver a motorhome to your hotel or Coolangatta Airport.
Car Rental is the best way to maove around Gold Coast. Excellant deals are available at Gold Coast for new and used cars. New cars are avaialble for as low as A$35.00 PER DAY. The petrol rate is around A$1.20 PER litre.
There was one near my Hotel called Costless Car Rental. They had offers of new car at the rate of A$27.00 for 1.3 Litre car.
Online booking rates are cheaper. I wouldnt suggest renting out car beforehand. Best is to come over to Gold Coast and hire a car at the airport itself. Most of the big Car rental co's have their office at the Airport and they offer competitive rates.
Shop 2 Cosmopoliton Building
3142, Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
The car that you see in the photo is not for rent. In fact it is one of the antique cars on display in Movie World and I was just fascinated by it.