A cheap, easy way to get to the Theme parks is to use Surfside Buslines.
Surfside has 3 theme park services all stopping at Dreamworld - routes TX1, TX2, TX5.
Have a look at the below link for a map and information on Routes, Times, etc.
Public buses run by "'Surfside" run the length of the Gold Coast.
When you arrive on the Gold Coast, grab a copy of Surfside’s Get Around Guide from the one of the Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle Transport & Information desks located at the Gold Coast Airport, on one of their buses or from your hotel or tour desk.
If you go to their website, you can download one.
Many parts of the Gold Coast operate on a hail and ride basis, so when you see the bus coming, you need to wave to signal the driver to stop the bus.
Fares vary, depending on where you want to go. The best option is to buy either an Ezy Pass
for unlimited travel, or to have loose change ready to pay your fare. Try to have the correct fare where possible.
For information on fares contact TransLink on 13 12 30 or visit translink.com.au.
TransLink offers concession priced tickets for children.
SINGLE: This one- way ticket allows transfers for up to two hours until you reach your
DAILY: for unlimited travel in nominated zones. You can travel until the last service on the day of issue.
OFF -PEAK DAILY: for discounted unlimited travel within nominated zones. You must travel between 9.00am and 3.30pm and after 7.00pm on weekdays, and all day on weekends and public holidays.
WEEKLY: for unlimited travel within nominated zones for one week. You can buy a weekly ticket from attended QR stations/agents and Surfside buses.
GO CARD: for longer stays, this electronic ticket gives you discounted travel and automatically calculates your fare. Simply touch on and off each time you travel.
What bus to catch? look for the bus number displayed above the front window of the bus.
The Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle offers a range of services:
Gold Coast Airport transfers - door to door transfers from Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta to all registered accommodation houses and hotels on the Gold Coast. Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle meets all arriving flights into the Gold Coast Airport and operates one-way and return transfers.
Theme Park transfers - return door to door theme park transfer from registered accommodation houses to all the major theme parks, including Dreamworld, WhiteWater World, Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Visitors who plan on using a lot of travel using public transport might consider a Gold Pass. Available for 3, 5, 7 and 10 consecutive days, the Gold Pass includes unlimited door-to-door theme park transfers and unlimited travel on the local 24-hour bus network, Surfside Buslines, around the Gold and Tweed Coasts.
2009 - Prices start from $44 for an adult three-day pass. The Freedom Pass offers the same as the Gold Pass (above) plus return Gold Coast airport transfers. Prices from $58 for an adult three-day pass.
Tickets can be purchased from www.gcshuttle.com.au or phone (07) 5574 5111.
To get from Surfers Paradise to Brisbane by Public transport, you need to catch a shuttle bus (Surfside busline, no 22) that takes you to Nerang Train Station.
From here, catch the train into Brisbane.
To go to the Brisbane Airports from the Gold Coast, check out the below timetable......
Gold Coast bus services run 24 hours a day and can get you to at least the main street of most suburbs and shopping centres.
Services throughout the Gold Coast and Tweed are operated by Surfside Buslines which offer a 24 hour service along the highway. Look for the stops at 300 metre intervals.
Timetables are available through the Surfside Buslines website.
To catch the bus you need to wait at a bus stop and hail the bus as it approaches you. You need to have the cash fare, ticket and your concession card ready as you board.
Express buses to the theme parks are also available from Mermaid Beach, Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Southport to Runaway Bay.
Connections to Queensland Rail services are made at Robina Station, Nerang Station and Helensvale Station.
Explore the Gold Coast with a 24 hour ticket aboard an open-top double-decker bus. See all the main sights as you hop on or hop off at any of the 20 stops and you can visit such places as Seaworld, Pacific Fair, Marina Mirage, Tedder Avenue, Hard Rock Cafe, Infinity, The Wax Museum, Ripleys and the Casino.
Listen to the English commentary and learn interesting facts. Spend as much or as little time at places of interest before jumping aboard for the next stop!
Back in the old days when I was a kid, we took many family holidays at the Coast. Travel in those days was by the train hauled, usually, by two elderly PB15 steam engines. At a little bush siding the line split, one track heading to Southport and the other to Coolangatta and Tweed Heads. There was a lengthy break while the engines rearranged themselves, one to each line, with the appropriate carriages. It was all rather relaxed, so the passengers would get out to stretch their legs and it was common practice to take the billy to the engine for water to make tea. Bygone days indeed!
In later years, ‘progressive’ politicians closed the railway and sold the land, which occupied one side of the main street of Coolangatta: shops replaced the station. Of course, eventually there was a realisation that a railway to the Gold Coast had been a good idea, so a new one was built, with trains running from Brisbane Airport via Brisbane to the Coast. Except that they don’t run all the way to the Coast, they now stop at a place called Robina, a sort of western suburb somewhere behind Southport. If you travel by train, I guess there are buses or taxis from there to your destination. Since beginning to prepare this page, I have read that the highway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane is projected to become Australia’s busiest road within a few years: not surprising, given the inadequate public transport.
Trains run at regular intervals from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. Bus connections to Surfers Paradise are available from the Helensvale and Robina stations.
Phone the Trans Info Hotline on 13 1230 for up to date information on train and bus services. Bus connections are also available from Nerang Railway Station to Surfers Paradise. Visit the Queensland Rail website for a current train timetable.
The estimated travelling time from Robina to Brisbane is 60 minutes. Trains run from approximately 5am till midnight.
Public transportation at the Gold Coast is efficient. There are enough buses from the Surfside Buslines criss-crossing the whole region from the Helensvale hub in the north to the Coolangatta Airport and beyond. If you use the Gold Coast airport transfer service (you can buy the Freedom Pass ticket from the Surfside Buslines information counter upon arrival at the airport which allows you unlimited travel on the buses until the ticket expires), make sure that you confirm your return trip at least 48 hours before your journey. And if you are taking off on an international flight, insist that you are picked up early at least three hours before the flight departs. My flight out of the Gold Coast airport was at 8.55qm and I had insisted that the bus picked me up at 5.30am. I was lucky because the driver was new and had problems locating some of the hotels in the area. I arrived eventually at 7am in a journey which I learnt would normally take only about 45 minutes or so in the mornings.
I think the best way to get around the Coast and to the Theme Parks would be just to use surfside buses (local buses). They are very easy to navigate and come very regularly. The also have buses that go to all the theme parks. You would need to check the Translink web site but as a rough idea you would need a zone 12 or 13 to zone 15/16 and you would be able to travel up and down the coast(including theme parks)Again check th web page but firstly you could get a 2 adult weeklys and 2 child weeklys (7 days unlimited travel in the zones) They would probably be no more expensive than say $30Adult and $15 for kids (3 year old is free!!)Much better than $280.00!!!If you want to go to the Hinterland you may need to hire a car for a day, can'tget there by local buses. The local buses stop all the time up and down the highway almost a hop on and hop off option if you like. Just talk to each driver to check the destination of his busand the bsest way to connect to the next. Have fun
Public Buses are few and far between. There is this Translink Bus Service that offers city bus service and covers all tourist attractions. They have scheduled stops and is good for local movement.
The bus fares are like this
Surfers Paradise to Brisbane: from a$9.50
Surfers Paradise to Tweed Heads/Coolangatta from A$4.20
One can save by purchasing the Translink Daily (one day ticket) or off peak tickets or weekly tickets.
These buses ply only in the main roads and the frequency gets poorer after 1900 hrs.
Formerly travellers took surfside bus 799 to a junction and then change to another bus to the beaches whether main beach, surfers paradises, south port are located. In January 2010, the route 799 is replaced by route 702 that take us direct to various beaches along the 15km strip. Bus stop is right in front of airport. AUD 6 p.p. Do not go to the highway.
During my stay, I found the public transport in Surfers to be pretty good. Buses come very frequently, and it is one of the easiest ways to get somewhere in the area!
I found that not many had wheelchair access (therefore making life pretty difficult with balancing a pram, a kid, and ten million shopping bags) but as I have mentioned earlier, the Gold Coasters are such a friendly mob that I was never short of somebody offering me a hand. In fact, on one occasion I hadn't even started attempting to board the bus when a young lad of about 15-16 hopped out and helped us on.
Just when I thought good manners had died, people like him lift my spirits.
Given that there are no direct flights from where I live to Gold Coast, we instead flew into Brisbane, and got the air train to Nerang, from where there is a bus going directly to Pacific Fair, Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise. Cost was $30.
Shuttles is the other main option, and indeed we did use the shuttle for our early morning flight out, but it was an enjoyable train ride in any case.
By Air : The Domestic airport is at Coolangatta, at the southern end of the Gold Coast and services flights from major Australian cities and regional centres. International flights arrive at Brisbane Airport and there is a coach transfer or taxi's that will take you to your Gold Coast accommodation.
By Rail : A suburban rail service runs from downtown Brisbane through Helensvale and Beenleigh to the Gold Coast. You can then catch a coach from the Roma St Transit Centre in Brisbane to the Gold Coast. There is a direct overnight train from Sydney to Murwillumbah and then you can catch a coach to any major centre on the Gold Coast. Daily interstate coach services arrive and depart from the Surfers Paradise Bus Station
By Bus : If you are not driving yourself, there are buses which operate a 24 hr service along the highway. There is a surfside bus which runs Monday to Saturday from 6.00am – 7.00pm.
Monorail runs from The Oasis Shopping Centre to The Casino at Broadbeach.
Pedicab : This service is fairly inexpensive and operates mainly around Surfers.