Holiday Costs

How much does it cost for a holiday on the Gold Coast?

This article aims to help domestic Australian travelers, who are familiar with prices of products and services in Australia and are trying to estimate or budget for a holiday away from home. Also, the article is useful for International travelers who may not be familiar with local prices and are not sure what to expect or what to budget for.

How much money a holiday on the GC costs really depends on what type of activities you choose, how you choose to spend your days and what level of accommodation you choose. The GC can cater to budget travelers and luxury travelers, the options are all there, so it’s really your choice.

Considering that the city offers such a diverse range of experiences, and everyone’s preferred experiences and choices will be different, it’s simpler to provide examples of the cost of items that you are likely to need/purchase rather than some form of an itinerary.

Prices in AUD. These are not quotes but estimates retrieved online, for exact and current prices contact the relevant company or service provider. Ticket prices based on a single adult .

Fast Food


Casual Dining

The Gold Coast has become somewhat of a foodies heaven with loads of options in the casual dining space. See our Restaurant and Nightlife section for the best of the Gold Coast. Here are a few examples


Fine Dining

As a general example, entre av. $5-20, Main from $28-50+. Here are a few exact examples

  • Grilled Patagonian Toothfish w Cavelo Nero & Toasted Nori – $56 at Nineteen at Star
  • Sous vide coconut chicken breast, yaki onigiri rice, fragrant shiso salad, tepache gel – $34 at Seaduction


Home Cooking

Many holiday apartments feature kitchens, so you may choose to visit the supermarket and prepare your own breakfast/lunches/dinners. Note: major supermarkets, such as Coles and Woolworths are much cheaper than convenience stores and astronomically cheaper that stalls located at attractions.

For the benefit of international travelers: The major supermarkets stock fresh foods, packaged foods, pre-prepared meals and many have deli’s with fresh made sandwiches and salads. They also stock health care and beauty care products such as vitamins, headache tablets, sunscreens. They also have batteries, glues, baby products, and some clothes.

For electrical items (memory cards, iPods, chargers, mobile phones etc.) the major retailers on the Gold Coast are Dick Smith, Harvey Norman and also see K Mart and Big W. For more, see our shopping guide.

Drinks and snacks for small stores and convenience stores are notoriously expensive, and its best to plan ahead and buy at the supermarket.

At the supermarket

Milk – $2.00-3.00 per 2Litre
Orange Juice – $5.00 per 2Litre
Coca-Cola – $2.15 1.25Litre
Bread – $3.00 per 450g loaf white bread
Cereal –  $5.50 per 750g cornflakes
Instant noodles – $1.75 beef noodles 70g
Pork Scotch Fillet Steak – $14 per KG
Chicken breast – $13 per KG

Major Supermarkets: – 



Airport transfers (Gold Coast Airport to Surfers Paradise)
Taxi: $55-65 depending on car type and time of day
Public Bus: $7.90 or $5.40 with a ‘go card’
Shuttle bus transfer: $21+
Limo: $65 + depending on car type

For more info see our guide to airport transfers.

For public transport, journey fares see the Journey Planner at Translink. For taxi fare schedule see our guide to public transport.

Car rental

Basic small car: $70-110 per day

More info in our guide to Rental Cars 



Fuel prices fluctuate a lot but on average $1.40 per Litre would be a ballpark figure.

Latest prices see: 



Theme Parks: Average single entry theme park ticket: $60-80 (often have multi-park deals)
Mini Golf: $12-15 (one session)
Jet Ski hire: $80 for 40minutes
Whale watching tour: $95+
Canal Cruise: $22+

For more attraction and tour prices see the Viator website.



Average price for high-end luxury for 5 nights: $1250
Budget price for 5 nights: $490
note: prices are an average of 5 places in the respective budget or luxury category.

More info here: Accommodation Guide


Money Saving Tips

Everything is expensive when you are a tourist! It doesn’t matter where you go for a holiday, if you don’t have local knowledge then it’s difficult to know where the best buys are at. Some common sense goes a long way though – plan ahead, buying drinks and snacks while on the road, at convenience stores or even worse at tourist attractions, is expensive when compared to buying the same goods at a major supermarket.

Accommodation is one of the big costs, and the price goes up during peak holiday times such as school holidays. If you can, try to plan your holiday around these times, but if that’s not possible try at least to book well in advance as prices do escalate as the supply of rooms in the accommodation market fills up.

Plan your trip and hunt down the discounts. Theme parks often offer deals for multi-park passes and family passes, some restaurants have half price lunches making it the best time to splurge on eating out. If you are going to the clubs, they sometimes offer ‘happy-hours’ and free entry during certain hours. While here, keep your eye open for coupons of the items that you have planned to visit, but remember coupons aren’t saving you money if you hadn’t planned to go there! At the same time though, you are here for a holiday, so do enjoy.

Be sure to check out our page dedicated to discounts deals and specials.

Don’t forget, the best thing about the GC is the beaches and they’re free, actually, there are many free things to do.