There are several ways to get from Melbourne Victoria to the Gold Coast Queensland, and vice versa, including flying, driving, bus, and train. Here, I will go through the four ways of getting to the Gold Coast.
Flying is the most popular option considering time and cost, although, the driving route is also popular being a very scenic drive especially after Sydney where, if you take the coastal route, features many coastal communities, natural attractions, and beaches.
There are over 20 flights a day from Melbourne Airport (MEL) to Gold Coast Airport (OOL) and the airlines servicing this route are
- Jetstar – www.jetstar.com
- Virgin Australia – www.virginaustralia.com
- Tiger – tigerair.com.au
- Qantas – www.qantas.com
Flight time is around 2 hours. Prices range from $70-200 depending on price wars between Tiger and Jetstar, promotions, and time of year. While you should check them all for their latest offers, as you’d expect, Jetstar and Tiger are normally the cheapest with Qantas being the dearest and Virgin somewhere between.
You can also fly from Avalon Airport (AVV) to Gold Coast Airport (OOL) with Jetstar offering one daily flight at the time of writing.
Another option is to fly from Melbourne Airport (MEL) to Brisbane Airport and take a bus or train to the Gold Coast. The train journey from Brisbane to the Gold Coast is around 95mins. The same airlines that fly to the Gold Coast also fly to Brisbane Airport.
The distance from Melbourne to the Gold Coast is around 1,700 km via M31 and Pacific Hwy/A1 taking 18 hours not including stops.
According to the Queensland Government, you should take a break every 2 hours and don’t drive for more than 8–10 hours per day. The NSW Government also recommends regular breaks and to be mindful of the dangers of driver fatigue. The Victorian TAC (Transport Accident Commission) also recommend
- Have your car serviced and given a proper safety check-up
- Map out your trip – make sure you allow plenty of time to get to your destination, including rest stops
- Take regular breaks (at least one every two hours) and pull over for a power nap as soon you feel tired or fatigued.
- Share the driving if possible
- Never drink alcohol, not even small amounts, before or during a long trip
- Have a few good nights’ sleep before heading off
- Don’t drive when you would normally be sleeping
There is a really handy map for finding rest areas in NSW here.
Fortunately, there are lots of beautiful and interesting places to stop and rest along this journey.
From Melbourne to Sydney on the M31
- Glenrowan – see the home of Ned Kelly
- Holbrook – home to a submarine
- Gundagai – home of the famous Dog on the Tuckerbox
- Goulburn – home to the big Merino
After Sydney and taking the coastal route, M1 and A1, you may like to stop at these coastal spots
- Hunter Valley – scenic vineyards
- Port Stephens – beach and coast
- Myall Lakes – freshwater lakes, national park, and coast
- Forster – beaches and lakes
- Port Macquarie – beaches, Koala Hospital, national parks
- Coffs Harbour – coast and beaches
- Byron Bay – community, coast and beaches
Greyhound Australia offers a daily service that leaves from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne CBD in the morning and arriving in Surfers Paradise Gold Coast the following day. Journey time around 30 hours.
The coach service is modern, with a/c, toilets, some may offer wifi and USB chargers. Ticket prices range from $200 and up.
- Greyhound Australia – www.greyhound.com.au
You can take a train service from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne CBD to Surfers Paradise via Sydney. The train from Melbourne heads to Sydney Central Station (taking around 11h) where you change train. The next train runs from Sydney to Casino (taking 11h 38min) where you then take a connecting coach to Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast (taking 1h 50min).
Total journey time of around 37 hours. Adult tickets begin around $145 and if taking the afternoon service you can also book a sleeper compartment for an extra fee. The service leaving in the afternoon has a faster total journey time of around 33 hours.
Alternatively, you can take the train to Brisbane (Roma St Station) and then the train from Brisbane to the Gold Coast (Helensvale Station). The journey time and cost are increased by the Brisbane to Gold Coast leg by 90+ mins and $35.
- NSW Trainlink – https://transportnsw.info