If you are arriving at Brisbane Airport, or in Brisbane city, then this guide will help you get from there to the Gold Coast. There are actually several options including train, bus, car, taxi, limo, and shuttle. So, let’s review each one and finish up with a detailed map at bottom of page.
Bus and Shuttle Services
There is no direct public bus linking the cities, see the train further below.
If you need to get to Gold Coast Airport from Brisbane via bus see Link Transfers which picks up from numerous locations across Brisbane then heading to Gold Coast Airport. There’s a morning service which gets to the Gold Coast airport at before 7:00 am and certain days before 6:00 am. There’s also returning service. Adult prices to your home/hotel on the Gold Coast begin at $46.
A taxi from Brisbane to the Gold Coast is outside the metered zones, you would need to ask the driver for a quote. An estimate would be between $170 and $300. Contact Yellowcabs or Black and White cabs for bookings and current prices.
Limousines are a surprisingly popular method of transport in South East Queensland. For families and groups, it can start to become quite cost-effective to take a stretch limo, not to mention the convenience, luxury, and the experience. For business travelers and those looking for extra service and time-saving, limos are the choice. Limousines are slightly more expensive than taxis. Contact My Gold Coast Limo for current prices.
You can catch a train directly from either the Brisbane Domestic, Brisbane International direct to the Gold Coast. The train begins at the Airport Domestic terminal, then proceeds to the nearby International Terminal. You can also catch the train in the Brisbane city at either Eagle Junction, Wooloowin, Albion, Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane Central, Roma Street, Cultural Centre/South Bank or Park Road stations. On the way to the Gold Coast, it stops only at Coopers Plains, Loganlea, and Beenleigh. There are six stations on the Gold Coast itself, being Ormeau, Coomera, Helensvale, Nerang, Robina, and Varsity Lakes.
On the Gold Coast, the train stations are located inland from the center of the city so you’ll likely need to catch a connecting tram, bus or taxi to your final destination.
If you are coming from Brisbane to the theme parks, Southport, Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, Broadbeach then you’ll likely want to get off at Helensvale Station and then take the G:Link light rail to your final destination.
If you are coming from Brisbane to Miami/Burleigh/Coolangatta choose Varsity Lakes Station and take a connecting bus/taxi to your final destination.
Fare and total travel time estimates:
- The trip time for the train from Brisbane city to Surfers Paradise/Broadbeach/Main Beach/Southport is approx 1 HR and 49 MIN. Est. cost $15.20 (cheaper with a go card)
- Brisbane Domestic Airport to Surfers Paradise would take about 2 HR and 28 MIN. Est. cost $38.40 (cheaper with a go card)
There is also the Airtrain service, which is the same train as above but you can opt to have a chauffeured car for the connection rather than use the public bus which is called AirtrainConnect, see airtrain.com.au.
If you are going to be using public transport in South East Queensland then consider getting a go card, go SEEQ card, or go explore card, they are prepaid and make traveling a breeze, see SEEQ Card from TransLink.
If your driving from Brisbane to the Gold Coast it’s best to avoid the peak periods if at all possible. The morning and afternoon rush hours are no fun. Outside of the peaks it normally takes just over an hour. You leave Brisbane by taking the Pacific motorway and after traveling for 30km or so, you’ll need to consider which exit to take.
The Smith St Motorway will get you to Southport, Main Beach & Surfers Paradise. For Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach it’s the Nerang-Broadbeach Road exit. For Miami, Burleigh it’s the Reedy Creek Road Exit. That’s just three major exits, try google maps for directions, as an example here’s Brisbane to Surfers Paradise map. Also note that speed cameras operate throughout the area, so check the signs.
Map showing train stations
(hover over the marker for station name)