There are several ways to get from Sydney to the Gold Coast, and vice versa, including flying, driving, bus, and train. Flying is the most popular option considering time and cost, although, the driving route is also popular being a very scenic drive featuring many coastal communities, natural attractions, and beaches.
I will go through the four options including flying, driving, bus, and train.
There are over 20 flights a day from Sydney International Airport (SYD) 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
Prices range from $50-200 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.
You can also fly from Newcastle Airport (NTL) to Gold Coast Airport (OOL) with Jetstar offering two flights a day.
Another option is to fly from Sydney International Airport (SYD) 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 Sydney to Gold Coast is around 850km with a non-stop travel time of around 9-10 hours.
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.
There is a really handy map for finding rest areas in NSW here.
Fortunately, there are lots of beautiful places to stop and rest along this journey. Taking the coastal route you may like to stop at these coastal spots
- Port Stephens
- Myall Lakes
- Port Macquarie
- Coffs Harbour
- Byron Bay
Premier offers coaches that leave from Sydney Airport and Central Station in the late afternoon and arrive to the Gold Coast at Surfers Paradise the next morning taking around 15 hours.
Greyhound Australia offer three daily services with a choice between morning and afternoon departure with travel times ranging around 14.5 hours.
Both coach services are modern, with a/c, toilets, some may offer wifi and USB chargers. Ticket prices range from $100 and up.
You can take a train service from Sydney Central Station to the Gold Coast with their normally being two services per day, one departing in the morning and one in the afternoon. The train runs from Sydney to Casino (taking 11h 38min) and then a connecting coach to Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast (taking 1h 50min). Total journey time of around 15 hours. Adult tickets begin around $90 and if taking the afternoon service you can also book a sleeper compartment for an extra fee.
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