Self Drive To Gold Coast Attractions
Self-drive to any of the Gold Coast tourist attractions provides a relatively low cost option with lots of flexibility particularly for families.
You can rent cars on the Gold Coast from budget or compact cars right through to people movers. Pick up from Brisbane Airport, Gold Coast Airport or locally near your accommodation.
Parking is FREE at most of major tourist attractions outside Surfers Paradise including the Gold Coast theme parks: Dreamworld, MovieWorld, Sea World, Wet n Wild and WhiteWater World.
Most shopping centres have all or at least part of the parking free - for example you might get 3 hours free, or free parking if you spend over a certain amount.
Whilst there isn't free parking at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, you can find parking close by for a small fee.
Driving gives you flexibility to arrive early, leave when you want and possibly even do more than one attraction in a day.
If you are not used to driving in Australia or just want to relax and enjoy your holiday, you can consider several different door to door transfer services available.
Public Transport To Theme Parks & Attractions
Public transport is quite complicated! There are several options and it is an area I get asked about quite a bit! First things first, I want to say right up front....
Using Public Transport for getting around Gold Coast is a compromise between lower costs and wasting your precious holiday time.
I'm going to cover mostly getting to and from the theme parks, however, you should be able to work out how to get around most other locations when you see how I use the tools.
To get to the theme parks by public transport you are might have to
take a tram, a train and/or one or more buses. If you happen to be staying near one of the
G:link Gold Coast tram stops then you will most likely be directed to
take that up to Helensvale Station and then catch TX7 bus to Movie World,
Wet n Wild, Dreamworld and WhiteWater World.
For Sea World, there is a bus that goes from Broadbeach South Bus
Interchange through Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Main Beach up to Sea
World. You could also go on the tram up to Main Beach station and then
walk over to the Tedder Avenue stop to catch the bus that goes up to Sea
World from there.
If you have to catch a bus to get to the express bus stop, make sure you leave plenty of time, my personal experiences with the Gold Coast buses are NOT great. I have been left waiting for buses that don't run on time or don't even turn up.
Example Public Transport Trip -
Vibe Hotel to Movie World
The Vibe Hotel is on Ferny Avenue, which was were the old Theme Park Express buses
used to top. With all the changes, you are now better to walk about
400m over to the Cypress Avenue stop of the Gold Coast tram G:Link
service which is on Surfers Paradise Boulevard and will take between 7 and 10 minutes.
Catching the tram from Cypress Avenue will take you all the way up to Helensvale station. There you walk over to the bus interchange and catch the TX7 bus which will take you to Movie World. At best this journey will take just under an hour each way.
The TX7 Bus goes approximately every 10 to 15 minutes during peak
times (North in the mornings to get you to the park, and south in the
afternoons to get you back). At other times it only runs every 30
minutes. The service only runs from around 9am through to 6pm.
If you buy a paper ticket at the tram station, it will cover you
for your trip up to Movie World. Paper tickets are single or one way tickets. An adult trip will cost you
approximately $6 each way - $12 in total. If you have a GoCard the price will be less, but you need to pre-buy and load up the GoCard and have one for each member of your group.
Comparing the cost of a single transfer using theme park shuttle bus transfers to MovieWorld directly from your hotel door to door.
The cost for an adult is about $22 return or $55 return for a
family. The advantages of the shuttle bus transfers include door to door, guaranteed seat (you confirm the booking the day before), you can pre-pay online for the whole group or family and just need to have your vouchers printed off. And if you package these theme park transfers with airport transfers it will be more cost effective. See details above.
Disclaimer: All prices shown and times are approximate and are based on information from
March 2018. These may be subject to change without notice. They are used for illustration only.
If you are staying close to the railway stations at Varsity Lakes, Robina or Nerang
or coming from Brisbane - you could take a train to either, as the TX7
Bus goes to the theme parks between these two stations:
- Helensvale Station is closest to Movie World, Wet n Wild, Paradise Country & Australian Outback Spectacular
- Coomera Station is closest Dreamworld & WhiteWater World.
To get to Sea World by public transport you will have to take at least one bus, and there aren't express buses that go to Sea World.
Translink Journey Planner is the best way to work out how to get around Gold Coast using public transport. It's not the easiest to use, so I have written some tips to help make it easier for visitors to understand!
Gold Coast Attraction Transfers Using Taxis
Taxis can be useful for getting around to some of Gold Coast tourist attractions. For example if you are staying in Surfers Paradise or Main Beach and want to go to Sea World, then a taxi could be a very cost effective and flexible option.
If there's a big enough group of you, then paying for a taxi to take you to Dreamworld may be worthwhile for a once off, but you may find that the shuttle passes with Airport and transfers are better value.
Gold Coast Cabs phone number is 131 008, you can book online ahead of time, or your hotel can call a taxi for you. There's an extra charge for booking a taxi. When booking you will need to tell them how many people, if you have more than 4 people you will pay more.
Another option is 13CABS (132 227). There are also Maxi Cabs for larger groups and that can work out less expensive than taking the shuttles - but you will have to work that all out using the taxi fare estimator. Put in the details of where you are going from and to and it will tell you an approximate price. This will change in reality based on traffic conditions when you actually go. If you have more than 4 people then add 50% to the estimate and that should give you a good idea of the cost.
Taxi's tend to be a bit hard to get at peak times, so it is worth booking, especially your return journey, and make sure you give them a name and check when you hop in the taxi you have the right one. They have a change over around 3pm each day, so that can be a particularly hard time to get taxis.
Ask Question About Transfers
Do you have a question about getting around Gold Coast or transfers to theme parks and attractions?
This is the place to ask!
Theme Park And Attraction Transfer Questions
Click below to see questions and answers about the transfers to and from theme parks and other attractions in the Gold Coast ...