How to get from Brisbane to the Gold Coast 

Queensland is a sun-drenched state full of mesmerizing natural attractions from endless beaches and spectacular national parks to UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. While exploring every inch of these native wonders can be hard, travelling between two of the state's most beloved cities doesn't have to be. There are plenty of options if you plan on travelling from the capital of Brisbane to the glitzy Gold Coast with self-driving, flying, and catching public transport among the most popular. 

Driving from Brisbane to the Gold Coast 

Driving is not only the cheapest and most time-efficient way of travelling from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, but it's also the best mode of transportation if you want the chance to stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to drive directly between the two destinations then the journey will only take you an hour, however, there are plenty of places or sights that are worth exploring during the drive so the total travel time can be a bit longer.

The most popular route to take is via the Pacific Mtwy (toll road) which is in fairly good condition thanks to regular maintenance checks but you should always be mindful when driving during peak periods (early morning or early evening) or when visibility is low (hazardous weather conditions). Having said that, you shouldn't experience any major disruptions with the route featuring plenty of bold signage for easy navigation.

Flying from Brisbane to the Gold Coast

While it is possible to fly from Brisbane Airport (BNE) to the Gold Coast Airport (OOL), it's not exactly the most convenient option with no direct flights between the two cities. This means that while Brisbane and the Gold Coast may be close in distance, the majority of flight routes stopover in Sydney before making the journey back into Queensland making the total travel time closer to 3 and a half hours. 

If you did want to continue with this form of transportation, there are several airlines that facilitate this service including Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin. You can expect to pay around AUD$130 for the fare, however, this price can change subject to availability so pre-booking your flights well in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment. There are a number of flights scheduled for this route throughout the day, starting early in the morning and continuing into the early evening, so you should be able to easily find a time that works for you. 

Catching public transport from Brisbane to the Gold Coast 

Catching public transport is also an easy way to get from Brisbane to the Gold Coast if you have a smaller budget and more time to spare. This transportation comes in a couple of forms including the Airtrain from Brisbane Airport or a shuttle bus. These options all differ in price and total travel time but remain super convenient and easy to organize and navigate. 

The Airtrain 

Departing from the Brisbane Airport every 15 minutes during peak periods (30 minutes during quieter times), this train stops at all major stations on the way to the Gold Coast including Beenleigh, Coomera, Helensvale, and Varsity Lakes with connecting trains from Helensvale available to take you to stations such as Main Beach and Surfers Paradise. Depending on where your final destination is, this journey can take up to 1 and a half hours and can cost upwards of AUD$60 with the price differing determined by the season you're travelling in and the time of travel. To avoid disappointment, unavailability, or increased fares, make sure you book well in advance. 

Shuttle bus 

Providing a different option to the Airtrain, the shuttle bus between Brisbane and the Gold Coast takes a short hour and 20 minutes and allows for greater flexibility thanks to being able to choose the pickup location and time. With regular daily services running between the two destinations, this form of transportation is stress-free and costs upwards of AUD$40. 

Return to the Gold Coast FAQs

Read more about Queensland