The Gold Coast of Australia is a popular holiday destination and world-famous for its beaches and beautiful weather. It is a small city and is pretty easy to get around.
Whichever way you travel, the Gold Coast is a safe and relaxing place to be. There is some fantastic accessible accommodation and lots of great activities to get involved in, so enjoy your stay on Australia’s Gold Coast. NOTE: It is important to know that the Gold Coast Hwy is the main road that runs up and down the coast.
Coolangatta Airport is the closest local airport. It’s about 30 minutes south of Surfers Paradise. It is a small terminal and easy to get around. There are a select few international flights that land at this airport mainly New Zealand and Asia flights.
Brisbane Airport is the closest international airport. Even when flying internally it is sometimes cheaper to fly to Brisbane and catch the Airtrain to the Gold Coast. It is however a longer trip and Brisbane airport is much bigger and not as simple to navigate. You can catch the train from the airport to each Gold Coast train station depending on where your accommodation is located and arrange a shuttle or taxi to take you to your final destination. The trip takes two hours but the train is clean and accessible and if you’re traveling during the day you will get a glimpse of the Australian landscape. However, there is no bathroom on the train.
PRIVATE CARS & TAXIS
Europcar is just one of the car rental services at both Coolangatta and Brisbane airports that are very helpful and accommodating. Kia Grand Carnival wheelchair accessible vehicles are a new addition to the Europcar fleet and are accessible by ramp and fully modified. Another accessible option is Black Label Transfers. These vehicles are all accessible some with ramp access and some with a lift.
There are a number of places to hire accessible vehicles throughout the Gold Coast. If you Google ‘wheelchair accessible hire car’ and search by the map that is often the easiest way to find one close to your location. Taxis are also an option, like Gold Coast Cabs with an accessible fleet.
All major attractions and themed parks around the Gold Coast are accessible by car and have large parking lots. Parking meters are found in the busiest streets of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, and Burleigh Heads, but free parking can be found in the surrounding streets if you have the time and energy to search. If not, parking is inexpensive. There is a paid parking area in Surfers Paradise operated by the Centro Shopping Centre and they charge per hour. There are a number of accessible parking spaces on each level and accessible bathrooms at the entrance to the shops.
There is a shuttle bus connection that can take you from both Brisbane and the Gold Coast airports to your destination. Coaches used for airport and theme park transfers are not generally wheelchair accessible. Transport for customers with wheelchairs will be organised upon request pending availability.
Some wheelchair accessible services are also available on the Surfside/TransLink bus service to theme parks. If you do plan on trying Surfside/TransitLink there are a mix of new and old buses in the fleet and they are not all accessible. The ones that are accessible are accessed from the front doors; there is room for two passengers with wheelchairs and no tie-downs.
The Gold Coast’s “G:Link” commonly known as the tram or light rail is the newest way to navigate the Gold Coast. The service route is a 13km route from the Gold Coast University Hospital to Broadbeach South via Surfers Paradise, Southport, Main Beach, and Griffith University. Cavill Avenue tram stop is not too far from Surfers Paradise Beach. It is a 5-minute walk/wheel on newly developed sidewalks that are all flat.
The tram passes around every 15 minutes and runs from 5:00 am until midnight except on Friday and Saturday nights when services continue every half hour until 7:00 am the following morning. Go Cards can be purchased from vending machines at every stop and are also valid on local buses as well as Intercity trains to Brisbane. Swipe your Go Card on the reader at the stop before and after your journey!