Gold Coast Highway

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Gold Coast Highway
14-02-06 Gold Coast Highway with Light Rail in the Median.jpg
Gold Coast Highway at Second Avenue looking north towards Surfers Paradise, featuring the new Light Rail in the Median
General information
Type Highway
Length 39.5 km (25 mi)
Route number(s) State Route 2
route number
  • National Route 1
  • Alternate National Route 1
Major junctions
North end
South end
Major suburbs Southport, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in Queensland

The Gold Coast Highway in Queensland, Australia links the coastal suburbs of the Gold Coast. 35 kilometres (22 mi) in length, the highway runs from the Pacific Motorway at Helensvale to the Pacific Motorway at Tweed Heads. It passes through the numerous popular tourist areas including Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, a commercial centre at Southport, residential areas, shopping centres and the Gold Coast (Coolangatta) Airport.

It is characterised by a variety of urban landscapes, ranging from:

The highest point of the highway is 42 metres at Currumbin Hill.[1]


It was formerly part of the Pacific Highway, when it handled transport between Queensland and New South Wales through the Gold Coast. The Pacific Highway now runs about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) to the west as the M1.

Road Conditions[edit]

Gold Coast Hwy, Surfers Paradise, Northbound towards Beach Rd

The highway is divided along the entire length, mostly with 4 lanes. There are some 6 lane segments (often as bus lanes). It is also predominately well lit at night, with a few exceptions such as Currumbin and Burleigh Heads. Median fencing to prevent pedestrians crossing has also been introduced in areas such as Mermaid Beach. Traffic hazards include rear-end collisions at traffic lights, pedestrians crossing (many have been killed) and hooning (speeding) and the light rail line (particularly in respect to U-turns). The highway at Surfers Paradise is subject to congestion during events, notably during the street circuit carnival held each October (currently the Gold Coast 600). During the carnival the highway becomes part of the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit at Paradise Waters, the width is reduced to 2 lanes (one carriageway) and the speed limit reduced to 40 km/h.

Speed Limits[edit]

  • Helensvale to Captain Cook Drive (Arundel): 80 km/h
  • Captain Cook Drive to Government Road (Labrador): 70 km/h
  • Government Road to Nerang St (Southport): 60 km/h
  • Nerang St to Ferny Ave (Surfers Paradise): 70 km/h
  • Ferny Ave to Pacific Ave (Miami): 60 km/h
  • Pacific Ave to West Burleigh Rd: 70 km/h
  • West Burleigh Rd to George St East(Burleigh Heads): 50 km/h
  • George St East to Tallebudgera Dr (Palm Beach): 60 km/h
  • Tallebudgera Dr to Eighth Ave (Palm Beach): 70 km/h
  • Eighth Ave to Thrower Drive (Palm Beach): 60 km/h
  • Thrower Drive to Toolona St (Tugun): 70 km/h
  • Toolona St to Pacific Hwy: 80 km/h

Projects and Improvements[edit]

1. Labrador: Between Government Road and North Street, along a section mostly called Frank Street. The Highway was upgraded from a single carriageway to a divided 4 lane highway. A new bridge with a 4 lane crossing has been completed across Loders Creek in 2007. The road upgrade resulted in a thoroughfare similar to that in Surfers Paradise, with a narrow median and narrow road reserve due to limited space and to minimise property resumptions. One of the two lanes in each direction was initially designated a transit lane (busses and vehicles with 2 or more occupants), but this designation was removed in 2013.[2]

Bridge over Tallebudgera Creek

2. Broadbeach to Miami: Bus lanes will be added along the route as well as changes to bus stops, u-turns, traffic lights, signs, lighting and the median strip. The first phase (Alexandra Avenue to Hilda Street) was finished in mid September 2008. The second phase (Hilda Street to Chairlift Avenue) was largely completed in July 2009.[3]

3. Tugun: The most notorious "bottle-neck" is at Tugun, where the Gold Coast Highway joins the Pacific Highway 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) north of Coolangatta has been eliminated with the opening of the Tugun Bypass in June 2008. Some minor changes and improvements near Stewart Road in Tugun have coincided with the completion of the bypass to deal with the changed traffic flow.

Public Transport[edit]

Gold Coast Highway looking south near Birt Ave with Sun City building on the left. Image taken in 2007, before the upgrade. This section of the highway is now 2 lanes each way.


Bus services throughout the area are operated by Surfside for Translink.[4]

  • Southport to Coolangatta - During the day bus services run approximately every 5 minutes. Route 700 operates 24 hours a day (half-hourly through the night), the route runs the entire way from Southport to Tweed Heads. Numerous other routes operate only part of the way then head in different directions, routes also often deviate along nearby local roads parallel to the highway. Bus Lanes are in place along some sections of the highway, particularly Broadbeach to Mermaid Beach and Miami.
  • Southport to Helensvale - Route 704 (Helensvale to Seaworld) operates every 15 minutes during the day.

Light Rail[edit]

  • Southport to Broadbeach - Construction of the Light rail line began in 2011, with the completion date expected in Mid 2014.



  • Gold Coast (Coolangatta) Airport is located at the southern end of the highway. It has frequent flights to Sydney and Melbourne as well as international services to New Zealand, Japan and South-East Asia.

See also[edit]


Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ "Track". Gold Coast Highway. GPSies. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Gold Coast Highway - Government Road to North Street". Road Projects. Queensland Government Department of Main Roads. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  3. ^ "Gold Coast Highway upgrade and bus lanes - Broadbeach to Miami". Road Projects. Queensland Government Department of Main Roads. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  4. ^ "Translink". Travel information. Queensland Government. 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 

External links[edit]