Transport on the Gold Coast, Queensland
The Gold Coast has a wide range of public and private Transport options from cars and bikes to buses, rail and monorail. The car is the dominant mode of transport for Gold Coast but with the increasing population that leads to more traffic congestion. This has led to the Queensland State Government and Gold Coast City council placing more effort into providing public transport including a new Ferry service and the proposed Gold Coast Rapid Transit System
The Gold Coast has extensive paths one of which is called the Gold Coast Oceanway which is a 36 kilometres (22 mi) network of pathways along the coastline. Locals residents and visitors alike often walk to the beach, shops or anywhere nearby, particularly so in areas of high-density living.
The Gold Coast hinterland also embraces the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, established in 1915, with over 160 kilometres (99 mi) of graded walking tracks maintained by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service. The development of the national park tracks and accommodation at Binna Burra owe a great deal to the work of Romeo Lahey and Arthur Groom in the 1920s and 1930s.
The Gold Coast is largely flat providing excellent opportunities for cycling. The river corridors provide opportunities to link west from the Gold Coast Oceanway out to the hinterland. The V1 is an emerging cycle route along the M1 freeway corridor from Smith Street Gaven to the Logan River at Beenleigh. In the future it will be extended southwards along the M1 corridor through Nerang, Robina, Varsity Lakes, West Burleigh, Palm Beach and behind the Gold Coast airport to the NSW state border.
Active travel is the brand for Gold Coast behaviour change programs for encouraging sustainable transport. Enjoy the way you move is the tag line that rewards those already walking and cycling and encourages reflection on behaviour change for anyone who doesn't enjoy traffic jams.
The car is the dominant mode of transport for Gold Coast residents. The Pacific Motorway (M1) is a motorway grade section of the Pacific Highway connecting the Gold Coast with Brisbane. The Gold Coast Highway runs close to the coast for most of its route and through the centres of Southport, Surfers Paradise, Burleigh Heads and Currumbin.
The local hinterland areas, being so close to the central region of the Gold Coast, are popular with locals. Caution is advised when travelling in hinterland areas due to many blind entrances to properties and roads are narrow and winding and especially hazardous in wet conditions. Speed limits should be observed at all times.
Self-drive car hire is one of the most popular forms of transport for tourists and business visitors to the Gold coast.
In Queensland, Mopeds and scooters with an engine capacity of 50cc's or less may be ridden by those holding a non provisional car licence. Making them a popular form of transport for residents and tourists alike.
The Gold Coast has a range of public transport options including trains and buses which operate under TransLink. With the population boom in South East Queensland, more and more effort is being put into improving Public Transport, from the extension of the Gold Coast rail line to the 'Quality Public Transport Corridor' on the Gold Coast Highway.
The Gold Coast has a number of Car Rental companies located across a variety of suburbs.
The local bus operator is Surfside Buslines, which provides regular services and a network covering most locations. The Gold Coast is part of an integrated public transport network in South East Queensland known as TransLink, which offers integrated fares and tickets across all modes of public transport. Services run at high frequencies along the Gold Coast Highway.
Trains once travelled the Old South Coast Line from Beenleigh to Southport but the increasing popularity of the motor car forced the closure of the line in 1964, which was subsequently resumed for development. The new Gold Coast railway line was constructed further inland in the mid-1990s and runs roughly parallel to the Pacific Motorway alignment, terminating at Varsity Lakes railway station. QR Citytrain services connect the Gold Coast with Brisbane, running express between Beenleigh and South Bank stations, with most services continuing onto Brisbane Airport. Track duplications are currently underway, and future extensions of the line to Tallebudgera, Elanora and Coolangatta are also planned for completion by 2016.
In 2008 the Gold Coast City Council called for expressions of interest for a public ferry service. The 2008 ferry service was to operate initially between Point, Labrador, Spit, Southport, Surfers Paradise West and Surfers Paradise Central. It was expected that the ferry service will be operated with solar powered catamarans and be operating by June 2008. A smaller ferry service is also a possibility to connect Surfers Paradise South to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Conrad Jupiters and Pacific Fair. Unlike Brisbane's popular CityCat ferry services, Gold Coast Ferries will not be part of TransLink (South East Queensland). This means that fares will be in addition to Surfside Buslines journeys and probably also much more expensive for travelling the same distance. The project has since been put on hold.
- a cross broadwater ferry service from Southport to the Spit and
- a cross river service from Surfers Central to The Arts Centre Gold Coast at Evandale.
Ferry trips will cost $2 for either a one way trip or a return same day trip. Unlike Brisbane's popular CityCats, Translink has not yet agreed to recognise Gold Coast Ferries as a public transport service and so the fares for the ferry will not be included on South East Queensland's go cards. The ferrys will operate until 11pm on a high frequency timetable. The new ferry services are expected to commence on 12 December 2011 and operate for a 12 month trial period.
Rapid Transit System
The Gold Coast Light Rail System is a transport system for the Gold Coast, Australia currently under construction, and due to open on 20 July 2014. The Gold Coast is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia with travel demands exceeding population growth. In order to tackle congestion effectively, there is a need to squeeze much more capacity from existing corridors. The system is expected to encourage visitors and residents to use public transport to reduce major traffic congestion and pollution problems. Stage 1, which is currently under construction, will run from Griffith University to Broadbeach.
At Sea World a 2-kilometre (6,600 ft) monorail circuit, known as the Sea World Monorail System, facilitates transport within Sea World and links it to the Sea World Resort & Water Park. Opening in 1986, it was the first monorail in Australia and is a Von Roll MkII Installation. It gained an additional monorail set after the Expo '88 monorail was dismantled.
At Broadbeach a 1.3-kilometre (4,300 ft) route operated between Oasis Shopping Centre and Jupiter Casino on a Von Roll Type III System with three stations. There were plans for this to be extended to service the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and Pacific Fair.
- TransLink - Public transport - bus train ferry
- Gold Coast City Council Transport Page
- Government of Queensland's transport vision for South East Queensland 2031