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Getting Around the Gold Coast in a Rental Car

Gold Coast driving tips

Located south of Brisbane near the New South Wales border, the Gold Coast is a popular spot for holidaying and tourism. Its beaches, theme parks, and nightlife draw people from far and wide, and if you, too, are planning a visit, why not get around the Gold Coast in a rental car?

Driving on the Gold Coast

  • Cyclists are common on the Gold Coast. Make sure you’re actively checking for bicycles and giving them enough room when sharing the road.
  • Stay alert for pedestrians and light rail vehicles when driving in Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast’s busy areas.
  • A 50km/h speed limit will apply in most residential areas of the Gold Coast.
  • Driving between the suburbs of the Gold Coast is easy. Simply follow the Gold Coast Highway, which passes through major areas like Surfers Paradise, Southport, and Broadbeach.
  • If you're travelling up to Brisbane—or down to New South Wales—the most direct route is via the M1.

Where to Drive Your Rental Car on the Gold Coast

  • Surfers Paradise: Famous for its beaches, shopping, and nightlife, Surfers Paradise is the place to be when it comes to visiting the Gold Coast.
  • Southport: Home to the popular Sea World theme park and the huge Australia Fair shopping centre, Southport is a place definitely worth checking out during your time on the Gold Coast.
  • Broadbeach: With beautiful beaches, a casino, shopping centres, and unique restaurants, there’s always something to do in Broadbeach.

Toll Roads on the Gold Coast

While there are no tolls on the Gold Coast, there are a number of toll roads in the nearby city of Brisbane. If you’re driving up from the Gold Coast via the Gateway Motorway, you’ll need to pay a toll. We recommend asking your rental provider about toll payments when you collect the rental car.

Parking on the Gold Coast

Many streets in the central areas of the Gold Coast have timed parking zones. Metered parking applies on certain streets in Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, and Southport. Visitors can also park for up to three hours on the Burleigh Heads Esplanade. For all-day parking in Surfers Paradise, there are a few secure parking garages, and for airport parking, there are options available at Gold Coast Airport.

Driving Distances


Before you return your rental car to the depot, be sure to refuel it to avoid extra charges. Here are some centrally-located petrol stations on the Gold Coast:

  • Caltex - 2745 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
  • United - 31 Ferry Road, Southport
  • Freedom Fuels - 560 Olsen Avenue, Molendinar

You can also compare fuel prices in Queensland with the VroomVroomVroom Fuel App.

While on the Gold Coast, we recommend visiting the five big theme parks: Dreamworld, WhiteWater World, Movie World, Sea World, and Wet'N'Wild, and once you've had a chance to check out the beautiful beaches, go and explore the Burleigh Head National Park.

Read More About the Gold Coast