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From year-round warm weather and beautiful beaches to a host of great attractions including theme parks, it’s no wonder so many Kiwis are moving to the Gold Coast when they relocate to Australia.

There’s a lot to consider when making the move from New Zealand, from organising to relocate your belongings and finding a place to live, to adjusting to the lifestyle on the Gold Coast.

Of course, this includes familiarising yourself with the transport options available. Luckily, there are plenty of options when you live on the Gold Coast.

Public transportation includes trains, trams and buses. There are also taxis and ride-sharing options like Uber and Ola, as well as ferries and water taxis for getting around on the water.

Using Gold Coast Public Transport

Traversing the Gold Coast in its entirety using the public transport network will take around an hour and a half.

This includes transfers at one or more of the main local transport hubs and switching between different types of transport such as from tram to bus. There are connections with other key areas like Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, and Tweed Heads over the border in New South Wales.

Unfortunately, there are no public transport services into the hinterland. This means if you want to visit and explore Springbrook or Mt Tamborine (which is well worth doing), you’ll have to get there with a private vehicle or a tour.

GoCards

The best way of travelling on Gold Coast public transport is by using a GoCard. Simply touch on and off when boarding public transport and top up the balance of your card when required.

Using a GoCard is around 30 per cent cheaper than a single paper ticket and offers a range of discounts and ways to save:

  • Save 20 per cent by travelling during off-peak periods between 8.30 am and 3.30 pm, after 7:00 pm on weekdays and all day on weekends and on public holidays.
  • Travel for half price after your eighth journey in a seven day period, from Monday to Sunday, regardless of what zones you have travelled in.
  • Concession fares are 50 per cent cheaper than adult fares and apply to children, students, pensioners, seniors and defence force veterans.
  • Children aged between 5 and 14 years travel free on the weekend using an orange GoCard. Children under 5 travel for free at all times.
  • Seniors get a third journey for free after using their GoCard to take two paid journeys in one day.

You can use the GoCard to travel on all TransLink bus, train, ferry and tram services across greater Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast regions.

The 23 zone structure of South East Queensland’s public transport network can get confusing. The most important thing is to touch on and off to avoid getting charged for more zones than you travel.

Gold Coast Buses

Buses are the backbone of the Gold Coast public transport network, especially on the south coast where they are the only public transport available.

There are over 60 bus routes around the city including turn up and go services. Buses on the Gold Coast numbered from 700 to 777 operate every 15 minutes or less, seven days a week.

Some of these bus services finish at the G:link, where you can continue your journey using the light rail system.

There is also the TX1, TX2 and TX3 bus lines, which are special express routes between the theme parks and other popular hubs on the Gold Coast.

When travelling by bus, you can purchase a paper ticket when you board, but using a GoCard is the most convenient and cost-effective way of travelling. To check which bus you need, which station is closest to you and view timetables, visit jp.translink.com.au.

Trams on the Gold Coast

The G:link connects key hubs on the Gold Coast via tram, like Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. The first stop is at the Gold Coast University Hospital and connects commuters to 16 stations across 13 kilometres. The southernmost stop on the light rail system is just outside the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.

The G: operates from 5:00 am to midnight on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends. Trams leave every 7 and a half minutes between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm on weekdays.

There are also stage 2 plans for the light rail system which will connect Parkwood and Helensvale to the line.

Gold Coast Trains

Trains on the Gold Coast run at regular intervals, connecting major areas such as Helensvale, Nerang, Robina, Varsity Lakes, Ormeau, and Coomera.

Trains run regularly from Brisbane and Brisbane Airport to Varsity Lakes, which take around an hour. Keep in mind that a separate operator owns the Brisbane Airport stations so prepare to pay a premium for airport connections.

Trains are a great way to get up and down the coast but aren’t one of the main ways of getting around via public transport. You’ll need to use bus connections to get to other areas like Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.

Cycling Around the Gold Coast

Along with sandy beaches and surf, the Gold Coast offers a huge number of cycling trails for leisure and for the practical purposes of getting around. Cycling is a great way of getting around and experiencing the city, especially for those who have just moved to the Gold Coast. More than 1000 kilometres of bikeways link parks, schools, neighbourhoods, foreshores and major transit routes.

Some popular, scenic bike routes include:

  • The beachside track from Main Beach to The Spit
  • The Darren Smith Memorial Route from Point Danger to Paradise Point
  • The 43km ride from Canungra up Mount Tamborine
  • Little Nerang Dam to Springbrook
  • O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
  • Currumbin Valley to Springbrook

The local government has invested extensively in improving bikeways as a way of providing a healthy transport alternative to cars, prevent congestion on roads, improve recreational opportunities and reduce pollution. Click here to check out a map of cycling routes around the Gold Coast.

Taxis and Private Transfers

The main taxi company in the city is Gold Coast Cabs, which offers 24-hour services and larger vehicles for big groups and disabled passengers.

You can hail cabs from the street, from cab ranks at key hubs in the city or call one on 131 0008. There are also a range of private ferries and water taxis operating in the city. Ferry trips include trips from Southport to the Spit and Surfers Central to Gold Coast Arts Centre at Evandale.

A private transfer or charter can be one of the most stress-free ways to get around a new city when you have just arrived, especially if you are with your family or another big group.

There are plenty of private transfer and charter options on the Gold Coast. Be prepared to a fair bit more than other transport options.

Ride-sharing

As one of Australia’s key cities, popular ride-sharing apps like Uber, DiDi and Ola are available on the Gold Coast.

Uber is the most well-known option and is a  semi-regulated private taxi service. If you haven't used it yet, all you need to do is download an app, link your card, and then order a vehicle to come to pick you up at the touch of a button.

Payment is automatic and everyone has to be nice to each other because you and the driver rate each other out of five stars at the end of each trip. On the Gold Coast, the base fare in Ubers is $2, with each kilometre adding $1 and each minute an additional 35 cents. This is significantly cheaper than a taxi.

Driving Around the Gold Coast

If you’re thinking about transporting your car or motorcycle from New Zealand to the Gold Coast, you can expect to drive on excellent road infrastructure.

Traffic around the city is generally pretty light and only gets busy at peak periods such as from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm and on Friday afternoons and weekends.

Even during these times, it’s a lot quieter than major cities like Sydney or Melbourne.

Parking on the Gold Coast

Most parking on the Gold Coast is on the street. It’s generally free but there are parking metres in busier areas such as in Surfers Paradise.

Street parking is quite safe, though you should never leave valuables in your car. Always check the signs when parking on the street as there are often one or two-hour parking limits, even in free areas.

When you have to pay for parking, the most expensive areas go up to $3.60 per hour. There are also a variety of off-street car parks at popular destinations, some of which offer daily discounts.

Getting your Queensland Driver’s Licence

Getting your driver's licence is easy for Kiwis on the special category visa. You can apply for a Queensland driver’s licence for the same class as your New Zealand licence by visiting a Transport and Main Roads customer service centre or a Queensland Government licence issuing centre.

You won’t have to do the written road rules test or practical driving test if you hold or have held a New Zealand driver’s licence for 5 years that corresponds to a class C, RE, or R driver’s license in Queensland.

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Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

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Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

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Our Service Promise:

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Free In-Home Consultation:

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