The Gold Coast is a destination that’s just begging to be visited. When it comes to Aussie vacation spots, the GC pretty much takes the cake. Sunny weather, stellar surf beaches, incredible nightlife, tons of amusement parks… it’s designed for a dream vacation. A car hire on the Gold Coast is all you really need to enjoy this city to the fullest - with the freedom to zip around on your own schedule, you’re set up for the ultimate fun and easy holiday. Not only will the Gold Coast and its immediate surroundings be your oyster, but you’ll have the whole east coast as your playground. Brisbane’s basically next door, while down the coast is a collection of distinctive towns, great beaches, whale watching opportunities and (if you get far enough) the restaurants, culture and distinctive architecture of Sydney.
Of course, none of this is possible if you don’t have a set of wheels. Sifting through all the many car hire supplier websites looking for a decent deal can be a royal pain, so to save you stress AirportRentals.com.au gathers all the best deals together in one place. No more annoying deal hunts - just scroll, filter and pick the best one!
Booking a Gold Coast Car Hire
The process of booking a Gold Coast car rental on AirportRentals.com.au is ridiculously simple. Just enter a few basic details on what you need from your rental, like when and where you want to pick up/drop off, etc, click Search and you’re away! You’ll be presented with a bunch of deals to suit you, and you can filter by things like rental brand, vehicle type and so on. It won’t be long before you’ve found the perfect rental for your trip - from there, it’ll just take a few minutes before your booking is all done and dusted.
Car Hire Brands at Gold Coast Airport
There’s an excellent selection of car hire brands at the Gold Coast Airport, with some suppliers based directly in-terminal and others located just a few minutes drive from the airport. Alongside big name brands like Budget, Hertz and Avis, there are also more niche suppliers such as Firefly and Keddy by Europcar for example - don’t discount these smaller providers, they can sometimes offer unbeatable deals.
Gold Coast Airport Information
Gold Coast Airport has the unusual distinction of straddling the state border of Queensland and New South Wales. In spite of this, the airport sticks to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland time) to avoid catastrophic confusion. Free WiFi is available for all passengers, and there are also internet kiosks you can use for a small fee. ATMs can be found throughout Gold Coast Airport, with a number of them dispensing NZ dollars and Japanese yen as well as your bog standard Aussie dollars.
Driving in Gold Coast and beyond
In terms of rules, driving on the Gold Coast isn’t too different to driving anywhere else in Australia, but the region does have a reputation for somewhat distractible drivers, possibly a side effect of the beautiful people and scenery that the GC is known for. Just make sure you’re not one of those distracted drivers and you’ll be fine. If you happen to be reading this from overseas, you should know straight away that in Australia we drive on the left hand side of the road. This is different to most other countries around the world but not to worry - it doesn’t take much getting used to. As long as you take a little care around intersections, you’ll be zipping around Aussie streets like a local in no time. Those who are keen to brush up on what hitting the road in Australia involves should glance over our Australia driving guide.
Getting from Gold Coast Airport to the CBD
Gold Coast Airport is around half an hour from the CBD, give or take a few minutes, but getting there isn’t too hard. Head out of the airport on Terminal Drive and head left on Gold Coast Highway. Branch off at Tugun Currumbin Road then head north on the M1. Exit on Bermuda Street and this will take you all the way into the heart of Gold Coast.
As mentioned above, you won’t find anything too unusual when it comes to road rules around the Gold Coast. There are plenty of speed limit signs around so keep an eye out for them but if you can’t see any, the default limit in urban/suburban built up areas is 50 km/h. The legal blood alcohol limit is under 0.05 which equates to just a drink or two, and if you’re on your Learner’s/Provisional, there’s absolutely zero tolerance - either way, if you’ve had anything to drink it’s safest to let someone else do the driving.
Gold Coast Petrol Stations
Don’t worry about dropping into a petrol station right after picking up your Gold Coast car rental - rental vehicles generally come with a full tank of petrol so you can be on your way with no hassles. When it comes time to return your rental though, you’ll need to top the fuel tank up to full before handing over the keys. Freedom Fuel on Eastern Ave is one of nearest service stations to the airport, while Coles Express Tugun on Gold Coast Highway and the BP on Golden Four Drive are just a little bit up the road from the airport to the north.
Road trips from the Gold Coast
With all the amazing ways to relax and play on the Gold Coast, you’d think that there would be no reason to ever leave. But there are so many great places to discover around the GC that setting aside a bit of time to go exploring is highly recommended.
● Gold Coast scenic loop
This route takes in the whole gamut of attractions and experiences surrounding the Gold Coast, and can be done in a single day but setting aside a few days to explore will let you really get the best out of these stunning locations. Charming Mount Tamborine should be your first port of call before heading toward the natural glory of Springbrook and Natural Arch. Take in the rural views on the way to Murwillumbah, before turning coastward again for Coolangatta (this is the town where the airport is set) and back north to Surfers Paradise.
● Arakwal National Park
To get away from it all and escape to a rustic paradise, drive about an hour and a half down the coast to Byron Bay. Byron is a popular retreat in its own right, but if you head out of town to the east you’ll come across this little national treasure, perfect for fishing, swimming, sunbathing - and even a spot of whale watching.
● Springbrook Drive
The scenic loop above includes Springbrook but it’s well worth giving this amazing place its own trip. Be prepared for about an hour’s drive both ways as you wind your way along mountain roads and through dense rainforest. There are several lookouts along the way that you should make a special effort to stop for, including the Best of All Lookout and Wunburra Lookout. To really make the most of your journey, jump out of the car for the Purling Brook Falls circuit which will have you descending into a gorge to the foot of a waterfall - don’t forget to bring your swimmers, so you can cool off in the surrounding rock pools.
● Jimbour House
For a day trip with intriguing historic highlights, head northwest toward Jimbour House. Make sure to stop off at Toowoomba, a city of gardens and cathedrals, for a bite to eat and a bit of leg stretching before driving on to Jimbour House itself. This impressive historic homestead was completed in 1877 and today welcomes visitors to its lovingly preserved environs.
Gold Coast Airport Car Rental Pick Up Depots
Okay, this isn’t the most fun section of this guide, but the info below could really come in handy so take a glance over it to see if there are any bits that apply to you. The majority of the car hire suppliers near the Gold Coast Airport have rental depots located directly in-terminal, though there are a handful of rental brands which have pick up points set a short distance from the airport. Getting to these depots won’t be a problem though - free shuttles are available to take you directly from the terminal to your pick up point. Just double check with your supplier to find out where exactly to catch your shuttle. Gold Coast Airport car rental brands that are based in-terminal include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot, Thrifty, Auto Europe, Apollo, Firefly and Keddy by Europcar.
● East Coast Car Rentals has a depot just a few kilometres from Gold Coast Airport at 15 Maud Street, Tugun.
● Bargain Car Rentals has their rental pick up point nearby Gold Coast Airport at 2/57-61 Ourimbah Road, Tweed Heads.
● Alpha Car Rentals is located at 19 Ourimbah Road, Tweed Heads - you can get a free shuttle directly to the depot from your Gold Coast Airport terminal.
● Ace Car Rentals is a good option for budget travellers and has a rental desk at 423 Golden Four Drive, Tugun.
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