Train - Hop onto any train station and it will get you to any of the Gold Coast stops; Ormeau, Coomera, Helensvale, Nerang, Robina and Varsity Lakes. However each stop is approximately 12-15km away from Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach, the typical destination for someone who is visiting Gold Coast. Your best bet is to stop at Nerang. Take the Bus 745 and that takes you right to Surfers Paradise or take the taxi. Journey time will take you approximately an hour by train and depending on the traffic; 20 minutes to an hour by taxi or bus.
Cost of the trip? This is where it gets interesting. Purchase a one way ticket from the station and it should cost you AUD 7.70. Get a Go Card ("prepaid card") and you will realise the exit at Nerang does not have a machine to tag out. When that happens, the loop hole in the system charges you AUD 5 when you tag the card the next time you use it. In your case, you will be charged AUD 5 when you enter the bus. The bus ride will cost you another AUD 2.50 if i am not mistaken. However when we went the day after New Year's, it was packed and there was heavy traffic jam, resulting in an hour ride in a rather hot and stuffy bus.
Alternatively, try Greyhound Bus. A one way ticket will set you back AUD20 per person and it takes an hour from the Roma St station to the Bus station near Surfers Paradise. Slightly more expensive but less trouble.
Once you reach Gold Coast, you can enjoy the smooth silky sand.
The shaded area is for the asians who are scared of the sun. This is a true story as this section of the beach were indeed occupied by asians.
Where the sun is at, you will find the locals enjoying the sun.
The waves look tempting enough to go for a dip too.
Gold Coast by and large has not changed much since i first visited when i was a student in 2004. Surfers Paradise is pretty much the same; Cavill Avenue is the main street where you have a row of cafes, restaurants and shopping. Around the corner, you have the high end boutiques catered for the international tourists, i mean can you imagine girls in bikinis and guys in boardshorts going to LV to pick up a bag or Gucci to buy some loafers?
To be honest, on a whole Surfers Paradise seemed to have aged in a bad way. There are too many half naked people drinking way too much in the day, with alcohol bottles filled to the brim at the public dust bins. Buildings have aged and hotel prices are exorbitant when you look at the poor quality.
A rather basic looking room at Vibe Hotel will still set you back AUD190 and up to AUD300 on the weekends. Crazy prices? No wonder people prefer to take a flight to Thailand for a beach trip instead of coming to Gold Coast.
Maybe the next time i come to Gold Coast, i will bring a fatter wallet, maybe that might get me better accommodation.