A guide to the Gold Coast Airport Australia

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Gold Coast is a beautiful holiday destination in Australia. There are plenty of things to do on the Gold Coast, such as swimming, surfing, and boating. The Gold Coast is also known for its amazing beaches and lush rainforest. Visitors can also explore the area’s theme parks, including Dreamworld, Wet’n’Wild Water World, and Movie World.

Gold Coast City is located in the southeast corner of Queensland, south of the capital Brisbane. The Gold Coast City stretches from Beenleigh and Russell Island in the north to the border with New South Wales 56 km south, which is where you will find the Gold Coast Airport.

Lots of visitors to the Gold Coast arrive via the plane into the Gold Coast Airport.

The suburbs of Southport and Surfers Paradise form the Gold Coast’s business centre. Nicknamed the Glitter Strip, today it is a major tourist destination. The warm sunny subtropical climate has become widely known for its surfing beaches and high-rise skyline. Theme parks such as Movie World, Dream World, Wet ‘n’ Wild and Seaworld draw people in from all over Australia and the world. As of 2106, the Gold Coast City had a population of 638,000

You might like to read our article on Ways to save money on your Gold Coast Family Holiday

Gold Coast Airport Arrivals/Departures Terminals

travelers waiting to depart the airport on the Gold Coast

Gold Coast airport is bright, shining and easily navigated. The airport is the hub for all places on the Gold Coast, and northern New South Wales. The popular places like Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta and Byron Bay being the main destinations accessed from Gold Coast Airport. Brisbane and Noosa a bit further North are also within the distance from the airport. The airport was formerly known as The Coolangatta airport.

For anyone that has travelled through Helsinki Vaanta airport, there is a huge similarity. The Airport Gold Coast arrivals/departures terminal is all glass facing the runways and all shops and facilities on the building site with seating in between. As I said, easy to navigate. The great thing is if you love planes, you can sit enjoy a drink or some food and watch the planes land and take off from the Gold Coast Airport while waiting for your flight.

Gold Coast Airport is located in a unique position with the Queensland and New South Wales state border cutting straight through its runway

The Gold Coast airport is a single story building. The departures arrivals terminal has 6 gates. Boarding and departing are done directly onto the tarmac via mobile stairs that are wheeled over to the plane.

Retail outlets at the airport on the Gold Coast
Shops at the Gold Coast Airport

Gold Coast Airport Shops

Shopping at the Gold Coast airport is confined to around a dozen shops. You will find a range of fashion, electronics, sim cards and souvenirs for you to buy at the GC airport.

  • The Gold Coast store
    Sells all things souvenirs and items to take on the plane like magazines, books, sim and snacks. A range of sim cards for your visit are available.
  • Victorias Secret All things needed to look and smell good after dark and underneath your clothes.
    International departures at OOL
  • Tech 2 Go
    Sells chargers, headphones, sim cards, phones and accessories. All things to keep you connected on the Gold Coast
  • Seed Clothing
    Ladies fashion from clothing, shoes and handbags
  • Surf Dive and Ski
    Get your beach gear and fashions here.
  • Sunglasses Hut
    Large range of designer sunglasses. The Aussie sun is strong and bright. Sunglasses are recommended.
  • Mac Cosmetics
  • Rolling Luggage
    Suitcases both small and large, travel accessories such as neck pillows and computer bags
  • Travelex
    Foreign currency conversions.

Gold Coast Airport Food 

You will find enough stores/food outlets inside the terminal for your shopping and eating needs. Pick up a bite to eat something read or buy that Australian souvenir for memories. The Gold Coast Airport food offerings range from healthy sandwiches and salads to snacks and take away such as Hungry Jacks.

snacks for travellers at the airport
Gold Coast Airport food court
  • Sumo salad
  • Red Rooster
  • Nrg natural refreshing good
    Choice of salads, sandwiches, juices etc
  • Hungry Jacks (Burger King)
    A range of burgers and breakfast items such as muffins and hash browns.
  • Velocity espresso bar
  • Noodle box
    Asian food varieties
  • Black stone cafe and bar
  • Aromas bar beer wine and spirits
  • Krispy Creme Donuts

Flying time to the Gold Coast from Australian Capital Cities. The Gold Coast Airport goes by the code OOL.

  • Sydney to Gold Coast flight time – 1 hour 21 Minutes
  • Melbourne to Gold Coast flight time – 2 Hours 10 Minutes
  • Hobart to Gold Coast flight time – 2 Hours 40 Minutes
  • Adelaide to Gold Coast flight time – 2 Hours 30 Minutes
  • Perth to Gold Coast flight time – 5 Hours 1 Minute
  • Darwin to Gold Coast flight time – 4 Hours 7 Minutes

Gold Coast Airport Airline Lounges

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia have lounges at the OOL airport. The Qantas Club lounge has a Family Zone that offers Macs, Sony PlayStation and Books. Both lounges offer a range of food and drinks with a barista on site with comfortable lounges and chairs to relax or work at while waiting for your flight.

Toilets/Bathroom facilities at OOL Airport

The terminals at Gold Coast Airport contain bathroom facilities at either end of the building. Near the terminal exit, you will find men, ladies, disabled and infant change rooms. At the other, near international departures, you will find men’s, ladies and disabled toilets.

Combi van in the Gold Coast arrivals terminal
Buy a Gold Coast Airport Sim Card

What is for the kids at Gold Coast Airport?

There are no real facilities for children at the terminal, no play equipment or family rooms to play in. The wifi is free so bring a tablet or laptop that the kids can watch movies on while waiting for your departure from Gold Coast Airport.

Gold Coast Airport Accommodation.

If you’re looking for a place to rest your head near the Gold Coast airport, there are plenty of hotels to choose from. Whether you need an early departure or late arrival, there’s a hotel for you.

The Rydges Gold Coast Airport Hotel is just 200 meters away while Club Wynham Kirra is 1.1 kilometer away from the airport. If you’re looking for a more budget accommodation near Gold Coast Airport then option, the Kirra Beach tourist park has cabins and ui under 5 minutes

If you don’t mind staying a bit further from the airport, there are several other great options. The Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach is only about 5 kilometers away and offers complimentary shuttle service. The Novotel Surfers Paradise is about 8 kilometers away and also offers complimentary shuttle service.

How to get from Gold Coast Airport to Surfers Paradise and beyond

Gold Coast Airport transfers are a breeze with the many options available for getting to and from the airport. You can get from the Gold Coast to Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast Airport to Brisbane, Gold Coast Airport to Byron Bay and many other places. A shuttle is a great option for groups of two or more, while taxis and private cars are perfect for those travelling solo or in smaller groups. No matter which option you choose, rest assured that your Gold Coast Airport transfer will be easy and convenient.

Car Hire Gold Coast Airport

 Car hire Gold Coast airport is waiting for you. Being such a compact area the Rental desks for car hire for the major players like Budget, Europa Car, and Avis etc is located straight outside the arrivals/departures hall. The car park where to drive the car away from is located no more than 100 meters away from the car rental desks. You can be in the car and moving along the Gold Coast highway within 5 minutes of getting your keys. RentalCars.com can have a car waiting and ready to go for you at the Gold Coast International Airport

Where to stay on the Gold Coast

Great vacations with teens start with some great vacation planning. When you are planning a trip to Australia you’ll never be short of options for accommodation on the Gold Coast. On the Gold Coast, you will find a range of hotels, apartments, and hostels for families on holiday. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families, and groups on every budget on your family trip to Queensland, Australia.


For luxury family-friendly hotels on the Gold Coast, you should consider staying at thJW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & SpaSheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast and Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise. All these hotels have pools and easy access to the beach at Surfers Paradise.

More budget friendly option for families staying on the Gold Coast include Cabins at Nobbies Beach Holiday Park, Crystal Bay on the Broadwater and Equinox Resort.

If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs for your travel holidays, we recommend using Lastminute.com.au and Expedia to find the best prices on the Gold Coast for your family vacation to Queensland Australia.

How to get to The Gold Coast

  • The Gold Coast Airport is located in Coolangatta. The Gold Coast Airport is 27 km from Surfers Paradise and 68.9 km from Byron Bay. 6 million people travelled through Gold Coast Airport airport in 2016 making it the 6th busiest in Australia
  • The main carriers at Gold Coast Airport are Jetstar, Virgin Australia and REX
  • You can reserve a rental car and have it waiting for you at The Gold Coast International Airport.

Getting around The Gold Coast

  • The new light rail system operates in the Surfers Paradise / Southport area from 5 am to midnight on weekdays and throughout weekends. The route links Helensvale, Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
  • Buses service the urban areas of Gold Coast City. The network stretches south to Coolangatta, west to Nerang, and north to the developing areas of Coomera and Ormeau.
  • The TransLink Journey Planner will help you to plan your trip and provides fare and timetable information

We hope this article on the Gold Coast Coolangatta Airport has helped you with arrivals to Gold Coast Airport and Gold Coast Airport depatures. Transfers from Gold Coast Airport are easy and will have you at your Surfers Paradise hotel in no time. At Wyld Family Travel hope your enjoy you next holiday on the Gold Coast, Australia.

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6 thoughts on “A guide to the Gold Coast Airport Australia”

  1. So many retail stores to get last-minute shopping! There is Victoria’s Secret? I’ve never seen that in an airport before!!

  2. Thank you so much for this detailed post! I’m going soon to the Gold Coast and this is super useful! I love that the airport has Mac Cosmetics, I always stop to buy a couple lipsticks!

  3. Exploring the Gold Coast of Australia is definitely on my bucket list. I personally love when an area takes the time to really create a beautiful airport like the Gold Coast Airport. Its a great way to represent the area but also for those entering the area for the first time, its a great way to get people in the right spirit of the area. There is no doubt that the Gold Coast Airport would get me in that beach fun mindset.

  4. Very rarely we find such useful posts about airport reviews- so thank you! We are sure this will be helpful for anyone planning Australia with Gold coast on their itinerary.

  5. You have some amazing photography that really tells the story of an airport, From bokeh food shots to yellow advert busses. I am impressed with how good of a job you did reviewing an airport. Personally, I like to know my food options at the airport so I know if I should grab something on the way in or plan to eat at the gate. If I’m doing multiple hops, I can even plan the best airport to eat in. Not all airports offer adequate dining.

  6. What a cool thing to do and share. Thanks so much! My bestie and I are flying in to the Gold Coast Airport later this week and now I can see how ‘user-friendly’ it is 🙂 Cheers


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