Travel Information for Gold Coast, Australia
Passports, Visa and Entry Requirements
All visitors to Australia need a valid passport and an Australian visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The type of visa you require will depend on length of stay and visit’s purpose.
- We recommend flying into Brisbane International Airport (BNE), which is about a 60 minute drive to city centre.
- Gold Coast International Airport (GCA) is approximately 80 km/ 50 miles and a 30 minute drive to city centre.
Travel from Airports
Attendees of #ICA20 have a choice of flying into the Gold Coast airport (22 minutes or so from the Broadbeach area) or flying into Brisbane (with a greater choice of direct flights), followed by one to one and one-half hours (depending on the time of day) in a shuttle to Broadbeach. Because that Brisbane trip to Broadbeach is longer than the typical ride from an airport to a conference, through generous funding from Gold Coast Business Events ICA is pleased to offer subsidized one-way (arrivals) transport from Brisbane airport to the Broadbeach area, for a 50% savings (the one-way fare is AUD $54 per person but will be AUD $27/US $18 with ICA's subsidy). To receive information on how to book this discounted shuttle, you must first register for the main conference.
Please note that there is no subsidy for arrival to the Gold Coast airport, as it is much closer to Broadbeach. Be aware, however, that Gold Coast Airport is a much smaller airport with fewer options in terms of last-minute travel alterations (such as a flight being canceled and trying to hop on another airline) for international travelers, but it could be perfect if you are arriving from or departing to locations within Australia.
Departures after the conference, to any airport, can be booked on one's own budget, with a 10% discount via ICA. The links for booking your shuttle transport for the conference will be given to you in your registration confirmation, once conference registration opens in mid-January.
Currency and Money
The local currency in Australia is Australian Dollars (AUD). All credit cards are generally accepted. Australia has a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Travellers may be eligible for a GST refund on departure. Please visit Australia’s Customs for more information: http://www.customs.gov.au/.
English is the common language spoken in Australia.
To learn some common words of slang, click here (https://www.destinationgoldcoast.com/travel-information/australian-english).
Gold Coast is located in the Australian Eastern Standard Time Zone (GMT+10).
During the ICA Conference it will be late Autumn in the Gold Coast. The weather this time of year is mostly sunny days and warm evenings, but “warm” is a subjective term, so please look at the actual average temps and pack according to your comfort! For more information about the Gold Coast’s weather please refer to the link below:
We recommend avoiding actually sleeping overnight in the “Surfers’ Paradise” portion of the Gold Coast. It’s not unsafe, but it is noisy and vibrant and full of neon, which did not--during our recent site visit--lead to a good nights’ sleep on the night we spent at the Hilton there. Even if you are Hilton-loyal, we caution you about this property: the windows are not soundproofed, even on high floors you can hear the Elvis impersonator in the main square late into the night. Surfer’s Paradise can be fun for exploring and nightlife, but we promise, you want to sleep down in the quieter, more upscale Broadbeach area, where our two headquarters hotels (Star and Sofitel) and our recommended condo options are all located.
The Gold Coast area is connected via a light rail system called the G:Link that is quite affordable and easy to use. You can buy boarding passes at kiosks at the ground-level train station directly outside the convention center. If you stay in one of our blocked, recommended properties, you will not need light rail passes to get to the sessions, but you may want to use the light rail to explore on your own time to other areas in the vicinity, and it does connect you to Griffith University, if you’re attending a pre or post conference there. For more information check out the G:Link website.
For more travel tips, please visit Destination Gold Coast’s website.
Many thanks to Gold Coast Business Events/Destination Gold Coast for their support!