3 Karana Street
Gold Coast (Coolangatta) Airport is the 6th busiest international airport in Australia. For those who are coming in by air, please let our newly renovated Tugun branch, which is located about a few kilometres away from the airport, provide you with our diverse range of new and almost new vehicles for your car hire needs. For your convenience and comfort, our Tugun branch offers you FREE SHUTTLE BUS service to pick you up from the airport and drop you off at our office. If you are looking for great savings, our online bookings are even cheaper than our everyday low prices.
Our office is located around the corner of Gold Coast Highway and Pacific Highway, along Karana Street in Tugun. This branch of ours is located only a few kilometres away from the airport and you can make use of our speedy and convenient Complimentary Shuttle Bus to pick you up or drop you off at the airport. Whether you are getting or returning your hired car, our friendly staff will gladly attend to you and make sure your car rental experience with us is a positive one.
You are assured that our rental cars are reliable, as they are well maintained and being serviced regularly. For your peace of mind, we also include 24 Hour Roadside Assistance or vehicle breakdown service with RACQ when you hire a car from us in Melbourne or other locations.
Moving about the Gold Coast has never been easier, if you rent a car with a reliable car rental company like us. Please call our reservation department to speak with our friendly car rental agent, or make good use of our user-friendly online booking system to reserve your car or to get quotes. Wait no more! Rent a car from our Coolangatta branch today!
Road Trip Highlights
– Enjoy great coffee and ocean inspired cuisine at absolute beachfront restaurants
– Take an early morning balloon ride over the hinterland and meander through a gallery of cottage-industry shops
– Stop in at one of Queensland’s most historic pubs overlooking the sparkling green Brunswick River
Start your Gold Coast Airport car hire experience right with a visit to the Burleigh Heads Paddock Bakery, a rustic cottage-style café. The bakery is a local favourite with a waiting line often trailing to the garden alfresco dining area. Enjoy the revival of old breakfast favourites such as soft-boiled eggs and soldiers. There is a fully serviced bakery offering treats like hot crème brûlee doughnuts waiting to be washed down with a strong coffee. Follow breakfast with a drive in your Gold Coast Airport car hire to Burleigh Beach for a dip and a surf. Take a stroll around the headland for some amazing vistas from Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta. The walk wraps around to Tallebudgera Creek, a protected swimming area lined with pandanus trees and perfect for a day out with the kids. There is also the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre nestled at the base of the hill where visitors can learn about traditional Aboriginal life and bush tucker. From here there are plenty of attractions only a short drive in your Gold Coast Airport car rental, including Seaworld, Wet n’ Wild, Dreamworld and Warner Bros. Movieworld. Keep the Sunday morning vibes rolling with a visit to The Village Markets, a boutique collection of stalls housed by local, up-and-coming designers selling their unique wares such as jewellery, fashion and crafts. The markets are bi-monthly from early morning until 1pm with ample parking available for your Gold Coast Airport car rental.
Extend your shopping experience longer with a drive in your Gold Coast Airport car hire to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre or Robina Town Centre. Both outlets offer premiere shopping and dining experiences with an expansive collection of luxury and iconic Australian and global brands. A big day of shopping calls for an indulgent late lunch. Get another taste of the beach with a drive down the coast in your car rental from the Gold Coast to Burleigh Pavilion, one of the only absolute beachfront restaurants on the glitter strip serving an ocean inspired menu pared with tantalising cocktails. Try the aptly named ‘Five O’Clock Somewhere’ concoction (sober drivers only!). There is also the North Burleigh, Currumbin Beach and Southport Surf Life Saving Club for more beachside options. Make sure to leave enough time for a quick drive in your Gold Coast Airport car hire to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and handfeed the Rainbow Lorikeets from 4pm daily for only a gold coin donation. Visit the Miami Marketta as the sun starts to set for delicious international street food and live music, or experience true blue Australia with dinner and a show at the Australian Outback Spectacular. If a hair-raising night out is on the menu, try Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant for an horrifyingly-good evening of entertainment.
Early risers can make the drive in their car hire from the Gold Coast to the Nerang or Canungra pick up points for a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Tamborine Mountain and The Scenic Rim followed by a champagne breakfast at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards. A leisurely drive in your Gold Coast Airport car rental to Tamborine Mountain is another option, but be sure to visit Terrarium in Oxenford, the starting point of your drive, for delicious brunch options like the Green Goddess Breakfast Bruschetta and flower-topped cakes. The Treehouse Cafe is definitely worth the wait, and the scenic mountain drive in your Gold Coast Airport car hire, offering delectable locally sourced and plant-friendly brunch selections. Arriving at your destination, the Tamborine Mountain Gallery Walk is a collection of up to 70 shops lining the central street of Mt Tamborine and plying everything from fashion, jewellery and cottage industry arts and crafts, to wine tasting and locally made sweets. Try Fudge Heaven for melt-in-your-mouth fudge made from fresh butter and cream and the Tamborine Mountain Distillery for boutique Liqueurs and Schnapps made using native flora and presented in beautifully hand-painted bottles. Take a drive in your Gold Coast Airport car rental for lunch with a view over the Great Dividing Range at The Polish Place, where authentic comfort food is lovingly served among colourful Polish décor and antiquities. Try the Pork Hock, an immensely satisfying dish both for its flavours and size, or the signature Roast Duck for Two with Cherries. Finish your lunch with a stroll to the nearby grassy slope of the Tamborine Mountain Launch where hang gliders regularly take to the skies, weather permitting of course, or just sit and digest the morning activities and incredible vista.
The Scenic Rim offers many unique, hands-on experiences and a short drive in your Gold Coast Airport car rental to Thunderbird Park is a great afternoon excursion for couples or the whole family. Choose from horse riding through the hinterland on a 112-hectare rainforest property or hunt for your very own ancient Thunderegg: round, geode rock formations personally cut onsite as a souvenir for successful fossickers to take home. Take an alpaca for a picnic at Mountview Alpaca Farm for an hour or two and enjoy a gourmet hamper or stone baked pizza as an afternoon snack. Drive to Springbrook in your Gold Coast Airport car hire to stretch your legs on one of many rainforest hiking trails. There is the two-hour trek through eucalyptus forest descending into the gorge of Purlingbrook Falls and Waringa Pool, or try the Twin Falls Circuit leading hikers through dense rainforest palms and ferns and behind two waterfalls on a two-hour round trip. Get an immersive rainforest experience minus the workout at the Best of All Lookout. Take the short walk through ancient Antarctic beech forest shrouded in mist for an exceptional view of the Tweed Valley, Mt Warning and all the way to Byron Bay. As the sun starts to set, take a drive in your Gold Coast Airport car rental for a nocturnal tour of Natural Bridge, an expansive arched rock formation with water plunging through the cave roof and illuminated by Glow Worms. Park your Gold Coast Airport car hire and enjoy a cosy evening in front of the fireplace at the Mouses House Rainforest Retreat or go completely eco-friendly at the Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat.
Take a drive in your Gold Coast Airport car rental to Wollumbin National Park for an early morning hike to the summit of Mt Warning and catch the sunrise. The five-hour trek is for the more adventurous with the steep and difficult terrain ending in a 100-metre vertical rock scramble to reach the pinnacle. The 360-degree views are worth it however, and the crisp mountain air an invigorating start to the day. Fill up on some fuel for the adventure at Mavis’s Kitchen nestled at the base of the mountain with a Breakfast Buddha Bowl or Turmeric Scrambled Eggs. Try Red Rattlers Gallery & Cafe in your Gold Coast Airport car hire for a unique high tea experience in beautifully restored train carriages nestled in the Northern Rivers countryside. There are plenty of culinary experiences to be enjoyed on the drive in your Gold Coast Airport car rental to Northern New South Wales and Tropical Fruit World just past Kingscliff ticks all the boxes. Part tourism attraction, part fully functioning commercial farm, Tropical Fruit World will keep the entire family entertained with guided tours and tastings of up to 500 species of fruit. Hire a rug and lawn chair for a picnic in the shady Avocado Grove with a hamper full of delights from the Plantation Café. The Freeman’s Organic Farm situated in the idyllic Currumbin Valley is also a great pitstop in your Gold Coast Airport ca rental to stock up on vegetables and herbs grown in the rich, volcanic soil unique to the area or indulge in organic treats made fresh from farm ingredients. Wrap up the morning and relax over lunch in the small, unspoilt coastal village of Brunswick Heads, a 45-minute drive south in your Gold Coast Airport car hire. The iconic Brunswick Hotel serves up top notch Australian ‘pub grub’ in an expansive beer garden overlooking the sparkling green Brunswick River. Summer holidaymakers can often be spotted jumping from the Southern Arm Bridge connecting the town to the famed surfing coastline into the river below. Book a room for the night in the historic hotel pub overlooking the beer garden for an affordable, genuine country hospitality experience.
Detour approximately 15 minutes west in your Gold Coast Airport car rental to the magical sanctuary of the Crystal Castle & Shambala Gardens. Home to some of the biggest and most beautiful crystals in the world nuzzled among 5 hectares of botanical gardens and rainforest, this is a place to unwind and get in touch with your inner psyche. Sit in an ancient amethyst cave, touch the World Peace Stupa blessed by the Dalai Lama himself or just pick up a favourite crystal in the gift shop and relax on the patio of the terrace café soaking up the views of the Byron Shire. Save some time for The Farm as you make the journey to Byron Bay in your Gold Coast Airport car hire, an 80-acre sustainable collection of farm based micro-businesses including a restaurant, bakery, produce store, florist and nursery. Kids can pat the heritage black pigs and chickens or take part in a workshop to learn where real food comes from while Mum and Dad enjoy a vino and charcuterie board on the green pastures. Nature-inspired activities are plentiful in Byron Bay and only a short drive away in your Gold Coast Airport car rental, including learning to surf at the famed Wategos Beach with Rusty Miller Surf, plunging from 14,000 feet above the beach with Skydive Australia, or sea kayaking among the dolphins with Go Sea Byron Bay Kayak. Park you Gold Coast Airport car hire for a brisk walk up the hill to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, the perfect place to take in the sunset with breathtaking views from the most eastern point of Australia. Finish an adventurous day with fresh oysters swimming in a grapefruit granita and Spanner Crab Ravioli at Beach Byron Bay directly opposite the ocean, or our personal favourite, a basil infused Caribbean Garden martini, Grilled King Prawns and a spot of people-watching from Balcony Bar in the heart of Byron town.
The words “Gold Coast” alone bring a feeling of sun, sand and fun, so it’s no surprise this city is one of the most popular travel destinations for domestic and overseas holidaymakers.
So grab your beach gear and jump in your Gold Coast car hire because we’ve come up with five awesome activities for you to enjoy in this sunny city when you pick up a rental car from our Gold Coast Airport branch.
The backdrop to the Gold Coast is sprawling rainforest and mountain trails which are less than a one-hour drive from our Gold Coast Airport branch, and make for a breath-taking drive in your Gold Coast car rental. Taking it all in from ground level is one thing, but how about from 30 metres in the air? There are nine suspension bridges between Springbrook and Mount Tamborine which hover above the tree lines with views that can’t be beaten even throughout your drive in your car hire from the Gold Coast.
Springbrook Natural Bridge offers just as great views minus the hike and is home to nature’s best light show – Glow Worms! These tiny creatures illuminate the rock formations above as water surges through a cavernous hole and into the pools below. Next up, thrilling theme parks! Hope in you Gold Coast car hire and enjoy the ride down the mountain to the real theme park!
Aside from its natural beauty, the Gold Coast is renowned globally for its man-made attractions with a handful of theme parks only a half-hour drive from our Gold Coast Airport branch. Whether it’s superheroes galore or thundering rollercoasters, there’s sure to be a theme park for you.
If thrill seeking is your preferred holiday mode then try out the DC Rivals HyperCoaster, the BIGGEST, fastest and longest roller coaster in the Southern Hemisphere. With speeds topping 110 kilometres per hour, an adrenaline rush is assured (almost matching the one you’ll get in your Gold Coast Car hire)!
Tuning in with marine life always helps make a great holiday, jump in your car hire from the Gold Coast and make your way to Burleigh Hill – commonly know as one of the best spots to see these whales in action These big, gentle beasts of the ocean make their way past the Gold Coast between May and November each year on the search for warmer waters. That means you have almost six months out of every year to meet a whale or two in waters off the city. With various view points along the coast your Gold Coast car hire is the perfect tool to track down the oceans gentle giants.
There are several tour operators offering whale encounters in the region, and who knows? You might just get the perfect picture to enter our Snap & Win competition!
Who doesn’t love cuddling a Koala, patting the Kangaroos or feeding the Rainbow Lorikeets? The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is one of our all-time favourite Gold Coast destinations and only a 5-minute drive from our Gold Coast Car Hire location, 5-minutes! There’s really no excuse to not stop here next time you’re visit the Gold Coast. Along with the great opportunity to tune in with nature, it’s a great place to enjoy daily live Aboriginal performances, and every Friday night is home to The Sanctuary Markets a weekly food and live music filled evening. So, hop in your car hire and head down the Gold Coast to Currumbin for a whole lot of FUN!
Last but not least, we couldn’t write a must-visit list about the Gold Coast without mentioning the beach! There’s almost 60 kilometres of unique coastline for you to explore in your Gold Coast rental car, so you really are spoiled for choice when it comes to the sandy stuff. What will you do? Wax down your surfboard at Coolangatta beach just around the corner from our Gold Coast Airport Branch, or top up your tan in the company of a good book in Broadbeach? The choice is yours!
Make the most of the Gold Coast with a rental car from East Coast Car Rentals – just remember to pack your thongs!
The Gold Coast has everything you need to enjoy a perfect holiday. From world class beaches, infamous surf breaks, great restaurants & cafes, miles, and miles of walkable coastline, and so much more. Our East Coast Car Rentals Gold Coast staff know all the ins and outs of Gold Coast car hire and what it’s like to live like a local in the area. We hope you are ready for some of their insider secrets so you too can live like a local when you visit Gold Coast Car Hire.
What is your favorite thing to do on our day off on the Gold Coast?
Jump on my boat and go for a sail! If you do not have a boat, there is plenty of day cruises to choose from at Marina Mirage. Go watch the whales splashing around and up close with the view of the Gold Coast on the background!
How do you enjoy a 3 day weekend on the Gold Coast?
Getting out for a scenic drive in a Gold Coast car hire is the best around here. I take my favorite tourist route down to Byron bay, going through Kingscliff – Casuarina -Pottsville. There are plenty of great camping spots all the way down to Yamba. On my way back to Gold Coast Car Hire I take the hinterland route veering off the Coast and through the hinterland for some astonishing views.
If you were short on time and wanted to soak up the Gold Coast before your flight what would you do?
Hard question to answer! I’d go straight to the beach in Bilinga and enjoy the sunshine and the ocean before returning my car rental and catching my flight.
What are some of your favorite Gold Coast local spots to visit?
An old classic and money saver (depends on if you go bonanza!) Harbor Town Center has the best selections of factory outlets, perfect if you’ve forgot your swimmers at home. The spit in main beach is a great location to just chill, swim, walk around and watch sunrises and sunsets and it’s typically not as busy as popular beaches. Lastly, spending a day in the Nerang National Park might just be my favorite with over 100km of bush tracks there are great hikes only a 10km drive inland from the Coast. People can forget that the Gold Coast is so much more than just pretty beaches, the national parks here are just as amazing too.
How do you show your friends the best eats in the Gold Coast area?
Firstly, I would take them to my favorite café, Bambi. Located in Coolangatta it’s a regular spot for me, the coffee is always perfect, and the staff are always super friendly. regularly go to is Bambi in Coolangatta, the coffee is always perfect, and the staff are so friendly. Plus, afterwards you can walk right down to Coolangatta beach.
Second, I would take them to my new favorite spot. Recently I went to a new restaurant right on Kirra Beach called ‘Siblings’. The food was amazing and so were the cocktails. Great location with great food, you can’t go wrong.
How do you spend your days off on the Gold Coast?
It is time for a holiday, what is the best thing to do on a 3 Day Gold Coast Road Trip?
On my three-day weekend I would drive to Byron Bay for lunch at the Beach Hotel then make my way to Evans Head for a few nights. It is a small town and has a beautiful beach with great cabins to stay in which are at a reasonable price – my favorite little hidden gem along the coast.
What is the best thing to do before a Gold Coast Flight?
If someone had a day free before a flight, I would recommend checking out the Q1 it has spectacular views at the top with a great restaurant and bar as well. It’s the perfect, tip-of-the-hat to a great weekend on the Gold Coast.
What are some of your favorite local shops to visit?
What is your favorite Gold Coast tourist destination to recommend to customers?
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Lamington National Park it is a perfect tourist destination with beautiful bushwalks great accommodation and day trips. It is a great place to go if you want to relax.
What are your favorite Gold Coast local café(s) and restaurant(s)?
By far, Next Door Espresso on Dry Dock road Tweed Heads – they have a signature blend coffee roast that tastes fantastic and the food they create is amazing. The staff are all super inviting, it’s a great café to enjoy any day of the week.
For dinner, we’d head to ‘The Crafty Cow Bar and Smokehouse’ in Casuarina – the food here is amazing; the atmosphere is just what you want for a smokehouse and bar and the drinks are the best to wash down all the delicious smoked food.
If you’re on a budget and looking for something a bit cheaper head to ‘Danosi Kitchen’ Tweed Mall for some fantastic sushi on the train and delicious Japanese meals.
Now if I you’re really wanting to ‘wow’ your guests head over to, ‘Gallura’ in Tweed Heads. For a immersive fine dining experience, granted it is a bit expensive; however, delicious Italian meal is always worth it. Not the mention the service is top notch, and the cocktails are divine.
How do you make the most of your day off on the Gold Coast?
I head down to my favorite spot the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can enjoy a fully immersive experience amongst all the wonderful Australian wildlife. The sanctuary has several conservation projects that rehabilitate wildlife back into the wild and each entry paid entry helps keep those projects aloft.
It’s time for a Gold Coast Long Weekend Road Trip – where are you headed?
When I get a chance, I love to make my way up to Brisbane to visit the museum as they always have a fun or exciting exhibit. Maybe go to one of the theme parks or hit up Top Golf. Alternatively, head south to Yamba or Iluka and relax on the beach for a few days. Whatever direction you decide to go there fun is bound to be had.
Someone has a day free before catching their flight, what should they do?
Take it slow and soak up the last bit of the Gold Coast on the beach at Kirra. If you need any last minute souvenirs the shops at Robina are great. Lastly, depending on how much time you have you can always head to Byron or Ocean Shores for a nice meal and some beach time.
What is your favorite hidden gem on the Gold Coast?
Some of my favorites are Ray Pascoe Park on Kennedy DR in Tweed Heads is one of my favorite places to go to relax. Has a boat ramp so can be quite busy however I can swim in the little canal and take my dog there for a little swim and a run as many people walk their dogs there. After enjoying the park you can head across the road and grab some fish and chips at ‘Scales’ bear in mind you might have a fight on your hands with the local seagulls for your chips.
Where are the best places on the Gold Coast to eat?
For breakfast we are going to head to my favorite café, The Milkman’s Daughter. I’m not veggie but they do have the best breakfast on GC! Located in Mermaid Beach the café is small, super cute, mid-century style boots, great location just a quick stroll to the beach after overeating!
Okay – now for lunch! It must be Light Years in Burleigh (or Byron Bay). When you go make sure you try the Crispy Sticky pork & Pineapple or Miso Corn with a Tiki Tiki Cocktail. Great location easy, chilled & super casual!
Last stop on the Gold Coast Foodie tour, Gemillini at Nobbys beach for dinner! Amazing, staff, delicious Italian. Cute small quaint restaurant! Make sure you book ahead. Nobbys has loads of bars to kick onto after your meal.
What is your favorite thing tourist thing to do on your day off?
I grab my bike and ride from Currumbin to Point Danger. It is a beautiful way to spend an afternoon the oceanside tracks make for a perfect view as you cruise along side the beach. There are even a few great surf clubs to stop at along the way for a drink or a quick bite to eat. Don’t have a bike? That is okay there are several bike hire shops in the area!
You’ve got a long weekend coming up where are you headed?
On a long weekend I’m heading south to Northern NSE and stopping in at all the little towns on the way. Tyalgum has a great little general store with a huge outdoor smoker, typically with all local meats smoking. Next up, Byron everyone is favorite and great for an overnight stay and a quick shop and snack at the local markets. Then off to Nimbin, they say ‘laughter is good for the soul’ Nimbin is always a fun eye-opening place to visit. Lastly, Tumbulgum make sure to stop off at Husk Distillers, great farm vibe with awesome Gin! Grab a blanket and have a nice antipasto on the grass as you enjoy the rest of your holiday.
If someone has a day before their Gold Coast flight, what would you recommend doing?
Head over to HOTA, (Home of the Arts) have a stroll through the art works and finish up on the roof top at the Exhibitionist Bar. You will believe me when I say it is the best sunset view on the Gold Coast once you see it for yourself.
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