AUSTRALIA'S GOLD COAST IS VERY ACCESSIBLE.

Here’s a guide for international visitors to make your visit as easy as possible.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

All visitors to Australia need a valid passport and an Australian visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). 

Visa types depend on length of stay and the visit’s purpose. Lodge online applications for ETAs or acquire forms from more than 300,000 travel agents, 75 airlines and Australian diplomatic offices worldwide. If you do not hold a passport approved for ETA, get a ‘label’ visa from Australian embassies, high commission offices or consulates. The Immigration Department’s website offers an Event Co-ordinators’ Network to help event managers. View Immigration website. www.immi.gov.au

DUTY FREE AND QUARANTINE

Australia has a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Travellers may be eligible for a GST refund on departure. Incoming visitors may bring in limited quantities of duty free products. Business travellers need permits for carrying commercial goods through Customs. If you enter Australia with doctor’s prescriptions or medicines, get a permit. View Customs. www.customs.gov.au

Australian Customs enforces strict controls. Australia is the largest island in the world which is free of many diseases. Please declare animal and plant material, herbal medicines, food, eggs, seeds and wood. Coral, shell, reptile and whale products are banned. Restrictions may or do apply for currency, firearms and ammunition, heritage items and defence and strategic goods. Ask officers if you are not sure. The future health of Australia’s native animals, plants and primary industries depends on your honesty. View Customs. www.customs.gov.au

Safeguarding our heritage for the future - Australia’s Gold Coast. Very serious.

TWO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS

Brisbane International Airport (BNE) is the best airport for Europe and Ameraicas.  You can easily get to the Gold Coast on the Airtrain which is approximately a 90 minute journey and transfer to the Tram for easy connection to the Convention Centre and Hotels.  For more information on the Airtrain click here.

Gold Coast International Airport (OOL) offers direct routes from Asia and SE Asia.  Transfers from the Gold Coast Airport to Broadbeach on the Skybus.

GETTING AROUND

Each delegate will receivea 6-ay public transport pass (GO CARD), tht will cover transport thorughout south-east Queensland (including Brisbane).

CLIMATE

The trickiest part about travelling is working out what weather to expect and in turn, what to pack.

Here’s a quick guide to Gold Coast weather so you can focus less on packing and more on planning the fun stuff!

The Gold Coast averages 245 days of fine and sunny weather each year, and those rainy-day exceptions typically fall in the summer period (December - February).

During summer the average temperature on the Gold Coast is a pleasant 20-28°C (68-83°F). It can be humid in summer but this is usually offset by cool sea breezes.

In autumn (March - May), sunny days are followed by warm nights – making it ideal for outdoor water activities such as fishing and sailing. Autumn temperatures fall between 16-26°C (61-77°F).

Winter (June - August) on the Gold Coast is generally sunny and dry with comfortable temperatures of 11-21°C (52-70°F). Many Australians escape the cooler weather in the southern states for a holiday in Queensland at this time of year. The humidity is lower, there is less rain, but the temperature is still nice and warm.

Spring (September - November) on the Gold Coast offers sunny days followed by mild tropical evenings. September can sometimes be windy, making it great for sports such as kite-surfing, kite-boarding, windsurfing and sailing. The temperatures fall between 15-25°C (59-77°F).

AN A-Z OF INFORMATION TO ASSIST YOUR PLANNING

Alcohol: Legal drinking age is 18 years and older. Bring ID to prove your age. Alcohol can only be purchased in liquor outlets and hotels (not in supermarkets).

Electricity: 240/250 volts AC 50Hz Universal outlets for 110 volts (shavers only) standard in hotels, apartments, motels.

Emergency: Dial 000 from a fixed line or 112 from a mobile phone. Police, ambulance, fire.

Language: English. Translation and multi-lingual tours available. Telstra’s Foreign Language Service offers telephone assistance in nine languages.

Measures: Metric system. www.onlineconversion.com

Post Offices: Australia Post offices are generally open 9am to 5pm weekdays, 9am to 12pm Saturdays. www.australiapost.com.au 

Religion: Australia is multi-cultural. Discrimination is an offence. Mosques, temples, Christian churches and prayer rooms are located on the Gold Coast. Specific dietary requirements are available (halal, kosher).

Road Rules: Left hand side driving. A 50kmh speed limit applies in most residential areas. Open highways 100-110kmh. View speed limit signs. Seat belts mandatory. Strict drink driving laws apply. Bring your current driver’s licence if you want to hire a vehicle. www.transport.qld.gov.au 

Safety: Common sense approach to personal safety encouraged. www.transport.qld.gov.au

Smoking: Queensland has strict tobacco laws with new legislation being phased in. There is no smoking in indoor public places and no sales to children under 18 years. www.health.qld.gov.au

Sun/Surf Safety: Australian beaches are beautiful. Never underestimate the power of the Pacific Ocean. Always swim between the red and yellow flags in a patrolled beach and heed life guards’ advice. Gold Coast beaches are patrolled by professional life guards and volunteers (weekends). www.health.qld.gov.au

Swimmers must accept responsibility for their own safety. Sun protection is vital – always wear a hat, collared shirt with sleeves, maximum sunblock and avoid the heat of the day 10am – 2pm. www.whs.qld.gov.au

Swimming: There is no nude bathing permitted in Queensland.

Telephones: Australian international code 61. Public telephones, international dial cards available.

Time zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST): GMT + 10 hours. There is no daylight saving in Queensland.

Things to do

The attractions of the Gold Coast bring smiles to people of all ages and stages. With exhilarating rides, exotic animals and endless waterslides to help you cool off. By either coming to the Gold Coast before or after the Conference, the Gold Coast offers a full spectrum of interactive entertainment - from dazzling big budget Gold Coast theme parks to small, hilariously kitsch museums.  Listed below are a snapshot of what the Gold Coast and surrounding area has to offer.

Please note some of the below activities may be offered as part of the tours and in the partner program.

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk - is a one and a half kilometre rainforest walking experience which includes the Skywalk Bridge, the 40 metre Skywalk Cantilever and the Cedar Creek Viewing Platform, joined by a winding pathway along the canopy floor. Accessible directly from the Eco centre, the walk showcases the pristine beauty of the lush rainforest in a safe and exciting way. The whole experience takes approximately 45 minutes at a leisurely pace and begins and ends at the main centre.  Located in the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland, the Skywalk is 45 minutes from Surfers Paradise and 60 minutes from Brisbane International Airport.  For more information visit their website.

Carrara Markets - are Australia's biggest permanent markets. With over 400 stalls covering 10 acres it's a treasure trove of the curious and the unusual. It's also the original home of discount shopping when it comes to fresh produce, homewares, pots, plants, bric a brac, arts and crafts and just about everything else. For over 30 years Carrara Markets has been a major Gold Coast tourist destination. Its easy to get to Carrara Markets. Catch the G:Link Light Rail to Broadbeach South Station at Pacific Fair, then catch a Translink or Surfside Bus direct to the markets. For more information please visit the Website.

There are four major Theme Parks located on the Gold Coast. For more information on these please click on the links following - Movie World, DreamWorld, Australia's Sea World, Wet 'n' Wild Gold Coast.

For a more detailed look at what the Gold Coast and surround has to offer please visit the Gold Coast Tourism Website.  This will provide further information on the below adventures:

  • Natural Attractions and National Park
  • Zoos, Sanctuaries, Aquariums and Wildlife Parks
  • Entertainment
  • Sports and Recreation Facilities
  • Whale Watching
  • Shopping
  • Historical Sites and Heritage Locations
  • Water Activities
  • Restaurants
  • Spas and Retreats
  • Galleries, Museums and Collections
  • Golf