With the Gold Coast named as the host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and the big event coming up in April next year, we wanted to give a little due attention to this sunny city that will be the focus of worldwide attention.

For those heading to the Goldie for the Games, it’s the perfect chance to jump in a Gold Coast car hire and enjoy a road trip up to Brisbane, where some of the events will be held, as well as locations along the way.

The short journey takes just over an hour when driven directly, which is perfect for those wanting to drive back and forth to catch certain events. Alternatively, you could make the most of the many sights and stop-offs and road trip at a relaxed pace . Either way, be sure to check out the Commonwealth Games 2018 schedule before you set off.

Our three day road trip schedule enables you to experience much of what this stunning region has to offer, and with Thrifty offering car rental locations in both the Gold Coast and Brisbane (and along the way), we’ve got your vehicle needs covered for a cruisey journey.

Surfers Paradise to Helensvale

Drive time: 25 minutes

Once you have your rental car in the Gold Coast sorted, head out to the northern reaches of the city.

Southport, although technically a suburb of the Gold Coast itself, is worth a look as you pass by, with Australia Fair Shopping Centre offering serious retail therapy potential, while the nearby Rockpools Water Playground will be a hit with the kids on a warm southern Queensland day. The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Southport is also where a lot of the Commonwealth Games aquatic action will take place.

From Southport, head north through the centre of Helensvale. Helensvale is the perfect crossroads to veer off west to visit Tamborine Mountain, a pristine peak immersed in the local hinterland, and ideal for peaceful walking or hiking.

Prefer coastal scenery? Then head east at Helensvale and enjoy the short ferry journey to South Stradbroke Island, affectionately referred to by locals as “South Straddie”. Here, you can visit the hundreds of wild wallabies the island is known for, as well as rainforest and sandy terrain – the best of both worlds.

Helensvale to Beenleigh

Drive time: 26 minutes

From Helensvale, take your Gold Coast car rental through Coomera, or theme park heaven as it’s commonly known due to its proximity to all the big parks including Dreamworld, White Water World, Wet’n’Wild and Warner Bros Movie World.

If you’ve got the time, why not spend a night or two to enjoy a unique holiday experience on a houseboat, with spectacular, serene views across the nearby waterways? Fishing enthusiasts take note: Coomera is a fine spot to perch the rod and catch some mangrove jack, trevally, bream or flathead.

Gymnastics and netball events during the 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, so cheer on the green and gold here!

A short drive further north, and you’ll find yourself in Beenleigh, part of the city of Logan. Beenleigh is a firm favourite with weary travellers, thanks to its locally produced Beenleigh Rum, and the heritage listed distillery where it’s produced.

Whilst here, be sure to check out The Yugambeh Museum – the perfect place to learn more about the important indigenous history of the area.

Beenleigh to Brisbane

Drive time: 28 minutes

Brisbane skyline

The final leg of your journey sees you entering the Greater Brisbane region. Staying on the central M1 freeway, you’ll soon pass through Mount Gravatt – don’t miss out on the views of the surrounding areas from Mount Gravatt Lookout, with nearby walking trails and a cave complex making for popular stop-off points. Hit the road north again, and you’ll be well and truly in the Brisbane city limits.

There is so much to do in the Queensland capital. Must-sees include the exceptional vistas from Mount Coot-tha, wandering through the City Botanic Gardens, and a cuddle with some furry friends at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Even though the Gold Coast is the official host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a lot of the action will be happening across Brisbane, including shooting events at Belmont Shooting Centre – if you flew into the capital, be sure to hire a car in Brisbane to get around to all the events and attractions. And of course, our road trip schedule can be done in reverse order to take you from Brisbane to the Gold Coast too!

Driving between the Gold Coast and Brisbane is a good idea at any time of the year, but during the upcoming Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, it’ll help you make the most of the action and adventure. Whether you’re planning to hire a car in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, or somewhere else along the way, Thrifty has you covered.

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