Guide to Traveling to the Gold Coast for the Gold Coast 500

Loosely described as schoolies for adults, the Gold Coast 500 definitely lives up to the party atmosphere Surfers Paradise is most famous for.

After starting out as a street race for the American race series IndyCar, the event has since taken a much more local focus, with Supercars headlining the event since 2010.

Traditionally held in October, the Gold Coast 500 is one of the most popular venues (second only to the Adelaide 500) for championships to wrap up their seasons and host their awards nights, in large part due to the party like atmosphere and venues that the Gold Coast has to offer.

The Gold Coast 500 is a particularly good event for casual motorsport fans to attend, as the concerts and off-track activities surrounding the event give it a more festival-like atmosphere than other race meetings. In fact, some people just go for the off-track entertainment.

I’ve been heading to the Gold Coast for over a decade following the Supercars Championship, so here is my best advice if you are planning on heading to Gold Coast for the Supercars round for the first time.

Where Is The Gold Coast 500 Held?

While the event is famously known as the Surfer Paradise street circuit, the bulk of the circuit is actually on the streets around Main Beach with the pit complex on Macintosh Island, between Southport and Surfers Paradise.

The track layout mainly incorporates sections of the Gold Coast Highway and Main Beach Parade.

Where To Stay When Going To Gold Coast 500

Where To Stay When Going To Gold Coast 500

For the ultimate Gold Coast 500 experience, you’ll want to stay in one of the apartment buildings inside the circuit. Being able to enjoy the sun, surf and Supercars from the balcony of your accommodation is something that can only be experienced on the Gold Coast.

Just keep in mind that this premium experience books out well in advance of each race, with many buildings prioritising returning customers prior to making apartments available to other people. It’s also worth noting that these apartments with the track are by no means as new or fancy as some of the other options in Surfers Paradise.

The buildings inside the circuit include Equinox Resort, Seacrest Apartments, Norfolk Luxury Beachfront Apartments and Contessa Holiday Apartments.

Otherwise, there are dozens of accommodation options in Surfers Paradise, both a short walk from the circuit and Carvill Avenue. I personally recommend Rhapsody Resort and JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, which, while being outside of the circuit, still offer track views from some of their rooms. Alternatively, QT Gold Coast is another good option.

If you are looking to save money and are a little less keen on the party scene, Broadbeach, a little further away from the track, is a good option. Remember, you’ll be able to catch the tram into the track each day as part of your ticket for the Gold Coast 500, so you’ll have easy access each day.

My picks in Broadbeach include The Wave Resort, Sofitel Broadbeach and Peppers Broadbeach.

How To Get To And From The Gold Coast 500

The best part about the Gold Coast 500 is that Gold Coast tram service (G-Link) is included with your ticket, so getting to and from the circuit from anywhere along the tram line is really straightforward. Just keep in mind that there is only one tram line, so immediately before and after the day’s track activity, it does get extremely busy.

Given that most people attending the race will stay in and around Surfers Paradise, you’ll see a lot of people just walk into the track each day as it is just as easy.

I would avoid driving; there just simply isn’t any parking anywhere remotely near the track.

Food Options At The Gold Coast 500

Being a temporary venue that it is, for the majority of the year the area is a public road. There are only a handful of cafes within the Gold Coast 500 circuit.

What the venue does rely on is a good selection of food trucks that show up every year for the event.

During the Gold Coast 500, you will absolutely find an amazing variety of vendors set up around the track, with the biggest concentration of food trucks set up near the final corner in the merchandise area. As well as on the beach side of the circuit near the beach chicane (both sides).

What To Do In The Evenings During The Gold Coast 500

The Gold Coast is famous for its nightlife, so you won’t have any shortage of things to do. If you want to delve into all the possibilities that the Gold Coast has to offer, check out this blog post.

That said, also keep an eye out for the concerts that are often held as part of the Gold Coast 500. Major international artists and DJs will often be featured as part of the event, with shows well into the night after the on-track action has wrapped up for the day.

Spending Time in Gold Coast Before or After

Everything You Need To Know Before You Go To The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a sensational place to spend a few days. Well set up for tourists, the Gold Coast 500 is a great reason to make a trip to the region, but it’s by no means the only reason to visit. I’d recommend that you give yourself a least a week to really enjoy all that the Gold Coast has to offer.

If you are looking for suggestions for things to see and do around the Gold Coast, I would check out this blog post.

Gold Coast 500 Tips

As with all street circuits, viewpoints around the track are very limited. If you have your heart set on seeing as much on-track action as possible, I would suggest that you spend the extra money on getting a grandstand seat, particularly at the beach chicane.

Obviously, if you are staying inside the track with a balcony, that also makes a big difference.

Otherwise, just keep in mind that it does get quite crowded with the street circuit in the confines of big buildings, so it can take a bit of time to move around the circuit. If you are looking to escape the crowds, the beach side of the circuit tends to have a little more space, albeit fewer viewpoints (beyond the grandstands).

For more information about the event, visit the Supercars website.

Gold Coast 500 Tips

For more travel tips, make sure you check out the rest of my blog posts as well.

Also, make sure you check out the travel tools that I use the most to help you save some money when booking your next trip.

Keep up to date with all the latest Here, There & Gone! adventures by following along on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

And if you have a travel-related question that you would like me to answer, head over to my contact page to get in touch and let me know.

Check out these great supporters of Here There & Gone!

New York 728*90


Photo of author
About the author

Rhys Vandersyde

Traveller, Photographer, Content Creator - I've spent the last 20 years actively seeking out new destinations and new adventures. Find out more about me here:

Leave a comment

Pin It on Pinterest