New Gold Coast ferry service starts

Gold Coast residents will now be able to traverse the seway and canals via a public ferry as the city begins the two-year trial of its first public ferry service. Called ‘Hopo’ (‘hop on, hop off’), the new ferry service will help connect Sea World to Appel Park in Surfers Paradise, with three other stops along the way.

The ferry service has been a long time coming for a city with nine times more waterways than Venice. Ferries were first proposed by Major Gary Baildon almost two decades ago, and it has taken four elections and three majors for the trial to begin. Finally launched on 8 December 2019, the trial service has been developed in partnership with the State Government, the Gold Coast Waterways Authority, Maritime Safety Queensland, Water Police, Marina Mirage and Sea World, and aims to increase the transport options available to Gold Coasters.

As the name suggests, the ferry service will operate as a ‘hop-on, hop-off’ system, with all-day unlimited ticketing options available, as well as single-use tickets from $5. The ferry will operate for 13 hours a day, seven days a week. Under this plan, ferries will run every half-hour, seven days a week between 7 am and 10 pm — making them perfect for commuters and tourists alike.

Where are the Hopo stops located?

Residents and tourists will be able to use the Hopo ferry to access:

  • Sea World at Main Beach
  • Broadwater Parklands at Southport
  • Marina Mirage at Main Beach
  • Home of the Arts (HOTA) at Surfers Paradise
  • Appel Park at Surfers Paradise.
Gold Coast ferry route
Gold Coast Hopo ferry route

Private ferry services have long operated in key tourist spots on the Coast, but the introduction of a co-ordinated public ferry service should be an exciting development for the Gold Coast and further expands on the public transport options now available in the City, anchored of course with the amazingly successful (and lovely) Gold Coast Light Rail service

The route is split into two zones: Zone A (or 1) stops are located at HOTA and Surfers Paradise, while Zone B (or 2) stops at the Broadwater Parklands, Marina Mirage and Sea World.


At the moment, Hopo is a little pricy — but expect costs to drop as the service continues to run.

Hop On / Hop Off

Adult: $25
Child/Concession: $18 Pre-purchased Day Passes

Single Zone (1 or 2)

Adult: $5 Single | $10 Return
Child/Concession: $4 Single | $8 Return

Multiple Zones (1 and 2)

Adult: $10 Single | $18 Return
Child/Concession: $8 Single | $13 Return

Where can I learn more?

Check out the Hopo website to learn more and pre-book your tickets.

Written: 10 January 2020, Updated: 22 January 2020

We would love to hear your thoughts on this project.

Have you visited this project recently, or perhaps you live nearby or bought in a neighbouring building? Tell us what you love about this project, or perhaps what you don't.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments