Famous around the world for its surf, sun, and glistening white sand, the Gold Coast has so much to share and so many reasons to stay. With excellent dining, world-class shopping, and countless outdoor adventures, the hardest job will be choosing how to spend your time.
Airtrain departs the Brisbane Airport for the Gold Coast, so you can start your Gold Coast adventure on time and in style. Here’s what you need to know about while deciding on an itinerary for your 48 hours on the Gold Coast.
Getting around on the Gold Coast
On arrival at the Brisbane airport, you can make your way to the Airtrain platform and await the next service. It won’t take long – Airtrain services run every 15 minutes on-peak and every 30 minutes off-peak, so you can skip the traffic and arrive at the Gold Coast in comfort.
Airtrain stops at all Gold Coast stations from Ormeau to Varsity Lakes, including Ormeau, Coomera, Helensvale (connects with G:link tram at Helensvale station), Nerang, Robina, and Varsity Lakes. From there, trams and buses provide connecting services to other locations around the Gold Coast, or you can take advantage of our AirtrainConnect (Train & Transfer) service.
There are a range of ticketing options that Airtrain can help you with. If you’re here to head to the beach, your best choice is the Airtrain Train & Tram which takes you via the G:link tram to Southport, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, and Broadbeach. If you require an airport transfer direct to your Gold Coast address, Airtrain offers a premium door to door service called AirtrainConnect that will get you exactly where you need to go.
All South East Queensland public transport uses a smart card for travel, or you can purchase a paper ticket. Short term visitors should check out the go seeQ card, which allows you unlimited travel for 3 or 5 consecutive days on buses, trains, ferries, and trams. It also includes 2 Airtrain journeys to/from the Brisbane Airport. The go explore smartcard allows you travel on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast for up to 8 days, but you don’t have to use them consecutively.
For longer stays, travel like the locals with a go card – just touch on at your station of departure and touch off when you arrive at your destination. The go card is accepted on all translink transport throughout Greater Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. This includes trains, buses, ferries, and trams, so you can get around with ease.
To purchase your smartcards or to find out more, head to the nearest Airtrain counter. You’ll be able to purchase tickets for travel, attractions, and events around South East Queensland.
Unmissable ways to spend 48 hours on the Gold Coast
Everywhere you turn, there are things to see and do on the Gold Coast. There’s never enough time – but to make the most of your 48 hours, here are some must-see options to allow you to craft your dream itinerary.
Before you start to explore the Gold Coast, get your bearings by gaining a birds-eye view from the tallest tower. The Q1 Tower is an unmissable feature of the Gold Coast skyline. The lift will take you to Level 77, where you’ll experience 360-degree views of the Gold Coast, from beach to hinterland.
The Observation Deck has meals and drinks on offer so you can refuel in style, or for the more daring there is the SkyPoint Climb. Australia’s highest external building climb, the SkyPoint climb is breath-taking at any time but especially during the Twilight Climb where you can watch the sun setting and the city lights coming to life.
Surfers Paradise is the heart of the Gold Coast, loved by locals and tourists alike. After alighting from the Cavill Avenue tram station, walk along the boulevard and take in the sights, with live acts, restaurants, and shopping action galore. Surfers Paradise hosts regular markets, so you might be lucky enough to stroll through the enticing stores set against the beautiful backdrop of the rolling waves.
But of course, the main attraction is the picture-perfect beach. With white sand and great surf, it won’t be long before you’re getting your feet wet and soaking up some sun. Don’t forget to take a photo under the iconic Surfers Paradise sign to remember your visit!
Not far down the road is the equally beautiful Broadbeach. In addition to the breath-taking beach, Broadbeach is home to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and The Star Casino and Hotel. You’ll also find the Broadbeach Mall with plenty of alfresco dining options, shopping opportunities, and eclectic artists.
Home to the Broadwater Parklands, Southport has calm waters and countless attractions. The Australia Fair Shopping Centre and Gold Coast Aquatic Centre are located here and well worth a look (and a swim).
But the heart of Southport is the Broadwater Parklands, which is beautifully designed for a stroll and perfectly suited to families. Along elegantly designed pathways with beautiful green spaces edged by the water, you’ll find a pier, a swimming enclosure, the Rockpools water feature, a world-class playground and plenty of events.
Harbour Town Shopping Centre
Located a short distance away by bus, the Harbour Town Shopping Centre is Australia’s largest destination for outlet shopping. Home to over 240 stores, it’s the perfect place to grab a bargain. From high-end clothing to confectionery and everything in between, Harbour Town is a great place to shop the hours away.
You’ll have plenty of dining options to take advantage of when you slow down. Don’t forget to stop in to the Tourism Lounge at the South-West entry to claim your complimentary Tourist Discount Card, giving you access to special offers and discounts for attractions around the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
The Gold Coast’s leading event venue, the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) hosts concerts, conventions, exhibitions, and tradeshows of all kinds. Only 500m from the Broadbeach Mall, the beach, The Star Hotel & Casino, and thousands of accommodation options, it’s well worth checking out what might be on during your time in the Gold Coast.
One of the biggest attractions on the Gold Coast, the theme parks will have you wishing you had more time to spend. Movieworld, Wet’n’Wild and Dreamworld are a short trip away in the Gold Coast suburb of Coomera, and Sea World is located in Southport across from the Broadwater Parklands.
If you have extra time to spend or you just can’t choose which park to visit, there are multi-park passes available for visitors to visit Seaworld, Wet’n’wild and Movieworld so you can take your time and make the most of the animals, rides, sights and attractions that each park has to offer.
Tip: purchase tickets at the train station to skip the queue on arrival at the theme parks.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the best places in Queensland to meet some Australian wildlife, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has 27 hectares of beautiful rainforest with incredible exhibits and shows. Famous for their wild lorikeet feeding, free flight bird shows and Aboriginal cultural performances, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has something for everyone. Save time and buy your ticket from the Airtrain counter or station, so you can get right on to enjoying the wildlife.
As the home to hundreds of surfers, the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercars race, and plenty of white-knuckle activities, the Gold Coast has more than its fair share of thrill-seeking attractions. For the excitement of skydiving without needing a plane, iFly Gold Coast offers an indoor skydiving experience to remember that can accommodate nearly everyone.
If that’s not enough of a thrill, enjoy the real thing with skydiving companies taking you from the sky to the sand. Closer to the beach you can book a jet ski, a water jet pack, or a ride on a jetboat to see the sights from water level. Slightly slower but no less adventurous, you can book parasailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boards – or learn to surf in one of the great surfing destinations of the world.
The Gold Coast Oceanway
From The Spit at Main Beach to Point Danger at Tweed Heads, the Gold Coast Oceanway connects perfect beach after beach in a long series of tracks that are ideal to walk or bike. Each section carries its own delights, such as playgrounds, coffee shops, markets, bushland, and those unforgettable ocean views.
Getting to the Gold Coast with Airtrain
The Gold Coast is an unmissable destination, and Airtrain can help you get there. With modern, air-conditioned carriages that arrive regularly and depart on time, Airtrain can help you skip the traffic and relax in comfort as you travel to your destination.
You can pre-book online and save with exclusive specials for advance purchasing, as well as families. Alternatively, you can phone us to get some assistance with planning your journey, or stop in to the Airtrain office at Brisbane Airport so one of our fantastic staff can make sure you’re well equipped to travel around Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast is home to some of the most famous beaches in the world, and the region hosts enough attractions to keep you busy for a lifetime. Start your adventures on the Gold Coast in comfort and style – the best way to travel is with Airtrain.