It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Queensland-style! While the Northern Hemisphere is bundling up for a white Christmas, down under the sun is shining and the festive spirit is in full swing. Christmas in South East Queensland is a unique and enchanting experience, filled with a combination of traditional holiday activities and the signature laid-back Aussie charm.
Across Brisbane and the Gold Coast you’ll find Christmas lights and decorations, outdoor carol events, gift making and shopping, festive community gatherings and so much more.
Let the good times roll with these activities and attractions this Christmas in South East Queensland!
Christmas activities in Brisbane
King George Square Christmas Tree
The annual lighting of the Christmas tree in King George Square is a Brisbane tradition. The dazzling 22m tall tree lights up every night between late November and early January. The opening night is a special occasion, where the Lord Mayor lights the tree to the sound of live musical performances.
Brisbane City Hall Light Spectacular
The City Hall Light Spectacular delivers a classic Christmas tale through an exciting visual lighting and sound display at Brisbane City Hall. The display starts at 7:30pm and runs every 15 minutes until midnight. Take the kids for a unique Christmas activity in Brisbane that is sure to light up their eyes.
The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland
Lap up the magic of Christmas at The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland. This family-friendly lighting trail combines magical lighting, audio, special effects and digital art sculptures to create an unforgettable immersive journey through the park.
South Bank Christmas Show
The South Bank Christmas Show returns for another year of singing, dancing, bold sets and vibrant costumes – and a special appearance from Santa himself! This family-friendly and all-ages event is held in the South Bank Piazza from 18 to 23 December, with shows at 5pm and 6:30pm every night.
South Bank Christmas markets
The regular South Bank Markets take it up a notch at Christmas time, with the extra special South Bank Christmas Gift Market. The festive twilight market is filed with cheerful stalls offering unique handmade items like jewellery, stationary, stationary and more. It’s perfect for any last-minute Christmas gift shopping.
Christmas activities on the Gold Coast
Christmas at Cavill
Gold Coast’s most famous strip, Cavill Lane, will get into the spirit again this year with free, fun and family-friendly entertainment as part of Christmas at Cavill. Over the two weekends leading up to Christmas you can catch a variety of roving performers and Christmas celebrations while you dine, drink and relax along the lane.
Surfers Paradise Christmas Twilight Market
Whether you’re still on the hunt for the perfect gift or just want to make the most of the shopping experience, the Surfers Paradise Christmas Twilight Market is an unmissable Christmas activity on the Gold Coast. On 9 December, The Esplanade will be lined with market stalls selling local handmade gifts along with live music and entertainment for the kids.
White Christmas at Movie World
Movie World has become popular not just for being a thrilling and exciting theme park, but also for putting on some of the biggest and best Christmas activities on the Gold Coast! White Christmas at Movie World offers a range of cheerful events suitable for all ages, from ice skating and live shows, to exploring Santa’s village and the illuminated Main Street, and of course the iconic White Christmas parade with all your favourite characters.
Community Christmas carols
Gold Coast families love a community event, and the array of Christmas carols is proof of that. Many suburbs host carol events that showcase the best of local carolers and support local community groups. Some of the best Christmas carols on the Gold Coast include North Burleigh Carols by the Sea (7 December), Nerang Celebrates Christmas (9 December) and Coolangatta Christmas Carols (11 December).
Getting to your Christmas activities
The holiday season brings with it an increase in travellers, traffic and wait times, but you can count on Airtrain to get you to your destination on time and in comfort this Christmas in South East Queensland.
Airtrain runs express from Brisbane Airport and stops at Fortitude Valley, Central, Roma Street and South Brisbane stations. From there, you can continue on to the Gold Coast, and access buses or trams from Helensvale station. Our services run every 15 minutes during peak times and every 30 minutes off peak.
When you’re travelling this Christmas in South East Queensland, you can get around with ease using a go card – the fast and convenient way to travel on all Translink transport, including Airtrain.
On all Brisbane and Gold Coast rail transport you can also use Translink’s Smart Ticketing system for travel or you can purchase a paper ticket.
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, as well as 2 Airtrain journeys to/from the Brisbane Airport. To purchase your smartcards or to find out more, head to the nearest Airtrain counter.
Remember, public transport timetables can be affected by the holiday period. Before you travel, check your journey on the Translink Journey Planner.
From all of us at Airtrain, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas!