Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

Seniors Card Travel: Sydney to Brisbane for $11.85

This trip is divided into three sections: Sydney to Dungog using your Gold Opal Card – cost of the journey is $2.50; then Dungog to Tweed Heads using your Seniors Card – journey cost is $2.50; then Tweed Heads to Brisbane using your Translink Seniors Go Card – cost $6.85. The whole trip, from Sydney through to Brisbane can be done in one day at the total cost of $11.85.

For this trip, you’ll need all of these three cards. Do yourself a favour and apply and receive your cards a few weeks before your departure.

Sydney to Dungog

Due to extra train services between between Varsity Lakes and Brisbane on Friday and Saturday evenings, you’re advised to do this trip on either a Friday or Saturday.

The trip begins at Central aboard the 05:15 M-F Opal service from Central to Newcastle Interchange, arriving at Newcastle Interchange at 07:50. The timetable for Sydney to Newcastle Opal service can be found at:

Change at Newcastle Interchange for the 08:29 Opal service to Dungog. You’ll arrive at Dungog at 09:50. The timetable for the Newcastle to Dungog service can be found at:

Dungog to Tweed Heads

The next part of the trip is aboard the XPT. Bookings are required for travel aboard this train. To get the $2.50 (CPE) fare, you’ll need to book and pay for your journey a week or less before your departure date. Call NSWTrainlink on 13 22 32 and reserve yourself a seat aboard the XPT that departs Dungog at 10:43, destination Tweed Heads. You can also book online at:

It’s important that you book and pay for your seat seven (7) days or less before departure. This is so that you’ll get the discounted Country Pensioner Excursion fare (CPE) which will cost you $2.50 from Dungog right through to Tweed Heads. If you try to book more than seven days ahead the fare will be $53.61. So make sure you get your dates correct!

You’ll be required to change from the XPT to a coach at Casino for the final leg of the journey through to Tweed Heads. You’ll arrive Tweed Heads at 21:28. Here’s a link to the North Coast NSW timetable:

Tweed Heads to Broadbeach South

On alighting from the NSWTrainLink coach at Tweed Heads, just wait at the bus stop where you arrived for Surfside bus number 700. You won’t have long to wait as buses leave Tweed Heads for Broadbeach South every fifteen minutes. While you’re waiting, reach into your wallet or purse for your Queensland Go Card and use it to tap on when you board the bus.

Click on the link below for the timetables for Surfside bus 700 from Tweed Heads to Broadbeach South.

Broadbeach South to Brisbane

The trip from Tweed Heads to Broadbeach South should take a little over half an hour. Alight from the bus at Broadbeach South. Don’t forget to tap off.

From Broadbeach South you have the option to take the Robina bus number 750 through to Robina Railway Station to connect with a train to Brisbane. Here’s the timetable for the Robina bus. This service departs every half hour at this time of the evening and takes a little less than half an hour to get to Robina Railway Station.

The other option is to take the light rail through to Helensvale to connect with a train through to Brisbane. The good thing about the light rail is that it departs every fifteen (15) minutes to Helensvale. The trip form Broadbeach South to Helensvale takes 45 minutes. Here’s more information about the light rail and the timetable.

Gold Coast Light Rail Broadbeach South
Broadbeach South light rail terminal

Helensvale or Robina to Brisbane

Once you arrive at either Robina Railway Station or Helensvale Railway Station, fast suburban trains run to Brisbane every half hour at this time of night.

Here’s the timetable for the Gold Coast to Brisbane line.

An easier to read and also printable, timetable can be found at:

Enjoy your trip.

The Gold Coast Line train running from Varsity Lakes to Brisbane Airport. Image by RowanLifts from Pixabay

Posted in Seniors Card Travel.


    • To get the correct fare and timetable you’d need to call NSWTrainlink on 13 22 31. A quick look at the NSWTrainlink website the approx Senior (half price) fares from Brisbane to Melbourne were $130 economy and $152 first class. These are one way only and there is extra if you want a bed in a sleeping car.

      To do the trip by train the whole distance you’d leave Brisbane on the 04.55 XPT to Sydney. Once you arrive in Sydney at 20.12 that afternoon, you’d need to overnight it there and catch the 07.40 Melbourne bound XPT the next morning. You’ll arrive in Melbourne that afternoon at 18.30.

      Remember fares and timetables change, so give NSWTrainLink a call and discuss it with them. Happy traveling.

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