Gold Coast is famous for its long sandy beaches, theme parks, and, of course, bucket loads of sunshine. Located an hour away from Brisbane, this coastal city in Queensland offers lots to see and do.
Credit: Visit Gold Coast
In fact, there are more pint-sized adventure options packed into this destination than almost any other city in Australia. Here’s the skinny on the best things to do in Gold Coast as a family.
1. Warner Bros. Movie World
Gold Coast is home to not one, not two, but FIVE large-scale theme parks. Visiting all isn’t budget-friendly, so if you could only visit one, we’d recommend Warner Bros. Movie World. Here’s where you can watch spectacular live shows (Hollywood = stunts + explosives) and walk on movie sets, while the kids get to play with their favourite Looney Tunes characters.
At lunchtime, take a break and refuel at Ricks Cafe, the theme park’s only halal-certified restaurant serving all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta and salad buffet.
Credit: Oz East Coast
Don’t miss the All Star Parade at 3:30pm, featuring Batman, Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, DC superheroes, and more!
#HHWT Tip: Movie World also has a prayer room near the Wild, Wild West area.
Address: Pacific Motorway, Oxenford, Gold Coast
Contact Number: +617 5573 3999
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 5pm (except Anzac Day and Christmas Day)
2. Sea World
Credit: Rare Delights Magazine
Unlike other major theme parks in Gold Coast, Sea World offers a full day of family fun and learning. Many of the shows and exhibits are easy to understand, and animal lovers get to see marine life up close, from dolphins to seals, polar bears, penguins and more. Plus, there are kid-sized rides in Nickelodeon Land and a monorail with a scenic tour through the park.
The Plaza Food Court, located in the centre of the park, serves tasty halal options such as chicken burgers and fish and chips – noms!
#HHWT Tip: A prayer room with separate entrances for male and female is available.
Address: Seaworld Dr, Main Beach, Gold Coast
Contact Number: +617 5588 2222
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 5pm (except Christmas Day)
3. Australian Outback Spectacular
Fancy being entertained at dinner time? No, we don’t mean the kids singing Bob The Builder theme song while you eat 😉
Credit: Weekend Notes
At the Australian Outback Spectacular, guests are treated to a dazzling show packed with action, drama and music, while tucking into a 3-course BBQ dinner. Best of all, there’s a halal meal option (ask for the halal meal when booking)!
Address: 1 Entertainment Rd, Pacific Highway, Oxenford
Contact Number: +617 5588 2222
Opening Hours: 6:30pm – 9pm Tuesday – Saturday (except Christmas Day)
4. Carrara Markets
Those itching to do a spot of shopping while in Gold Coast, listen up. Queensland’s largest market, Carrara Markets, has over 400 stalls and it’s just a 15-minute drive from Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach!
Face painting, pony rides and trampolines will keep the little ones busy while you sneak in a cup of coffee or maybe even some retail therapy!
Address: Corner of Gooding Drive & Manchester Road, Carrara, Gold Coast
Contact Number: +617 5579 9388
Opening Hours: Every Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 4pm (except Christmas Day)
5. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Credit: Matt Glastonbury
Take a break from the city and head for Gold Coast’s best spot for cute and cuddly encounters of the animal kind. A day at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary will give you and your family a chance to do fun activities like…
Credit: Magi & Sam
… pet friendly kangaroos….
… cuddle adorable koalas…
Credit: Sebastian Cruz
… feed wild lorikeets…
… experience sheep shearing…
Credit: Emmett Anderson
… and see the endangered Tasmanian Devil up close!
#HHWT Tip: Kids under the age of 4 get free entry!
Address: 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin
Contact Number: +617 5534 1266
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (except Anzac Day and Christmas Day)
6. Broadwater Parklands
Credit: Bundall Photography
If there’s a free destination on the Gold Coast to take the kids, it’s got to be the well-designed and popular rockpool playground at Southport. Located along Broadwater Parklands’ waterfront, the facility has sprinklers, waterfalls and shallow splash pools with plenty of shaded areas for kids to have fun regardless of whether it’s a hot or cool day. It’s even got its own small beach area should you wish to get some sand between your toes 😊
Credit: Weekend Notes
On the dry side of things, there’s a large jumping pillow and bouncy house for kids to burn off some steam.
#HHWT Tip: Broadwater Parklands is within a short walking distance of shopping mall Australia Fair, which makes it easy to grab yourself some takeaway lunch.
Address: Marine Parade, Southport
Contact Number: +617 5581 6984
Rockpools – 1 February – 31 March 8am to 6pm (Closed every Tuesday morning for maintenance until 12pm); 1 April to 31 May 9am to 5pm (Closed every Tuesday morning for maintenance until 12pm); Anzac Day opens 12pm; 1 June to 31 August 9am to 3pm (Closed Tuesday morning for maintenance until 12pm); and 1 September to 30 November 8am to 6pm (Closed every Tuesday morning for maintenance until 12pm).
Bouncy house – 1 December to 31 January 7am – 7pm; 1 February to 31 March 7am – 6pm; 1 April to 30 August 7am – 5pm; and 1 September to 30 November: 7am – 6pm.
7. O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk
Credit: Scenic Rim
Grab your walking shoes and get back to nature at Lamington National Park, which is just a scenic 90-minute drive west from the Gold Coast. Suspended 15 metres above the ground, the 180 metres of boardwalk will give the kids a bird’s eye view of the lush rainforest. Best of all – it’s free!
Address: Lamington National Park Road, Canungra
Contact Number: +61 1800 688 722
Opening Hours: All day, year round
8. The Wax Museum
Credit: Experience Oz
If you’re keen to take a break from being under the hot sun, how about checking out The Wax Museum. The air-conditioned museum is the perfect place to take the kids and introduce them to world leaders, celebrities and members of the royal family. Let’s see if you can name all the 110 life-size wax figures 😜
Address: 56 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Contact Number: +617 5538 3975
Opening Hours: 10am to late (except Christmas Day)
9. Springbrook National Park
Credit: Dominic Curro
Just half an hour from the shoreline of the Gold Coast, Springbrook National Park is home to one of the most fantastic natural wonders in Queensland. Surprise the kids when you show them the Natural Bridge, a waterfall that goes underground to a cave of millions of glow worms! Does nature get any more interesting than that?
#HHWT Tip: The trail is definitely not suitable for strollers, but it’s easy enough for most two- and three-year-olds.
Address: Springbrook Rd, Springbrook
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours a day
From the beach to the hinterland, markets and playgrounds, there really is something for everyone in Gold Coast.