28 Things to Do on the Gold Coast for Families

Gold Coast Dec 2011 111

Looking for things to do on the Gold Coast?

After having visited the Gold Coast as a child many times, and now as a parent taking my own kids, you don’t have to look too far for activities, adrenalin, and adventure.

 Famous for fun

That’s the tag line!

Hard to argue really. With more than 300 days of sunshine, 70 kilometres of coastline, and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest range of attractions and activities, it’s no wonder it is high on the family travel bucket list.

It has things to see and do to satisfy all kids (and parents) of all tastes, year round.

Love theme parks? Done! Love pristine beaches? Plenty! Love the hinterland? It’s there! Love exercise? Start stretching! Love sunshine? Got that too!

Below is a list that will inspire you to grab the kids, pack up the car, and head for the place they call Australia’s adventure playground. But be careful, the Gold Coast has a playfulness energy that will have your kids ( and you) begging to go back for more!

Things to Do on the Gold Coast

1. Learn to surf

Beach Bum Surfaris Australia guarantee that “you will stand up on the surfboard before the lesson is over.”

2. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Take the extreme high ropes green challenge, cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos, and meet so many other Australian animals. Don’t forget the free lorikeet feeding every day at 8am and 4pm out the front. A must is the evening Yanguwah Aboriginal cultural show.

things to do on the gold coast

3. Sea World

Watch the world’s best stunt performer’s mastering aerial flips and gravity defying stunts in the Jet Ski Show, watch the dolphin’s doing the same in the Imagine Dolphin Show. OR, even stay at Sea World resort and have your private Dolphin Discovery presentation.

things to do on the gold coast

4. Attend the Australian Outback spectacular

Watch Australian stockmen and women bring the legend of Phar Lap to life. Show includes themed dinner.

5. Cruise over to Tangalooma Island Resort

Visit Moreton Island for activities such as dolphin feeding, tobogganing, quad bikes, archery, tennis, badminton, snorkelling, kayaking, shipwrecks, eco walks and parasailing.

6. Dreamworld

High action adrenalin seekers can conquer Buzzsaw, the new bone chilling ride. Try your hand at the 6 other thrill rides or for the younger ones head straight to Wiggles World for some dancing with Dorothy. Read about our experience at Dreamworld.

things to do on the gold coast
Kalyra at Dreamworld

7. Wet and Wild 

Head straight for the ultimate water park on those hot summer Gold Coast days. Have a relaxing swim in the wave pool or scare yourself on the skycoaster.

8. Go jet boating

Strap yourself in with the guys from Jet Boat Extreme!

9. The Gold Coast Wax Museum

Australia’s largest Museum of its kind, featuring more than 110 life-size wax effigies. Meet Presidents and former Prime Ministers, Entertainers, members of the Royal Family, Dictators, and many others. The figures have been crafted by leading overseas sculptors, equal in quality to the world’s best.

10. Thunderbird Park

Where adventure meets nature on over 112 hectares on Tamborine Mountain. Fossick for treasures in the world’s largest mine of thunder eggs.

11. Movie World

Take on the steepest drop in the Southern Hemisphere, reach up to speeds of 66km/h and pull 3.5G’s n hairpin bends and inverted spins on  Green Lantern Rollercoaster. See a show, or become a movie extra!

things to do on the gold coast

12. Aussie Waterballs

Let the kids have fun rolling on the water sealed inside giant a plastic bubble at Pacific Fair Broadbeach while you go on a shopping spree!

13. Ride a 160m Flying Fox

Fly through the world heritage listed Lamington National Park on the Binna Burra Mountain Lodge flying fox.

14. Quad Biking

Get some action on a two-hour guided tours of the Gold Coast Hinterland in Numinbah Valley through rivers and creeks and climb to new heights to experience some of the best views the Gold Coast.

15. Dine Beachfront

Have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at one of the Gold Coast’s family friendly Surf Life Saving Clubs.

things to do on the gold coast

16. Dracula’s Haunted House

Freak yourself out on a mind-bending journey through labyrinths of spooky passages, a museum of weird collectibles, dare doors, leaping monsters and state-of-the-art special FX. It’s Dracula’s new venture the AUD6.5 million dollar haunted “Walk-through” attraction.

17. Go Walking

Get back to nature with walks at Gold Coast top nature parks.

18. Mount Tamborine Adventure Parc

Designed for family fun and fitness! Takes elements of SAS commando training delivered as safe, fun and exciting. 85 challenges over five courses combining rope and wire challenges, flying foxes, suspended bridges, and much much more.

19. Beach Playgrounds and Parks

Play with the kids and have a picnic at one of the many beautiful parks along the coast. Laguna Park, Palm Beach is a local’s favourite.

things to do on the gold coast
Kalyra at Coolangatta

20. Race Centre

Australia’s most advanced racing simulation centre. Race against yourself or race your mates. Any track in the world. Their simulators are the same as professional race drivers use for training and practise – full-motion, surround screen and surround sound technology!

21. Putt Putt Golf at Mermaid Beach

Offers three fantastically themed 18 Hole Courses including Jungle Trail, Fun Run and Waterways. Open every day and night.

22. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Odditorium is a completely new attraction that is interactive and fun. See authentic unbelievable exhibits, incredible illusions, unusual stories, magic, mystery, interactive games and amazing movies.

23. Kart Racing

Looking for excitement just inches off the ground? Leman’s is an outdoor 700 metre circuit with over 20 challenging corners. They have Sprint karts, Super Restricted, Super karts and their fastest kart – the Mean Machine.

24. Carrara Markets

Queensland’s biggest and best permanent markets. Over 500 stalls covering 10 acres, popular family day out with buskers, pony rides, merry go rounds, bungy trampolines and face painters. Free entry, free parking, indoor and outdoor shopping, over 100 fashion outlets, over 10 cafes, six plant nurseries, tons of fun stuff for the kids

25. Hang at the Beach

Soak up the sunshine along the 72 km of pristine Gold Coast beaches. Some of our favourites include Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads, Greenmount, Currumbin, Broadbeach.

Coolangatta Beach, Queensland, Australia

26. Jump out of a Plane

Gold Coast Sky Dive are the only Tandem Skydive operation on the Gold Coast! Boasting an excellent safety record, state of the art equipment and a pristine beach-side location.

27. Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

Held each Wednesday and Friday night  along the coastal stretch with more than 100 market stalls and live entertainers.

28. Cycle the Gold Coast Oceanway

A 36 kilometre network of pathways along beaches from the Gold Coast Seaway (The Spit) to the Point Danger Lighthouse (Coolangatta). Pack your own lunch, plenty of water, your swimmers and camera. Enjoy access to a wide range of coastal environments including spectacular coastal vistas, beaches, headlands, mangroves, and dunes.

Do you have tips for things to do on the Gold Coast?

Craig
Craig Makepeace is the founder of yTravel Blog and has been traveling the world since 2002, first with his wife Caz, and now with his two daughters. Get his free email series on the 4 best ways to reduce travel costs. Follow him on Google+

7 Comments on “28 Things to Do on the Gold Coast for Families”

  1. I would do #1, 2, 5, 14, 16, 25 and 26. Of course, I’d also try to get in some hiking and go scuba diving!

    How was it holding the koala? They look so soft. “He’s so fuzzy I could die!” – Despicable Me
    Tim at Adventure Strong recently posted..Photo Friday #24: Hwaseong Fortress (화성) in Suwon, South Korea
    Tim at Adventure Strong recently posted..Photo Friday #24: Hwaseong Fortress (화성) in Suwon, South Korea

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    • Hey Tim,

      Yeah Koala’s are pretty soft to touch and cute looking. But I have seen them act aggressive towards each other in the wild.

      Reply
  2. Some great suggestions there! Can I give the David Fleay Wildlife Park a mention? It’s such a nice place to visit, and they don’t have a huge budget to promote themselves. Especially good for families too.

    Reply
  3. With everything you have mentioned it is extremely hard to be bored on the Gold Coast. Currumbin Rock pools are a must for hinterland and family fun, especially when you don’t want to go the beach and get sand everywhere. From first hand experience Draculas is a must, i would not recommend for small children but tweens and teens it is definitely a good scare. This list is perfect for people who have never experienced the Gold Coast and don’t want to get ripped off by tourist prices, great post.

    Reply
  4. Great post on my amazing hometown. Makes me homesick reading it despite not doing most of those activities since I was a kid. Everyone should visit the sunny Gold Coast.
    Josh @ Backpacking Addictz recently posted..Learn to Surf: Backpackers Guide to Surfing
    Josh @ Backpacking Addictz recently posted..Learn to Surf: Backpackers Guide to Surfing

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