28 Things to Do in the Gold Coast for Families

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Looking for things to do in 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 Gold Coast 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.

The Gold Coast 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 of things to do in the Gold Coast 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 in the Gold Coast, Queensland

1. Learn to surf

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

Kalyra also learned how to surf at Burleigh Beach with a world surf champion as her teacher.

2. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Take the extreme high ropes green challenge, cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos, and meet so many other Australian animals at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Don’t forget the free lorikeet feeding every day at 8 am and 4 pm out the front. A must is the evening Yanguwah Aboriginal cultural show.

Tickets to the Sanctuary can be pre-purchased here.

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 at Sea World.

OR, even stay at Sea World Resort and have your private Dolphin Discovery presentation. It’s a great Gold Coast attraction for kids.

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. The Australian Outback Show includes a themed dinner. It’s a unique thing to do in the Gold Coast for families.

Get your Outback Spectacular tickets here.

5. Cruise over to Tangalooma Island Resort

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

It’s one of our favourite things to do in the Gold Coast and is a definite must if looking for a Brisbane getaway. 

6. Dreamworld

Dreamworld is one of the most popular things to do in the Gold Coast for families.

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.

 If you’re planning on visiting Dreamworld, Whitewater world or the SkyPoint Observation deck, yTravel readers can get a 10% discount by purchasing your tickets via this link. 
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. This is the thing to do for families on those hot Gold Coast days.

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! Read more here

You can get your Gold Coast theme park for Movie World, Sea World and Wet and Wild here through Viator

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.

You can read more about our stay at Binna Burra Lodge and the flying fox experience. Don’t miss the flying fox at O’Reilly’s either

14. Quad Biking

Get some action on 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 these 4 Gold Coast walks.

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. Check out the best playgrounds on the Gold Coast and Best BBQ areas on the Gold Coast.

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. Our kids love going here!

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. Book your skydive here.

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.

Plan Your Trip to the Gold Coast

We’ve been traveling consistently for 17 years and have come to rely on a few trusted websites that save us money and time when booking accommodation, flights and car rental. Below are our preferred partners:

Accommodation on the Gold Coast

  • Booking.com has 700,000+ hotels, apartments and hostels worldwide. You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.

Flights to the Gold Coast

  • Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you find your best deal, book directly through the airline (no extra fees).

Car Rental on the Gold Coast

  • RentalCars.com is the world’s biggest car rental booking service that compares all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar.
  • For transport to and from the airport and various locations try Con-x-ion shuttles. We use them all the time to go to Brisbane airport and they’re great. Book your tickets here

Read more Gold Coast posts here.

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Our list of 28 things to do on the Gold Coast for families has activities and adventure for kids (and parents) of all tastes and all ages.upda