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Plan the ultimate family beach holiday in Australia with the best things to do on the Gold Coast with kids. We share the must-do Gold Coast attractions, experiences and sights to make your stay a memorable one!
The Gold Coast is one of the hottest holiday hot spots in Queensland, bringing in all types of travellers to the beautiful golden beaches, the attractions and the laid back Aussie vibe! It’s also an incredible destination for a family holiday!
Just over an hour from home for us, we visit the Gold Coast often and our kids adore our day trips or mini-breaks.. because they usually mean fun packed adventures and great memory making! The Gold Coast is home to most of Australia’s theme parks as well, which is always a big hit with kids!
Plus late last year we were invited to put together some articles for the Gold Coast Tourism – Inside Stories series on their website, which gave us a chance to experience even more incredible attractions to one of our favourite day trip destinations!
1 – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
We love animals in our family and most other kids do too so a great experience on the Gold Coast with kids is a visit to one of the wildlife attractions. One of the most popular is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, which we have been visiting since we were kids.
A huge range of native Australian animals, playgrounds and kid-friendly zones all around the sanctuary and the opportunity to get up close with different animals.
One of the stand-out experiences is the bird feeding sessions which are at certain times of the day so check the website for details. Great fun and an easy way to spend a few hours to a whole day!
2 – Visit the Beach
This is a bit of an obvious one but seriously… if you’re in Queensland and you’re visiting the Gold Coast, with or without kids, you need to visit one of the famous beaches.
There is an incredible coastline along eastern Australia and the Gold Coast has some stunning beaches. If the weather is warm, go for a swim in one of the many lifeguard approved areas – Main Beach, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta or one of the many other popular swim spots.
Or simply enjoy some fun in the sand, building sandcastles or throwing a frisbee. Don’t forget the sunscreen and hat though!!
Each of them caters to all ages, with attractions for the younger kids who might not be old enough to go on rides yet, low thrill rides plus the crazy stuff for big kids and adults too! They are an easy full day of fun each with shows, character meet and greets and animals too.
Depending on what you enjoy most will help you decide which to choose if you only have time for one, however, there are plenty of cheap tickets available online for single or multi-park entry, or annual passes if you are local and want to visit often.
We usually have an annual pass to one of them and even a few trips a year make it well worth the value! Our kids love theme parks!
4 – Water Parks
Of course, the Gold Coast is popular for great weather most of the year with Queensland being in a warmer part of Australia. This means water parks are also a popular alternative to traditional theme parks.
Seaworld does incorporate a bit of both, however, if you are looking for a larger water park experience, there are Wet n Wild and White Water World on the Gold Coast too. Wet n Wild is located next to Movieworld and White Water World is actually on the same site as Dreamworld so if you have an annual pass to Dreamworld, you can use it for both parks! Good fun!
Plus they are heated during the winter months so you can still go when the weather isn’t so hot anyway! Both have wade pools and younger kid areas plus plenty of more thrilling water slides too!
5 – Visit Mt Tamborine
If you’re looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of busy Surfers Paradise, the hub of Gold Coast activity, the Gold Coast Hinterland and Mt Tamborine are a great alternative.
The Mt Tamborine Skywalk takes you on an elevated trail through the rainforest with amazing views and nature.
Plus it means you are in the perfect spot to explore the rest of Mt Tamborine such as the cool Glow Worm Caves tour and to try out some of the great food in the area. They have great cheese!
6 – Stay at a Kid-Friendly Resort
Sometimes you don’t even need to go far to have an incredible holiday and the Gold Coast happens to be home to two of our all time favourite kid friendly resorts!
Seaworld Resort is right next door to Seaworld theme park and accommodation packages often include entry into theme parks too, with a monorail coming right to the resort to take you across to the park. Plus there are character visits in the morning, special VIP access to an early morning dolphin show and a cool mini water park and playgrounds in the resort! We have stayed here 3 times and love it!
Check out a video from our latest stay:
However Paradise Resort is a strong contender and has so much to do at the resort that you don’t really need to go anywhere else! Pools, two water playgrounds with slides and a tipping bucket and more.
Everything in the resort has been designed with families in mind. You also get a free daily session per child to the kids club which is so much fun. You will want to stay a few days!
If you have bigger kids who love a bit of thrill-seeking, go-karts are often a great choice! Slideways Go Karting has a huge indoor track for adults and older kids but they also have a mini karting track too – the Slideways Junior Karting Academy.
They teach kids go-karting basics and run sessions twice a week. You can check their website to learn more about when the younger kid sessions are held or to book in.
8 – Explore the Currumbin Rock Pools
Kids love to learn and experience new things and the Currumbin Rock pools are a great place to take them for some discovery. The pools formed from ocean water sometimes reveal some interesting sea creatures and can be great fun to explore together.
Plus there is a playground across the road and an area nearby for swimming too.
9 – Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium
If you’re looking for something a bit unique that will give the kids plenty to talk about when they go back to school, a visit to the Odditorium is a perfect choice!
You will learn some crazy facts, see some freaky things and have a lot of laughs while you’re at it! Younger kids may find some of it a little creepy but school-age kids will love it!
10 – Enjoy the Playgrounds
There are so many playgrounds and parks around the Gold Coast that you will have no shortage of places to explore. Some of our favourites are the Broadwater Parklands in Southport, directly across from Australia Fair Shopping Centre, with a jumping pillow, bike tracks and heaps of other cool things.
And Palm Beach Parklands with their pirate-ship themed playground and surrounding picnic and BBQ areas, however, if you drive around you are sure to find plenty of other great playgrounds and family fun areas all around the Gold Coast!
There is so much to do on the Gold Coast with kids, well beyond our top 10 recommendations. Adventure is around every corner and there will be something to suit every member of your family during your Gold Coast visit! It is a fantastic place to take kids and one that will have them talking long after they leave!