gold coast with kids

Gold Coast With Kids

Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of Queensland, Australia, the Gold Coast is a haven for families seeking unforgettable adventures. With its pristine beaches, vibrant attractions, and a myriad of entertainment options, it’s no wonder why the Gold Coast if you’re travelling to Australia with kids. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the best activities, accommodations, and tips for exploring the Gold Coast with kids.

Why Visit Gold Coast With Kids?

Sunshine, sandy beaches, and a vibrant atmosphere make the Gold Coast a haven for families. This haven by the sea boasts a plethora of child-friendly attractions, thrilling theme parks, exciting wildlife encounters, and enough outdoor adventures to keep everyone entertained.

  • Theme Park Paradise: World-renowned theme parks like Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, and Dreamworld offer exhilarating rides, live shows, and character meet-and-greets, guaranteeing smiles from ear to ear.
  • Wildlife Wonders: Get up close to koalas, kangaroos, and a dazzling array of marine life at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Sea Life Sunshine Coast, and Underwater World.
  • Beaches Galore: Build sandcastles, splash in the waves, or learn to surf at the Gold Coast’s pristine beaches. Popular options include Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, and Currumbin Beach.
  • Nature’s Playground: Explore the stunning hinterland with rainforest walks like the Tamborine National Park Glow Worm Tunnel tour.
  • Family-Friendly Activities: From mini golf and bowling to canal cruises and movie nights under the stars, the Gold Coast caters to all ages and interests.

Things To Do in Gold Coast With Kids

  • Theme Parks:
    • Warner Bros. Movie World: Immerse yourselves in the world of DC superheroes and cartoon classics with thrilling rides, character interactions, and live shows.
    • Sea World: Witness awe-inspiring marine life presentations, high-adrenaline rollercoasters, and interactive animal encounters.
    • Dreamworld: Experience heart-pounding rides, exciting live shows, and the iconic “Big Brother” experience (subject to availability).
  • Wildlife Encounters:
    • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: See iconic Australian animals like koalas, kangaroos, and cassowaries in a natural setting. Witness exciting bird shows and participate in interactive animal feeding experiences.
    • Sea Life Sunshine Coast: Immerse yourselves in an underwater wonderland with vibrant coral reefs, playful penguins, and fascinating sharks. Learn about ocean conservation efforts.
    • Underwater World: Explore a captivating underwater tunnel with a diverse array of marine life, from rays and sharks to colorful fish species.
  • Outdoor Adventures:
    • Tamborine National Park Glow Worm Tunnel Tour: Embark on a magical guided tour through a natural rainforest tunnel illuminated by millions of glowing worms.
    • Moreton Island Day Trip: Take a ferry to Moreton Island for a day of sandboarding down giant sand dunes, exploring shipwrecks, and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.
    • Currumbin Beach: Learn to surf with a professional instructor at this popular beach with gentle waves and dedicated learning areas for beginners.

Best Places To Visit in Gold Coast With Kids

  • Surfers Paradise: The heart of the Gold Coast offers iconic beaches, a vibrant nightlife scene (perfect for a date night!), and family-friendly entertainment options like Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Infinity.
  • Broadbeach: Experience a sophisticated beachside atmosphere with luxurious resorts, high-end shopping, and family-friendly attractions like the Kurrawa Surf Club (home to the annual Surf Lifesaving Australia Championships).
  • Main Beach: This centrally located beach offers pristine sands, calm waters perfect for families with young children, and a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a picnic lunch or rent bikes to explore the scenic coastline.
  • Currumbin: Immerse yourselves in nature at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and Currumbin Beach. Explore the Currumbin Rock Pools at low tide to discover a diverse range of sea creatures hiding amongst the rocks.
  • Tamborine Mountain: Escape the coastal heat and explore the lush rainforest of Tamborine National Park. Visit the Glow Worm Tunnel, explore the Thunderbird Park zipline course, or indulge in delicious treats at the local cafes and wineries.

Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Gold Coast

Choosing the perfect neighborhood for your Gold Coast family vacation depends on your priorities. Here are some popular options:

  • Surfers Paradise: The heart of the action, Surfers Paradise offers high-rise apartments, beachfront hotels, and proximity to theme parks and nightlife. Ideal for families who enjoy a bustling atmosphere.
  • Broadbeach: Experience a more sophisticated vibe with luxurious resorts, upscale shopping, and family-friendly attractions within walking distance. Perfect for those seeking a balance between relaxation and entertainment.
  • Main Beach: A central location with a relaxed atmosphere, Main Beach offers beachfront accommodation, calm waters for young children, and easy access to theme parks and attractions.
  • Currumbin: Immerse yourselves in nature with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and Currumbin Beach nearby. Choose from beachfront apartments or holiday parks with a laid-back vibe.
  • Paradise Point: This quieter enclave offers a relaxed atmosphere, beautiful canals, and easy access to Sea World. Ideal for families seeking a peaceful escape close to the action.

Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast boasts a variety of family-friendly hotels catering to different budgets and needs. Here are some top picks:

  • Voco Gold Coast (formerly The Palazzo Versace): Luxurious hotel with multiple pools, a water slide, a kids club, and themed character breakfasts.
  • Sea World Resort & Waterpark: Stay steps away from Sea World’s marine wonders and enjoy access to the resort’s water park facilities.
  • Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel & Residences: Spacious, ocean-view apartments with a swimming pool, a kids club, and easy access to the beach and attractions.
  • Mantra Circle on Cavill: Centrally located apartments with a rooftop pool, games room, and close proximity to Surfers Paradise attractions.
  • RACV Royal Pines Resort: Set amidst a championship golf course, this resort offers a variety of pools, a water park, mini golf, and a kids club, perfect for active families.

Best Time to Visit Gold Coast

The Gold Coast enjoys a subtropical climate with warm weather year-round. However, the best time to visit depends on your preferences:

  • Spring (September – November): Pleasant weather with fewer crowds and lower accommodation rates. Ideal for exploring the outdoors and avoiding peak season prices.
  • Summer (December – February): Hot weather with long sunny days, perfect for enjoying the beaches and water parks. Expect larger crowds and higher prices.
  • Autumn (March – May): Comfortable temperatures with fewer crowds compared to summer. Enjoy outdoor activities without the intense heat.
  • Winter (June – August): Mild temperatures with occasional rain showers. Theme parks and attractions may have shorter operating hours, but you’ll find the best deals on accommodation during this time.

How Long to Stay in Gold Coast

The ideal length of your Gold Coast family vacation depends on your interests and the number of activities you want to pack in. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Short Break (3-4 days): Perfect for a quick getaway to experience the highlights like a theme park visit, a day at the beach, and a wildlife encounter.
  • Family Adventure (5-7 days): Allows you to explore a wider range of attractions, including theme parks, outdoor adventures, and wildlife encounters. Spend a relaxing day at the beach and enjoy some evenings exploring the vibrant nightlife scene (parents only!).
  • Extended Escape (10+ days): Ideal for families seeking a truly immersive experience. Explore all corners of the Gold Coast, from the beaches and rainforests to the hinterland and various suburbs. Take day trips to nearby destinations and unwind at your chosen pace.

Gold Coast Family Itinerary (Sample 4-Day Itinerary)

Day 1: Arrive in Gold Coast, check into your hotel, and enjoy some afternoon fun at Surfers Paradise Beach. In the evening, explore the vibrant nightlife scene (parents only!) or catch a family-friendly movie under the stars.

Day 2: Spend a thrilling day at Warner Bros. Movie World, meeting your favorite superheroes and experiencing exhilarating rides and shows.

Day 3: Immerse yourselves in nature at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Witness iconic Australian wildlife, participate in interactive animal encounters, and explore the Currumbin Rock Pools at low tide.

Day 4: Relax on the pristine sands of Main Beach, enjoy a picnic lunch, and build sandcastles with the kids. In the afternoon, take a scenic canal cruise and discover the hidden waterways of the Gold Coast.

Getting Around Gold Coast

Navigating the Gold Coast with kids is a breeze with a variety of convenient transportation options:

  • Public Transport: The Gold Coast boasts a reliable public transport system with light rail trams, buses, and ferries. Purchase a “go explore” pass for unlimited travel on buses, trams, and the theme park express services.
  • Taxis & Ridesharing: Taxis and ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are readily available throughout the Gold Coast, offering a convenient door-to-door option.
  • Car Rental: Renting a car provides flexibility and allows you to explore beyond the main tourist hubs. However, keep in mind parking costs, especially in popular areas like Surfers Paradise.
  • Bicycle: The Gold Coast has a network of designated bike paths, making it a great way to explore the beaches, parks, and canals. Bike rentals are available at various locations.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Gold Coast Family Holiday

  • Pack for all weather conditions: The Gold Coast experiences a subtropical climate with warm weather year-round. However, it’s wise to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses for sunny days, as well as a light rain jacket for occasional showers.
  • Purchase a “go explore” pass: This pass provides unlimited travel on buses, trams, and the theme park express services, saving you money on transportation costs.
  • Book theme park tickets in advance: Especially during peak season, purchasing theme park tickets online beforehand ensures you secure your spot and avoid queues at the ticket booths.
  • Take advantage of free activities: The Gold Coast offers a plethora of free activities, including exploring the beaches, picnicking in parks, and attending family-friendly events.
  • Embrace the outdoors: From swimming and surfing to hiking and exploring national parks, the Gold Coast offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
  • Relax and unwind: Don’t overschedule your itinerary. Allow time for relaxation and spontaneous exploration to create lasting memories with your family.

The Gold Coast, with its theme parks, stunning beaches, and exciting wildlife encounters, promises an unforgettable family vacation. This ultimate guide has equipped you with the essential information to plan your dream Gold Coast getaway with your kids. From choosing the perfect neighborhood to navigating transportation and packing for the weather, you’re now all set to create lasting memories in this vibrant and family-friendly destination. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for a Gold Coast adventure!