Ok holiday planners, we’ve pulled together a list of 20 ways to impress the kids on just how darn cool you are at bringing the goods when you next visit the GC. Take a gander at these itinerary inclusions and click on through for easy bookings. And because some days are made for amped up activities and others are needed for deep breaths and wonder; we’ve split the list into City Fun: for urban gung-ho goodness; and Nature Inspired: for natural open-air adventures.
SURFERS PARADISE ATTRACTIONS
Think about making a list before you hit Cavill Mall because it’s jam-packed with stuff to do. Bend your mind with special effects and illusions at Infinity, some good ol’ fashioned games (remember whack-a-mole?) at Timezone, or leap into simulated skydiving at iFly – less daunting than the real thing and hilarious to watch. For those in shopping mode there are plenty of bargains, and hungry peeps can choose from a smorgasbord of food options. Families call this place paradise for a reason.
HIT THE THEME PARKS
What kid doesn’t love a water park? If yours is excited by near-vertical drops, high-speed plunges and turbulent, side-winding slidin’ then Wet’n’Wild dishes up all of the above. More sedate offspring can splash about in the wave pool, hit a stack of smaller (but still fun) slides and do laps in a tube around the lazy river at Calypso Bay. Settle in for the day, spring for a private cabana if you can stretch the budget and get wet (and maybe just a little bit wild).
FEAST YOUR WAY AROUND THE WORLD
Food, glorious food-truck food! You’ll be totally spoiled for choice at Nightquarter, the northern Gold Coast’s answer to the food-truck-festival-fever that’s been sweeping locals off their feet. Scrumptious food from around the globe (we bet you get lost down Tapas Lane), craft beers, market stalls and live entertainment every weekend means Nightquarter has something for every family member. Just try to get out of here without gorging on sticky ribs and funnel cakes. We’ve tried, and failed.
GAME ON AT GAME OVER
Kids can shift into overdrive and prepare to out-lap and out-drive their friends (and their parents) on this epic indoor Grand Prix Karting track. Raining outside? Who cares when you can take a few fast laps aboard electric go-karts with more torque than you’ll know what to do with. Take a drive down victory lane then conquer 16 indoor rock climbing challenges and battle it out – laser tag style – in a 300 square metre post-apocalyptic arena. It’s definitely ‘game on’ at Game Over.
DADDY MAC WILL MAKE YOU JUMP, JUMP
A warehouse chock full of wall-to-wall trampolines? Not too many kids we know would say no to a session at Bounce. At this epic trampoline park in Burleigh your kids can jump, flip, somersault, slam dunk and take on the X-Park obstacle course until they’re red-faced and begging for rainbow slushies. Meanwhile you can chill in the café and viewing area – or join them on the bouncy mats if you’re brave.
PAT A KITTY CAT AT THE CRAZY CAT CAFE
For a purrfect start to the day, order a mocha latte and pat a kitty cat at the Crazy Cat Café. We’re not kidding, this café in Surfers Paradise has 16 resident cats you can pat and play with while you enjoy a delicious morning tea. Cuddle a cute kitten or just enjoy a coffee in this quirky café where felines rule. Meow.
GO BAREFOOT ON THE GREENS
Lawn bowls isn’t just for the oldies. Treat the whole clan to a fun Sunday session of barefoot bowls at Burleigh Heads Bowls Club. Add a burger and a bucket of chips, live entertainment and Burleigh’s ubiquitous beachside vibes (and maybe a few ice cold schnooners for the ‘rents) and you’ve got a cracking Sunday afternoon sorted.
SKATE ON (NOT SO) THIN ICE
Fancy yourself as a bit of a figure skater? Then this is your chance to be as cool as ice (so long as you don’t stack it) and join the kids for an ice skating session at Iceland in Bundall. There’s a full-sized arena, skates (and helmets) for hire, plenty of hot chocolate and it’s actually easier than it looks – especially once you’re swept up in the lights, music and slightly alarming sight of the kids whizzing past you, like balance isn’t even an issue.
CLEAR SKIES, HOT PIES, TITAN TRIES
Take your mini-sports fans to Cbus Super Stadium for a Gold Coast Titans home game – and get cheering! Even if our Titans are defeated, the kids are winners with pre-game and half time entertainment, a fun fan zone and post-game kick-to-kick on the field to keep them entertained. Throw in some footy food and a challenge to stalk ‘Blade’ (the Titans mascot) for a selfie and you’ve got yourself a great family night out.
LET MY HOLIDAY CONCIERGE SORT YOU OUT
Imagine your dream family holiday chock-full of amazing experiences, delectable dining and comfortable, convenient accommodation to boot. Now imagine someone else researching, organising and booking it all for you. This is where My Holiday Concierge comes in, my friend. They’ll take your vision of the perfect Gold Coast vacation and make it a reality – why not get a taste of how the other half live? You totally deserve it.
CHUCK 360s ON THE BROADWATER
This ain’t your average Broadwater cruise. We’re talking high speed drifting, 360 degree spins and adrenaline-pumping power slides while strapped into a high-powered, professionally piloted jet boat. Believe us, this is one extreme boat ride. Kids from 4 years old will love beach buzzing and racing wild dolphins while zooming 35km through magnificent Moreton Bay Marine Park. Be sure to catch your breath at some point and soak in the stunning views.
GLIDE DOWN CURRUMBIN CREEK ON STAND UP PADDLEBOARDS
Glassy waters, gleeful kids and a gorgeous outlook – gliding along Currumbin Creek atop an SUP is the perfect mix of sportiness and serenity. Grab a coffee, hire a couple of boards and off you go – stand up paddle boarding is so easy, even we can do it. The calm waters of Currumbin Creek make this a safe and easy half-day out. Choose to stay longer and you’ve got the option of a picnic lunch, walk to the beach or simply sitting, splashing and spending family time together.
LEARN TO SURF
Send your wanna-be surf groms out back to carve up the home break of local surfing heroes Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson. A one-hour surf lesson at world-renowned Snapper Rocks will teach your kids the how-to-surf basics and give them enough confidence to take on the rolling waves in this safe and consistent break known as the Superbank. They’ll be frothing dude, and you get the added bonus of hanging at the coast’s most beautiful beach. Everybody wins.
SADDLE UP PARTNER
Saddle up and head west into the gorgeous green of Numinbah Valley to explore mountains and valleys atop your trusty steed. A half-day trail ride will take you through ‘Yowgurrabah’, a working cattle property set along the Nerang River in an area teeming with wildlife and stunning bush tracks. We’re talking scenic lookouts, river flats, creek crossings, campfires and billy tea. Giddy up!
JELLURGAL CENTRE & TOUR
Discover traditional sites and monuments used by the Yugambah people, nestled throughout Tallebudgera Creek and Burleigh Headland. A tour with the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre covers the incredible history of this sacred area, connecting you with people and place as you trek around the Dreaming Mountain, Jellurgal. Witnessing an Aboriginal dance performance and taking part in an ancient ochre ceremony add to this incredible must-do experience.
SNORKEL WITH TURTLES
If swimming alongside sea turtles is on your bucket list, then it’s time to tick that box. Just a short boat trip off the southern Gold Coast, Cook Island is the perfect place to explore a colourful coral reef, see tropical fish, stingrays and wobbegongs and maybe even befriend a reef shark. And of course, there are the turtles! Join skipper Chris and Marine biologist Crisitiana with kids over five on an amazing up close and educational experience – don’t miss the boat!
COOL OFF AT COUGAL CASCADES
Who knew there was a huge waterfall, crystal clear rock pools and epic natural rock slides this close to the beach? A 20 minute drive and easy 1.6km walk will land you at Cougal Cascades in the Currumbin Valley. You might call it ‘nature’s playground’ – we call it one of our favourite places on the Coast. Pack a picnic and park the family amongst stunning sub-tropical rainforest and while away an afternoon swimming, sliding and basking in the sun. Cougal Cascades is a great daytrip year round – there’s no such thing as winter on the Gold Coast anyway right?
TAKE THE TREETOPS CHALLENGE
Think the Gold Coast is all about sandy beaches? Nope. Head west to Tamborine Mountain and take on the Treetops Challenge. It isn’t for the faint-hearted, but by-jingoes it’s a lot of fun. With different levels of climbing courses, you can choose to stay low to the ground or balance on swinging beams among tree canopies. Taking on adrenaline-pumping treetop climbs and swinging through trees on flying foxes certainly gives you a natural high and a huge sense of accomplishment.
SOAR THROUGH THE RAINFOREST
Conquered the climbing courses? Then next up is the Canyon Flyer – 7 Huge Zip Lines that traverse Cedar Creek Canyon multiple times before dropping into the canyon and flying just above the tree top canopy below. You’ll find yourself climbing sub-tropical rainforest trees and swinging between green canyons on epic zip lines and flying foxes. Intrigued? The thought of flying 60m above the ground and reaching speeds of 70km/hr on a Tarzan-style adventure has us pretty pumped too. Take a few deep breaths; this is going to be amazing!
LIVE THE TROPICAL ISLAND LIFE
Yep, South Stradbroke Island is part of the Gold Coast, and it’s only a quick boat or ferry ride from the bright lights of Surfers Paradise. Breathe in the salty sea breeze on a “deserted island” daytrip to South Straddie – it truly is heaven for families seeking surf, sand, spectacular sunsets, scrumptious seafood and total serenity.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.