01 Nov 2017

Did you know kids laugh on average 400 times a day, whereas us parental types manage a measly 15-20? This being said, perhaps it’s time to loosen up mums and dads, and release your inner child on the Gold Coast.

The Coast’s kid cred is already world renowned – theme parks rise from the sand and sea; there are cute, cuddly and roaring wildlife encounters; worlds built entirely for those that bounce; and ice-creameries serving up treats from just about every corner…exhausting, right? Wrong! There IS a way for parents to relax on a Gold Coast holiday and, using these simple holiday hacks, your next family visit is guaranteed to be a tribe pleaser.

But first…book your own private concierge. Before you even arrive, consider enlisting the services of a local, with My Holiday Concierge offering everything from transfers, catering, car seat hire and nannies to ensure your holiday meter is spent in the quality time zone. Don’t want to cook? No problem! Order everything from delicious breakfast hampers, gourmet picnic packs, masseuses, beauty therapists, private chefs and even cooking classes in the comfort of your own private holiday apartment – just say YAAAS.



Parents love a café break as much as kids love a playground; so merge the two in one of the Gold Coast’s most picturesque play zones. Start your day with breakfast by the Broadwater at Café Catalina or grab one to go and let the kids loose at Southport’s Broadwater Parklands’ giant playground. If pirating is more your style, head on down to Palm Beach where you’ll find mums sipping coffee and snacking on healthy options from local Dune Café while kids hit the imaginary high seas aboard their full-size pirate ship – complete with treasure map, binoculars and a mutiny plank for any dastardly deserters! And if you are not quite ready to let your yummy mummy slip on hols, jump into the 30 minute boot camp sesh held every Wednesday morning at 9.00 and 9.30am…


With so many aqua attractions splashed around the Gold Coast, here’s the heads-up on the best beaches for kids. Tallebudgera Creek is where the locals go with littlies in tow, home to crystalline waters, a sandy bottomed lagoon and plenty of shade for afternoon siestas – just don’t forget to pack your picnic or stop on route at creek-side Paddock Bakery for a lunch that’s guaranteed to hit the right spot. For kids a little older and eager to learn, suit up with Currumbin Alley Surf School for a family-friendly surf sesh on some of the best beginner waves, followed by some much-needed refuelling at the Beach Shack Café


Make your way down to the southern end of the Coast, which, in local terms, means Tugun, Kirra and Cooly. Kid-friendly cafes dot pretty beachside streets, while an Insta-famous cat can be found smashing skateboard manoeuvres on the sidewalk and pro surfers can be seen doing daring aerials out on the break. Take a postcard-worthy walk around Greenmount Headland, past Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks and Froggies Beach (look for the green frog painted on the rocks), and when you reach Point Danger, keep a look out for dolphins catching waves and humpback whales cruising on past from June to September. Café D’Bar is high on the hill and a great place for a cheeky vino and cheese plate or a well-earned milkshake and early dinner for the kids.  Watch the sky turn pink on sunset and see the first lights twinkle on the skyline…


Paradise for kids can also mean date-time for parents if you stay at one of the many lodgings offering a kids’ club or  babysitting services. Your kids could be happily wiggling or enjoying a famous PJ party at Paradise Resort while experiencing street style food and enjoying local art. Similarly, Turtle Beach Resort in Mermaid Beach offers a holiday kids’ club for 4-12 year olds, right next to some of the Coast’s best contemporary bars, bolt holes and curated cuisine including Hellenika, Etsu, Cambus Wallace, Little Truffle



For early risers, the Gold Coast’s bustling markets serve up delicious paddock-to-plate inspired breakfasts from 6.00am at Palm Beach, Bundall and Helensvale. Think freshly ground local coffee, just-baked treats, free range bacon and egg butties, and healthy cold pressed juices fresh from carts, cooktops and caravans. For families that prefer a little more jam, The Village Markets, held every second Sunday at Burleigh State School, is where you’ll find the locals mixing chilled-out tracks alongside emerging designers and up-and-coming artists.  Of a night time, Miami Marketta pumps out three sessions a week, complete with food trucks, live entertainment and good times, including a dance stage that will have your kids boogying on down…


Parentals, let the nostalgia kick in, you’re back – and this time you have your little’s in tow. The Gold Coast is home to theme parks galore, now’s the time time to make the most of it. Pick the experiences that best relate to you and your tribe, from rides to cuddles, splashes to shows. Don’t think you’ll be stuck on a park bench when the kids are off on those rides, either – no siree. The parks are brimming with cafes and snack bars serving up sticky treats alongside gourmet eats complete with air con and comfy spaces.

See childhood characters at Movie World; take your little angels to ABC KIDS World at Dreamworld; get giddy about touching sea slugs at Sea World; or lay back and cool off at WhiteWater World and Wet’n’Wild. Each park is different and full of adventure.


Downtime should be celebrated and with so many gorgeous hotels, apartments and villas on the Gold Coast to choose from, why not put the kids to bed early (they should be exhausted by now) and enjoy a night in.  Grab a six pack from one of our local brew houses or a bottle of wine, order in room service or peruse the menus of the very best restaurants in town and order Uber Eats directly to your door. Our Gold Coast lifestyle celebrates the good times, so put your feet up, get cosy on the couch and enjoy this little slice of paradise all to yourselves – you’ve earned it.

Narelle Bouveng
Narelle Bouveng

A local Gold Coast mum and well-travelled Australian travel writer, Narelle has over 21 years’ experience wandering and chooses to call Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast home. A sunrise and sunset regular, you will often find her juggling a coffee and her camera, snapping for her blog and family travel inspired Instagram @alittleatlarge while youngest daughter Tiah frolics alongside.


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.