Can you believe how quickly Easter holidays come around? With hot cross buns, comes time to plan your next getaway – we can hear the first pumping from here. If you chilled at home over Chrissy, why not treat your tribe to a well deserved holiday in a location that families love to play? But first, you will need a place to stay, but it has to be one that ticks all the right boxes, so we have rounded up five of our local faves to get your Gold Coast holiday planning sorted.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Chances are, if you’re a parent, you have already heard of Paradise Resort. Well, meet its stunning new sister The Ruby Collective, located right alongside and sharing facilities with its multi-award winning sibling. Prepare to call Ruby your new favourite colour as you sweep through the self check in, pick up essential supplies in the thoughtfully stocked pantry, wine and dine in the restaurant, chill by the bar and even order pizza poolside – if you can drag the kids out of the pool. And the rooms are next level, literally – rising high into the sky to pick up sea views and sumptuously decorated with the kind of furniture you would be thrilled to have at home in one, two and three bedroom apartment configurations, villas and even sky-homes. Kids will be in their element with the waterpark right next door, kids club, a range of dizzying activities to choose from, and a pretty cute huggable bear called William that can bust a mean dab but also out-floss just about anyone.
STAY AND PLAY
When it comes to an all inclusive family holiday experience, you can’t beat Sea World where you can stay right next door to all the aquatic action. Australia’s only theme park resort, SeaWorld will delight every member of the fam bam with a menagerie of loveable residents plus a host of rides and shows. If you have older kids in tow (14 plus) consider enlisting them as a dolphin trainer for a day, or for the littles, a dolphin encounter where they will enjoy a game of splash with one of the friendly locals. For rides, the newest to conquer is the Storm Coaster, the biggest roller coaster ride in the park. And for transport – a fun monorail ride from the resort straight to the park. Rooms are spacious and designed for families, with some offering bedding for up to nine guests! Packages are available for a stay and play at all three theme parks to include Sea World, Movie World and Wet n’ Wild too. Your kids will thank you for this one.
FAMILY ALL STAR
A perennial favourite with families that have been visiting the Gold Coast for decades is Turtle Beach Resort at equally idyllic Mermaid Beach. Located a stones throw from some of the best beaches the Gold Coast has to offer, but prepare to wrestle your kids out of the pool if you crave beach time, because this place rocks some serious cred in the water play park league and chances are – once in, they will want to stay. With two pool areas, and slides for different levels of waders, kids can enjoy a right royal dumping by the giant bucket, but also a bit of quiet time in the shallows too. For the parents, there is a well stocked cafe/restaurant that hovers above the splash zones, so you can watch the kids play while you relax with something to eat and, because you are on hols, a nice glass of wine, beer or why not a cocktail? Rooms are spacious apartments but don’t expect to be spending much time inside, the kids will make new friends, beg to go to the kids club everyday and even at night when the disco floor opens or the movie sessions starts.
THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING
While most will immediately think about a beach holiday when the Gold Coast is mentioned – did you know we also have some pretty epic mountain retreats where families can try a greener stay too? O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat sits amidst the spectacular World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, just 90 minutes drive from the Gold Coast. With spacious one, two and three bedroom villas, perfect for families that overlook majestic McPherson Range, there is also a choice of activities to suit families of all ages and preferences. The kids will love meeting the bounty of resident feathered and furry friends, and can join daily activities (both paid and free) that offer bird feeding, birds of prey and wildlife encounters, and even a chance to join the eco ranger program. Parents can drift off at the Lost World Day Spa and relax in the infinity edge pool overlooking the Lost Valley below, or take a guided walk through the National Park’s stunning surrounds. Rejoin the kids for a tree top walk, a thrilling glide on the flying fox, join a Segway adventure or take a walk to see how many waterfalls you can spot (hint – there are over 500 in and around 360 kilometres of bush trails) so that should keep everyone busy for days.
Rapidly gaining popularity as the quintessential spot to park your family on the sand for the summer, Coolangatta’s easy beach vibe, surf village culture and proximity to the Coolangatta Airport makes this a holiday you can enjoy almost as soon as you hop off the plane. Mums and Dads who surf will love joining the line up out at Snapper Rocks, or take the kids to town to shop, sip, SUP and explore the beachside streets brimming with unique local stores, artists and finds. For somewhere as close to the sand as it gets, Oaks Calypso Plaza is set on sprawling beachside grounds overlooking Greenmount beach, and is an easy walk to everywhere Coolie. This spacious, family inspired resort provides self-contained convenience with one, two and three bedroom apartments available. The big draw card is the waterslide. It is easy to ride in comparison to others on the Gold Coast and spills into a large lagoon-shaped pool complete with an adjacent, shallow wading area that is perfect for little swimmers starting out. The grassed areas near the pool also provide an idyllic spot to catch cooling sea breezes, so throw down a picnic rug, grab some fresh fish and chips nearby and just hang by the pool during the heat of the day, and then wander over to the beach when it wanes – the true definition of Gold Coast summer.