Whether you’re in the midst of a little last-minute planning for the summer school holidays (no judgment here), or getting in early for the New Year, the Gold Coast is the perfect destination for your next family vaycay, with a host of kid-friendly activities and experiences on offer. Here are a few ideas to inspire your next trip.
WILD SKIES BIRD SHOW AT CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
If you’re a nature lover with a penchant for the flying kind, then you’ll love Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s newest spectacle, Wild Skies Free Flight Bird Show, launching on 1 January, 2019. Kicking off the New Year in style, CWS’s new family attraction will showcase an array of exotic and native birds displaying their flying talents in a purpose-built arena. From pelicans to owls, parrots, macaws and wedge-tailed eagles, you’ll be captivated by the beauty, stretch and wing-span of these spectacular birds. After the show, make a day of it and visit the Sanctuary’s other friendly residents – like kangaroos, koalas, dingoes and salt-water crocs.
O’REILLY’S ECO RANGER PROGRAM
Sometimes parents need a holiday from a holiday – and maybe a spa treatment or two. So let the staff at O’Reilly’s Eco Ranger Program keep your kids entertained as they conquer challenges and explore their way through trees, creeks and streams in the World Heritage Listed Lamington National Park, while you indulge in a little R&R at the Resort’s Lost World Spa. Your little ones will learn about the history and habitat of the park with this hands-on fun race, while you can kick back and soak up the peaceful hinterland vibes, knowing that your youngsters are in good hands (and having a ball!).
MOUNTAIN VIEW ALPACA FARM
Another ‘must’ on the grounds of O’Reilly’s is the Mountain Alpaca Farm, so be sure to add this to your hinterland itinerary – I mean, how can you say no to those cute, furry faces? You can hand-feed the animals or take a walk around the vineyard for 15, 30 or 60 minutes. You can even co-ordinate your alpaca time with a vineyard picnic basket, breakfast hamper or a bottle of wine – so civilized, right?!
SKY VOYAGER AT DREAMWORLD
We’re pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to family-friendly entertainment ‘round here, and our theme parks are no exception, launching thrilling new attractions regularly. In its latest venture, Sky Voyager, Dreamworld will be taking guests above and beyond with a new $17 million, 10-seat gondola flying simulator. A first in the southern hemisphere – this flight will take you high above the sand of Surfers Paradise, floating in a hot air balloon over the Barossa Valley’s verdant vineyards, and soaring over the iconic Sydney Harbour – so strap in folks, this will be a ride to remember.
OUTDOOR CINEMA BURLEIGH BREWING
If the parents are craving a night out on their own, call a babysitter, order an Uber and head to Burleigh Brewing’s open-air cinema. Catch a flick on the last Thursday of every month at 7pm (gates open at 6pm) and enjoy a date night with a difference under the stars. This place is a brewery after all, so you’d expect there’d be a pretty decent selection of brews on tap – and we can confirm, you’ve got 12 craft beers to choose from, plus wine by the glass, soft beverages and popcorn, too. So settle in for a night of child-free entertainment at one of the Coast’s most popular watering holes.
AQUAMAN THE EXHIBITION
If the kids love superheroes like Aquaman, and mum loves actors like Jason Momoa (if you don’t know who we’re talking about Google him immediately), then the new Aquaman – The Exhibition at Warner Bros. Movie World is a must-stop on your Gold Coast holiday tour. Featuring set pieces, props and costumes worn by the stars of the blockbuster motion picture (we’re talking Amber Heard and Nicole Kidman), plus the opportunity to step inside the underwater world of Aquaman and have your pic taken in front of a green screen, this exclusive exhibit is only around for a limited time, so dive in while you’ve got the chance.
HIT THE BEACH
A trip to the Coast isn’t complete without a visit to the beach, and we have over 50 kilometres of coastline to explore, so before you fly out, be sure to don the bikinis, boardies and rashies – it’s time to get wet. Try Greenmount and Kirra in the south, Tallebudgera Creek for flat-water fun, or The Spit in the north; all offering calm swimming conditions for families. And if you’re into a little water adventure, why not book into a Paradise Stand-Up Paddle-Board Tour with Go Vertical where you’ll enjoy a guided tour of our gorgeous waterways, and even the chance to spot native bird and marine life along the way.