Play Where You Stay On The Gold Coast

Play Where You Stay On The Gold Coast

12 May 2021

It's easy to get excited when planning a trip to the Gold Coast. But with so much to see it can get busy and before you know it, you need a holiday from your holiday! So if you're truly seeking some R and R as well as whole lot of fun, there's nothing quite like accommodation that allows you to play where you stay.

Think hotels with kids clubs and entertainment, or holiday parks that offer water slides as well. If you're dreaming of an easy breezy holiday for you and the family, we've scoped out some of Gold Coast's best accommodation where you can stay and have plenty of fun without even setting foot outside the premises. Now that’s what we call a holiday! 


This beautiful hinterland retreat is only an hour’s drive away from Broadbeach, but a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Perfect if you need a breather. And even better, it provides boutique accommodation and a whole raft of adventure activities all in one spot. So settle in because you won’t need to go far at all to find the perfect balance of action and relaxin’.

Cedar Creek Lodges is located in 114 hectares of sublime, subtropical rainforest and open woodlands alongside Tamborine National Park. You can stay in stylish, architecturally designed, self-contained lodges and 2,3 or 4 bedroom holiday cabins. Or embrace nature and opt for a glamping experience in the brand new Lotus Tents, complete with an ensuite where you can shower under the stars. The onsite restaurant and kiosk will keep you well fed during your stay.


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A post shared by Where Adventure Joins Nature (@thunderbirdpark)

As far as activities go, the whole family will be spoilt for choice. There are walking tracks to explore and rock pools to swim in. Plus, take your pick from; Treetop Challenge high ropes course – Canyon Flyer zipline – Guided horse trail rides – Laser skirmish in the rainforest – Mini golf – Pedal boats and bikes – 4WD buggy rides – Pony rides and alpaca patting – Pickleball – Crystal panning.

Book a Family Experience package which includes two nights accommodation with breakfast included, plus family passes to three of the activities.


When the kids are happy, the parents are happy. That’s the philosophy at Paradise Resort and this mecca of family-friendly fun definitely delivers. While it’s located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, close to many local attractions and a beautiful beach, you could spend a very enjoyable few days without ever leaving the resort.

play where you stay

Get ready to drop and run! For parents who need a break, this place is literally paradise. There’s a water park, ice rink and kids club under one roof. This means you can take a nap, read a book or go for a romantic walk on the beach together while your little ones are having so much fun, they won’t even notice you’re gone. Choose from a smorgasbord of awesome activities including; Ice skating rink – Laser tag – Ball pit – Jungle gym – Dunk tanks – Games room – Water park – Lagoon – Rock climbing – Mini train rides.

Then there’s the  Kids’ Club with an activities program to entertain and engage kids of every age. Think pyjama parties, disco nights and arts and crafts. For something the whole family can enjoy, check out poolside movies, family bingo plus a range of live entertainment.

There are four different restaurants in Paradise Resort  serving up kid-friendly food plus a mini mart so you don’t even need to leave for a meal if you prefer to stay put. Check out Paradise Resort’s Family Escape Package, which includes daily continental breakfast for all guests, a $50 food and beverage voucher, two ice skating passes, a complimentary Kids Club session per child.


The restorative powers of nature will work their wonders during a stay at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. The special spot, nestled in the pristine rainforest of Lamington National Park has welcomed visitors to escape, experience and connect with the natural world for over 95 years. And it’s still run by passionate third-generation O’Reilly family members whose ancestors pioneered eco tourism in Australia.

Book a self-contained villa and you could easily spend the whole day in your spa on the deck, letting your stress melt away as you soak up the view. The brand new campground provides powered sites for tents and campervans as well as on-site safari tents. They all come with the use of the communal camp kitchen and fire pit with stunning views across the surrounding mountains and valleys.


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While many enjoy the slower pace of O’Reilly’s there’s no shortage of activities, attractions and things to do while you’re here and you’ll be able play where you stay all day. Choose from; Birds of Prey showWildlife encounters – Flying Fox AdventureGlow worm experience – Billy Tea history tour – Segway Safari – 4WD tour – Guided walks – Eco Rangers holiday program – Tree top walk – Daily bird feeding – Early morning bird walk – Infinity pool – Lost World day spa.

After a day working up an appetite, you can dine on homemade pizzas in the Rainforest Bar with stunning sunset views, or opt for a gourmet meal in the dining room, with matching wines from nearby vineyards. There’s a café and mini mart for your morning coffee and supplies so you can stay at O’Reilly’s (and away from reality!) for a good stretch of time.


How does this sound for the perfect “day off” from your action-packed holiday. You wake up in your villa and head to the pool with your family. You set up shop at a poolside cabana with your favourite magazine and a perfectly brewed coffee, alternating between taking dips in the pool, reading and relaxing. The kids hit the waterpark, running up stairs and riding down slides until lunch time. Then you order lunch from the onsite restaurant serving up a fresh, delicious family menu. The kids want to see the goat, donkey and ducklings at the petting zoo and then ride the pedal cars around the park for an hour before heading back to the pool until evening, which is the ideal time when you order your cocktail sundowner. 


Big 4 Gold Coast Holiday Park creates exactly this sort of stay for their guests and it’s the ideal place to call home base if you’re hoping for a day of rest. This park is very popular for its proximity to the three major theme parks, and if you’ve done them all, you’ll definitely appreciate a break from all the action.

With excellent facilities,  a whole host of fun activities and an onsite alfresco restaurant, it’s a no brainer for families to check in stat! Their water park is the tallest play structure in any holiday park in the Southern Hemisphere! It’s also dog friendly with accommodation, a park and an obstacle course for your furry friend. Here’s taste of what’s on offer at Big 4 Gold Coast Holiday Park: Water park – Resort pool – Jumping pillow – Pedal bikes – Petting zoo – Foot pool (a cross between pool and soccer) – Bocce – Off road remote control car track – School holiday activities.


When your resort is right next to one of Australia’s favourite theme parks, it’s safe to say that running out of things to do won’t be a problem. While a day exploring Sea World’s exciting rides, animal encounters, exhibits, shows and presentations is more than enough to make any kid’s day, a stay at the resort means extra helpings of fun.

Some members of the family (namely parents and little ones) might be tuckered out by the day’s end, but kids of a certain age never seem to run out of energy. Sea World Resort caters for all. While mums and dads can grab a sun lounge by the pool, kids can keep swimming in the 50m lagoon under the watchful eyes of lifeguards.

sea world familyWhen meal time comes, you can take your pick from six different onsite dining venues or room service. Another bonus? It’s reassuring to know that if someone starts having a melt down after dinner (we’re looking at you, 3-year-olds!) you can be back at your room getting bedtime underway within minutes!

Here’s a quick list of everything on offer at this one-stop-shop for the perfect family holiday; – Kids club (movie theatre, games and activities) – LED Lightshow and musical fountain – Daily meet and greet with Spongebob or Dora the Explorer – Lagoon pool and heated spa – Massage and beauty salon – Hatsuhana Japanese Restaurant – Shoreline Restaurant – Lobby Lounge – Melrose Italian – Boatshed Bar & Grill – Waterfall Cafe – Sea World Cruises – Helicopter tour.


Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park offers campsites, villas and lodges mere metres away from the crystal clear waters of Tallebudgera Creek. This picturesque waterway was voted Australia’s Best Swimming Spot in Wotif’s 2019 Uniquely Aussie Awards.

It’s a beautiful spot to stay whether you’re on a couples camping holiday or hanging with your family. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood to chill out or charge full steam ahead, there’s a long list of things to do here. Strictly speaking, some of these activities are outside the park, but they’re all within a five minute walk from your accommodation.

tally tourist park

Onsite, there’s plenty of fun to be had with a packed calendar of events and activities put on by the Tourist Park. Movies Under the Stars on Friday nights and Sunset Trivia every Saturday afternoon. You’ll also be able to enjoy the facilities including; Swimming pools – Tennis courts – Playground – Recreation room – Peddle carts – Water sports hire – Fitness classes – Food truck.

The beautiful creek itself is the main attraction here, perfect for all kinds of water activities whether you want to bask on the beach, SUP, splash in the shallows or explore it by boat. No judgement here  if you ignore all the other options and remain creek side for your entire stay!

Looking for a bargain on Gold Coast accommodation or attractions ? Take advantage of our Winter Holiday Deals now!

Kate Veling
Kate Veling

Travel writer, Kate Veling, came to the Gold Coast for six months and loved it so much she’s still here 20 years later. The laidback lifestyle suits her to a tee and as a mum of three, she knows all the best parks, swimming spots and kid-friendly fun to be had in her ‘hood. She’s often found getting amongst the thriving local arts and culture scene, dancing to live music or kicking back on the beach, but rest assured it’s all in the name of research.


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.