Take four kids aged eight and under to Sea World on the Gold Coast and they won’t be shy in telling you what the best rides and attractions are. From glass-bottom boats, sharks and water park fun, these are what make the list of the top 5 Sea World attractions according to kids (and surprisingly parents alike).
Between cries of “wow” kids stood fascinated as Elle the big bull shark swims by the floor to ceiling glass window followed closely by a menacing dusky whaler shark. Above the waterline, kids can spot dorsal fins skim the surface of the lagoon, watch a grand and majestic sea turtle pop it’s head up for a breath or feel a starfish in the touch pool.
An extra $10 each allows kids aged 5 and over a ride across the lagoon along a glass-bottom boat where schools of coral fish can be spotted. Keep an eye out for a very large grouper that calls the Tropical Reef Lagoon its home.
DONATELLO’S NINJA FLYER, NICKELODEON LAND
Nickelodeon Land offers five exciting rides for young children. Kids thought nothing of the short queue for the popular Donatello’s Ninja Flyer Ride, where they can pedal a tandem propeller motorbike to soar up, down and around.
Closely contested favourites include whizzing around the SpongeBob themed mini-coaster, riding the classic Dora the Explorer Carousel or watching the parents stomach churn on the dizzying Bikini Bottom Crosstown Express submarine ride – all in good fun.
Remember to pack the wet gear, as kids cannot resist boarding a pirate ship and blasting rival vessels with water cannons. Onlookers can join in, ambushing boats with cannons scattered around the bay.
Afterwards, kids can ditch the parents as they clamber up a five-level adventure playground fort with rickety bridges to cross, tunnels to zip under and large webs to climb. Older and braver kids can traverse the Sky Climb attraction ropes course 12 metres above the ground. Parents can watch on without holding their breath knowing there is a safety rope attached, whilst the kids have a ball.
POLAR BEAR SHORES
Watch as the kids’ faces light up when they spot a creamy white polar bear for the first time, with echoes of “how beautiful”. The purpose-built Polar Bear Shores is the only place in Australia where kids can see these magnificent arctic dwelling mammals.
Tall glass windows provide unobstructed views of twin brothers Hudson and Nelson or the matriarch Liya. An open viewing platform provides a good vantage point above the enclosure when sleepy polar bears are a dozing, which they do a lot of. From the underwater viewing area, lucky kids may get a chance to come face to face with a polar bear as it takes a swim in the 4-metre deep pool.
Amid all the enclosures and park exhibits, the kids were most besotted by the dolphins seen from the main Dolphin Area and closer still at the shallow lagoon beach.
For kids who are comfortable with animals and the water, the whole family can opt for an up-close and personal Dolphin experience, to not only touch some of the resident mammals but learn about their behaviours thanks to knowledgeable Sea World staff.
Funnily enough, just as equally loved are the fluffy dolphins emblazoned with the Sea World logo, where kids pleaded in unison to take one home. It made for a great souvenir to remember such a fun day had with the whole family, and all the more reason to start planning another memorable trip with the kids to the beautiful sunny Gold Coast.
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