The Gold Coast is home to some of Australia’s best beaches, world-class theme parks and incredible wildlife. Whether you’re looking for something to do with kids or want to explore the city with the whole family, there’s something for everyone here!
Theme parks like Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet’n’Wild are popular attractions here for both children and adults. Here, you can experience some of the most exciting rides, mascots and more.
1. Theme Parks
If you’re looking for some adventure, you can’t go past the Gold Coast’s world-class theme parks. From thrill-seeking roller coasters and extreme water slides to petting koalas and dolphins, these Gold Coast attractions will give you an adrenaline rush like no other.
With hectares of thrill rides, shows and water park fun to choose from, Dreamworld is an ideal Gold Coast destination for families. There’s plenty to entertain kids from the tiniest tots with giant rides, thrilling rides and water slides, to the thrill seekers who want to go on the tallest and fastest rides in Australia.
At Sea World, get up close and personal with marine animals from penguins to sharks. See a variety of exotic and native sealife at the aquarium, enjoy educational presentations and take in a range of exciting and entertaining shows. For a unique experience, head to Penguin Point and meet rescued penguins during a feeding session or try your hand at a snorkel at Shark Bay.
2. Surfer’s Paradise
Surfers Paradise is a bustling tourist hub and beachside haven, with a long list of attractions and activities. Aside from its famous beaches, it’s also home to a number of shops, restaurants, and nightclubs along Cavill Avenue.
The city has a plethora of accommodation options from budget backpacker hostels to luxury high-rise hotels. Those looking for a more private retreat can opt for one of the many apartments located around town.
Those with a passion for surfing will find a variety of surfing schools available to help you master the art. You can book lessons to learn how to stand up paddle board, or you could try your hand at water based sports such as kayaking and snorkelling.
Animal lovers will love the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can get up close to some of the region’s native animals. The sanctuary is a short drive from Surfers Paradise.
3. Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Heads is a cool comma of surf and sun between Surfers Paradise to the north and Coolangatta to the south. It is adored by both locals and visitors for its world-class point break, unbeatable beaches, vibrant cafe and dining scene, nature walks and all-around sunny vibes.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Burleigh Heads, ranging from family-friendly theme parks and adrenaline-pumping rides to a range of water sports and outdoor adventures. One of the most popular attractions in Burleigh Heads is the iconic Sea World, home to a range of marine mammals and a host of exciting shows, talks and demonstrations.
Another attraction in Burleigh Heads is the 27-hectare Burleigh Head National Park that stretches along the coast and offers a variety of scenic trails to explore, from coastal pandanus groves and rocky foreshores to rainforest and tidal sandbars. It is also an important spiritual site to the Indigenous people of Australia who trace the park’s origins to the creation spirit Jabreen.
4. South Stradbroke Island
South Stradbroke Island is a Gold Coast gem that offers a little bit of solitude and natural wonder in the middle of the city. It’s a haven for nature lovers with practically unpeopled beaches, freshwater marshlands and rolling dunes.
The island is teeming with wildlife including 150 birds, 26 mammals, 10 frogs and 19 reptiles. It’s also a prime migratory bird location, with more than 40,000 shorebirds passing through each September to April.
There are a variety of activities available on the island from bushwalking to fishing, surfing and swimming. There’s even a range of accommodation on the island for you to choose from, including camping and resort options.
To get to South Stradbroke Island, book a ferry, local cruise boat or water taxi from several locations along the Gold Coast. You can also hire a jet ski or kayak from the island for an adventurous adventure.