Are you looking for ways to entertain the kids? The below list of activities is a locals guide of the very best things to do on the Gold Coast with Kids.
To fully appreciate the allure of the Gold Coast, you need to see it through the eyes of a local. That is why I created a guide ranging from free activities on the Gold Coast to the best Gold Coast attractions for families.
Even if you have never visited the Gold Coast, you would have seen images from social media or magazines showcasing bright blue skies, sandy white beaches, and lush green hinterland. It is these features plus many more that draw around 13 million visitors per year to a destination that has outgrown its reputation of the glitter strip on the beach, to a diverse haven for holidaymakers.
An undeniable attraction of the Gold Coast is the glorious weather that you can experience year-round. The balmy temperatures mean you can spend more time outside basking in the outdoors, which is also where you will find many of the fabulous family activities and attractions.
Whether you are a local searching for a new adventure, or a visitor wanting to experience the Gold Coast, or taking a road trip through Queensland, continue reading to discover some of the best kids activities on the Gold Coast.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Things to do on the Gold Coast with Kids
- 1.1 1. Swim in the Waves at the Gold Coast Beaches
- 1.2 2. Take a Drive to the Scenic Rim
- 1.3 3. Discover the National Parks
- 1.4 4. Have Fun at the Playgrounds
- 1.5 5. Meet the Wildlife
- 1.7 6. Visit the Theme Parks
- 1.8 7. Spend Some Time at the Farms
- 1.9 8. Enjoy the Fun Attractions
- 1.10 9. Take a Dip at Popular Swimming Areas
Things to do on the Gold Coast with Kids
1. Swim in the Waves at the Gold Coast Beaches
An outing to the beach is one of the best activities to do on the Gold Coast. Visitors will be spoilt for choice with around 57 kilometres of pristine coastline available.
Take a stroll along the esplanade at Burleigh Heads, visit the iconic Surfers Paradise beach for a swim in the waves, take your furry friends for a play at the designated dog area at The Spit, Main Beach.
Being such a popular activity for locals and visitors, you’ll find an abundance of patrolled areas from north to south of the coast. If swimming in the waves is not to your liking, you will still be able to find your little slice of paradise to sit on the sand and watch the day fade away.
2. Take a Drive to the Scenic Rim
Only a 40 minute day trip from the Gold Coast the little village of Mount Tamborine is nestled in a picturesque area of the scenic rim and is one of the most popular places to visit not only for its scenery but the gourmet food trail.
Some of the best long and short walks on the Gold Coast for kids can be found in this area as you connect with nature in sub-tropical rainforests. Mount Tamborine’s Curtis Falls is one of the easy walks which offers a reward of a waterfall at the base of the forest floor.
On a warm day you will find many locals taking advantage of the cool waters at Cedar Creek Falls or basking under the shady trees at the beautiful Mount Tamborine Botanical Gardens. Once you have worked up an appetite you will find something to satisfy your craving along the quaint main street that’s filled with cafes, restaurants, cheese and fudge stores.
3. Discover the National Parks
Suppose you are searching for an escape from the Gold Coast city. In that case, you will uncover a completely different world of unspoilt scenery, easy walking trails and cascading waterfalls in the many national parks.
The Natural Bridge is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and features an incredible rock formation that has been carved over time by the force of the water over the cave. The Springbrook National Park hikes require a little more effort to see the impressive waterfalls in the area. At Twin Falls you can feel the mist hit your face as you follow the track behind the two waterfalls, and the descent to the forest floor is worth the effort to see Purlingbrook Falls, one of the most impressive on the Gold Coast.
Venture to Lamington National Park renowned for more than 160 kilometres of hiking trails, including O’Reillys Tree Top Walk that gives you the opportunity of walking around 15 metres above the forest floor on suspension bridges surrounded by picturesque rainforest.
Springbrook National Park
4. Have Fun at the Playgrounds
No matter where you are located if you have young children, a playground is the most economical and sometimes the best attraction you can offer kids on the Gold Coast. If you have some downtime or want to enjoy a picnic in a park or time by the beach, you will be sure to find a playground nearby.
Scattered over the Gold Coast, you’ll find various playgrounds with sometimes different themes. A pirate-themed playground is located at Palm Beach, and an all-accessible playground can be found at Kurrawa Broadbeach. Justins Park overlooks the beautiful Burleigh Heads beach, and Labrador’s Harley Park gives visitors access to not only a playground but a swimming area as well.
5. Meet the Wildlife
Whether your preference is to see cute, cuddly, scaly or feathered, there is something for everyone at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. You will get up close to the well-known Australian natives and meet others that you may not have seen before. Travel around the widespread sanctuary on a miniature locomotive which stops at popular stations allowing you to see the animal enclosures and show with little effort.
With so many animals to see, shows to entertain you, and fun things to do at Currumbin Wildlife it is advised to arrive early. The sanctuary comes alive at 8.00 am with lorikeet feeding near the main entrance. From then on, plan your day around the many shows, (the wild skies free flight bird show is a must!) and animals you want to see.
For when the kids need a change of pace, stop at the Wild Island Adventure Splash zone. A place for kids up to the age of 12 to run wild in an open playground and cool off underwater jets and tipping buckets.
Tip: Avoid the crowds at the gate and pre-purchase your tickets online to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
6. Visit the Theme Parks
Can you even say you have been to the Gold Coast if you have not visited at least one if not all the theme parks? Without a doubt, the theme parks are one of the most popular family attractions on the Gold Coast.
With all these Gold Coast attractions for families located in one place and boasting the most theme parks than in any other state, you could call the Gold Coast Australia’s entertainment hub. Meet your favourite superhero or looney tune character at Movie World. See some cute, playful, and luminous marine life at Sea World. Cool off at Wet and Wild’s mega water park and get up close and personal with Australian farm animals at Paradise Country.
The choices don’t end there; Dreamworld has the biggest thrill rides, many animal experiences, (tiger island is a firm favourite) dedicated kid’s area, plus all ticket holders receive an entry into the adjoining Whitewater World.
7. Spend Some Time at the Farms
For a change of pace, there are many local working farms around the Gold Coast district that are open to the public. The farms can sometimes be overlooked by the glitz and glamour of other activities, but they are one of the best family things to do on the Gold Coast.
Take a working farm tour on Sundays at Freeman’s Organic Farm while you stock up on fresh produce and listen to great tunes from a live musician. For those animal lovers, the Historic Rivermill may be the perfect place to visit. After a leisurely meal in the café feed the local farm animals or pop down to the river to admire the many turtles and ducks that call this beautiful place home.
Not far over the border is Tropical Fruit World, known for its delectable fruit and an overall fun day out with the family, and Farm and Co Kingscliff where you can travel home with a bunch of sunflowers and deliciously fresh food.
Farm and Co Kingscliff
8. Enjoy the Fun Attractions
There is no shortage of family-friendly Gold Coast experiences with fun around every corner and something to keep every member of the family interested.
There are many fun things to do in Surfers Paradise such as Infinity; a maze-like world that will challenge your senses. You will be astounded at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and if you want to see a 360-degree view of the Gold Coast venture to the SkyPoint observation deck in the Q1 building.
For those who love sports experience the thrill of indoor skydiving at iFLY Gold Coast or venture up the highway to tee off at Topgolf where the fun is accumulating points by hitting your ball into several targets.
Tip: Bookings need to be made in advance with Topgolf, and you’ll often see special package offers online. Check out this discounted package.
9. Take a Dip at Popular Swimming Areas
There are many cheap things to do on the Gold Coast, and one of those to take advantage of is the swimming lagoons at Southport Broadwater Parklands, Labrador and Paradise Point. These calm waterways offer a change of pace from the crashing waves of the Gold Coast beaches.
Similar to Aquativity found at South Bank Brisbane, Southport Parklands also has popular man-made rock pools, perfect for younger kids. While if you are searching for the natural kind check out Currumbin Rock Pools around 40 minutes from Surfers Paradise.
Searching for Accommodation? Find the Top Places to Stay with Kids Here!
Do you have any questions about the Gold Coast? Feel free to ask in the comments.