The Gold Coast. How many other cities have as cool a tagline as Gold Coast’s “famous for fun”? This busy stretch of coastline is just an hour south of Brisbane but a world away from Queensland’s quiet capital city. It’s a hotspot for Australians and Kiwis seeking a bit of summer sun and guiltless fun. Of course, travellers from ara welcome too.
Between the beaches of Coolangatta and Stradbroke Island are a string of theme parks, night clubs, restaurants, shops, surf schools and plenty of hotels. Clearly there are lots of things to do in Gold Coast, and particularly great for a holiday to enjoy with the whole family. It does get really busy in summer, but hey, don’t let that stop you.
Here’s our guide to a few of the fun, fake and fabulous man-made attractions in Gold Coast that make it even more fun!
Gold Coast Theme Parks
Gold Coast has loads of theme parks! Wet n Wild, Movie World, Dreamworld, Sea World – they’re all here. Mickey and Minnie don’t live around here so Disneyland in sight, but the kids can meet Puss in Boots and Donkey! but the kids will equally love Gold Coast’s theme parks. If you’re travelling with your kids, or a group of friends, put theme parks on the top of your list of things to do in the Gold Coast — after the beach of course.
Dreamworld is a popular one, busiest around the September and Summer school holidays. It recently got some new attractions. Check out Tail Spin, a ride that launches riders 72 feet skywards in mini aeroplanes which can be spun around to your heart’s content. And then there’s Wipeout, a popular ride that was refreshed recently too. Strapped in your seat in a huge gondola, you ride a huge wave with lots of twists and tumbles!
Wet and Wild Combo
If one thrill is not enough, you can get the Gold Coast 7-day Combo Pass which gives you access to Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild Water World.
Snorkel in Your Fishy Hotel Pool
A high rise hotel that made a splash when it opened a lagoon pool on the hotel grounds. The saltwater lagoon holds 1.6million litres of water and plenty of tropical fish. Betul, tu. Fish in your hotel pool!
Pop on some snorkel gear, walk down the sandy beach and go for a snorkel. Sometimes there aren’t too many fish (there’s been problems with the local birds snacking) but there’s always a few swimming around for you to get up close with. This is a great, safe way to introduce your little ones to swimming with sealife. The heated pool is popular year round with families but there’s also plenty of couples lying in the lounge chairs or in cabanas.
Surfers Paradise Marriot is a wonderfully family-friendly hotel. It has lots of activities for the kids, a playground, rooms that fit families of four, complimentary infant beds and in-room babysitting available.
For the nature lovers
Not everything on the Gold Coast is about glitz and glamour by the sea.
Get back to nature on the Tamborine Skywalk, a series of boardwalks that rise up through the treeline of Mt Tamborine rainforest. Technically to the north east of the Gold Coast’s main drag of beaches, the Skywalk is a 50 minute drive away. The easy 1.5km walk is a chance to get some fresh air and see a largely untouched piece of Australian rainforest. You’ll walk along the forest floor before crossing 300 metres of bridges that climb up to the canopy. The 40 metre cantilever bridge is a great spot for a bird’s eye view.
Macam Monyet in the Gold Coast
If walking through the trees on bridges is too pedestrian for you, head over to Currumbin’s Adventure Parc. This high ropes course crosses through the tree canopy on ladders, nets, flying fox and even a Tarzan swing. Obstacles and challenges are inspired by SAS commando training – with a lot more fun involved. Courses range in difficulty from beginner to out right jungle-monkey–advanced.
Little ones will need to be over the age of six – and 1.6m tall for some of the more difficult courses. In the end your kids will probably be scrambling through the difficult sections but that’s ok, take a slower pace and keep an eye out for birdlife in the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Fabulous and Glamorous in Gold Coast
Cabanas at Palazzo Versace
If you’re about fashion and fabulousness, check into the Palazzo Versace and expect to be wowed. This is not the place for minimalism and discreet style – it’s over the top and it’s fabulous. Reserve one of the famous private poolside cabanas at the Water Salon, pop on your biggest, darkest sunglasses and settle in for a day by the pool. There’s cocktails, snacks and of course, plenty of opportunities to see and be seen.