The Gold Coast Has It All For Families

14 April 2016

When it comes to the Gold Coast it’s no secret there is stacks to do for families, especially those adventure-hungry types wanting to rotate between the major theme parks in between ocean dips. But venture off course a little and you will realise there is even more to this wondrous region than meets the eye.

 The beaches of the Gold Coast are ideal for the whole family. (Image: Getty)

The spectacular hinterland is a greenie’s paradise and offers some of the most mind-blowing nature walks in Australia, while beachside you can get up close and personal with exotic wildlife or pretend you’re a pirate sailing the seas of Palm Beach.

But if you’re having trouble deciding whether it’s the clean, salt air you are seeking or the calming emeralds of the rainforest – then we say do both! Here are our top travel tips whatever side of the fence you choose:

 Grab your inflatables and hit the beach! (Image: Getty)

The beach

One of the most popular places to stay on the Coast for young families is still old-time favourite, Sea World Resort, which not only offers packages for several of the theme parks, but also intimate encounters with the park’s dolphins, which the kids are sure to love. Paradise Resort is also a hit and boasts its own water park, ice-rink, kids club and fun ‘50s-style diner. Just wait ‘till you see the kids’ eyes pop when you pull up here.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is an excellent daytime adventure where you can get friendly with a variety of native animals such as kangaroos, dingoes, rainbow lorikeets and emus, all in a heritage-listed parkland. The sanctuary offers packages, which include access to Byron Bay’s unique Crystal Castle and sailing lessons at the South Port Yacht Club.

 Surf, swim, paddle or make some epic sandcastles on the Gold Coast. (Image: Getty)

If you have overspent at the theme parks or on shopping then an excellent free option is The Broadwater at Southport. This oceanfront parkland has its own water park, giant bouncing pillows, swimming enclosure and regular movie nights. Also a family fave is the award-winning Palm Beach Parklands with an imaginative pirate park right on the beach. With a Treasure Island theme, there are slides, spinners, rockers and musical play.

At the foot of Burleigh Heads National Park, the flat and sparkling clear waters of Tallebudgera Creek is not just a heavenly spot for little ones who can’t go too deep, but a great place to take your SUP (stand-up paddleboard), kayak and fishing rods. Be sure to also check out the swimming hole and park behind Charis Seafoods. Grab some fish and chips and relax while the kids splash and play. There’s also pelican feeding daily.


More Gold Coast family holiday inspiration

More ways to entertain the kids. Gold Coast: Beyond The Theme Parks

Even more reasons to love the GC. Why Aussies Love The Gold Coast


 Get a bird's-eye view from the treetop canopy. (Image: Getty)

The hinterland

Driving into the natural wonderland of the Coast’s hinterland is sure to blow off the cobwebs as you melt into its divine, majestic surrounds. The Natural Bridge, deep in the Springbrook National Park, is an absolute bucket list trip for parents and kids alike. There’s not only the jaw-dropping rock arch and waterfall, but an easy 1.5-kilometre walk through the subtropical, ancient Gondwana rainforest.  At night join a guided tour to see the resident colony of protected glow worms, microbats and fireflies – magic!

Head up to Mount Tamborine to witness the world’s third oldest national park and remnants of the former Mount Warning volcano. None of the 12 walking tracks are longer than  three kilometres so take a backpack with food and water, and take an easy stroll to the sounds of birds, bees and wildlife – with plenty of stops to soak it all in. There are more glow worm caves to be found here, and the older kids will love the popular Thunderbird Park, which is home to the Treetop Challenge, complete with its own Tarzan swing and flying foxes.  Youngsters can fossick for gemstone-filled thundereggs, which formed when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Roar!

 Kids of all ages love getting up close to wildlife. (Image: Getty)

Binna Burra is a parcel of private land surrounded by the Lamington National Park, and is home to an eco lodge that offers the perfect family country escape. With 360-degree panoramic views of the exquisite surrounding mountains and rolling, green landscape, the kids are spoilt for choice here with archery, abseiling, spotlight walks, an adventure playground and campfire nights. Take some marshmallows and they’ll be pleading with you to stay.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to the Gold Coast.

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Penny Shipway

Born into the balmy climate of tropical Queensland, it’s not surprising I’ve developed an obsession for all things beach. When I’m not swimming in the ocean singing Jimmy Buffet songs in my head, you will find me sipping colourful drinks with twizzle sticks or hunting for coastal vintage pieces. My dream is to retire on a sailboat.