20+ Things to do on the Gold Coast With Kids 2023
Heading on a Gold Coast family holiday? Check out our list of the best things to do on the Gold Coast with Kids below. We all know that creating a balance between things parents want to do and the things will love is important. These family activities on the Gold Coast will no doubt keep everyone happy and make your Queensland family holiday a success!
Gold Coast Family Holiday
The Gold Coast is one of the best Australian holiday destinations for families. Because of the warm climate all year round, you can travel to the Gold Coast any time.
For families in Melbourne it makes the perfect Winter escape to get away from the cold. However any time of the year makes a great family trip.
There are many things to do on the Gold Coast with kids so you won’t be without any fun activities. From the theme parks to the wild life parks, the forests and of course the beautiful beaches, your Gold Coast family holiday will definitely be one to remember.
Here we have broken the list up into sections including:
- Theme parks
- Attractions & Activities
- Wildlife encounters
- Nature Excursions
At the end of the post you can also find the best time to visit the Gold Coast with kids, and also the best family accommodation on the Gold Coast too.
Things to do Gold Coast with Kids
Here is our list of the best things to do on the Gold Coast with kids. Depending on how long you have on your Gold Coast family holiday, you can choose as many as you like!
Theme Parks – Gold Coast with Kids
If you are visiting the Gold Coast with kids, a trip to a theme park can’t be missed!
Depending on the age of your kids and your budget, you may choose to do one or two theme parks, or visit them all.
If you do plan on visiting more than one park, make sure to check out the Super Pass Packs which work out great value. You get 3 parks for almost the same pass you would pay for 2 and makes it well worth it.
1. Movie World
Movie World has lots of movie themed rides and attractions for all ages and is probably our most favourite. Meet your favourite stars and superheroes and watch some fun and exciting performances and shows.
Make sure to sign up to Village Theme Parks App. Use the app to line up in the virtual queue to save time. That way while you are “lining up” for the ride, you can walk around and enjoy the shows or get something to eat instead of standing around.
2. Wet & Wild
Wet & Wild is a huge water park with a range of water themed rides and attractions. Relax on the lazy river, enjoy the different pools including a world class wave pool.
There is a kids area with water play and smaller slides, and a range of thrill seeking waterslides for the more adventurous.
3. Sea World
Sea World is a theme park more suited to the younger kids but older kids will like it too as there are a few new rides now. There are plenty of animal encounters allowing you to get up and close to a range of marine life. Educational and animal presentations including the famous dolphin shows. Nickelodeon Land for younger kids and a couple of thrill seeker rides for the older ones.
One of the best things to do at Seaworld for kids is the dolphin experience, there are different options to choose from including a simple photo to swimming and interacting with the dolphins.
4. Dream World
Dream World is Australia’s largest theme park with over 50 rides. The park is made up of a range of different themed lands which attracts all ages, although many of the rides are better for older kids as there are height limits.
You will need a separate ticket for Dreamworld as it isn’t included in the super pass tickets. It is the most expensive of all the parks. Next to Dreamworld is White Water World which you can add to your ticket making it worth it if you go over a couple of days.
Attractions & Activities – Gold Coast with Kids
Other than the famous theme parks that attract families to the area, there are plenty of other family friendly activities on the Gold Coast that are popular.
5. Top Golf
Top Golf is a fun and unique Gold Coast activity for families because you don’t need to know how to play golf at all.
No, not an actual game of golf where you go around following a ball. Instead, you are standing in your bay on a platform and smashing balls out onto an open field one after the other trying to hit targets.
It is great for both kids and adults. They serve food and drinks (including some great cocktails too). Top Golf is one of the most fun activities for kids on the Gold Coast, even for those who hate golf. Perfect if you have a special event like a birthday or other celebration.
6. Quack’r’Duck Sightseeing Land & Boat Tour
One of the most fun and unique things to do on the Gold Coast with kids is the Quack’r’Duck sightseeing adventure where you can experience Surfers Paradise on land and then also from the water.
The kids will love how cool it is seeing their bus “turn into a boat” and head out on the water. The tour includes a 1 hour land and sea adventure.
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IFLY is another fun Gold Coast activity for families. Kids as young as 3 years old can fly at IFLY, the new indoor skydiving tunnel on the Gold Coast.
Get all the thrills of skydiving without actually jumping out of a plane! If you have a thrill seeker in the family, it is a great activity. A fun thing to do on the Gold Coast with kids if the weather isn’t so good too as it is indoor.
8. Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Looking for something to do on the Gold Coast with kids for a rainy day? Ripley’s Believe it or Not is where the unbelievable comes alive right before your eyes! Another great family activity in the centre of Surfers Paradise that will blow your mind.
9. Australian Outback Spectacular
A themed restaurant experience! The Australian Outback Spectacular provides a three course dinner and show about the Australian Outback and a family who are battling a drought. Very Australian and makes a great night out for all ages.
10. ArtVo Gold Coast
Want to introduce your kids to some art with a difference? Check out ArtVo on the Gold Coast! Just like the ArtVo in Melbourne this is an amazing 3D gallery for all ages.
Each wall has been especially created to produce a 3D effect when you take a photo from the designated marker on the floor and position your camera or phone in the specified manor.
Unlike your usual art museum, you can touch and interact with more than a hundred 3D artworks immersing yourself.
Wildlife – Gold Coast with Kids
If you want to get up close to some Australian wildlife, there is no shortage of wildlife parks on the Gold Coast. A day out at one of these wildlife parks is one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast with kids.
11. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Immerse yourself in 27 hectares of Currumbin rainforest where you can view saltwater crocodiles, meet and feed the kangaroos which are just roaming around and very friendly, or even cuddle a koala! (which will no doubt be one of the highlights of the trip for the kids!0
12. Thunderbird Park
Located about an hour from the Gold Coast, is Thunderbird Park, a rainforest playground that has it all. There is plenty to do for all ages.
Take a guided treetop tour, a zipline, or a high ropes course. Check out the Crystal Mine, have a laser battle in the forested battlefield, play some mini golf, or hire a pedal boat or bike for the day.
13. Paradise Country
If you are over the traditional theme parks, head to Paradise Country farm where you can find various shows and interactive animal experiences for the whole family. See a range of farm animals from cows, goats, ducks, pigs, sheep, llamas and more.
14. Gold Coast Butterflies
Want to be surrounded by butterflies? Head to the Gold Coast Butterfly House enclosure where you can walk amongst them and feel them fluttering around you. Learn all about butterflies and their lifecycle right from where they start off as baby caterpillars.
Nature – Gold Coast with Kids
The Gold Coast is spoiled with beautiful national parks and coast lines. Get up close to nature with these fun nature activities to do with kids on the Gold Coast.
15. Burleigh Heads National Park
If you are up for a walk and exploring the rainforests, head to the Burleigh Heads National Park where you can explore the rainforest and grassland all the way to the coast and beach. Take the rainforest circuit, or walk the ocean view walk.
Listen to the native birds while you hear the waves crashing up against the foreshore. The foreshore is also great spot to have a picnic.
16. Mt Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
The Mt Tamborine Rainforest Walk makes a great day out on the Gold Coast with kids. Up 30 metres high, you can walk the 1500mtre forest floor trails. Marvel at the views of the beautiful rainforest canopies and explore the Australian rainforest flora and fauna.
17. Tree Top Challenge
If you are looking for a day of adventure while exploring the incredible Australian forests, then you will love the Treee Top Challenge.
There are 5 adventures including Australia’s largest zipline tour. You can choose from 3 high ropes challenges, and there is also a junior’s challenge for the young ones. A once in a lifetime activity where you can glide across a canyon over crocodiles and kangaroos.
Beaches – Gold Coast with Kids
If you are heading to the Gold Coast with kids, do make sure to take care on the beach. Not all Gold Coast beaches are safe for children, with high waves, and many dangerous rips. Below are some of the best beaches to visit when you are on the Gold Coast with kids.
18. Tallebudgera Creek, Palm Beach
A favourite among locals, Tallebudgera Creek is one of the best swimming spots for families on the Gold Coast with kids. There are plenty of water activities from swimming to stand up paddle boarding or it is perfect for a family swim too.
There are various parts of the beaches which are patrolled so it is the perfect place to take the kids. There are picnic spots and BBQs too.
19. Rainbow Bay Coolangatta
Rainbow Beach in Coolangatta is another popular spot for families and one of our favourites. Not as busy as the beaches in Surfers Paradise, and there are parts of the beach which are patrolled.
The coastal walk is beautiful and the kids can see plenty of bearded dragons along the way. Snapper Rocks is only a short walk away which is a popular surfing spot. But for families, it is great to watch, and discover the little rock pools when the tide is out. Lots of nearby cafes too.
20. Burleigh Heads
Another great family friendly beach on the Gold Coast which is well patrolled and protected from the wind. Great spot if you are wanting to get away from the main tourist strip, and makes a great day out for a BBQ or picnic with the nearby park.
Want our full list? Check out our top 10 Best beaches on the Gold Cost.
Where to stay on the Gold Coast with Kids?
Looking for family accommodation on the Gold Coast?
Surfers Paradise is most the obvious choice for accommodation on the Gold Coast. For those who want to visit all of the theme parks it is a great base. There are some fantastic family resorts that have pools and water parks. If you are looking for a resort in Surfers our top recommendations would be to check out Paradise Resort or Turtle Beach Resort.
Another option, if you don’t want a resort and you are looking for something quieter and self contained is Rainbow Bay in Coolangatta just 40 minutes away from Surfers Paradise and 40 minutes in the opposite direction from Byron Bay.
There are plenty of kid friendly beaches and lots of great options for self-contained apartments. Our top recommendations would be the Rainbow Bay Apartments or Mantra Apartments depending on your budget. While they aren’t full resorts with water parks etc, they have pools and are walking distance from beautiful kid friendly beaches.
You can find our full accommodation list here: Gold Coast Family Accommodation.
Best time to visit the Gold Coast with Kids?
A Gold Coast family holiday is fantastic any time of the year because the weather is always nice and warm.
The wet season is in the Summer from December – February, so the Gold Coast gets more rain during this time, even if the weather is still warm. It is still fine to visit depending on what type of activities you want to do. Everything is open but if you plan to spend all of your days on the beach, know that there is he chance of a few rainy days during your trip.
The dry season is in Winter from June – August where the weather is mild, there is little rain, and you can still swim in the beaches. The temperatures aren’t as warm as during the Summer but still hover around 25 degrees which is perfect for family beach days.
During the school holidays the Gold Coast can get quite busy, because it is peak time, as with over Christmas. If you plan to visit the theme parks, be warned, the wait times for rides are double, sometimes over an hour.
The shoulder seasons are perfect as it is less busy, still warm, and little rain. For those who can visit outside school holidays, your trip will be much more calm.
Things to do Gold Coast with Kids
Hopefully this list of things to do on the Gold Coast with kids has given you some inspiration for your Gold Coast family Holiday. If we have missed one of your favourite Gold Coast activities for kids, let us know and we can check it out on our next trip!
Looking for another Queensland holiday? Check out our Cairns family travel guide.
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