Fun packed theme parks, sun drenched beaches, and a laid-back atmosphere make the Gold Coast one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations.
Here’s a rundown of its popular theme parks, and a few hidden gems you should add to your itinerary.
Thrills and spills
The Gold Coast isn’t known as the theme park capital of Australia for nothing. With five big parks to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
Warner Bros Movie World boasts a ride with the steepest inverted drop in the Southern Hemisphere! On the flip side it also claims the only family rollercoaster in Australia, with all the twists and turns, but none of the upside down stuff younger children might not like. You can also meet superheroes and cartoon favourites wandering around the park.
At Sea World you can get up close and personal with tropical fish, polar bears and dolphins, as well as watch the crazy sea lions strut their stuff. If you fancy more heart pumping rides, then try the Jet Rescue rollercoaster or the log flume.
Dreamworld is the Gold Coast’s biggest theme park with more than 50 rides on offer across eight different areas. For a fast ride, try the white water rafting or challenge yourself on any of the “big eight”, including one with a 120m drop. If you have a Wiggles fan in tow, be sure to stop by the Wiggles themed area.
The Coast’s two other theme parks are great places to cool off on a hot day.
Next door to Dreamworld, Whitewater World has plenty of water slides and the chance to learn to surf, but if you want to relax then head for the wave pool and kick back on the beach.
Wet n Wild has water slides for every bravery level, while children can have a swashbuckling time at the pirate themed Buccaneer Bay and grown-ups can relax in the cool springs.
Something a little different
Once you’ve had your fill of rides, make sure you take the time to explore some of the other attractions the Gold Coast has to offer.
Children will love the cute and cuddly animals at Paradise Country where you can take a farm tour, feed the animals, and even try your hand at mining for opals.
Fans of the weird and wacky will enjoy Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium, which houses more than 300 artefacts from African masks to toilet paper dresses.
If you are into surfing then head for Surf World, which celebrates everything about surfing culture from the first boards of the 1930s to a gallery of modern superstars.
Of course, don’t forget to check out the Gold Coast’s fantastic beaches. For surfers, you can’t beat Snapper Rocks in Coolangatta. For families, try Kirra Beach and Rainbow Bay also around Coolangatta. Families will also have a really fantastic day out at Palm Beach, just south of Burleigh Heads, where Currumbin Creek meets the surf. The calm inlet waters are perfect for littlies and, to top it off, there’s a pirate park nearby.
It’s non-stop action on the Gold Coast with its series of friendly towns and villages jam packed with laid-back cafes, trendy restaurants, quirky craft markets and theme parks. You’re bound to be tired at the end of the day so make sure you pick a great local hotel where you can recharge your batteries.