Things to do on the Gold Coast with Kids
When you think of things to do on the Gold Coast with kids, it’s likely that you think of the big ticket items: The theme parks. That’s all well and good if you want a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all experience for your kids. But if you stick to the main Gold Coast attractions, your kids will miss out on the wealth of experiences entirely unique to this area.
The Gold Coast is jam-packed with extraordinary activities, places to go and once-in-a lifetime experiences guaranteed to capture your kids’ imaginations, enrich, entertain, exhilarate, exercise … or just plain educate them.
Here’s our top 50 activities on the Gold Coast with kids:
Cedar Creek Estate, 104 – 144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine
The Gold Coast’s stunning hinterland is well-placed to deliver some incredible natural surprises. The Mt Tamborine Glow Worm Caves are purpose-built, realistic caves where your kids can get up close to, and learn about these fascinating local insects without the long hike through the bush at night time. Cleverly designed as two chambers connected by tunnels, the Mt Tamborine Glow Worm Caves are open from 10am to 4pm daily and provide easy access to one of this area’s most unique and family-friendly attractions. Click here.
Walk to the Natural Bridge at Springbrook
If you want to see the Gold Coast’s glow worms in their natural habitat, then the Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park is the place to do it. Take a meandering walk down through the rainforest with its dark canopy of murderous strangler figs and abundant local fauna to reach the breathtakingly beautiful rock formation at the bottom: The Natural Bridge. Click here
The Springbrook National Park offers a wide variety of trips and walks for families.
Visit Cavill Avenue
Located in the centre of the bustling shopping hub of Surfer’s Paradise, Cavill Avenue and the streets around it host a huge variety of fun things for the kids to do if you’re willing to spend a bit of money. One such place is Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium. Filled with curios and oddities from around the world, kids will be amazed by everything they see. Just down the road from the Odditorium is the 7D cinema. Hosting a variety of short movies, the 7D cinema is unique in that it incorporates not just sight and sound, but also vibrating chairs and other special effects. Infinity is another fantastic place to visit on Cavill Avenue (check the link to see if we’ve got any current discounts). The 40-minute experience includes spectacular laser lights and rooms filled with fun. The kids will beg you to visit again!
One of the most beautiful beaches along the Gold Coast, Burleigh Beach is a wonderful place to visit with the kids. Your kids will be safe swimming in the protected waters of the beach, which isn’t as rough as some of the other beaches around the Gold Coast. BBQ areas are everywhere and with the option of oceanfront dining, you and the kids won’t be going hungry. (They even made our list of top spots for fish and chips!)If you’re lucky, you may even catch a local arts and crafts market going on along the foreshore. So if you’re looking for a great beach to visit, check out Burleigh Heads.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Do the kids love wildlife? If you are visiting or living on the Gold Coast with kids, you really should take them down to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and you’ll be sure they’ll have a great time. Currumbin houses a huge variety of Australian animals for kids to visit, including kangaroos, koalas, dingos and Tasmanian devils. Some of the best highlights of the Wildlife Sanctuary including a free bird feeding show, Segway safari, photo opportunities and Salt Water croc feeding. Enjoy a fun day out by visiting the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Click here
Guineas Creek Road, Currumbin Valley
One of the Gold Coast’s best-kept secrets for kids, this local swimming spot has an added bonus – It’s also free! If you want to escape the heat, hustle and humidity of the bustling Gold Coast, pack a picnic and head for the hills. Cool your heels at the Currumbin rock pools. Read our review here.
36 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
A tour bus that doubles as a boat? Your kids won’t believe their eyes! If you want an activity with an exciting twist, then an Aquaduck Safari could be exactly what you’re looking for. Take your kids on an extraordinary tour of Surfers Paradise and out across the spectacular Broadwater, weave through the canals and take a cheeky sneak peek at the homes of the Gold Coast’s rich and famous. Aquaduck tours provide a unique and exhilarating experience on the Gold Coast for kids. Click here.
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise.
The Gold Coast is a feast for the senses, but sometimes you need to balance all noise, colour and movement something a little more sedate. The centrally -located Gold Coast City Art Gallery offers a range of kid-friendly exhibitions and activities that will help inspire your kids to dig deep and discover their own creativity. Click here.
Gold Coast War Museum
42 John Rogers Road, Mudgereebah
The Gold Coast War Museum gives your kids an opportunity to get up close to genuine war artefacts and the stories that will fire their imaginations and bring history to life. The Gold Coast’s stunningly beautiful Burleigh Heads is home to one of the Queensland’s largest annual ANZAC day services, so the Gold Coast War Museum is a great stepping stone bridging the gap between the commemoration of historical events and the people forever affected by them. Click here.
O’Reilly’s Treetop Walk
Lamington National Park Road, Canungra
Perfectly positioned in the Lamington National Park, Gold Coast hinterland, O’Reilly’s Tree Top walk is an easy 800 metre circuit through stunning bushland. The walk incorporates 9 suspension bridges and a gradual rise up into the sub-tropical rainforest canopy. While you’re at O’Reilly’s your kids can kick back and watch the bird of prey show and make friends with the rosellas and king parrots that call the rainforest home. O’Reilly’s isn’t just a great destination for a daytrip though: There’s a great range of accommodation options on offer if you’re thinking about staying longer in the area. Click here.
Ecopark Fishing World and Farmstay
2 Halls Road, Luscombe
If your kids want to try their hands at catch and release fishing, then a daytrip to Ecopark will be a perfect outing for them. Ecopark also offers farm stay experiences and campouts, as well as facilities suitable for conferences and birthday parties. Click here.
Cedar Creek Falls Rd, Tamborine
Frequented by families with children, Cedar Creek Falls is a great natural outdoor day trip. There are three rock pools in which you are allowed to swim although the water is often very cold. It makes a great place to cool down on a sweltering summer’s day. The top rock pool is quite deep and it has a couple of ledge areas which children can sit and paddle their feet quite easily. The two other rock pools are further down the rock face. There are picnic facilities and BBQ’s for us. Read more and watch our video here.
Skypoint Observation Deck and the Skypoint Climb
Levels 77- 78 of the Q1 Building 3 / 3003 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
The Skypoint Observation Deck is the perfect location for your kids to experience breathtaking, 360 degree views of the Gold Coast and its stunning hinterland. If your kids are over 12 years of age and at least 130 cm tall, they’ll also be able to participate in a Skypoint Climb, one of the most exhilarating experiences that the Gold Coast has to offer. Click here.
Ground level, shop 31 Chevron Renaissance Centre, Surfers Paradise
If you’re looking for an indoor, all-weather activity on the Gold Coast for kids, you’ll find that Infinity fits the bill perfectly. Infinity offers a fully-immersive sensory experience for kids aged 8 years and over, full to the brim with mind-blowing mazes and illusions that will keep your kids on their toes at every turn. Click here.
The Gold Coast Wax Museum
56 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
The Wax Museum is the perfect place on the Gold Coast for your kids to cross paths with the famous – and the infamous; even if they’re just made of wax! The museum’s divided into two sections: The World in Wax, which offers an up-close introduction to the scientists, politicians, movie stars and celebrities that have shaped history, and the realistically gruesome Chamber of Horrors. Choose carefully! Some things cannot be unseen! Click here.
Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre
1711 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
The Gold Coast’s also home to the internationally acclaimed Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Offering a range of aboriginal cultural walking tours, your kids can experience a corroboree, smoking ceremony and ochre anointment. They’ll get to know the history of the local aboriginal people and their unbreakable link to the coast. Click here.
Cavill Mall, Cavill Avenue Surfer’s Paradise
If you’re looking for a fascinating way to fill in a couple of hours on the Gold Coast for kids, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! is a museum with a difference. Housing an irreplaceable and fascinating collection of oddities and curiosities, historical artefacts and mind-bending illusions, it’s a great way to spend a few hours on the Gold Coast for kids. Click here.
Ripley’s Impossible LaseRace
Cavill Mall, Cavill Avenue Surfer’s Paradise
Ripley’s Impossible LaseRace is the perfect place on the Gold Coast for kids who want to pit themselves against the clock in the ultimate test of agility. A seemingly impossible maze of lights, music and laser beams, the LaseRace adds up to an exciting test of manual dexterity, co-ordination and forward-planning. Click here.
Broadwater Parklands, Southport
Aquasplash is a water park with a difference. Imagine a connected network of inflatable obstacles such as slides, jumping pillows, swings, climbing walls and balance beams forming a challenging course…Then imagine it out on the water. Running annually from Summer to mid-Autumn, Aquasplash is the epitome of fun in the sun on the Gold Coast for kids. Click here.
Superbee Honey World
Tomewin Street, Currumbin
Albert Einstein once said that if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, we would only have four years of life left. Superbee Honey World is the perfect place for your kids to discover the amazing properties of this incredible superfood and to appreciate why the honey bee is such a critical and threatened part of our food chain. Click here.
Gold Coast Bike Ways
Looking to get away from the Gold Coast’s traffic snarls and congestion? A great way of exploring the beautiful Gold Coast for kids is by bike. It’s easy to hire bikes and helmets and explore some of the Gold Coast’s 800 kilometres of linked bikeways, at least 36km of which skirt the spectacular Pacific Ocean. The area’s best parks and beaches straddle the most popular of the Gold Coast bikeways, making it a great way to get out and get active as a family. Click here.
We’ve had one of our family’s personally test out Galleon Way Park. Check out their review to see what they thought.
Ian Dimple Lagoon, 371 Marine Parade, Labrador
The Gold Coast’s the best place for your kids to get up close and personal with of one of the biggest seabirds around: The Pelican. Ian Dimple Lagoon plays host to pelican feeding daily at 1:30pm. Be prepared to make some amazing memories with your kids.
Read more about Pelican feeding Gold Coast HERE.
Abseiling at Binna Burra
Binna Burra Road, Beechmont
Lamington National Park’s also one of best locations on the Gold Coast for kids when it comes to abseiling. Binna Burra’s local volcanic rock formations mean that there are cliff faces suitable for all levels from beginner to expert. With some of the most experienced guides on hand here to show you the ropes, Binna Burra Mountain Lodge is the perfect spot on the Gold Coast for kids to safely experience this exciting outdoor activity. Click here.
We love camping at Binna Burra! Here’s some more information on what’s great about this campsite for families.
Dracula’s Haunted House
3177 Surfers Paradise Boulevarde, Surfers Paradise
Dracula’s Haunted House is a five-story, purpose-built attraction set in the heart of Surfer’s Paradise. Your kids can walk, shriek, laugh and scream their way through the attraction’s scary themed levels Great for the older kids, Dracula’s Haunted House is not for the claustrophobic or easily scared! Click here.
Binna Burra Lodge, Binna Burra Road, Beechmont
Binna Burra Lodge offers an awesome range of activities on the Gold Coast for kids. You don’t have to be a guest at the lodge to join in. They’re also open to casual visitors on the weekend or during school holidays as well! Your kids will love to whizz through the tree tops on the 165m long Flying Fox or try their hand at archery. They can also exercise their imaginations in the adventure playground on site. Binna Burra Lodge also offers spotlight walks after dark, so it’s a great destination for a family getaway, with a range of accommodation options to suit most budgets. Click here.
Snorkelling at Tallebudgera Creek
Turtles, dolphins, large schools of beautiful fish and even cranky crabs – all of this is on offer in the beautiful crystal clear waters of Tallebudgera creek. Both sides of the creek have beach entry, and it’s not too wide, so at parts you can swim right across . Be warned – there are occasionally strong currents but if you stick to snorkelling at the top of the tide when the current is minimal and the water is the clearest you are sure to make some beautiful memories.
258 Ashmore Road, Benowa
The Gold Coast’s Regional Botanical Gardens is a delight for kids of all ages. Set on 31 hectares of lush, beautifully designed gardens, it offers a range of activities for kids including a playground, sensory garden mountains to mangroves walk and butterfly garden. Pack a picnic and encourage your kids to explore this oasis of calm just 10 minutes from the heart of Surfer’s Paradise. Click here.
Mt Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
333 Geissmann Drive, North Tamborine
Another activity on the Gold Coast for kids is the Mt Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. The skywalk is a 1.5km round trip of steel bridges and ground level bush trails that allow you to take your time as a family to experience the sights and smells of this pristine and uniquely beautiful sub-tropical rainforest. Click here.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities on the Gold Coast for kids, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better combination of water and fun than kayaking or stand up paddleboarding. Currumbin Creek is the perfect location on the Gold Coast for kids to learn the basics from a local expert before hiring all the gear you’ll need to head out and explore the local waterways as a family. Click here.
Visit Surf World Museum
1st Floor, 35 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
What would the Gold Coast be without its world-class surf beaches and surfing legends? Your kids can explore the history of surfing on the Gold Coast at the Surf World Museum at Currumbin. Click here.
Hill Road, Daisy Hill, QLD
Set right at the northern fringe of the Gold Coast, the Daisy Hill Conservation Park and Koala Centre offers kids the chance to learn about these uniquely Australian marsupials. Click here.
Tamborine Mountain Road, Queensland
Getting your kids outside and active is one of the great challenges of modern parenting. What better way than to take them on a treasure hunt for thunder eggs at Thunderbird Park? Thunder eggs are spherical rocks formed within volcanoes. They might look like nothing special from the outside but once cut can be breathtakingly beautiful. Your kids can spend hours fossicking for thunder eggs and then have them expertly cut to reveal the treasures glinting within. Click here.
Gooding Drive and Manchester Road, Carrara
Want to take the kids to the markets? The Carrara Markets are the biggest permanent markets in Queensland. Open weekends, the markets have over 400 stalls for you and the kids to peruse. Along with regular stalls, the markets feature plenty of fun things for the kids to see and do. These include a reptile show, pony rides, jumping castles, a mini golf course and face painters. The kids will have a fun day here and you will too. Click here
Mt Tamborine Treetop Challenge
Cedar Creek Falls Road, North Tamborine
If your kids have more than just a little of the spirit of adventure, they’ll adore the Mt Tamborine Treetop Challenge. Comprising 11 zip lines, suspension bridges and the canyon flyer zip line, the Treetop Challenge offers kids the perfect combination of adrenaline sport and beautiful bush setting. Click here.
West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads
The David Fleay Wildlife Park offers a relatively inexpensive way to get your kids interested in the care, conservation and welfare of the wildlife commonly found on the Gold Coast and further afield in Australia. As an education-focused heritage-listed park, it offers a quieter, more easily accessible alternative to some of the bigger parks in the area, especially if you’re pushing a pram. Click here.
Jetboating on the Gold Coast with kids
30-34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
A white-knuckle ride on a jetboat through the Gold Coast’s canals and out onto open water will provide your kids with an experience they won’t forget in a hurry. Suitable for kids aged 4 and up, there are range of different tours and experiences to choose from, depending on your budget and how wet you want to get! Click here.
Currumbin Tree Top Challenge
28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
If you’re looking for something extraordinary on the Gold Coast for kids, you should consider the Currumbin Tree Top Challenge. It’s a high ropes adventure course located within Currumbin Sanctuary. The course includes a once-in-a-lifetime zip line experience near enclosures containing real-life crocodiles, Tasmanian devils and dingos, making it a must-do activity on the Gold Coast for kids. Click here.
38 Hutchinson Street, West Burleigh
The Gold Coast’s Paramount Adventure Centre offers kids five years and older a unique introduction to the sport of rock climbing either through casual visits or through a dedicated indoor and outdoor rock climbing program. Click here.
Go-Karting at Kingston Park Raceway
20 Mudgee Street, Kingston
Kingston Park Raceway is the spiritual home of go-karting, and it’s only a short 35 minute drive north from the Gold Coast. Catering for even the smallest petrol heads in your family, kids aged 5 and up can take the wheel of a purpose-built kart. There are a range of different karts to choose from, depending on their age and skill level. Go-karting on the Gold Coast for kids is a great way to introduce them to motor sport in a controlled, safe and fun environment. Click here.
Surf Lifesaving QLD’s Junior Activities Programs (Nippers) on the Gold Coast with kids
If your Gold Coast stay is an extended one, then Nippers is a great way to give your kids a head start when it comes to water safety. The Junior Activities Program, better known as Nippers, is offered by every Surf Lifesaving Club on the Gold Coast. Offering a beach-based program of fun and challenging activities for your kids, there’s plenty of scope for you to get involved too. Nippers is the perfect activity for kids on the Gold Coast as it will assist your kids to develop the necessary skills and confidence to safely navigate some of the most treacherous surf in Australia. Click here.
Mini Golf at King Tutt’s Putt Putt
Corner of Surfer’s Paradise Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, Surfers Paradise
King Tutt’s Putt Putt is a mini golf experience with a difference. If you’re fast running out of options for all-weather activities on the Gold Coast for kids, challenge your kids to a golf-off. There’s three courses all up: Two are uniquely-themed Jurassic Putt and the Egyptian Course with its psychedelic, glow in the dark caves. There’s also a third, more challenging 18-hole outdoor course. Click here.
A night out at Adrenaline Park
6 Palm Avenue (corner of Gold Coast Highway) Surfers Paradise
Best experienced at night with its incredible display of multi-coloured lights, Adrenaline Park houses some of the scariest, stomach-churning amusement park rides on the planet. Your kids can experience the aptly-names Slingshot, Vomatron, Fly Coaster and bungy trampolines without having to set foot outside Surfers Paradise. Maybe best to keep it in mind as an activity on the Gold Coast best reserved for kids with empty stomachs. Click here.
Surfing lessons on the Gold Coast for kids
Corner of Duringan Street and Pacific Parade, Currumbin
What’s the point of being on the Gold Coast if your kids don’t have the skills necessary to hand ten and tackle the surf? The Currumbin Alley Surf School is just one of many surf schools offering lessons on the Gold Coast for kids. Click here.
Air Factory Trampoline Park
5 Sunlight Drive, Burleigh Waters
Air Factory is one of Australia’s largest indoor trampoline park. Let your kids get their bounce on and test out the fabulous range of trampoline-based games and activities on offer on the Gold Coast for kids. Click here.
Trail Riding at Numinbah Valley
2524 Nerang-Murwillumbah Road, Numinbah Valley
Numinbah Valley Adventure Trails offer a great range of trail rides if your kids want to combine a horse riding adventure with the spectacular scenery of Yowgurrabah, a 2500 acre working cattle Station. It doesn’t matter if your kids are new to horses or experienced riders. There’s options encompassing everything from a 30 minute lead ride right up to a 3 hour trail ride complete with billy tea, damper and an invigorating dip in the Nerang River. Click here.
Fruit Farm tractor tour, boat ride and miniature railway, Tropical Fruit World
29 Duranbah Road, Duranbah NSW
A former research station, Tropical Fruit World is now a working tropical fruit farm with a difference. It’s a fabulous place for kids to visit! Your kids can enjoy a tractor ride through the farm itself, stopping off along the way to taste macadamias and bananas. They’ll also get to stroll down to the animal farm yard with plenty of farm animals to feed and pat, before enjoying a short boat ride to the Island recreational area and its extensive playground and miniature railway. Though not strictly speaking on the Gold Coast, Tropical Fruit World is a just short trip across into New South Wales. Click here.
Ice Skating at Planet Chill
Paradise Resort, 122 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Paradise resort’s favourite attraction isn’t just reserved for guests staying there. Planet Chill, the resort’s ice skating rink, is open to everyone on the Gold Coast. If you’ve got kids aged 3 and older, they can experience all the thrills, spills and magic of ice skating for themselves, 365 days of the year. Click here.
Walk through the ancient beech forest to the Best of All Lookout, Springbrook
Repeater Station Road, Springbrook
Springbrook National Park is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. The hard bit can be getting your kids out of the car and away from their tablets and devices for long enough to see it first-hand! The Best of All Lookout is a relatively short 600 metre return trip through the remains of an astonishingly beautiful and ancient Antarctic beech forest. Providing the weather is clear, your kids will be rewarded for their efforts with stunning views across to New South Wales. Mt Warning and all the way down to the Gold Coast and Pacific Ocean. Click here.
Crash-tackle someone at Inflatable World Burleigh
3 Fremantle Street, Burleigh West
Inflatable World is an indoor, inflatable playground experience on the Gold Coast for kids and adults alike. If your kids have energy to burn, a two-hour session at Inflatable World Burleigh is sure to have them sleeping soundly at night. A word of warning though: All children under 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Get set to enjoy the best workout of your life… and more than just a few laughs with your kids. Click here.
Gold Coast Local Parks and Playgrounds
If you kids need to stretch their legs and blow off a little steam, a great, local park or playground could be just the ticket. There’s a huge array of wonderful parks and playground on the Gold Coast for kids. They all provide a fantastic opportunity for your kids to enjoy the wonderful Gold Coast climate and engage in some spontaneous, unstructured play, the perfect antidote to any theme park experience! Most also provide toilets and barbecue or picnic facilities, meaning that you could spend an entire day on the Gold Coast and the most you might have to pay is for the parking. To find out more about the best parks and playground on the Gold Coast for your active kids, click here http://www.goldcoast.gov.au/thegoldcoast/parks-facilities-140.html
Our pick of the best park-based activities on the Gold Coast for kids include:
Palm Beach, Laguna Avenue, Palm Beach.
Hailed as one of the very best parks on the Gold Coast for kids, this park has a riot of brightly coloured equipment for kids of all ages. The pirate ship and pedal-powered monorail circling the playground is sure to get your kids excited, outdoors and active.
Riding the mini bike circuit at Washington Waters Park
Marine Parade, Southport, Gold Coast Highway
Washington Waters Park is yet another of the Gold Coast’s amazing parks for kids. It also boasts its fair share of rock pools for the littlies, a monorail, mini bike circuit, enclosed swimming area and plenty of space for them to run around!
Catch a film under the stars at Kurrawa Pratten Park
Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach.
This is a fantastic beachside park with plenty of open space, bike paths and shady trees. It’s also home to Ben and Jerry’s Open Air Cinema which runs throughout summer. A cinema experience with a backdrop of sparkling skyscrapers and stars…It doesn’t get any more spectacular than this!
Dig for buried treasure at Pacific Pines Central Park
Hotham Drive, Pacific Pines
This park is the perfect backdrop for a pirate-themed adventure on the Gold Coast for your kids. Complete with a lake and sunken ship-themed adventure playground, stationary train and flying fox, this is yet another Gold Coast park that takes playing on the Gold Coast to an entirely new level of awesome and encourages your kids to put the electronic devices down and get active.
Paddling at the Broadwater Parklands and Rockpools Playground at Southport
Marine Parade, Southport
The Broadwater Parklands is a massive recreational area running parallel to the coast. Best of all, it incorporates a range of different play areas to suit kids of all ages. The Rockpools playground forms part of the Broadwater Parklands and is best described as a water park that mimics its natural surroundings, offering a safe way to cool off on the Gold Coast for kids.
One of the loveliest parks on the Gold Coast, the Broadwater Parklands is the perfect place for a family day out. Featuring a giant water play area, make sure the kids bring along togs so they can enjoy the fun. The parklands also feature a playground which includes swings, slides and a pedal powered monorail. For kids who love trampolines there is a giant undercover bouncy pillow. Bring along a picnic or enjoy parklands dining once you are ready for a break. The Broadwater Parklands has so much to offer and you’ll be sure your kids will be sound asleep during the ride home.
Whatever you choose to do on the Gold Coast with kids, you are bound to have a wonderful time with all the famiy friendly options on offer!