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5 Things To Do at Southport Spit with Kids

Looking for things to do with the kids at Southport Spit on the Gold Coast that don’t involve Sea World?  There’s far more to Southport Spit than theme parks and resorts, it’s a wonderful place to spend a fun day with the family, without spending a fortune.

5 Things To Do at Southport Spit with Kids

There are plenty of free or low cost things to do with small or big kids if you’re enjoying a family holiday at Southport Spit, or, fancy a day trip from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.  Here are our top 5 things to do with the kids at Southport Spit.


Southport Spit is the ideal fishing location for families with kids.  Once you drive past Sea World and the resorts, you can pull into any of the small car parks and fish from either side of the Spit. Or, continue on to the rocks at the northern end, a popular spot for fishing, but not suited to small kids.

There’s always plenty of activity on the water with boats and jet skis to keep the kids entertained while waiting for a fish to take the bait.  If you didn’t bring your fishing gear with you, there are several outdoor hire companies on the Gold Coast, such as Action Outdoor Hire that hire out fishing rods and all the necessary gear.  Most will deliver to your accommodation.

Swimming and water sports

If you’re keen to take a break from hotel and resort swimming pools and spend the day at the beach, the calm waters on the inside of Southport Spit are ideal for a relaxing family day at the beach, minus the big waves, rips and currents.

It’s the perfect spot for small kids to play in the sand and paddle in the water.  If your kids are older, hire a stand-up paddle board or kayak and have some serious fun out on the water.  There’s also a couple of learn to surf schools located at the northern end of Southport Spit, up near Doug Jennings Park.

Picnic at Doug Jennings Park

Doug Jennings Park at the northern end of Southport Spit is a great place for a family picnic followed by a swim and a paddle in the calm, child friendly waters on the inside of the Spit.  You can even bring the fur kids with you as there are designated areas for dogs on and off the leash.  There’s plenty of free parking for cars and boat trailers.  Public toilets are located near the kiosk.

Bring a ball for the kids to kick around, or, create a nice shady base camp under the trees while dad and kids find somewhere close by to try their hand at fishing.

If you don’t fancy packing your own picnic lunch, there’s a small kiosk in the area that sells the essentials for a family day at the beach – ice-creams, drinks and burgers.

Federation walk

If your idea of a family fun day is a little more active then you’ll love the Federation Walk which officially starts at the fig tree in the carpark opposite Sea World entrance, but you can jump on in and start walking at any point.  The full walk is 3.5km along an easy, graded walking track that takes you to the northern end of Southport Spit.  The track is suitable for wheel chairs and prams, and meanders and weaves its way through secluded bushland, pockets of rainforest and open coastal heath with stunning beach views over the dunes.

It gets hot in summer so start early, otherwise a perfect walk for a cool winter’s day.

There are no toilets along the walk so visit the loo before you start and make sure you take plenty of water and snacks for the kids.  If you don’t fancy walking, it’s also an ideal bike path, so hire a bike from one of the many bike hire companies in the area and work up an appetite for fish and chips when you’re finished.

Catch an amazing sunset

There’s no better way to end a day at the beach than relaxing back and enjoying the setting sun to the sounds, smells and views of the water’s surrounding Southport Spit.  The closest place to grab some great fish and chips or fresh seafood is from Peter’s Fish Market, down near the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort.  Find a spot on one of the small beaches on either side of the Spit or Doug Jennings Park, then settle back, relax and enjoy a great Aussie tradition of fish and chips at the beach while the sun sets.  Then it’s time to head home to wash off the sand and sunscreen from an amazing day at Southport Spit.

Looking for a kid-friendly dining experience nearby? Check out Southport Sharks 

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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