The Gold Coast, located in Australia’s Sunshine State of Queensland, is an epic destination for a family holiday. If you’re already familiar with the region, then you’re likely up to speed on the multiple theme parks and water parks, but what you need to know is – there are so many other amazing things to do here as well!
The Gold Coast region spans an area of over 400km, so it does help to have your own transport to easily visit all the places we list below. For a fun and cost-effective travel experience, you may choose to hire a campervan, which means both your transport and accommodation are taken care of.
There are many fantastic campgrounds available on the Gold Coast, some with beachfront appeal, others with wonderful pool amenities, or even those with a fun park attached.
For some help planning what to do once you get to this tropical paradise, here’s our pick of the Top 10 Family Friendly Activities on the Gold Coast.
1 Time Zone
More than just a video arcade, this recently renovated indoor entertainment centre is sure to keep the family absorbed for at least a few hours. The time play passes are great value for money, and some include extra activities like laser tag, ten pin bowling and bumper cars.
There are also VR experiences, air hockey tables, and a section aimed at younger children which provides fun games like whack-a-mole.
Virtual tickets are collected on many of the games too, and if you’ve ever been to an arcade with children, you know that cashing in the tickets for a prize… is just as exciting as earning them.
2 Tallebudgera Creek
This is hands down one of the best family friendly beaches you’ll ever visit. The water here is in a sheltered estuary, providing completely calm swimming conditions, perfect for children to paddle in. There is also a park located right beside the beach, as well as showers, toilets and a surf lifesaving club that sells snacks out of its café.
Just try to get here early, the car park space is limited and the beach is very popular. For easier access, the Tallebudgera Creek campground is right next door, providing the ideal base for a Gold Coast campervan trip.
3 Mini Golf
There are a few mini golf options on the Gold Coast, but one of the best options is putt putt golf at Mermaid Beach. They have THREE different choices of themed 18-hole golf courses to choose from, each a different level of difficulty. One of the holes is under cover, so you can come and play no matter the weather. (buy modafinil 100mg)
During the summer, it is a great night-time activity, and the lights placed throughout the fairway obstacles, provides a wonderful atmosphere. There is also a video game arcade and at the end of the 18th hole, a snack bar.
4 Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Good luck trying to get out of a visit to this enticing attraction. Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue, if the kids notice it as you walk past, they are going to want to go in!
It is a highly entertaining, and rather informative, way to spend an hour or two. There are a lot of fascinating exhibits inside the “odditorium”; quirky facts and stories, plus many interactive displays that are suitable for all ages. There is a 7D ride here too, which rivals the best theme park roller coasters, and a room that is activated by dance moves.
5 Padlockd Escape Room
Solving puzzles together in a themed Escape Room is a perfect way to get everyone interested. There are a variety of rooms to choose from, with some being easier than others, and some having different “fear” levels. There are child friendly themes or for older kids and teenagers, maybe choose one of the scarier options for an added element of adventure.
You get one-hour to escape the room, and if you need a hint, you can walkie talkie the host and get a clue. Regardless of whether you manage to escape the room or not, it is a unique way to have some fun on your vacation.
You’ll need a camera or your smartphone when you head to ArtVo, and even the most camera-shy family member will want to get involved.
This immersive art gallery has a huge assortment of art murals painted throughout, which create mind-boggling optical illusions, and result in some spectacularly fun photographs.
The hand-painted scenarios will have you standing on the ledge of a high-rise building, striking a pose with a group of monkeys, or shrinking down in size to fit inside a glass of wine.
7 SkyPoint Observation Deck
Visit the observation deck on top of Australia’s tallest building, and enjoy the 360-degree birds-eye view of the Gold Coast. You will have fun from the moment you get in the lift, and travel from the ground level up to the 77th floor in record speeds.
Bring some gold coins and take a turn at using the supplied binoculars, or simply enjoy the panoramic view through the all-surrounding glass windows.
There is also a bistro and bar on the observation floor, so you might wish to have a drink and relax, especially if you are there in time to watch the sunset.
8 The Spit
This beautiful spot is located near SeaWorld, just a short drive north of Surfers Paradise. The long white-sand beach at The Spit has less crowds than Main Beach, and although the water here is quite rough, competent swimmers and body boarders may enjoy themselves. There is a lifeguard tower, but you may need to check which days and times it is crewed.
If you don’t want to get in the water, there is also a huge park, playground and picnic area nearby, as well as a massive jetty that juts out well into the ocean. There is a trail leading to a nearby lighthouse, which makes for a lovely walk and if you are looking for snacks, visit the takeaway food kiosk by the main car park.
9 Carrara Markets
The Carrara Markets operate every Saturday and Sunday, and often have special events like the Lifeline Bookfest or Psychic Fair that take place here as well.
The permanent stalls are a vast assortment of clothes, shoes, toys, art, souvenirs, plants and so much more. There is a family fun lane too, where kids can get their face painted, have a turn on the bungee trampoline, or even visit a walk-in butterfly house.
The abundant food outlets will cater to all tastes, from all day breakfast to ice cream and everything in between.
10 Lorikeet Feeding
For an amazing wildlife experience, you can visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at either 8am or 4pm, any day of the week. Each day at these times, visitors can feed the wild lorikeets for only a gold coin donation.
These confident parrots are happy to sit on your head, shoulders, or arms to get to the plate of food you are offering. You will definitely make some awesome memories, and go home with plenty of colourful photos.
Other Useful Tips
If you decide to organise a Campervan Hire for your family vacation, then you will love the free smartphone app “Discovery Roadtrip”. This tool is extremely useful for locating nearby campgrounds, pinpointing surrounding attractions, finding petrol stations and discovering eateries throughout your Gold Coast holiday.