To fully appreciate the allure of the Gold Coast, you need to see if through the eyes of a local. That is why I created a kids activities Gold Coast guide detailing some of the very best outdoor things to do on the Gold Coast with kids.
Even if you have never visited the Gold Coast, you would have seen images from social media or magazines showcasing bright blue skies, sandy white beaches, and lush green hinterland. It is these factors plus many more that draw around 13 million visitors per year to a destination that has outgrown its reputation of the glitter strip on the beach, to a diverse haven for holidaymakers.
An undeniable attraction of the Gold Coast is the glorious weather that you can experience year-round. The balmy temperatures mean you can spend more time outside basking in the outdoors, which is also where you will find many of the fabulous family friendly attractions and outdoor activities.
KIDS ACTIVITIES GOLD COAST – THINGS TO DO ON THE GOLD COAST WITH KIDS
VISIT THE BEACH
An outing to the beach is one of the best free things for visitors to enjoy on the Gold Coast, and you’ll be spoilt for choice with around 57 kilometres of pristine coastline available. Take a stroll along the esplanade at Burleigh Heads, visit the iconic Surfers Paradise beach for a swim in the waves, take your furry friends for a play at the designated dog area at The Spit, Main Beach. With the beach also being one of the most popular activities for many Gold Coast residents, you will find an abundance of patrolled areas from north to south of the coast. If swimming in the waves is not to your liking you will be certain to find your little slice of paradise to sit on the sand and watch the day fade away.
VISIT THE GOLD COAST HINTERLAND
Only a 40 minute day trip from the Gold Coast the little village of Mount Tamborine is nestled in a picturesque area of the scenic rim and is one of the most popular places to visit not only for its scenery but the gourmet food trail. Some of the best long and short walks can be found in this area as you connect with nature in sub-tropical rainforests. Mount Tamborine’s Curtis Falls is one of the easy walks which offers a reward of a waterfall at the base of the forest floor. On a warm day you will find many locals taking advantage of the cool waters at Cedar Creek Falls or basking under the shady trees at the beautiful Mount Tamborine Botanical Gardens. Once you have worked up an appetite you will find something to satisfy your craving along the quaint main street that’s filled with cafes, restaurants, cheese and fudge stores.
VISIT THE NATIONAL PARKS
If you are searching for an escape from the Gold Coast city, you will uncover a completely different world of unspoilt scenery, easy walking trails and cascading waterfalls in the many national parks. The Natural Bridge is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and features an incredible rock formation that has been carved over time by the force of the water over the cave. The Springbrook National Park hikes require a little more effort to see the impressive waterfalls in the area. At Twin Falls you can feel the mist hit your face as you follow the track behind the two waterfalls, and the descent to the forest floor is worth the effort to see Purlingbrook Falls, one of the most impressive on the Gold Coast. Venture to Lamington National Park renowned for more than 160 kilometres of hiking trails, including O’Reillys Tree Top Walk that gives you the opportunity of walking around 15 metres above the forest floor on suspension bridges surrounded by picturesque rainforest.
VISIT THE PLAYGROUNDS
No matter where you travel if you have young children, a playground is the most economical and sometimes the best attraction you can offer kids. If you have some downtime or want to enjoy a picnic in a park or time by the beach, you will be sure to find a playground nearby. Scattered all along the coast you’ll find a playground with a pirate theme at Palm Beach, an all-accessible playground at Kurrawa Broadbeach, Justins Park overlooking the beautiful Burleigh Heads beach, and Labrador’s Harley Park giving access to not only a playground but a swimming area as well.
VISIT THE WILDLIFE
Whether your preference is to see cute, cuddly, scaly or feathered, there is something for everyone at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. You will get up close to the well-known Australian natives and meet others that you may not have seen before. Travel around the widespread sanctuary on a miniature locomotive which stops at popular stations allowing you to see the animal enclosures and show with little effort. With so many animals to see, shows to entertain you, and fun things to do at Currumbin Wildlife it is advised to arrive early. The sanctuary comes alive at 8.00 am with lorikeet feeding near the main entrance. From then on plan your day around the many shows, (the wild skies free flight bird show is a must!) and animals you want to see. For when the kids need a change of pace, follow the Gruffalo trail, an interactive path that allows you to spot the characters from the popular Julia Donaldson book. Throughout the day meet the Gruffalo in person near the Wild Burgers café, and have a play in the enclosed playground while stopping for lunch. For those who want to get up close and personal to native Australian animals, there are many opportunities throughout the park, feed the kangaroos, hold a snake, meet a koala, and of course one of the most well-known daily attractions is the lorikeet feeding at the start and end of the day.
VISIT THE THEME PARKS
Can you even say you have been to the Gold Coast if you have not visited at least one if not all the theme parks? With all these Gold Coast attractions for families located in one place and boasting the most theme parks than in any other state, you could call the Gold Coast, Australia’s entertainment hub. At the Village Roadshow parks, you can meet your favourite superhero or looney tune character at Movie World, see some cute, playful and luminous marine life at Sea World, cool off at Wet and Wild’s mega water park and get up close and personal with Australian farm animals at Paradise Country. The choices don’t end there; Dreamworld has the biggest thrill rides, many animal experiences, (tiger island is a firm favourite) dedicated kid’s area, plus all ticket holders receive entry into the adjoining Whitewater World. You’ll find more information about the Gold Coast theme parks HERE.
VISIT THE FARMS
For a change of pace, there are many local working farms around the Gold Coast district that are open to the public. Take a working farm tour on Sundays at Freeman’s organic farm while you stock up on fresh produce and listen to great tunes from a live musician. For those animal lovers the Historic Rivermill may be the perfect place to visit. After a leisurely meal in the café feed the local farm animals or pop down to the river to admire the many turtles and ducks that call this beautiful place home. Not far over the border is Tropical Fruit World, known for its delectable fruit and an overall fun day out with the family, and Farm and Co Kingscliff where you can travel home with a bunch of sunflowers and deliciously fresh food.
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VISIT THE FUN ATTRACTIONS
There is no shortage of family-friendly Gold Coast experiences with fun around every corner and something to keep every member of the family interested. Surfers Paradise is the place to visit to challenge your senses and mind in a maze-like world at Infinity. You will be astounded at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and if you want to see a 360-degree view of the Gold Coast venture to the SkyPoint observation deck in the Q1 building. For those who love sports experience the thrill of indoor skydiving at iFLY Gold Coast or venture up the highway to tee off at Topgolf where the fun is accumulating points by hitting your ball into several targets.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Read my review on iFLY Gold Coast
VISIT OTHER SWIMMING AREAS
For calm waterways or a change of pace from the crashing waves, there are swimming lagoons at Southport Broadwater Parklands, Labrador and Paradise Point. Southport Parklands also has popular man-made rock pools that are perfect for younger kids, or if you are searching for the natural kind check out Currumbin rock pools around 40 minutes from Surfers Paradise.
WHAT TYPE OF FAMILY ACTIVITIES DO YOU ENJOY?
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