Heading to the Gold Coast with the kids in tow? Here are 10 ways to keep little minds stimulated off the sand.
From early-bird breakfasts with rainbow lorikeets to private golf bays, water safaris and floating obstacle courses, the Gold Coast is a memory-making paradise for families. Pack your sense of adventure along with your swimwear, because your itinerary is bursting with action in the sunny state. And, if you’re an RACV member, you’ll score special offers and discounts at local attractions when you book direct through RACV Attractions and Ticketing.
Go wild at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Keen to cuddle a koala, feed kangaroos and lay eyes on red pandas? Step off the sand and into 27 hectares of stunning rainforest at the iconic not-for-profit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary just metres from the beach. Climb aboard the miniature train as it winds past the animal enclosures, catch the vets at work at the wildlife hospital and sit back while the kids burn off extra energy in the huge outdoor playground. Aim to join the other early birds and arrive at 8am. Not only will you beat the crowds, you’ll also be front row for a free feeding of hundreds of rainbow lorikeets as they swoop in for their daily dose of nectar. Book now.
Fly high at TreeTop Challenge Juniors
Your little loves will see the Gold Coast from new heights as they soar above the heavenly hinterland at TreeTop Challenge. Designed for juniors aged three to seven, the park has four courses to discover while soaking up the surrounding five hectares of beautiful bushland. Two introductory courses are low to the ground and ideal for building confidence. Then they can tackle two more challenging courses suspended high in the canopy which will get them out of their comfort zones and gliding through the treetops. Each two-hour session includes a 30-minute induction that covers harnessing and training. Book now.
Set sail on Aquaduck Cruise
Bragging rights are included with this Aquaduck water safari, where kids get to drive the Duck and take home their Captain Aquaduck licence. The one-hour tour on this unique bus-that-becomes-a-boat ride begins at the beachfront esplanade, weaving along Narrowneck surf beach to the Spit and past Sea World before driving straight into the sparkling waters of Broadwater. Once afloat, you’ll have a front-row view of the yachts, super cruisers and glitzy waterfront mansions on the ocean’s edge. Book now.
Tee off at Topgolf
Whether you’re a complete novice or long-time player, you’ll have a ball putting at your private climate-controlled golf bay. Parents and kids can hone their skills hitting microchipped balls into giant targets on the outfield. With 10 different games to challenge young and old, you’re in for hours of entertainment at Topgolf. If golf’s not your thing, you can settle into a spot on the rooftop terrace and while away the day listening to music. Book now.
Be dazzled by Australian Outback Spectacular
Sit back and be transported to the Australian outback for an honest look at life on the land. As the immersive arena appears to spin, turn, shatter and transform through hi-tech projection mapping, you’ll be plunged into the story of cattle-musterers Marg and Reg and their battle with a five-year drought on their farm. No need to pack the popcorn – a three-course dinner and drinks are included. Book now.
Tackle the theme parks
Is it really a Gold Coast holiday if you don’t drop by the theme parks? Allocate your adventures to a day of memory-making with a one-day pass to Dreamworld and WhiteWater World. Or clear three days on the calendar to make your way around Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild with a multi-park pass. Leave an afternoon free for the latter pass, which also includes a sightseeing cruise. Book now.
Cool off at Gold Coast Aqua Park
Picture a playground, but on water. This inflatable obstacle course of slides, swings and trampolines will make your regular park pale in comparison. Watch on as water warriors challenge themselves by climbing, jumping, bouncing and conquering the 300-metre-long inflatable kingdom floating in shallow water just off the sandy shore. Lifeguards are on duty and life jackets are provided for the 50-minute session, but be sure to take swimwear and sun-protective gear for the purely outdoor action.
Get creative at ArtVo
Get your Instagram ready – a gallery of happy-hued photo opportunities awaits. Every inch of the floors and walls at the interactive gallery is hand-painted with trick art, creating an enticing world of optical illusions and vibrant murals begging to be the backdrop of your next family photoshoot. Let your imaginations unfold in the eight themed zones, where you can scale rocky crevasses, face off with wild animals or surf massive pipelines. You’ll find scenes from films including Harry Potter and Titanic among the 14,000-square-metre space. Book now.
Lap up Kingston Park Go Karts
Got little – or big – thrill-seekers in tow? Let them burn off steam as they buckle in for a go karting session at Kingston Park Raceway. Choose between the 605-metre European-style Monte Carlo or the 1100-metre Le Mans track, and race each other or the clock to set the day’s best lap time. The Formula Fun karts, suitable for riders aged 10 years and over, reach speeds of up to 40kmh, while the Schumacher karts, which can hit 70kmh, will thrill riders aged 16 and above. Book now.
Unwind at RACV Royal Pines Resort
Soak up five-star luxury at RACV Royal Pines Resort, beginning with stunning views of the Gold Coast skyline or the Queensland hinterland. Keep the kids entertained with a water park, tennis courts, playgrounds and in-house movies, while the adults shift into relaxation mode with a wind-down treatment at One Spa, or a challenging round on the 6734-metre championship golf course. Choose a dining experience to match your holiday mode, whether it be hearty Italian fare at Trattoria Amici, Japanese-style delights at Arakawa, or a relaxed bite by the pool.