The Gold Coast in Australia isn’t just a surfer’s paradise – it’s a haven for families seeking a vacation filled with sunshine, thrilling adventures, and unforgettable encounters with fascinating wildlife. From heart-pounding rides to cuddly koalas, the Gold Coast keeps every family member entertained.

Top Family-Friendly Attractions

1. Theme Parks:

  • Dreamworld & WhiteWater World:

This ultimate combo park boasts high-octane roller coasters like the Giant Drop and The Claw at Dreamworld, while WhiteWater World offers refreshing water slides and wave pools to cool off.

Plan your dream Gold Coast getaway with a convenient car rental Gold Coast! Click here to learn more!

Dreamworld & WhiteWater World
  • Sea World:

Dive into a world of ocean wonders! Witness awe-inspiring shows with majestic whales and playful dolphins. SeaWorld also offers educational experiences and interactive exhibits perfect for curious young minds.

Sea World Penguins
  • Warner Bros. Movie World:

Action! Animation! Adventure! Meet your favourite superheroes and cartoon characters at Warner Bros. Movie World. Ride thrilling coasters based on blockbuster movies and enjoy live shows featuring iconic WB stars.

Warner Bros. Movie World Parade

Get drenched in a world of splashtastic fun! From heart-stopping slides like the Tornado to relaxing wave pools, Wet’n’Wild offers a watery adventure for the whole family.

2. Wildlife Sanctuaries:

  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: Get familiar with iconic Australian animals like koalas, kangaroos, and playful cassowaries. Currumbin offers interactive experiences like feeding lorikeets and watching educational wildlife shows.
  • David Fleay Wildlife Park: This award-winning park is a haven for endangered Australian wildlife. Spot unique creatures like Tasmanian devils and spotted quolls, and learn about conservation efforts.

3. Beaches and Parks:

  • Surfers Paradise Beach: Build sandcastles, splash in the waves, or learn to surf at the iconic Surfers Paradise Beach. Its golden sands and vibrant atmosphere make it the perfect place to soak up the sun and create lasting memories.
  • Broadwater Parklands: This sprawling parkland offers a scenic escape with playgrounds, picnic areas, and a man-made beach perfect for young children. Explore the park on a rented bike or scooter for an active family outing.
  • Burleigh Heads National Park: Hike through lush rainforest trails, explore hidden waterfalls, and witness breathtaking coastal views at Burleigh Heads National Park. This park offers a welcome dose of nature amidst the Gold Coast’s vibrant attractions.


Burleigh Heads National Park

Outdoor Adventures for Kids

1. Surfing Lessons:

Hang ten with the whole family! Gold Coast offers gentle waves in areas like Currumbin Beach and protected coves like Anfänger (Beginner) Bay at South Stradbroke Island. Qualified instructors can tailor lessons to different age groups, using soft-top boards for extra safety and stability. Kids will learn basic techniques like paddling, popping up, and riding the waves while enjoying the thrill of being on the water.

Currumbin Beach Gold Coast

2. Whale Watching Tours:

Several companies offer whale-watching tours departing from various Gold Coast marinas. Choose from morning or afternoon tours, some lasting a few hours and others offering extended adventures. Many tours cater to families with spacious viewing decks, kid-friendly commentary filled with interesting facts about humpback whales and their migration patterns, and interactive activities like spotting whales through binoculars or participating in wildlife quizzes.

3. Hiking Trails for Families:

The Gold Coast offers a variety of family-friendly hiking trails perfect for all fitness levels. The Currumbin Rock Pools Walk is a short, scenic trail leading to refreshing rock pools ideal for a cool-down swim. Alternatively, explore the lush rainforest on the simple yet rewarding Springbrook Natural Bridge Walk, where you can marvel at a cascading waterfall. For a more challenging adventure, consider the Tamborine National Park Rainforest Circuit, offering stunning views and diverse plant life.

Springbrook Natural Bridge Walk - Gold Coast

Indoor Activities for Kids in Gold Coast

  • Museums and Art Galleries: Spark your child’s imagination and introduce them to different cultures and artistic styles. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! offers a mind-boggling experience with bizarre exhibits and interactive displays that will leave everyone talking. Explore the wonders of the underwater world at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, or head to the Gold Coast Art Gallery for a curated exhibition showcasing local and international artists. Many galleries offer interactive workshops and children’s programs, making art appreciation a fun and engaging experience.

  • Indoor Play Centers: Rainy days or moments seeking air-conditioned comfort are easily solved with a trip to an indoor play centre. Popular options include PLAYGROUND GC, offering a multi-level play structure with slides, climbing walls, and ball pits, or Clip ‘n Climb Surfers Paradise, where kids can test their skills on challenging climbing courses and obstacle walls. Many indoor play centres also have dedicated toddler areas for younger children, ensuring fun for all ages.

  • Movie Theaters and Bowling Alleys: Enjoy classic family entertainment at a modern movie theatre like Event Cinemas or BCC Pacific Fair. Catch the latest animated releases or family comedies on the big screen with comfortable seating and high-quality sound. For a more interactive activity, head to a bowling alley like Strike Bowling for some friendly competition. Many bowling alleys offer special deals on family packages, making it an affordable and fun outing.

Tips for Planning Your Trip

1. Best Time to Visit:

The Gold Coast beckons with sunshine most of the year, but the ideal time for your family adventure depends on what you crave:

  • Peak Season (December – February): Think glorious sunshine, vibrant nightlife, and bustling crowds. Perfect for soaking up the rays on pristine beaches, indulging in lively entertainment options, and experiencing the electrifying atmosphere.

2. Places to Explore During Peak Season:

  • Surfers Paradise Beach: Catch some waves or build sandcastles on this iconic beach, a must-visit for any Gold Coast trip.
Surfers Paradise Beach - Gold Coast
  • Warner Bros. Movie World: Meet your favourite superheroes and cartoon characters, ride thrilling coasters based on blockbuster movies, and enjoy live shows featuring iconic WB stars.

  • NightQuarter: Immerse yourselves in a lively marketplace filled with global street food stalls, live music performances, and pop-up bars – perfect for an evening under the stars.
  • Shoulder Seasons (March-May & September-November): Pleasant weather with sunshine and comfortable temperatures makes these shoulder seasons ideal. Expect smaller crowds and potentially lower accommodation rates. It’s the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities like:

3. Places to Explore During Shoulder Seasons:

  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: Get familiar with iconic Australian animals like koalas, kangaroos, and playful cassowaries. Currumbin offers interactive experiences like feeding lorikeets and watching educational wildlife shows.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary - Gold Coast
  • Springbrook Natural Bridge: Embark on a short, scenic hike through lush rainforest to discover a cascading waterfall and the natural wonder of the Springbrook Natural Bridge.

Springbrook Natural Bridge - Gold Coast
  • Tamborine National Park: Hike through diverse rainforest trails, explore waterfalls, and witness breathtaking panoramic views at Tamborine National Park.

  • Winter (June-August): Mild temperatures make winter a great time to explore the hinterland areas and discover the unique wildlife of the region. You might encounter lower hotel rates, but some theme park attractions may have shorter operating hours.

4. Places to Explore During Winter:

  • David Fleay Wildlife Park: This award-winning park is a haven for endangered Australian wildlife. Spot unique creatures like Tasmanian devils and spotted quolls, and learn about conservation efforts.
  • Lamington National Park: Lace up your hiking boots and explore ancient rainforests teeming with birdlife and cascading waterfalls in Lamington National Park.
  • Mount Tamborine: Discover charming villages, explore glow worm caves, and take in scenic views from atop Mount Tamborine.

5. Accommodation Options:

The Gold Coast offers a variety of family-friendly havens to suit every budget and travel style:

  • Family-friendly Resorts: Imagine sparkling pools, exciting kids’ clubs, and convenient on-site dining options – all perfect for keeping everyone entertained. Popular choices include Mantra on Broadwater, offering excellent water views, or Sea World Resort, where you can enjoy exclusive benefits like early park entry.
  • Apartments and Holiday Homes: For a more spacious and flexible option, consider apartments or holiday homes. These are ideal for larger families or those seeking self-catering options. Broadbeach offers a range of modern apartments, while Currumbin provides a selection of beachfront holiday homes.
  • Hotels: Located in the heart of the action, hotels are ideal for those who want to be close to beaches, restaurants, and attractions. Palazzo Versace offers a luxurious stay, while Voco Gold Coast offers a convenient location near Surfers Paradise Beach.

6. Transportation Tips:

  • Public Transport: The Gold Coast has a reliable public transport system, including trams (G: link) and buses, connecting major destinations. Consider purchasing a G: link pass for unlimited travel on the light rail network.
  • Renting a Car: Provides the freedom and flexibility to explore the wider region, including hinterland national parks, charming coastal towns, and hidden gems off the beaten path. Alpha Car Hire offers a wide range of reliable and family-friendly vehicles in Gold Coast to suit your needs.
  • Taxis and Ridesharing Apps: These are convenient options for short trips or late-night outings, especially when exploring areas not serviced by public transport.


The Gold Coast offers endless possibilities for an unforgettable family vacation. From thrilling theme park rides to encounters with fascinating wildlife, there’s something for everyone. With careful planning and this guide, you can create lasting memories and ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Enjoy a Family Vacation with Alpha Car Hire!

Plan your dream Gold Coast adventure with Alpha Car Hire! We offer a wide range of reliable and family-friendly vehicles to suit your needs. Explore the hidden gems and create lasting memories with the freedom and flexibility of a rental car. Book your car rental today and get 10% off your next Gold Coast adventure!

Important Rental Car Reminders:

  • No Off Road (beach driving or dirt road driving)
  • No Travel by Barges or Ferries
  • No Islands
  • No Western Australia
  • No Northern Territory
  • No Tasmania