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Fun in the sun: exploring the Gold Coast

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With sun-drenched beaches, world-class attractions, and family-friendly hotels, The Gold Coast, Australia, is a fun-packed paradise for any age.

Whether you fancy racing down rollercoasters, zooming along a zipline, or trying a classic Aussie surfing lesson, Queensland’s sparkling southeast coastline is brimming with activities.

From endless beaches and quaint villages to countless shopping trips and sun-kissed culinary delights, the Gold Coast is a holiday playground of adventure. It’s not all touristy hotspots, though, as the lush, forested Hinterland and quiet coastal neighbourhoods are perfect for a tranquil afternoon meander.

Because this region is so diverse, a Gold Coast holiday boasts both relaxation and adventure in equal measure. If you’re travelling with the whole family, planning can take time and effort. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you – our recommended Gold Coast family holiday itinerary is sure to keep your brood amused from start to finish.

Wondering how to spend five nights on the Gold Coast? Read on.


We recommend settling into your new surroundings with an outdoorsy activity on your first day. Get your swimming costume and sunscreen ready, as the Gold Coast’s beaches are calling! The world-renowned Surfers Paradise seaside town boasts two kilometres of glorious golden sand and turquoise waves just waiting to be surfed upon (children as young as six can enjoy a beginner’s surfing lesson here!). And, although this postcard-perfect beach has everything you need, alternative sandy sweeps are spread along the coast, offering shallow lagoons and child-friendly facilities. Kirra Beach, Tallebudgera Creek, and Currumbin Alley are other beaches worth exploring. 


After all that sunbathing and surfing, it’s time to refuel. Luckily, no matter where you spend your first day, you’re never too far from a café or restaurant. If you have little ones to entertain, fear not, as The Gold Coast’s Surf Clubs are often conveniently located near popular beaches and outdoor play areas.

After sunset, make your way to Cavill Avenue’s eateries and bars or take a lift to the 77th floor at SkyPoint Tower. If you’re travelling with young adults, the heart-pounding SkyPoint climb is an epic experience - climb an immense 270 metres above sea level, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking, panoramic city views.


Alternatively, embrace a slower pace of life in Coolangatta and bask in the sun at Rainbow Bay, browse souvenir shops, or partake in one of the many activities available. Enjoy a family-bonding bike ride along the flat pathway, or if biking isn’t your thing, explore on foot - there are plenty of mesmerising nature walks to choose from. 

Coolangatta’s seaside cafés offer delicious meals with calming, scenic views. Fancy a coffee and pastry somewhere picturesque? We’d recommend heading to one of the pretty Creekside venues. If you’re holidaying on a budget or fancy a wholesome feast in stunning surroundings, the Gold Coast is home to vibrant farmer’s markets selling tasty local produce and freshly baked goods. See what takes your fancy and find a picnic spot at a beachside esplanade or park. 


Why not head to one of the Gold Coast’s thrilling theme parks on day two? As the ‘theme park capital’ of Down Under, you’re not short on choice. From the tallest to the fastest to the wettest, prepare to be entertained by the impressive range of rides and live shows, and the little ones can even meet their cartoon heroes. Need help narrowing down the options? At Warner Bros. Movie World, your favourite movies come to life, and kids and big kids alike can make a splash at WhiteWater World and Wet‘n’Wild. With more entertainment parks to discover, if you’re likely to visit multiple theme parks during your stay, we’d recommend a family pass - this is the easiest and cheapest way to tick off all your favourite attractions.


You’re on an epic Australia holiday, so how about dedicating an entire day to meeting the local wildlife? Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect place to learn about Australia’s native species – you can watch a show together, and children can enjoy an up-close-and-personal encounter with some of Australia’s marsupials, including cute kangaroos and koalas. Be sure to have a camera ready, as you won’t want to miss snapping these heart-warming moments!

Aside from animal sightings, kids can burn off energy at the Canyon Flyer Zipline Tour – high ropes at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Treetop Challenge. The fun never ends on a Gold Coast family holiday!

If wildlife watching isn’t for you, shopping ’til you almost drop might be more your bag. There are many incredible places for a shopping trip on the Gold Coast. Grab a mouth-watering al fresco bite and browse the pretty boutiques, high street outlets, and treasure-filled beachfront markets. Queensland’s second-largest shopping centre, Pacific Fair, is a popular choice. 


From one wildlife adventure to the next, head inland and spend two days in the Gold Coast’s vast Hinterland. Your to-do list consists of dreamy walks, nighttime stargazing, and exploring this mesmerising region by e-bike. Otherwise known as ‘the green behind the gold’, it’s hard to believe these rolling hills, lush rainforests, and tranquil surroundings are only a 90-minute drive from the Gold Coast’s tourist hotspots.

The kids will love Tamborine Mountain, especially the Glow Worm Caves. These rare, medium-sized, narrow beetles light up the darkness, creating a magical, illuminating sight. Take an evening bush walk through the lush forest, and you’ll see these fascinating little creatures flutter between the leaves. 

Lamington National Park is a world heritage site brimming with natural beauty, wildlife, and, of course, opportunities for action-packed outdoor pursuits. Want to relax? Indulge in a rainforest-based pamper session. Bliss! There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

You’ll find O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat here, offering spacious accommodation overlooking the mountains and rainforest. Designed with families in mind, their large villas can sleep up to nine people.


From beautiful beaches and thrilling theme parks to being at one with nature - the Gold Coast is a holiday destination that shines like no other. Contact our Travel Specialist to plan your tailor-made Australia family holiday today.

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