Gold Coast Holiday with Kids – Family Guide

With over 50 kilometres of pristine beaches, a heritage-listed hinterland and action-packed adventure for the little ones (and big ones!), Queensland’s Gold Coast seriously has it all. Throw in a chilled out vibe, more theme parks than you can poke a stick at and delicious foodie fare, there is every reason to visit the Goldy.

Sure, the Gold Coast boasts some of the best surf in the world (think Surfers Paradise, Burleigh, Coolangatta and Snapper Rocks Beach), but dig deeper and you will find a city that is starting to come of age culturally and artistically.

And with the Gold Coast playing host to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, expect a plethora of sporting activities with an international flavour. Game on!

Best family things to do Gold Coast

Hands down, the theme parks. Between Dreamworld, Wet n’ Wild, Sea World and Movie World, thrill seekers will be more than satisfied. Daredevil rides, native wildlife, adrenaline-filled shows and street performers will more than entertain the family for a whole day at each park.

You’re at the beach, so learning to surf is a no brainer. From pipelines to pockets and pop-outs to pearlers, you can learn it all. Hang ten at any number of surf schools along the stretches of Gold Coast beaches.

Breathe in the fresh sea air and hire a bike to ride along the beachfront bikeway. Is there a better way to spend the day with the family at the beach?

Explore the hinterland – it’s the green behind the gold. The Lamington National Park and Tamborine Mountain (part of the Border Ranges) offer some truly lush rainforest hikes (including an amazing Tree Top Walk), quaint cafes, ropes course or simply wander through the local craft stores.

Finding a great playground is always essential when you’ve got kids. Take a look at our top five playgrounds on the Gold Coast.

If you’re staying in Surfers Paradise and looking for things to do close by that don’t require the car, take a look at Thrifty Family Travels post on things to do in Surfers Paradise.

Discover more of the best attractions, beaches, playgrounds and sights on the Gold Coast.

Family accommodation Gold Coast

For more Gold Coast family accommodation take a look at our My Guide travel directory for reviews on the best budget, mid-range and luxury.

Know before you go

Where to eat on the Gold Coast with kids

Breakfast beachside is the perfect way to start your day. Tuckered out after a day exploring? Fish and chips on the beach at sunset may be just what the family needs. There are literally hundreds of cafes, restaurants, bars and bistros to choose from on the Gold Coast. Some of our favourites are Paddock Bakery, Currumbin Surf Club, and Social Brew.

Want to know the best kid friendly cafes and restaurants on the Gold Coast? Take a look at our reviews in our My Guide travel directory.

Getting from the airport to the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is serviced by two international and domestic airports. The Gold Coast Airport is a 30-minute drive south Surfers Paradise, while Brisbane Airport is a one-hour drive north. The Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle is an easy way to travel from the Coolangatta-based airport to your hotel, while transfers to and from the Brisbane airport are simple to schedule through Con-X-ion or Link Transfers. For more detailed information, visit Gold Coast Airport website.

Public transport Gold Coast

Buses, trains and the new tram system will get you wherever you need to go. A Go Card electronic ticket is all you need to travel on and between all bus, train and tram services. Visit TransLink for travel planning, fare and timetable information. Children under five travel free – bonus!

Driving on the Gold Coast

If you want to explore the greater Gold Coast, hiring a car may be the best way to go, especially if you want to drive through the lush hinterlands of Tamborine Mountain, Binna Burra or the Gondwanan Rainforest (which we totally recommend). Check latest prices from all the major rental companies at Rental Cars.

Parking Gold Coast

For a useful and detailed guide of where to park on the Gold Coast, check out the interactive parking locations map on the Gold Coast PayStay App which includes maximum stay times and parking fees.

Weather Gold Coast

The Gold Coast boasts almost 300 days of sunshine a year – yes, you read that right: 300 days. Its sub-tropical climate means outdoor adventure is nearly always comfortable year-round. Summer is from December to February with an average temperature of 19-29 degrees while winter can hit a high of 22 degrees. Nice.

Favourite Family Events Gold Coast

Aquasplash, 2018 Burleigh Pro Surfing Champs, Bleach Festival, Gold Coast Superhero Weekend, Swell Sculpture Festival.

Beach Survival Guide

Before you hit the beach, take a look at our Aussie beach survival guide for great tips and tricks, with everything from chafing to stingers, sand to sunburn.

Feature image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, if you book after clicking on a link, we may earn a small commission. We book our travel through these companies, so please consider booking your travel through these links as it helps us continue providing you with the best information on family travel.

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