6 hidden gems for families on the Gold Coast

Whether you are visiting the Gold Coast for a day or a week, there is always something new to discover at Australia’s favourite playground. Families can enjoy endless options when planning their perfect getaway in the Sunshine State. Check out some of the top hidden gems from around the Gold Coast for all ages to enjoy!

Try something new at Miami Marketta

It could be the back streets of Thailand, Barcelona or New York City, but it’s right there in Miami. Marketta is where the locals go and it’s only eight minutes from Broadbeach. Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm, Miami comes alive with the ultimate street food experience.

This family-friendly outdoor dining precinct has undercover seating for 1,000 people in an open-air private laneway precinct. The four onsite bars serve boutique wine and locally brewed beer, and their specialty cocktails. The main stage hosts local blues, jazz, roots independent artists. For something different, give their private Gin Parlour event space a whirl. It’s equipped with it’s own private bar, bathroom and outdoor deck. The Gin Parlour has all your bar favourites as well as a speciality gin bar comprising of 90 different varieties of gin, house-made infused vodka, tequila and rum, plus a killer cocktail list. They can even make a personal infusion for your special event!

Play all day at the Broadwater Parklands

Located just north of Surfers Paradise, escape to the Broadwater Parklands for a range of free activities for the whole family. This world-class community and cultural parkland is located on the Broadwater side of Marine Parade in Southport, opposite the popular Australia Fair Shopping Centre.

Active kids can soar across the parklands on the giant jumping pillow or navigate the winding bike tracks around the waterfront. For adventurous kids of all ages, the GC Aqua Park is the highest, largest and fun-est aqua inflatables on the Gold Coast – roll around like a hamster, jump around on multiple trampolines, slide down the largest slides and play ball on the huge arena. The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is located in the Parklands, with summer pool activities always on the calendar for the kids to splash and dive to their heart’s content.

The HOPO Ferry Service is also nearby to transport you between Surfers Paradise, Home Of The Arts, Marina Mirage and Sea World. There are plenty of shady spots for a picnic across the vast expanse of green, as well as free BBQs, or take a dip at the Rockpools water playground, perfect for parents and kids alike.

Explore the Glow Worm Caves at Cedar Creek Estate

Gold Coast Glow Worm Caves

These caves offer the only opportunity in Queensland to see glow worms during the day. Over the course of 30 minutes, you’ll see a glow worm up close and learn all about their life cycle and behaviour. The cave features a colony of native Mount Tamborine glow worms, and your small admission fee helps support and ensure the survival of the species for future generations!

The cave has been designed to maintain ideal conditions for our delicate glow worms throughout the year, providing the perfect environment for a healthy colony. This means you are guaranteed to see THOUSANDS of glow worms inside the cave all year round.

Take the Treetop Challenge at Thunderbird Park

Also located on Mount Tamborine, Thunderbird Park takes adventure holidays to the top.

This magnificent hinterland property is less than one hour from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Come for the day or stay and play, this rainforest playground has it all.

Onsite adventures attractions make Thunderbird Park an exciting experience for every age group.

The TreeTop Challenge at Thunderbird Park is home to five epic adventures, including The Canyon Flyer, Australia’s largest guided zipline canopy tour with seven huge ziplines that traverse Cedar Creek Canyon multiple times before dropping into the canyon and flying just above the tree top canopy below. The TreeTop Challenge also features three huge high ropes Adventure Challenge Parks and a Juniors Challenge for little ones.

With additional offerings of mini golf, thunderegg fossicking and horseback riding to name a few, there is something for everyone at Thunderbird Park.

Cool off at the Currumbin Rock Pools

Currumbin rock pools

Located alongside Currumbin Creek Road, just a short 15-minute drive from the beaches of the Southern Gold Coast, take a dip and cool off at the Currumbin Rock Pools. They’re a tried and tested local family favourite for a reason.

Dive under picturesque waterfalls or enjoy the scenic swimming pools are suitable for all ages, with shallow sections perfect for the little ones. Why not finish off your morning and enjoy a quiet picnic under the trees or visit the café conveniently located across the road.

Try your hand at stand up paddleboarding

If you’re keen to continue getting your feet wet, Go Vertical SUP is the leading stand up paddle school on the Gold Coast. Based in Budds Beach, adjacent to Surfers Paradise, Go Vertical provides top quality paddle board hire, SUP tours and SUP lessons to all participants, allowing them a rewarding experience on the water.

Their most popular experience is the “Paradise SUP Tour” where they launch on the river in Surfers Paradise! It’s a fun, safe and fully guided tour including a lesson and photos of your time on the water. You will achieve a sense of well-being on the water, taking in the beauty, spot peacocks along with other birdlife or a dolphin pod. Fun for the entire family and easy for all fitness levels.


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