Fun and affordable things to do with kids on the Gold Coast

On our doorstep, yet a world away from the stresses of city life, the Gold Coast is the perfect getaway for Queensland families. And with plenty of fun and affordable things to do with kids on the Gold Coast, why would you go anywhere else?!

Get back to nature

There’s no better antidote to city life than to spend a weekend reconnecting with nature. Home to some of the region’s most stunning national parks and hinterland, the Gold Coast and the Scenic Rim is the perfect location to rest and rejuvenate. Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park and Tamborine Mountain all have a bunch of walking tracks for families. And, costing nothing more than a packed lunch and a spring in your step, bushwalking is affordable for everyone!

Sunset at Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park

For a short yet stunning walk, try Natural Bridge Circuit in Springbrook National Park. At just 1km long, with a magical waterfall tumbling through the ceiling of a cave, it’s ideal for little explorers. On a hot day, another great walking track for families is the Curtis Falls Track in Tamborine Mountain’s cool and lush rainforest, where you can enjoy an enchanting walk through the wet eucalypt forest. And for something totally different, try the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. The boardwalks take you high into the rainforest canopy for a unique and fun way to explore life at the tops of the trees.

Natural Bridge Circuit bushwalk on the Gold Coast
Natural Bridge Circuit

There’s plenty of nature-inspired activities within a stone’s throw of the beaches too. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary offers a jam-packed day of animal encounters in a family friendly and affordable setting. Meet the crocodiles, wander through the aviaries, and hand feed the lorikeets. Make sure you pack your togs as Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Wild Island Adventure Splash Zone is the perfect place to cool off, and the kids will love it!

For the water babies

Whether its tranquil rock pools or epic surf breaks, the Gold Coast has something for water babies of all ages and abilities. For those who love the ocean, learn to surf with Get Wet Surf or Go Ride a Wave. A couple of lessons is all it takes for the groms to be carving it up in the surf.

For a unique adventure ideal for older kids, grab a paddle and explore the Gold Coast waterways with Seaway Kayaking Tours. If you have a tiny bubba in the family, you can still enjoy the gorgeous waters of the Gold Coast without getting your feet wet! Hire a boat and cruise the canals in leisure with Duffy Down Under Boat Hire, Cruises and Tours. Or hop around the waterways of the Gold Coast on Hopo. This popular Gold Coast ferry service is a fun and affordable way to cruise around the Gold Coast waters. Buy a day ticket to hop on and off as much as you like. Single tickets start from just $5 adult ($4 child). Yep, it’s totally pram friendly too.

Need to cool off without spending a cent? The Gold Coast has some stunning kid-friendly swimming spots. Head to Currumbin Rock Pools or Tallebudgera Creek for gorgeous crystal clear waters without the sway of the surf.

Tallegbudgera Creek is one of the many affordable things to do with kids on the Gold Coast
Tallebudgera Creek

Places for families to play on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is Australia’s favourite playground and it’s bursting with affordable fun for families. Hire electric bikes with Crooze Electric and ride along many of the scenic bike tracks along the coastline. Challenge yourself and the family on the ultimate mini-golf challenge at King Tutt’s Putt Putt, Putt Putt Mermaid Beach, or Holey Moley. Or create your own trick-art photo collection at Artvo Illusions.

Visit the Broadwater Parklands and take advantage of all the family friendly activities on offer, including BBQ facilities and an awesome playground. It’s here you’ll also find the Rock Pools – an exciting, sculptural water playground with water fountains, vibrant marine-themed equipment, a creek bed and several tidal rockpools for children to splash and explore. For those keen for a swim, the Broadwater Parklands is home to the GC Aquatic Centre, or you can tackle the region’s only inflatable waterpark, GC Aqua Park (seasonal).

If you’re looking for something for everyone, Thunderbird Park is one of the best places for families to play on the Gold Coast. Here you can dig for thundereggs, play laser skirmish in the jungle, tackle the high ropes course at TreeTop Challenge, boost the adrenaline with a thrilling ride on the Canyon Flyer, enjoy a horse trail ride, or play a round on the championship mini golf course.

Kids playing at GC Aquatic Centre
GC Aquatic Centre

Family friendly restaurants on the Gold Coast

From surf clubs to street eats, family friendly dining is easy on the Gold Coast. Here’s our favourites:

BMD Northcliffe Surf Club, Surfers Paradise
Kurrawa Surf Club, Broadbeach
Currumbin Vikings Surf Club, Currumbin
Southport Yacht Club, Southport
Currumbin RSL, Currumbin
Crafty’s Harbour Town, Helensvale
Sandbar, Surfers Paradise
Salt Meats Cheese, Surfers Paradise
Miami Marketta, Miami
Burleigh Pavilion, Burleigh Heads
The Collective, Palm Beach
Longboards Laidback Eatery and Bar, Coolangatta
Fox & Hounds, Tamborine Mountain
St Bernards Hotel, Tamborine Mountain

paradise resort water park

Family friendly accomodation on the Gold Coast

There’s plenty of affordable accommodation options to suit every family size and budget. Here’s some of our favourite family friendly places to stay.

North Gold Coast NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort
Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park and Motel
Ashmore Palms Holiday Village
Paradise Country Farmstay
Meriton Suites Southport
Sea World Resort
Central Gold Coast QT
Mantra Crown Towers
Paradise Resort
Rhapsody Resort
Avani Broadbeach
South Gold Coast Nobby Beach Holiday Village
Swell Resort
La Costa Motel
Iconic Kirra
Oaks Gold Coast Calypso Plaza Suites
Gold Coast Hinterland Cedar Creek Lodges
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
Binna Burra Lodge

For more ideas for your next visit to the Gold Coast, head to www.destinationgoldcoast.com  #PlayGoldCoast


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