Gold Coast Family Activities

Known as Australia’s playground, whether you’re a local or just visiting for a holiday, the Gold Coast is the perfect place to create special family memories. While participating in family activities is fun, we all know that deciding on activities that keep everyone happy can be a challenge.

To help take some of the guesswork out of choosing the best smile-inducing activities for your family we have put together our top seven Gold Coast family activities. Read on to find out our top picks or click on the titles below to jump to your preferred section.

Top 7 Gold Coast family activities:


At the bottom of this article, you will also find our top picks for 3 fun things to do in the Gold Coast on a budget.

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Kangaroos & Mountain Views


Explore Tamborine National Park, the Gold Coast Hinterland’s crown jewel, and enjoy the charming mountaintop community of Gallery Walk. Begin your adventure with a serene walk through Coombabah Lake Conservation Park, where you can encounter kangaroos and koalas in their natural habitat.
Continue your journey to the historic splendor of Mount Tamborine, where you can indulge in handcrafted scones and a warm cup of morning tea at the Manor, an enchanting historic hotel.
Delve into the vibrant world of local artistry as you meander through the artisanal boutiques of Gallery Walk.
Finally, stand in awe of the spectacular panoramic views of the Gold Coast Skyline that unfold before you from every vantage point atop the mountain.



Jet Boating

Paradise Jet Boating

The original and the best jet boating on the Gold Coast with two different ride options:
Jet Blast Jet Boat Ride – Appox 20 kilometres.  Departing directly into the Gold Coast Broadwater at Main Beach, no time wasted in the 6knot zone!

Experience some fast and fun jet boat spins and slides through the Southern Broadwater around Wavebreak Island.
Jet Boat Adventure Ride – Appox 35 kilometres. Experience Paradise Jet Boating’s premium “Jet boat Adventure Ride” 360° spins, high-speed drifting, power slides, beach-buzzing and other exciting manoeuvres through the beautiful waterways….it’s ‘full-on’ fun and adventure mixed with wonderful scenery and sightseeing.




Is it a bus or is it boat? It’s both! Experience Australia’s first amphibious ‘Duck’ vessel. Suitable for families and customers of all ages, the Aquaduck tour begins in Cavill Avenue Surfers Paradise, heads along the esplanade, and Main beach and then transforms into a boat and splashes into the Broadwater.
Once on the water you can stand and move around, with kids also having the opportunity to drive the Duck on the water and take home their own Captains certificate! Perfect for both locals and tourists with live commentary on board, Aquaduck is a great way for the family to quack about and see the Gold Coast.
You will learn about the history and landmarks of Surfers see one of the world’s most famous surf breaks, or even spot some celebrities at one of the many cafes along trendy Tedder Ave. Aquaduck has also made it easier to book Gold Coast tours and experiences whilst saving money with awesome value combos including infinity, Gold Coast Jet Boating, ifly, or hot air.


Theme Parks

Holidays wouldn’t be complete without a theme park or two, and lucky for you the Gold Coast is home to several! Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, wildlife warrior, or simply want to cool down, our theme parks have you covered.

For gravity-defying roller coasters, head to Warner Bros. Movie World or Dreamworld, just make sure to skip your morning coffee as the adrenaline rush will be enough to keep you buzzing through the day. Dreamworld is great for entertaining the whole family with a variety of entertainment, wildlife, waterslides, and rides all in the one place! If you are more into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Warner Bros. Movie World shows and rides feature your favourite Looney Tunes characters, as well as Superheroes (and Villains!) of the DC Universe.

If you are a family of wildlife lovers, the Gold Coast wildlife parks cover all animal groups. SeaWorld is a marine mammal park and oceanarium where you can get up close to animals like dolphins, penguins, polar bears, seals, sharks, or mesmerising sea jellies. If you prefer fur over scales when it comes to animal friends, then Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a must do. The sanctuary features native Australian wildlife and even an opportunity to cuddle a koala. You can experience a true Aussie farm with a variety of animals and native wildlife like koalas, emus, and kangaroos at Paradise Country.

Queensland weather can get quite steamy so cool down at one of our waterparks. Wet’n’Wild and WhiteWater World both offer wild rides for adults and fun splash parks for little kids. Make sure to bring sunscreen!



Another great activity to do as a family is Infinity.

The unique interactive play experience is located in the heart of Surfers Paradise and is suitable for everyone over 8 years.
Challenge your senses and enter a time tunnel into other dimensions of your imagination. The journey will take you approximately 30 minutes to walk through 20 multi-sensual mazes filled with special effects, atmospheric sound fields, and amazing illusions that appear to go all the way to infinity!
The activity combines education and fun as you embrace the unexpected and awaken your curiosity as you discover clues to find your way through the maze.

Infinity is Open Daily from 10am-10pm and no pre-booking is required, just rock up!

Why not make it a family adventure with the Infinity and Aquaduck combo available online.


Harbour town

Love sales? Dress the family in style at bargain prices at Harbour Town Premium Outlets on the Gold Coast.
Located in Biggera Waters approx. 30 mins drive from Surfers Paradise, Australia’s largest outlet shopping centre offers discounted prices at up to 70% off on big name brands including Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Coach, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Oroton, Gant and Tigerlily.

Take a pit stop with the host of alfresco dining options, or pop into 8 Street which is an Asian hawkers market style street food precinct.

Finish the day and relax watching a family movie at the largest cinema complex on the Gold Coast. Reading Cinemas Harbour Town has 16 screens showing all of the latest films with stadium seating mega wall to wall screens and state of the art sound.

If movies aren’t your thing, Crafty’s Sports Bar is an all-day family-friendly spot with games, weekend dj’s, and specials.


GC Aqua Park

Looking for an activity to cool down?

One of our favourite Gold Coast family activities, GC Aqua Park is a family fun inflatable water park with some of the highest inflatables in Australia! Its Mum vs Son, Dad vs Daughter or kids vs parents as you embrace your inner ninja warrior.

The 600-metre course will have you climbing, bouncing, sliding (and slipping!) through a range of floating obstacles in the calm waters of the Broadwater.

Have a big breakfast and skip your morning workout as this activity is a workout in itself!  All participants must have strength, stamina and fitness and be able to swim in a salt water tidal environment.

The enormous inflatable bouncy play-structure has two Gold Coast locations including the Broadwater Parklands in Southport (across from Australia Fair), or the lake at Oxenford. Sessions start at 50 minutes, running hourly from 10am to 5pm every day.

Children must be at least 5 years old and be able to swim, and children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.


Glow Worms

Tucked away in the rock walls and caves of the Gold Coast hinterland lies a magical world of luminescent glow worms.

Take your family on a nocturnal adventure through the forest to learn all about the wildlife and flora of the forest before turning off your torch to witness the twinkling spectacle of the glow worms.

A truly unique and educational experience as glow worms are found in only two countries in the world, Australia and New Zealand. Southern Cross Tours offers a guided experience, observing the Mt Tamborine rainforest at night where you can spot wildlife, waterfalls, and the magic of the glow worms.
The evening rainforest and glow worm tour includes hotel pick up and drop off, a scenic drive up the mountain, coffee and cake at a mountain top restaurant and then a guided walk by torchlight with an expert local guide.

The tour is family friendly and is constructed to allow people of all ages and abilities to get up close and see the beautiful glowing lights of the glow worms.


Game over

Want something exhilarating?

Game Over is the hottest gold coast adventure destination! Located in Helensvale and open every day, Game Over features the best indoor family entertainment including go-karts, Lazer Tag, themed rock climbing, or mini golf. If you are into adrenalin, action and friendly family competition Game Over is the family activity sure to impress.

The centre’s primary attraction is Australia’s first electric powered indoor go-karting track. There’s go karting options for everyone starting at Junior Racing for 7-to-12-year old’s, Storm Race Karts, Super Shifter karts complete with 3 speed paddle gear shift, plus awesome 2-seater Karts!

Want something with less speed but still action packed? The Clip N Climb offers a healthy challenge for everyone with 19 uniquely themed climbs including Stairway to Heaven, amazing Twister Tower and so many others! Minimum age is 4 years old, and each session runs for 45 minutes.

Things to do in the Gold Coast on a budget

Gold Coast Family Activities

3 fun things to do in the Gold Coast on a budget

With so many great Gold Coast family activities available to choose from you may find the holiday budget getting allocated pretty quickly. Why not spread out your days and include some free or low cost activities in between. To help you out, we have also put together three of our favourite fun things to do in the Gold Coast on a budget. Creating fun family memories doesn’t have to be expensive. After all, ‘the best things in life are free’.

3 fun things to do in the Gold Coast on a budget:



Budget – Free

Located in the centre of the city is the Home Of The Arts (HOTA), an iconic Gold Coast destination in Bundall Surfers Paradise that presents live music, art, theatre, and dance. Including a gallery with free live exhibitions as well as a children’s gallery which is an interactive children’s space filled with interactive art and activities.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! The gallery is surrounded by the HOTA parklands. Make a day of it and go for a walk in the outdoors passing outdoor sculptures and art in nature.
Then cool off in the beautiful Evandale Lake, located behind HOTA, backdropped by the Surfers Paradise skyline.

Bring your lunch, swimmers, (and floaties!) and make the most of the fully fenced kids’ playground, BBQ facilities, and 4 hours free parking.


Mt Tamborine

Budget: Free (self guided)

Full day food and wine tours available.

If you are looking for fun things to do in the Gold coast on a budget you can’t go past a free day out exploring Tamborine Mountain. The gold coast hinterland lies just behind the theme parks, only a short 30 minute drive from the Gold Coast. Featuring stunning national parks and rainforests, you can enjoy a family walk on one of the trails and discover the wildlife and waterfalls. Popular tracks include: Witches Falls; a popular track in Queensland’s first National Park, “Witches Falls National Park”. Curtis Falls, located in the heart of the mountain, is the only waterfall that can be viewed from the base, and is fed by Cedar Creek so its falls run all year round!

Mt Tamborine walks are complimented with amazing views and lookout points. A popular one is the Hang Gliders which is along the Main Western Road.  Here you can watch energetic hang gliders who use the mountain as a launch site. On the same road is Rotary Lookout which comes equipped with benches and binoculars. After the walk you can cool down at the Cedar Creek Rock Pools, easily reached via Tamborine Mountain Road, you will find a tropical rainforest complimented with a walking track, lookout, picnic spots, and a beautiful crystal-clear rock pool and waterfall.

Have small kids? Nestled in a valley and covering 11 hectares is also the Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens. Take a short stroll in the garden that features pathways, bridges, ponds, resting points, and a Japanese garden that is all pram accessible. Then head into a local galley and admire the many locally talented artists and sculptors displayed work who get their


Rainbow Bay

Budget: Free


One of the most fun things to do in the Gold Coast on a budget is to get sand between your toes and enjoy a day at the beach.

The Gold Coast is widely known for its world-class surfing beaches and a holiday here wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of our most beautiful.
Rainbow Bay is on the southern end of the Gold Coast and arches around Snapper Rocks to Greenmount, home of the annual Quicksilver Pro and WSL Challenger series. The beach is patrolled year-round and often provides a shallow sand-banked pool perfect for splashing toddlers.
The beach is complimented with any amenities you might need, including toilets, showers, barbeques, shaded tables, and a children’s playground. The Rainbow Bay Surf Club is the best place to view the break and witness a stunning sunset, while enjoying a relaxed meal or chilled beverage.

Rainbow Bay is also home to the annual Corona Open Gold Coast surf competition, attracting the world’s most famous and talented surfers! But surfers aren’t the only visitors of Rainbow Bay, during the months of May to September, over 27,000 humpback whales pass the Gold Coast. Rainbow Bay is the perfect place to watch the beautiful whales pass only about 50 metres from the shore!

Zoe Abrahams

About the Author – Zoe Abrahams

Zoe has worked in the Gold Coast tourism industry for nearly 20years and is the marking manager for Aquaduck Gold Coast, Aquaduck Sunshine Coast, Southern Cross Tours and Gold Coast Sunset Cruise.

Find out more about Zoe