Gold Coast Theme Parks
Days of fun for kids of all ages!
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With the school holidays fast approaching, we thought it would be handy to compile a guide to our leading Gold Coast Theme Parks to help you get excited and find the best parks to suit you and your family’s needs.
The Gold Coast is home to five theme parks and additional wildlife parks. It is no wonder Tourism Australia touts the Gold Coast as being the ‘Theme Park Capital of Australia’. From water parks, thrill rides, character and stunt shows to educational wildlife encounters there really is a theme park for everyone.
If you’re like me you’ll want to visit a couple. There are a range of admission options available including locals deals, multi park passes and multiple day tickets so you can find the option that best suits you and your family. For latest pricing and pass options please visit the sites directly via the links below.
A visit to the Gold Coast is not complete without exploring some of Australia’s best Theme Parks. You might think theme parks are just for the kids but whether you are on your honeymoon, travelling with mates, exploring with your family, there is something for everyone. To help you decide which park, or combination of parks, is best for you, we’ve compiled a basic overview on the major theme parks and wildlife experiences including:
- Whitwater World
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
- Paradise Country
We recommend you allow a full day to experience all there is on offer at Australia’s largest Theme Park – Dreamworld. From the moment you enter the park, your senses are awakened and the excitement kicks in as you try to decide which direction to take, and what to experience first. There is something for everyone, from fun family rides to exhilarating roller coasters, wiggles world for the kids and character shows and street performers. Visit some of Australia’s native wildlife where you can enjoy a cuddle with a koala, and be part of the Dingo, crocs and Tree Kangaroo feeding experiences. For a truly special moment on your holiday, visit Tiger Island, where you watch the king of the jungle play and for just $55 pp you can even feed a tiger personally and learn about these beautiful animals from the keeper.
Image – Destination Gold Coast
Experience Hollywood right here on the Gold Coast, at Warner Brothers Movie World theme park. Re-discover your childhood as you wander the streets of Movie World surrounded by your favourite film and cartoon characters. For those who love roller coasters, spook yourself on the Scooby-Doo coaster, or get your cowboy hat on for the Wild West Falls Adventure Ride.
A visit to Movie World is not complete without pushing your limits on the DC Rival Hypercoaster where you can even ride backwards! The little ones will love the Speedy Gonzales Tijuana Taxi ride or cool off at the Looney Tunes Splash Zone. Plan your day around the many shows including Hollywood Stunt Driver 2, Tom and Jerry and see your favourite characters in the Streets Star Parade.
Image – Destination Gold Coast
For lovers of marine animals, Sea World is the perfect theme park for you. Meet Mishka, Hudson and Nelson, the energetic polar bears, who are the world’s largest carnivores, playing and swimming and enjoying an Arctic summer. Sea World offers many animal encounters including penguins, seals and jellyfish, or watch and admire the majestic underwater acrobatics of dolphins and sharks in their lagoons.
Free shows throughout the day feature these beautiful marine animals or for those looking for a bit of excitement, the Thunder Lake Stunt Show featuring jetski and water skiing stunts is a must. Kids will love the Nickelodeon characters and will not want to miss the Turtle Power live show. When ready to pick up the pace, exciting rides such as the Castaway Bay Sky Climb, Bikini Bottom Crosstown Express and Storm Coaster await you. The New Atlantis is coming soon, based on the heroes and legends of the Old Atlantis and will feature rides such as Vortex, Leviathan and the Trident … exciting times ahead. Located in Main Beach, Sea World is only a short 10minute drive from Surfers Paradise. For a quacking day out why not combine a visit to Sea World with a 1hr Aquaduck tour.
Image – Destination Gold Coast
Need to cool off? Then Wet’n’Wild is the park for you! Located approx. 1km from Movie World theme park you can easily visit the two parks together in the one day. Fun for the whole family or for a group of friends, you can choose whether you’d like to spend your time leisurely floating around Calypso Beach on a large inflatable doughnut ring, racing down fun water slides, body boarding in the wave pool, or splashing around with the little ones in the junior splash zone. In the summer months, our warm Gold Coast evenings provide the perfect opportunity for you to relax in the water and enjoy a movie under the stars. Families will love the Wet’n’Wild Junior, the perfect place for kids to have their own adventure as they splash, run, play andrace down the eight fun junior slides.
There’s nothing like escaping the heat on a hot summers day with a visit to a waterpark. Whitewater World uses the latest hydro technology to deliver world class water slides and aqua play areas. Race your friends and family down some of the worlds best water slides including the super tubes hydrocoaster, the wedgie and the triple vortex. If lounging by the pool is more your thing you can hire a cabana for the day. Tip – Book ahead as the cabana’s sell out fast. Whitewater World is located right next door to Dreamworld and there are various passes available including single entry, one day entry to both parks and multi-day passes allow entry to both parks.
For natural encounters with Australian wildlife you can’t go past Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary with over 20 animal exhibits and five different daily live shows. The most famous of these is the wild lorikeet feeding which is held at 8am and 4pm daily and is a free public event, no park admission required. If you would like to be involved in feeding the lorikeets payment is by a gold coin donation.
Once inside the park, you can also immerse yourself in Australian culture as you enjoy a traditional aboriginal performance. Meet exotic species such as Red Pandas, Dingos, Capybaras and lemurs as you wander through the Lost Valley. Take some time to cool off at the new Wild Island Adventure Splash Zone, watch your kids run through waterfalls, water jets and waterways through the zone. Another new feature is The Gruffalo Trail where you can download an interactive app, and take a walk through the deep dark woods and meet lots of characters from the famous book written by Julia Donaldson.
A visit to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is not complete without witnessing the incredible work being done treating, caring and rehabilitating injured, sick and orphaned wildlife of Australia at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital located within the park. This work is all done with the hope these precious animals can be released back into the wild. You can get involved and help the wildlife hospital via a range of donation options including – a paver on the ‘walkways for wildlife’ with your name on it, buy a $10 tree to help feed a koala, or sign up to become a Friend of the Hospital.
You can plan your day in advance by checking out the daily show timetable here.
Image – courtesy of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
If you have always wanted to visit an Aussie farm you will love spending some time at Paradise Country, where you can enjoy encounters with Australian animals and experience informative and fun shows including Sheep Shearing, the Stockman show which showcases the skills of the Australian stock horse, before enjoying a laugh watching Sean the Sheep’s Aussie Adventure Show. For a more personal experience, join one of the team on a Wildlife Walkabout and learn all about our native animals. The farmyard nursery provides an opportunity to pat piglets, goat kids and lambs and you can even hold a guinea pig. Time to also have a cuddle with a koala and take home a photo to keep your memories alive forever.
We hope this guide helps to take some of the confusion when selecting which theme parks you would like to visit. Not only is the Gold Coast the Theme Park Capital of Australia, but there are a myriad of other tours and activities on offer for you to experience.
For information on other great free and budget school holiday activities check out our blog 5 free school holiday activities for kids.