Skip to Content


INSIDE: Everything you need to know unique things to do on the Gold Coast with kids. 

Think Gold Coast, think Theme Parks?  

The GC is home of the theme parks including Dreamworld, Seaworld, Wet’n’Wild water park, Movie World.

The Gold Coast is also the location of TWO outstanding reptile and bird parks

  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Fleays Fauna Centre, and

There’s one animal park, Paradise Country near Movie world.

The much loved Outback Spectacular pioneering horse show is here too.

BUT There’s SO MUCH MORE to the Gold Coast than that.

The Gold Coast is Australia’s number one destination for families. It’s a no brainer.

The Gold Coast has it all.

Warm, sunny, glorious weather.

Wide open beaches with golden sand and turquoise waves.

ALL the best Australian theme parks.

And a backdrop of green space to go bush walking, mountain climbing, and shopping in cooler temperatures up in the mountain gallery spaces.

There’s so many things to do on the Gold Coast with kids: 

  • things to do in Gold Coast besides theme parks
  • the best Gold Coast attractions you’ve never heard of
  • things to do in Gold Coast on a budget 
  • free family activities Gold Coast has to offer

Take a look at the best low cost and free kids activities Gold Coast has to offer!

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you.

photo - tabatinga tweed balladium gallery


Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in AUD dollars, unless otherwise stated

Fancy playing a game of skirmish under neon lights?

Or copping a bucket full of water over your head at the best splash pad on the Goldie?

How about swinging through the trees on a Tree Top adventure, like Tarzan, or riding in a duck boat

Or experiencing majestic whale watching up close on a boat tour? 

You can do all these things to do in Gold Coast, and more. 

pedicab by mr tindc

Image credit: Mr TinDC via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

No.1: Surfers Paradise Pedicab Ride

Take a ride in a Pedi-cab in Surfers Paradise.

Oh gosh, this is such a touristy gimmick.

But how fun it is to sit and enjoy the view while someone else peddles.

Especially when the ride is around the glorious touristy beachside town of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

There’s lights, glitter, glam, neon, and a little bit of strange thrown in.

The kids will love it! 

Address: Cnr Cavill Ave &, Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217.  Find the pedicabs near the entrance to Hard Rock cafe Surfers Paradise. 

RELATED: Big List of Fun Things to do on the Gold Coast with kids

natural bridge springbrook national park by michael lynch

Image credit: Michael Lynch via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

No.2: Glow Worms Natural Arch Springbrook  

Visit the Glow Worms at Natural Arch after sunset, via Nerang Murwillumbah Road.

There’s plenty of free parking at the top of the walk, and the round trip down to Natural Arch waterfall is not arduous for kids or family members.

Allow an hour or 90 minutes for a return trip. 

You can go any time of the day, as the glow worm cave is dark inside. 

Book a tour here.

If you head to Natural Arch from Nerang, keep an eye out on the right hand side of the road for the entrance to the natural swimming hole at Springbrook National Park forest reserve.

(Directions here– it’s just past Pocket Road, on the same side of the road). 

Park and take a swim!

Address: Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park, Bakers Rd, Natural Bridge QLD 4211


Image credit: HOTA Gold Coast

No.3: HOTA Home of the Arts 

HOTA is the name for the Arts & Culture complex on the Gold Coast.

Formerly known as the Arts Centre, there’s an art gallery, atmospheric movie theatres, a concert hall, a bar, and a delicious restaurant/cafe. 

HOTA hosts:

  • musicals
  • artist in residence events
  • music events
  • art exhibitions
  • foreign films
  • Symphony Orchestra performances
  • cabaret shows
  • comedy
  • live shows for kids (Bluey!)
  • Party in the Park
  • the Gold Coast Film Festival
  • Bleach* and
  • theatre productions from around Australia and overseas.

Both indoor, and on the newly developed outdoor stage with seating under the starry sky.

They are a big support to local homegrown acts emerging in the space. 

Take a look and see what’s on. 

Address: 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Aquaduck-Gold-Coast pic

Image credit: Aquaduck Gold Coast

No.4: Ride the Aquaduck amphibious vehicle.

Travel through the streets before it turns into a boat and takes you on a tour of the town on water.

This Aqua Duck amphibious vehicle goes from land to sea, a one hour tour of the highlights of the Gold Coast, with laughs all the way.

The comedic tour narration is a highlight for kids AND adults!

Click here to book. 

No.5: The Pirate Park Palm Beach Parklands.

Ahoy me hearties.

The Pirate Park at Palm Beach Parklands is one of the BEST, most creative playgrounds on the GC.

Take a peek inside here, to find all the fun things you can do with kids, both here and in the parklands themselves.

(There’s good coffee) 

Watch out for the slide though. That’s one fast slope!

Address: 945 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach QLD 4221

q deck skypoint tower surfers paradise by bertknot

Image credit: Bertknot via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.6:  QDeck at Skypoint Tower Surfers Paradise

Incredible 360 degree views of the Gold Coast skyline from inside the 77th floor of the Gold Coast’s highest residential building, Skypoint Tower.  

The Skypoint Observation deck has the best views of the city and hinterland. 

Daredevils can also book a tour and join Australia’s Highest external building climb! 

Yes, you can climb on top of the region’s most iconic residential tower, Q1, right up to the summit, 270 metres above the ground. 

Fun Fact: The Q1 Building is taller than the Chrysler building in New York City, and is structurally the 25th tallest building in the world at 322.5 metres high!

Sadly, kids under 12 can’t climb, so this is one for the teens. 

Address: Level 77, q1 building/9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

ned jack at seaworld july 2020 pic

No.7:  Seaworld

THIS theme park (unlike the others that were built on hardy land out in the sticks of the hinterland) is breezy and cool.

Don’t miss Shark Bay to see sharks and giant manta rays gliding past.

Try and spy the Polar Bears, and enjoy a laugh with the jumping, hopping mad Penguins.

Castaway Bay Sea World

But the most fun is Castaway Bay!

This interactive adventure playground is the spot we can’t escape!

The Battle Boats ride, with over eighty water cannons, is as much fun off it, as it is on.

Look out – there’s no staying dry if there’s kids about! 

Climb through the five levels of the Sky Fortress through nets, tunnels, down slides, and up and down platforms. I guarantee you will lose your kids, who will quickly leave you behind as you navigate and pull adult sized arms and gangly legs through tiny spaces.  A huge awkward laugh-a-minute experience for the whole family.

Bring your swimmers, towels and a change of clothes and finish a day at Seaworld at the triple splashpad waterpark area. 

Seaworld is our family’s favourite theme park on the Goldie. 

Check latest prices:  3 day pass discount tickets for Seaworld, Movieworld and Wet N Wild

wiggles world at dreamworld pic by sherry kang

Image credit: Sherry Kang via Flickr CC BY-2.0

No.8: Dreamworld Gold Coast

The perennial favourite theme park of all who visit the Gold Coast. 

Australia’s biggest theme park has 7 lands with attractions, rides, and fun activities. 

No.1: Main Street

Australia’s knock off of Disneyland Main Street, this is the spot to catch the Dreamworld Express train, ride Mick Doonan’s MotoCoaster, or the Sky Voyager, the flying experience  (like Soaring at Disney)

No.2: Corroboree 

The everlasting favourite, the Vintage Car adventure where you can drive your very own vintage car is here.

It’s also the place to see Australian native animals, like bilby’s, squirrel gliders, wombats, dingoes, and kangaroos, and cuddle a koala.

There’s plenty of Indigenous Australian culture to learn here too, with shows on stage, films, weapons demonstrations, yarning circle, traditional music and fire making. 

No.3: ABC Kids World & Wiggles World 

The best part of Dreamworld for the little kids!

  • Banana’s in Pyjama’s fun maze
  • Giggle and Hoot Pirate ship
  • Play School Art Room
  • Big Red Car ride
  • Big Red boat ride
  • Dorothy’s Tea Cup ride
  • ABC Kids World Fun Spot
  • Play School wheel with your fave Play School characters.

No.4: Dreamworks Experience 

THIS area is Dreamworld’s newest and most fun area for older kids and teens.

There’s family friendly coasters, bumper cars, Dronkey flyers, a Puss in Boots Sword Swing, and a MAD jungle jam with air connons, foam fountains and lookout towers. 


No.5: Gold Rush Country

The scary part of Dreamworld – with BuzzSaw and Giant Drop!

Not for the faint hearted. 

No.6: Ocean Parade 

MORE fun for older kids – the Claw, Shockwave, Tail Spin and Hot wheels rollercoasters will have you leaving your stomach in your mouth! 

No.7: Tiger Island

The only place you can meet tigers on the Gold Coast. 

check it out. 

For overseas visitors, ABC Kids World and Wiggles World will be much loved by children under 7.

Whitewater World Gold Coast

Whitewater World is Dreamworld’s very own waterpark – separate entry fees apply.

Download a Dreamworld Map PDF here. 

image - aboriginal dance group currumbin sanctuary 800

No.9:  Currumbin Sanctuary Gold Coast

Currumbin Sanctuary is a top day out for families with kids under 12.

  • meet all the animals, including kangaroos you can pat
  • cuddle and have a photo with a koala
  • see Lemurs running around like crazy
  • head to the up-close-and-personal bird show
  • check out the new water splash pad and Currumbin wildlife sanctuary adventure playground for kids
  • visit the animal hospital and see all the good work they do in animal care and wildlife conservation
  • ride the train at the end of the day to carry weary kids all the way home, tra la la la la.

TreeTop Challenge

Big kids will LOVE the TreeTop adventure challenge, that allows you to zipline OVER the crocodile enclosure! (extra charge)

Read our guide to the 17 best things to do at Currumbin Bird Sanctuary. 

Open daily, 9am to 5pm. 

Address: 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin QLD 4223

Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club

And afterwards, take a walk around the corner to Elephant Rock Cafe, or Currumbin Surf Club for a drink and a snack.

The Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club is PERCHED right on the edge of the sea.

You can’t get any closer.

It’s the perfect whale watching spot from July to October!

teppanyaki table pic by jitbag

Image credit: Jit Bag via Flickr CC BY-2.0

No.10: Misono Japanese Steakhouse Marriott Surfers Paradise 

Misono Japanese Restaurant at the Marriot Surfers Paradise is not just a restaurant. 

It’s a sight to see and an experience to remember, and is the largest teppanyaki restaurant in Australia. 

Kids will be mesmerised by the circus-like skills of the chefs and egg omelette flying through the air.

If they are lucky, the kids might even be asked to open their mouths to catch the deliciously cooked omelette straight from the pan! 

Check out the Misono menu here. 

Hot tip: Upgrade to Misono’s famous Hibachi Chicken Fried Rice! 

Open Friday to Sunday from 5:30 p.m. Bookings are essential by phoning 07 5592 9770

Address: Surfers Paradise Marriott Hotel, Level 3, 158 Ferny Avenue,Surfers Paradise · Gold Coast,

photo - currumbin rock pools jumping

No.11: Currumbin Rock Pools Gold Coast

Enjoy the drive into the GC hinterland, a big change from the bright lights of the city, and take a dip at the Currumbin Rock Pools. 

Entry is free, and if you go early, you’ll beat the crowds.

It can be icy COLD, so bring a fluffy towel to warm up. 

Address: Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Valley 

photo - southport rock pools gold coast view

No.12: The Southport Rockpools and Broadwater Parklands

The Southport Rockpools, the playgrounds and the swimming enclosure at the Broadwater Parklands are definitely worth a day of your time. 

This place, with views across to Seaworld, is one of the best free things you can do on the Gold Coast with kids. 

A little to the left, the Southport Aquatic Centre, is another popular spot with local families.

Join the fun.

Read all the details here.

Address: Southport Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport QLD 4215

surf world museum by surfglassy

Image credit: SurfGlassy via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.13: Surf World Museum Currumbin

If you’ve got a budding Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater or Steph Gilmore in your family, head to the Surf World Museum in Currumbin (opposite Currumbin Bird Sanctuary)

Full of fascinating exhibits and extensive displays of surfing memorabilia, you’ll see things including:

  • surfboards
  • surf artwork
  • surf movie posters and
  • historic photos

Any wax head will be in surfing heaven.

Address: 35 Tomewin St, Currumbin.

image - surfers paradise markets goanna toy

No.14: Surfers Paradise Markets Gold Coast

Best of the beach markets at the moment for Gold Coast souvenirs and cute stuff.

My kids love the ‘walking goannas’ made of foam.

They make a super fun souvenir for the kids to remember their trip. Look for the lady who makes them by hand.

They are one of a kind, and a unique souvenir from a Gold Coast family holiday!

Search the Surfers Paradise craft market stalls to find these awesome gifts and souvenirs too:

  • A 3D model of your hand in coloured candle wax from Wax Hands Surfers Paradise
  • Wearable art, silk scarves, and mandalas from Heavenly Earth art
  • Your name on a piece of rice, hung on a necklace by Name on Rice 
  • Caricature drawing of your family by Rodolfo
  • Build your shell collection with beautiful sea treasures from She Sells Shells 

Address: Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, QLD, Australia

  • The twilight markets located on the Esplanade at the beach end of Cavill Mall
  • Markets operate all year round
  • Every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 9pm 

Hot tip: Carrara markets is another fun family market, especially for kids. There’s lots to do. 

photo - ripleys surfers paradise lizard man face

No.15: Ripley’s Believe it or Not! 

Have a giggle and be in awe at Ripley’s Believe it or NOT! Surfers Paradise. 

It’s a walk through the weird and wonderful, with strange and kooky displays from around the world.

Here’s a guide to the best 15 things to do at Ripleys Surfers Paradise. 

Ripleys address: Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

infinity-surfers paradise

No.16: Infinity Surfers Paradise

Then take a walk through Infinity Gold Coast.

Infinity is a funhouse style attraction full of black lights, colourful neon, illusion-based special effects, & music.

It’s a futuristic maze, and you never know which way is up, or down. 

Both of these places are unashamedly tourist attractions but FUN!

Infinity address: Shop 31 Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, 3240 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise 

sushi train plates by bex walton

Image credit: Bex Walton via Flickr CC BY-2.0

No.17: Sushi Train Gold Coast

If you’ve never taken the kids to a Sushi Train restaurant before, then take them while  you are here.

There’s so many branches and spin-off’s, it’s a bit of a ‘choose your own adventure’ when deciding on which one to visit.

We recommend Sushi Train Miami One. 

They have sushi, sashimi, and vegetarian options. 

Their menu has a whole bunch of hot Japanese dishes including curry, edamame beans, rice bowls, salads, ramen, soba noodles, miso soup, rice, and tempura udon. 

There’s a kids meal served on a train platter, including a drink, jelly, sushi rolls, spring rolls, and chicken karaage. 

Check out their dessert menu too. 

There’s no sushi quite like sushi that arrives on a toy train to your table!

Open 11am to 9pm daily (Sunday closes 8.30pm)

Address: Shop 6&7, Miami One Shopping Centre, 1930 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami QLD 4220

sheraton mirage gold coast hotel by guy k

No.18: Sheraton Mirage High Tea 

Take your teenage daughters to high tea at one of the Gold Coast’s most beautiful and exclusive hotels. 

High Tea at Pearls Bar includes barista made tea or coffee, or for a little extra, a glass of sparkling.

Available 11am to 4pm daily

After you’ve eaten all the goodies, and soaked in the view, pop across the road for a look around the extravagantly indulgent Marina Mirage, THE shopping centre for those with cash to spare!  

(For an affordable indulgence, pop in to my favourite stationery shop Kikki K while you are there!)

Address: 71 Sea World Drive, Main Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland, 4217, Australia

Telephone 07 5577 0004 to book.


No.19: QT Hotel on the Gold Coast.

This hotel is seriously “cutie”!

Bright colours, Palm Spring mid century aesthetic, coastal views, cute as design, and fun bubbly atmosphere. 

Head to QT Gold Coast for breakfast at Bazaar, a buffet like you’ve never met before. 

Think global flavours and street food delights from Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

You don’t need to stay to visit, so pop in for a munch. 

Address: 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217


photo - kids bike tracks crossroads

No.21: Kids Bike Tracks Gold Coast

Take the kids to this junior bike riding track at Southport

It’s at Broadwater Parklands Southport, which also has a jumping pillow, a monorail playground track, cycle paths, an enclosed swimming area. 

You can fill a whole day here, while enjoying the views across to Seaworld.

Seeing the helicopters taking off up close is a highlight for kids. 

paradise jet boating driver declan and crew

No. 22:  Paradise Jet Boating 

THIS is the most fun you can have on the Broadwater of the Gold Coast with kids!

Paradise jet boat tours are a thrilling, bouncing, hi-speed race across the water in a super fast boat.

Hang on to your seats!

Read all the details here.

No.23: Thunderbird Egg Park Crystal Fossicking

Don’t miss this place.

Head to Tamborine Mountain for a day. 

Wander the art gallery walk, check out the national park bushwalks, see the paragliding, and visit Thunderbird Park to:

  • dig for hidden treasures from prehistoric volcanic lava in the world’s largest Thunderegg Mine.
  • head up into the tops of the trees on the Treetop Challenge climbing and zipline adventure
  • play laser skirmish in among the trees
  • feed the lorikeets
  • play adventure minigolf 
  • take a dip in the rock pools

Hot tip: Book a night or two stay at Cedar Creek Lodges to get the most out of this beautiful place. 

Address: Corner Tamborine Mountain Rd &, Cedar Creek Falls Rd, Tamborine Mountain

Best Indoor Activities Gold Coast style?

Looking for things to do on a rainy day on the Gold Coast?

No.1: Gold Class Cinema Gold Coast

Treat the kids to a flick in Gold Class at one of the Gold Coast movie cinemas.

Find Gold Class movies at:

  • Reading Cinemas at Harbour Town
  • Event Cinemas Australia Fair
  • Event Cinemas Robina Town Centre
  • Event Cinemas Westfield Coomera
  • Event Cinemas Pacific Fair 

No.2: Planet Chill Ice Skating

Get out of the heat and into the cold at Planet Chill ice skating rink at Paradise Resort Gold Coast. 

This is one of the best family activities Gold Coast has for all ages from 2 up. 

No.3: Tabatinga Indoor Play Centre Gold Coast

Tabatinga Tweed Heads is at Seagulls Leagues Club.

It has a glow-in-the-dark putt putt golf AND a ‘balladium’.

Book a visit today. This place is an unexpected surprise.

abrakidazzle play centre southport jumping castle

Best Indoor Play Centres Gold Coast

Check out our list of more of the best indoor play centres on the Gold Coast below

Abrakidazzle indoor play centre is the largest on the Gold Coast

Big Top Playhouse indoor play centre is Circus themed. (Formerly Yard Apes)

Bounce Inc Gold Coast. ROAM THE GNOME Family Travel Website. Hundreds of fun ideas and activities to help you plan and book your next family vacation or weekend adventure. _8557

Best Gold Coast Trampoline Parks

Bounce Gold Coast

Take the kids to BOUNCE Inc Trampoline Park &  X-Park Parkour Zone.

But be warned.

One hour is never enough! 

Springloaded Banora Point

Springloaded trampoline park is our favourite place to hang out in school holidays.

There’s SO much to do here, and the staff are simply awesome.

Best Putt Putt Gold Coast? 

There’s a few places to pick up sticks and play a round of mini golf on the Gold Coast.

Book a session at:

  • Putt Putt Golf Mermaid Beach – the original putt putt course on the GC 
  • King Tutts Putt Putt (indoor-outdoor mini golf, with excellent theming!
  • Lilliputt Mini Golf at Robina Town Centre – it’s a fave for dinosaur fans
  • Holy Moly Golf Club Surfers paradise – the Gold Coast’s newest mini golf course with a difference!  Fun theming for adults as well as kids. 
  • Thunderbird Egg Park Mt Tamborine

Tabatinga Tweed Indoor play centre (mentioned above) has black light glow in the dark mini golf where you putt putt around the neon course in the dark! 

currumbin bird sanctuary lorikeets on ned's head pic

Best Gold Coast Zoos and Animal Parks (Wildlife Sanctuaries) 

Wondering where to see Animals on the Gold Coast?

No.1: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Here’s a guide to the 17 epic things to do at Currumbin Bird Sanctuary with kids.

Did you know there’s also a chance to zipline OVER the crocodile enclosures? 

Check all the details in the guide above. 

No.2: David Fleay Wildlife Park

Head to David Fleay’s to see emus, kangaroos, snakes, lizards, and crocodiles in a natural bushland setting.

Think of a much more low-key version of Currumbin Sanctuary, without the hoards. 

Good for a morning excursion with little kids.

Address: Loman Lane, Burleigh Heads QLD

scraps and traps water play area at paradise country

No.3: Paradise Country

Paradise Country is an Australian homestead where you can meet native Australian animals including koalas, kangaroos, emus and wombats, as well as farmyard animals.

Toddlers and preschoolers LOVE the Pigs Playground, and the Scraps and Taps water play area too. 

ray pascoe park tweed heads 800

No.4: Pelican Feeding Gold Coast

There’s not one but TWO places to feed pelicans on the Gold Coast:

  • one in Labrador and
  • one in Tweed.

Head to Charis Seafoods to watch the fishmonger feed these majestic birds after lunch.

Or take some fish scraps to Ray Pascoe park in Tweed Heads on Kennedy Drive, and meet these creatures in a little more low key way.

No.5: SuperBee Honey World Currumbin

Enjoy the bee presentation and tour at this tourist attraction opposite the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary entrance. 

It’s a chance to meet the bees, learn about the bee keeping process, and see the buzzy creatures up close (behind the safety of glass!)

Then stop by the shop to pick up some delicious local honey, and bee inspired souvenirs and gifts. 

Superbee Honeyworld is open:

  • Sun – Sun 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Mon – Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Address: 35 Tomewin St, Currumbin QLD 4223

No.6: Gold Coast Horse riding 

Visit either Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat, or the Gold Coast Equestrian Centre to spend time with the ponies.

There’s also horse riding on offer at Thunderbird Egg Park on Tamborine Mountain. 

No.7: Glow Worms Natural Bridge

Head to Springbrook National park to see the glow worms at Natural Arch.

Do a day trip to find them along Nerang Murwillumbah road. 

movie world batman and robin 800

Best Gold Coast Toddler Activities

No.1: Movie World for Toddlers

Lots of people ask us ‘Is there anything to do for toddlers at Movie World?’

Yes! Check out all the things to do at Movie World for toddlers and preschoolers here.

Hot tip: Did you know you can meet Batman and Robin? YOU CAN! 

No.2: Carrara Market Petting Zoo Farm

The Baby Animal Farm at Carrara markets is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm.

It’s a chance for kids to get up close and personal with farm animals, including baby alpacas, goats, lamb, chicks, piglets, ducklings, geese and guinea pigs .

$5 entry, $1 feed cups.

Address: Cnr Gooding Drive & Manchester Road, Carrara

photo - ripleys surfers paradise lizard man face

Things to do at Surfers Paradise for teens?

These are the best attractions in Gold Coast for teenagers. 

Infinity Gold Coast

Teens love the 30 minute adventure that is Infinity illusions. 

Expect flashing lights, neon colours, rainbow light beams, mirrors, music, and black light glowing fun.

Hot tip: Wear white!

Address: Shop 31 Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, 3240 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Ripleys Surfers Paradise

Be baffled by the bizarre and wonderful at Ripleys Surfers Paradise 

There’s heaps of hands-on activities and games for kids inside!

Address: Soul Boardwalk, Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise

TimeZone Surfers Paradise

Fill your pockets with cash and head to Time Zone Surfers Paradise, the indoor family theme park filled with arcade games including:

  • bean bag toss
  • Connect 4 hoops
  • Dizzy Chicken
  • Jurassic Park motion rides
  • Pinball games
  • Super bikes
  • Snow boarders
  • Ticket games too

There’s interactive activities such as Typhoon, Mini Rider, Let’s Go Jungle, and Virtual Rabbid, & attractions such as Laser Tag, Glow Golf, Bumper Cars, and Mini Bowling.

Hot tip: Buy a Time Play card and get one, two or three hours of fun for the one price. 

Address: Level 1, Paradise Centre, Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise

surfers paradise markets by fb

More Things to do in Surfers Paradise with kids

Surfers Paradise Events

Click here for what’s on Surfers Paradise this week. 

Surfers Paradise Shopping

Head to the Paradise Centre and Soul Boardwalk for name brand stores, plus eclectic shops selling everything from crystals, thongs, African homewares, Indigenous Australian gifts, jewellery and 

The Chevron Renaissance shopping centre is another stop worth making.

Wander into the shops along the Gold Coast highway to find souvenirs, ugg boots, shoes, fashion and more.

Cavill Mall is the spot for a bit of people watching and a chance to listen to the buskers while you eat ice cream. 


Surfers Paradise Markets

Visit the Surfers Paradise beachfront markets from 

Make a brightly coloured wax replica of your hand, have your name engraved on a piece of rice, pick up a local artwork, stock up on natural handmade soaps from the region, and enjoy the views of the surf while you wander. 

Open Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 9pm along the Surfers paradise esplanade. 

photo - north burleigh playground buggy car


Looking for things to do in Gold Coast for free?

Or perhaps you are nearing the end of your trip and looking for things to do in Gold Coast on a budget? 

Best Gold Coast Playgrounds

Looking for the best playgrounds on the Gold Coast?

Here is our BIG round up of the best playgrounds Gold Coast has along the coast, and inland too. 

Find all the details of each playground (listed from North to South) and take a sneak peek inside the playground in the links below.

Bookmark this page: Roundup of the best GC Playgrounds

burleigh beach by kerrie brailsford flickr

Where to swim on the Gold Coast

The best beaches on the Gold Coast for kids are:

  • Rainbow Bay (it’s protected) 
  • Burleigh Heads Beach
  • Surfers Paradise beach
  • Currumbin Beach, and
  • Nobby’s Beach. 

photo - tallebudgera beach gold coast kids

No.1: Tallebudgera Creek Beach

Tallebudgera Beach is the Number One beach for families on the Gold Coast – it’s magical

photo - southport rock pools broadwater parklands

No.2: Southport Rock Pools

Broadwater Parklands Southport rock pools is the best splash pad water park on the Goldie.

No.3: Aqua Splash Gold Coast

Here’s everything you need to know about AQUA SPLASH Gold Coast

Operating from September through to Easter, this inflatables park on the Broadwater is an awesome way to burn pesky holiday calories. 

photo - currumbin rock pools gold coast pool

No.4: Currumbin Rock Pools 

Currumbin Rock Pools are a local institution for an afternoon swim.

It gets busy, so either go really early, or late late afternoon.

No.5: Cougal Cascade

Go for a cool dip at Mt Cougall National Park rock pools.

BYO picnic lunch.

free stuff to do on the gold coast active and healthy

Best School Holiday Activities Gold Coast

Wondering what to do in the Gold Coast when it’s school holidays and the kids are bored? 

Check out Gold Coast City Council’s FREE Active and Healthy Programs for kids and adults. 

There’s everything on offer from Pop Up Playgrounds with Sparky Do Dah, yoga and tai chi, nature explorations, tie dyeing, craft workshops, and more. 


Image credit: Kgbo via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0


Wondering where to shop on the Gold Coast? 

Here’s our top shopping centres on the Gold Coast.

No.1: Robina Town Centre

Robina Town Centre has a giant TOY SHOP called Toymate Superstore – pop by for bargains galore.

When you are shopping at Robina Town Centre, there’s an indoor playground called Tree Top Play 

It’s on the first floor, opposite the entrance to Toymate.

Click here to find out how to get to Robina Town Centre?

pacific fair easter egg hunt 2018 pic

No.2: Pacific Fair Shopping Centre

Head to the Gold Coast’s premier shopping centre.

Kids LOVE the new EMF Junior indoor play space with ball pits and fun activities galore.

Plus, keep an eye out for all the fun events for kids during school holidays (like the Pacific Fair Easter Egg hunt pictured above)

Shop at all your faves including:

  • Zara
  • Uniqlo
  • Culture Kings
  • Adairs
  • Adidas
  • Bonds
  • General Pants Co
  • H & M

All the high end labels have stores here too. 

Do stop by COWCH dessert bar for one of their concoctions! 

healthy and active programs for kids gold coast pic

Gold Coast Events

There are plenty of family activities on the Gold Coast happening each weekend, from markets and shows, to multicultural days, movie screenings, art exhibitions, craft workshops and more. 

Check the local newspaper and MyGC for details. 

seaworld nara water park


What are the BEST family resorts Gold Coast has for kids?

No.1: Seaworld Nara Resort Main Beach

The best family resort on the Gold Coast is Sea World Resort & Water Park on the Spit.

While the location is a little bit further out, it’s right next door to Seaworld and you get priority access to the park during your stay.  They can also arrange transfers to the other theme parks – Movie World, Wet n Wild, Paradise Country and Dreamworld. 

The highlight? 

The AMAZING water park playground and splash pads with spectacular views of the Broadwater.

Nowhere else has views quite like it.

It’s what makes a relaxed holiday too – blue skies, shimmering water, cocktails by the pool, and happy kids. 

Check latest prices here

photo - turtle beach resort gold coast tipping bucket splash pad

No.2: Turtle Beach Resort Gold Coast

Turtle Beach Resort Mermaid Beach is our top pick of family resorts if you want to hang with locals, and pretend you are a Gold Coaster for the week. 

There’s three pool precincts, four spas, two saunas, putt putt golf, a beauty spa, AND a private pool for adults.

This is just a fraction of what’s on offer at this family hotel on the Gold Coast.

Check latest prices here.   

diamond beach resort gold coast broadbeach cave

No.3: Diamond Beach Resort Broadbeach

Diamond Beach Resort at Broadbeach is another great family hotel on the Gold Coast.

This is one for families looking for a low key stay, with lots of other families and kids for your kids to play with! 

Check latest prices here.

the marriott surfers paradise

Image credit: Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa

MORE of the Best Places to stay on the Gold Coast with kids

You can also try: 

  • Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa – the ultimate family staycation
  • Big 4 Holiday Park Gold Coast – top spot for theme park explorations
  • NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort – for kids, big and small
  • Paradise Country Farmstay – one for the animal lovers, where you can wake up with the farm animals 
  • Nobby Beach Holiday Village Gold Coast – pools, waterslides, and right near Nobby Beach coffee shops! 
  • Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park – right across the road from the world famous Tallebudgera Creek beach! 
  • Oaks Gold Coast Calypso Plaza Suites – one for those who like the southern end of the GC
  • Paradise Resort Gold Coast – one of the fun hotels on the GC for kids, newly renovated, with an ice skating rink, indoor playground, & water park
  • Broadwater Tourist park
  • Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise – another one of their world famous stable of top quality hotels 
  • Q1 Hotel – the most super fun hotel for design lovers who love a Palm Springs aesthetic
  • Mantra on Salt Beach Kingscliff – beautiful pools for families
  • North Star Holiday Resort Hastings Point (awesome water park, and hairdresser on site!) 


qld rail train to robina town centre pic 800
Image credit: Qld Matt via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0

Getting around the Gold Coast Australia

Click here to read our comprehensive overview of getting around the Gold Coast by public transport

Includes getting to and from the airports (Brisbane and Gold Coast), and more, different ideas of Gold Coast attractions to visit with kids. 

Harajuku Gyoza Gold Coast Ned thumbs up copy 2


Eating on the Gold Coast with kids in tow is an adventure.

There’s plenty of fast food joints (Guzman y Gomez is our favourite takeaway) and pizza places.

But if you are looking to find the best kid friendly restaurants Gold Coast has to offer with delicious food for mums and dads too, try one of these: 

No.1: Aztec Broadbeach Mexican Restaurant

Our number one family-friendly restaurant in Broadbeach is the Aztec Mexican 

There’s also Montezuma’s in Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads, with the same menu. 

Address: The Aria, Building shop 11/17 Albert Ave, Broadbeach QLD 4218

No.2: Harajuku Gyoza Broadbeach

Harajuku Gyoza in Broadbeach Mall serves beer and the freshest dumplings, made on site.

(The kids can watch through the windo!)

For dessert – wait for it – try NUTELLA GYOZA.

Don’t miss it.

Address: 2/26 Victoria Ave, Broadbeach QLD 4218 (Broadbeach Oasis Mall)

No.3: Southport Sharks Buffet

Southport Sharks is a popular local’s club with kids menus and the Wobbygongs kids club!

Kids can choose what they’ll eat, head off to kids club, and return to the table when dinner’s up.

Then they can head back to the play room while you eat dinner in peace. 

It’s a win win!

Address: corner Musgrave & Olsen Ave’s, Southport – playroom.

pancakes on the rocks menu pic by fb

No.4: Pancakes on the Rocks Surfers Paradise

Pancakes on the Rocks has food to suit the fussiest of eaters.

It’s NOT just pancakes.

The menu will surprise you!

But yes, there’s pancakes – try the Bananarama pancake stack.

It’s one of the most popular on the menu. 

Address: Shop t1.31/4 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

bumbles cafe logo

More Gold Coast Restaurants for kids

Or try one of these family friendly Gold Coast restaurants and cafes. 

  • Bumbles Cafe Budds Beach Surfers Paradise – awesome kids menu!
  • Max Brenner Chocolate Cafe at Robina Town Centre
  • Cav’s Steakhouse in Labrador, a popular spot for local families
  • Gold Coast Surf Clubs – try Kurrawa Surf Club, Currumbin Beach Surf Club, and Rainbow Bay Surf Club (check out the Nipper’s meals menu there – all meals for kids under $10!). 

govindas surfers paradise via fb

Image credit: Govindas

Family Restaurants Surfers Paradise

As the unofficial capital of the Gold Coast, many families book accommodation close to Surfers Paradise and need to find family friendly restaurants nearby. 

Here’s the top choices of places to eat in Surfers Paradise with kids:

  • Govindas Surfers Paradise – vegetarian delights at this much loved humble cafe restaurant (pictured above)
  • Steampunk Surfers Paradise – an unexpectedly good spot for kids and families 
  • Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co – famous burgers and the best fries in town
  • Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise – burgers, fries, and music memorabilia for the whole family
  • Misono Japanese Restaurant is Australia’s biggest teppanyaki restaurant – THIS is a fun night out, with ‘entertainment’ thrown in! 
  • Northcliffe Surf Club – good kids menu
  • Gelatissimo – the top spot for gelato after dinner
  • Clock Hotel Bistro and Bar 
  • Four Winds Revolving Restaurant – the only one of it’s kind on the GC
  • Charlies Cafe and Bar – right in the middle of Cavill Mall. Go for dinner, stay for hot chocolate. 
  • Sushi Train – one of our trusted faves with food that kids LOVE!
  • San Churro Chocolateria – churros and chocolate, a winning combo. 


Byron Bay – Just an hour away!

Byron Bay is the instagrammer’s dream destination in Australia.

The most easterly point of Australia attracts visitors from around the world who come to:

  • relax and recuperate on the immaculate Byron Bay beaches
  • watch whales and ocean life from the Byron lighthouse
  • take a yoga or meditation class (or three)
  • join in a circus workshop
  • shop for rainbows, tumeric coloured linen dresses, hippie clothes, and Spell fashion, and
  • bush walk in the rainforests not far away.

Foodies long to visit the farmers markets throughout the region (there’s a different one each day).

Or you can come to eat all the famous Byron food: vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, Mexican, locavore, AND all the bowls – smoothie bowls, acai bowls, and poke bowls too.

It’s a hot spot of good coffee too.


Affiliate Disclosure:

This website contains references to products and services from our favourite brands. Some of these are affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking after clicking on a link on Roam the Gnome™, we may receive a small affiliate commission at NO COST to you. All information on disclosures can be found in our Privacy Policy

Roam the Gnome ™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates program. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Click here for a detailed explanation of our Advertising policy.

Thank you for visiting Roam the Gnome Family Travel™ Website Directory. Bookmark this page so you can find us again.