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Gold coast Australia advice(26 Posts)
We plan to go to Australia next year, probably in July .
We will be there for about 3 weeks. We will spend 2 weeks in Sydney with family and we are considering spending around a week on the gold coast. We have been to Australia many times but I would like some advice regarding what there is to do on the gold coast. Our children will be 8 and 10. We will go to the theme parks but we would like to know of other things to do or day trips from there.
It’ll be their winter. I’ve been there at that time of year and while it wasn’t parky the weather was a bit mixed.
My experience is ancient so other people will have much better recommendations. I went with a friend when I was 19 and we stayed on the Gold Coast for a bit. It wasn’t that memorable, a lot of caravan parks, beaches, malls and casino’s. Surfers Paradise didn’t do much for me, just high rises, beach and suburbs. You could do a day trip to Brisbane?
Much preferred Queensland, particularly Townsville and Magnetic Island.
Thank you SJane
North Queensland might be a better option say that time of year.
Magnetic island is a good option.
The reason for considering the Goldie is because the children will be a good age for the Parks and they will probably enjoy that.
At least we have plenty of time to do some research before we go.
I went as a child and it was exciting. Went more recently and I thought it was a shithole. Surfers Paradise was particularly dire. There are better places to go.
We went when my kids were 10 and 12 and went to Cairns / Port Doulas / Atherton Tablelands / Daintree area, weather around there was around 27C and sunny every day in August. I was told that area is better than the Gold Coast. We did scuba diving and snorkelling in Great Barrier Reef, glass bottom boat, saw giant turtle and loads of beautiful corals and fish. Went on a small boat and kids loved it.
Went to Atherton Tablelands and saw loads of wildlife, tree kangaroos, possum, bettong, pademelon, platypus, kangaroos, wallabies, crocodiles in the wild which kids loved. Went to Kuranda - quite touristy but kids saw koalas in wildlife park and fed wallabies there, went on train, had boat trip and saw crocs and then drove to a lake. Drove along coast via Port Douglas to Daintree Rainforest, went in rainforest and saw crocs again in river. Would have loved to have gone to Magnetic Island but ran out of time.
We also did Sydney quickly in a couple of days (weather not great but flew in there and wanted quick whizz round of opera house, bridge etc, had breakfast with koala at Featherdale), did lovely whale watching boat trip from Port Stephens and saw loads of whales and dolphins, sandboarding, lucky with weather there, 22 and sunny and did Blue Mountains 10C brrr but saw kangaroos. Kids are pestering to go back and loved it.
I live in Australia. Europe has theme parks and the ones here are shit. Go up to North QLD and see the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef while they are still there. WAY better than the theme parks.
Hate the Gold coast. There's lovely national parks (Springbrook and lamington) near there though. Depends what you like to do. It's a bit cool at present (Qld cool - low 20s, colder at night). The theme parks are boring IMO, kids might like them but it's a long way to come just to see those. North might be nice though.
8 and 10 is a great age to go to the GC (which IS in qld btw). Don’t stay in surfers, I would recommend burleigh beach. From there you can do the parks, currumbin sanctuary, you’ve got tambourine national park Inc the skyline walk and zipline thing. would also recommend you drive down to Byron bay (c 1 hour drive). There’s also stradbroke island which is fun.
Further north qld inc barrier reef also stunning. You could look at noosa, port Douglas or Hamilton island for some options
Agree with @stealthbanana
Surfers Paradise is not nice but if you go a little further south to Burleigh or Coolangatta it's lovely. I've literally just got home from a long weekend down there!
There's loads to do on the GC and nearby especially for kids.
North Queensland is stunning though and better weather at this time of year. If you haven't been to the Great Barrier Reef before definitely do that instead!
We went to gold coast just before Aus lockdown, we got back into Adelaide SA like 10 days before borders closed lol
DD is 10, loved the parks. The rides were awesome, heaps to see and do but lines are crap, id buy a fast pass in peak times, cuts time off lines, which you would be possibly be in as it school holidays and us southern states look to escape the cold lol
Look on their sites, you find many multi park deals
Sea world is amazing, we stayed at the resort for easy park access, Many behind the scenes things for kids, get real close to the animals, dd did the 2 dolphin meets, one was a swim i joined her on, was a ranger for a day, there they do everything, learn heaps and mum and dad get a little break lol
There other animal sanctuary's and you can do behind scenes stuff in them too, we cuddled a koala and did a tour with a keeper, got into the enclosures
All the animal stuff, the animals welfare comes first, interaction is based on them and groups small to avoid scaring them.
Chopper flights are fun bit pricey but very cool
infinitygc.com.au/ this place is an indoor maze type thing, its all lights, illusions. Look at the site, much better than i could ever explain. DD loved it. So did me and Dp
Google when you on ground here, there may be many free family activities
I would got to far north Queensland rather than the Gold Coast, especially at that time of year. The parks aren’t anywhere near as big or good as the parks in Florida and parts of the Gold Coast are really tacky. You could go to Noosa (Sunshine Coast) instead and just spend a day down at one of the parks perhaps (be a long day) but it’ll be cool at that time of year. I personally would go far north so you get warmer weather.
I would definitely head to Far North Queensland in winter. There’s so much to see, Port Douglas, Atherton Tablelands and the Daintree. You can get direct flights to Cairns from Sydney.
The Gold Coast is great and isn’t tacky if you know where to go but it’s a bit too cool in winter to take advantage of it. Noosa is beautiful & we spent a lot of time there as children in the summer, but it’s geared up in winter to cater to retirees from the southern states.
Noosa is lovely for walking the trails and the coast, or some shopping in boutiques.
Australia zoo, I thoroughly recommend!
Depends on your taste but Surfer's Paradise is tacky. There are lots of nice national parks around. July is winter but can still be beach weather. The whales will be migrating up the coast so whale watching could be a possibility.
There is also lamington national Park, the hinterland or further south the Sunshine coast, Harvey bay, Fraser island...lots of much nicer places
We did Gold Coast 3 years ago in July . It was ok. We went to Dreamworld, Brisbane, Byron bay and into the hills. As they had just finished their winter break, there weren’t as many people around and the lines were short. However west is best and Perth is beautiful but bloody freezing In July !!!
Gold Coast used to to be lush - it's not now. Go further up to Sunshine Coast or even further up to airlie beach gate way to barrier reef.
Apologies for the add on here but my DH is an International Animal Welfare specialist, he works for a well known Global Charity and has worked with Travel firms on ethical Tourism provision. It’s obviously your call (and your money!) but from a welfare perspective, please don’t visit Sea World. Captive dolphins suffer in captivity, what might be fun for kids just perpetuates an industry that has significant negative welfare impact on them. As for sanctuaries that offer interaction experiences such as koala cuddling and selfies, no koala is actively going to want to cuddle us. It might provide a cute picture for Facebook but causes direct stress to the animal - all very well saying that that it’s limited to small groups from a welfare perspective but when you have small group after small group handling wild animals you have a negative impact. You can tell a high welfare venue by the very limited amount of human/animal interaction they offer, the ideal situation is none at all.
Tourism and our money play a central role in the perpetuation of poor animal welfare and a miserable existence for the animals involved all in the name of entertainment. Having said that, tourism does prop up many high welfare sanctuaries and zoo’s. It’s just a question of doing a bit of research in advance and using our money to the benefit not detriment of wild animals.
Sorry for the overkill links but DH does quite of international undercover work and some of the behind the scenes pictures from entertainment venues are pretty heartbreaking - it’s something I feel very passionate about!
Thank you all for your advice and comments.
I do like the idea of visiting a National Park and currimbin.
It will be a year before we go, so I have time to do some research and decide whether or not to visit the area.
Fraser island is worth a visit (we went in July!) they do guided tours - its the largest sand island in the world beautiful scenery a big lagoon that some people swim my daughter & I did a short helicopter ride
We stayed at Cairns for a few day We took the cable car up to the mountain Kuranda (9?) I think its called a little zoo with native animals we came down by train
We did an organised boat trip out to a pontoon & there we were able to snorkel on the reef & go on a glass bottom boat etc it was a lovely day I seem to remember you can book these beach front
We also did a mini day safari ( small organised trip) up to Daintree Forest which included a trip on a river (the guides cut up tropical fruit for us to try)
It was fantastic the weather was great
We had an amazing time at the Gold Coast a few years back with kids. We went to the theme parks because the kids love them, it was winter and there were few queues, it was great. We had a 2 week road trip holiday which started and ended in Sydney.
Our favourite memories are of Fraser Island - we hired a jeep and drove around it for a couple of days, it was amazing. We also stayed on a farm / ranch for a couple of nights which was also brilliant.
Hope you have lots of fun!
My sister lives in Tambourine Mountain - they can see the Gold Coast from their mountain home. You can visit the rainforest there and walk along platforms in the tree canopy.
Please please don’t go to Sea World. Performing animals for your enjoyment is disgraceful. John Bishop just did a documentary on releasing 2 Beluga Whales. You will see it on ITV catch up. There is zero need to feed a dolphins or seals or any other animal and see them jump through hoops.
Further North is Lizard Island where you can see animals in their natural environment.
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