The Gold Coast has always been a favourite holiday destination for us. Having lived there for over 10 years as a young girl and having my dad still being there, it makes the perfect kind of holiday for us. Escaping the cold Melbourne winter for a few days has become year after year, more and more important to us. Dry the colds, get some sunshine, get some happy warmth… it is good for us all. Although maybe not as hot as what further north has to offer, it is still fabulous.
So what are our favourite things to do with young kids:
Currumbin Sanctuary: My husband and I remember this place when we were kids. I strongly remember going round and round on the train for hours on end. It still remains, over 25 years later. Putting the train aside for a moment, there are so many shows that have the kids entertained every 45 minutes. From the pelican and eel feeding, to the Blinky Bill show, to the Free Flying bird show, to the Sheep shearing, to the Croc feeding…. And there is more. Hones to say, the kids had so much fun. The playground there is also a winter! For the big kids, the Treetop Walking Challenge will have them in total excitement. With all proceeds going to conservation and the management of the park, it is money well spent. In my opinion, this was a much more successful (and cheaper) day out for the young troops than the theme parks, that can cost in excess of $300 for the day. Ouch!
Pirate Park at Palm Beach – This has to be one of the BEST parks on the coast. Nestled behind Currumbin, it has a park, sand, café and beach all there. The kids spent hours there. This pirate themed park is a total winner. The calm beach shores also makes the perfect place for a little dip (if the weather allows).
Laguna Park – A recent park discovery of mine, this park again is fabulous for all kids. A little pirate cove (I am not sure what the love for pirates are on the coast), a peddling little train, climbing frames and more… it is fabulous. It is also totally gated off, making it the perfect solution for those little wonderers and adventurers.
Killen Falls – About an hours drive south of the Gold Coast, just near Byron Bay, Kilen Falls is a little oasis. It has to be one of the most fabulous falls I have experienced (apart from my Northern Territory adventures). To get to the falls does however require a little walking and trekking. There are moments of steep uneven terrain and walking across walks, so probably not ideal for the tiny troupers – although I did see parents walking with a baby in a baby carrier and one on the shoulders of the other parent. – One word of advice is to take shoes that can be worn in the water as it is quite rocky.
Timezone – Don’t under estimate the power of some games and tokens. On a rainy day, I have to say, this certainly entertained us for a few hours. The all time favourite game is bashing the top of the alligators that come up – play as a team, you get more tokens. Ha! My young 4-year-old however simply enjoyed sitting and playing on some of the rides, with no coins needed. With putt-putt being just next door, your afternoon (or day) is sorted.
Surf watching – we happened to arrive on the Gold Coast the day after the massive storm hit. Although the beaches were closed, there was a cue to park the car at Currumbin beach as the swells and waves were INCREDIBLE! Not for the faint hearted, the sight of the waves and the surfers was jaw dropping. Everyone else was there for the exact same reason. The Gold Coast has some of the most amazing beaches and surfers. Burleigh Heads, Currumbin, Kira, or Coolangatta, a morning spent watching the waves and surfers while playing on the beach can certainly be an enjoyable experience for all.
Have you been to the Gold Coast lately? What are your holiday hot spots?