Australia’s Gold Coast boasts an endless playground for families and has become a mecca for theme-park addicts. If you’re looking to brave some of the world’s tallest & fastest rides, interact with nature’s finest animals or simply looking for some aquatic adventure, you won’t be disappointed.
Australia’s theme park capital boasts the Southern Hemisphere’s largest and most varied selection of theme parks. Stroll with a Bengal Tiger, defy laws of gravity or swim with dolphins. The Gold Coast’s array of choices for fun and adventure are endless and promises to leave you with long memories and even bigger smiles. Here’s my overview of what’s on offer.
Hold onto your breakfast as you tackle the “Big 7”. You’ll need nerves of steel and conquer your fear to tackle Australia’s tallest and fastest thrill rides. To earn your rite of passage, you’ll scream louder than you have ever done before and need the courage of an astronaut on a mission to the moon. You’ll defy gravity as you dangle upside down, be propelled faster than a bullet and plunge from the sky at breakneck speeds.
If white knuckle rides are not your “cup of tea”, stroll through the new DreamWorks Experience for as many themed rides, live stage shows and attractions as your excited little ones can bear. Meet Shrek, Princess Fiona & Puss in Boots in Shrek’s Faire Faire Away. Join in the fun as King Julien rules over his kingdom in Madagascar Madness or catch the legendary Po in Po’s Garden.
Animal lovers can watch a Bengal Tiger scale 6 metre high trees or catapult 3 metres in the air as they demonstrate their remarkable agility. With 2 daily presentations at Tiger Island you’ll be able to observe the tigers up close as they swim, play and wrestle with their handlers.
Location: 17 kms north of Surfers Paradise; admission: Adults – AUD 79.99 Children – AUD 49.99
Discover an aquatic world of fun and frolics at Sea World. Dare to swim with sharks in Shark Bay in the world’s largest man-made lagoon system for sharks. Grab a photo with sea-lions Buddy & Clawde, the mischievous stars in “Fish Detectives”. Witness the dolphins’ grace and agility as they playfully interact with the audience or get up close with the world’s largest land meat-eaters in Polar Bear Shores. There’s also Penguin Encounter, Ray Reef and much more to ensure that you have an action packed day observing our friends from the ocean!
Location: 2.8kms north of Surfers Paradise; admission: Adults – AUD 79.99 Children – AUD 49.99
White Water World
Pack your Speedos, “Boardies” or “swimmers” and get ready for a day of “flesh meets fibreglass” at White Water World. Join the long line of teenage lemmings as the trap door on White Water World’s latest ride, “The Wedgie”, opens and sends bodies plummeting 5 storeys vertically.
Hope for a little “Irish luck” as your 4 leaf clover tube propels you into a super-sized funnel in “The Green Room” or get caught up in the tentacles of the world’s only eight lane Octopus Racer. The Blue Ringed Octopus (or more affectionately known as BRO to the locals) will transform you and your and friends into frenzied competitors as you race to glory. If you’re scared of the dark save your best high pitched shrieks for The Little Rippers. Close your eyes and feel the force of a water propelled corkscrew ride before plunging into the awaiting pool.
White Water World also caters for the less adventurous and budding water stunt artists. Wiggle Bay provides a safe & wet haven for young protégés to let off steam on the water cannons and mini water-slides as they splash and play under the watchful eyes of lifeguards.
Location: 17 kms north of Surfers Paradise; admission: Adults – AUD 49.99 Children – AUD 29.99
Warner Bros Movie World
Meet your favourite super-heroes and film stars in a world of fun and fantasy. Strap yourself in and hang on to your hats as Warner Bros. Movie World challenges the faintest of hearts. Combat your darkest fears and brace yourself for a stomach churning ride as you encounter The Joker on Arkham Asylum. Experience the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest drop on The Green Lantern or accelerate to 100 kilometres per hour in less than 2 seconds on Superman Escape.
Mingle with Bugs Bunnyand other Loony Tunes characters as you wander through Movie World’s Kids’ WB Fun Zone. Jump aboard a Tijuana Taxi, hop aboard Yosemite Sam or ride on Australia’s only family roller-coaster. Don’t miss the smell of burned rubber or sound of screeching brakes in Hollywood Stunt Drive as you join the set of alive Hollywood movie production. Feel the danger and sense of adventure as you take a 4D Journey to The Centre of the Earth.
Location: 13kms north of Surfers Paradise; admission: Adults – AUD 79.99 Children – AUD 49.99
Wet n Wild
Begin your adventure on a rubber tube on a slow flowing river as you lazily circumnavigate your way round the park’s sub-tropical gardens. Kick off your shoes on Calypso Beach before racing over to Aqua Loop to experience an exhilarating vertical descent into transparent looping slides.
Tackle the Rocky Mountains as you slide down The River Rapids or experience a wipe-out on Surfrider or if you need a bigger adrenalin rush plunge 11 metres at 50 kilometres per hour on the Kamikaze. Blast 40 metres into The Tornado as you wrestle in the eye of a storm or challenge the 200 metres of twist and turns on the Mach 5 sidewinders.
Little pirates can hoist their sails in Buccaneer Bay. Based on a pirate theme, children enter their own aquatic world of imagination and excitement. Parents beware – stay alert for the giant bucket which frequently spills its load onto the scores of mischievous and giggling children beneath it.
Location: 13 kms north of Surfers Paradise; admission: Adults – AUD 59.99 Children – AUD 34.99
It’s easy to see why the Gold Coast is a popular choice for families and thrill-seekers. It dares you to have fun. It invites you to interact with its wildlife and it encourages you to confront your fears. Discover its charm for yourself.