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Trip List by Saskiwi

Gold Coast with young kids

6 Aug 2006  Recent break
4.0 of 5 stars based on 12 votes

A week's family holiday with a 3 year old and 6 year old

  • 1. Dreamworld
    Dreamworld, Coomera, Gold Coast

    Theme Park with lots of Big Thrill rides for big kids and adults, but also plenty to keep littlies amused; Nick Central area has rides based on Nickelodeon tv channel (Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, Rugrats etc), which were fine for our 3 yearold, while the 6 year old and his Dad tackled the Cyclone, Tower of Terror etc! Also Wiggle World - pretty tame for anyone over 4, but the target demographic LOVED it!! We went on the first day of the schoolholidays, and the crowds were fine (we got there early - as the gates opened). Took our own food and drink, as it is expensive in the park ($4 ice cream cones!) You can hire a stroller, which is handy for lugging your stuff around, as well as tired small kids! If you're not from Australia, check out the Australian Wildlife section of the park: kangaroos you can pat and feed, lots of birds, snakes etc. The kids spent ages here, and it meant we had got our "kangaroo fix", so didn't need to fork out to go to another wildlife park elsewhere!

  • 2. Sea World
    Sea World, Main Beach, Gold Coast

    Yes, another theme park, but kind of educational, as well as fun! It's a good manageable size, although we did hire a stroller again. Enough thrill rides for bigger kids - roller coaster, flume ride etc, and plenty for smaller kids too - carousels, Cartoon Beach rides. And of course, the "educational" content - amazing aquariums of tropical fish, sharks; great polar bear exhibit, dolphin and seal shows - a great family day out. Again, we took our own food and drink in a backpack, got there early and altho we had to queue a bit for the most popular rides,(school hols!) it was pretty good.

  • 3. BreakFree Diamond Beach Resort
    BreakFree Diamond Beach, Broadbeach, Gold Coast

    After much consultation and advice from TripAdvisor posters, we stayed here. It was great for a family - lots of kids, big pools, tidy, clean unit, slightly worn, but if you have small kids, that's kind of reassuring, as you don't stress too much if they spill something on the carpet! Very handy to the beach and a good beach side play area - both about 3-5 minutes walk away. We were here in July and the big heated pool was just warm enough. The kids paddling pools were plenty warm. There's a big hot spa pool too, in a cool cave/waterfall grotto, but it was packed with tweens and teens most of the time..... In the summer there are two other big lagoon pool areas which would be great. Would stay here again.

  • 4. Lamington National Park
    Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia

    We wanted to see a bit of the "hinterland", and tossed up between O'Reilly's in Lamington NP and Tamborine NP. Opted for Lamington, because the Treetop Walkway sounded cool - which it was, but the drive from the Gold Coast is one of the windiest I've ever been on - about 20 hairpin bends and long stretches of one-way only road - The kids thought it was fun, and the views are spectacular, and coming from NZ we are used to mountain roads and the odd twist and turn, but if you are prone to car sickness or scared of heights or narrow mountain roads, I'd think twice about this one! At O'Reilly's you can go for bush walks and feed wild parakeets - lots of fun and cheaper than a wildlife park. The views are lovely. There is a cafe and guesthouse too. The Treetop walkway is a series of swing bridges high in the treetops - lots of fun for kids.

  • 5. Broadbeach

    Good location for families to stay. Not as hectic as party-central Surfers Paradise, but still plenty of restaurants, cafes and shopping, it that's what you want. Easy to get from here onto the highway to get to theme parks, and of course the beach is great. It was even warm enough to swim in July (just!)

  • 6. Pancakes in Paradise

    All you can eat $8 pancake deal a must if you have boys with big appetites - altho the record (23 pancakes!) is held by a young English girl! Booth seating, stacks of fluffy pancakes with syrup and whipped butter..the whole American deal. You can watch the kitchen guys churning out the hotcakes through a window.

  • 7. Conrad Jupiters Casino
    Jupiters Casino, Broadbeach, Gold Coast

    Food Fantasy buffet - obviously with small kids we weren't here to gamble! We had lunch here and it was definitely worth the splurge. Great selection of dishes and the best dessert buffet I've seen. Lots of fresh tropical fruit too and friendly staff.