Which Gold Coast Theme Park is Right for Your Family?

  • Toddlers

Much like selecting the right Disneyland park, choosing the right Gold Coast theme park for your family takes careful consideration.

The ages of your children, how adventurous or thrill-seeking they plus a whole host of other criteria will come into play, so be sure to consider these top tips when making your tough decision. Hopefully, it will result in a holiday to remember! 

The Best Gold Coast Theme Park for Your Family

1. Wet'n'Wild

Wet'n'Wild is one of the most famous theme parks in Australia.

Australia's most famous water park, Wet'n'Wild is for families who don't mind getting drenched! This Gold Coast theme park is ideal for older families, as there is a lot more on offer for bigger kids than really little ones who will have to sit out for most of the rides.

That being said, they do have Wet'n'Wild Junior, a big zone for young kids with modified rides and water slides, as well as a family-friendly wave pool, plus Calypso Beach where you can float down a relaxing river in inflatable tubes. It is a great option for families with all small children as bigger kids won't have to wait around and get bored. 

For thrill-seekers, there are four 'Extreme H20' rides that pack an adrenaline punch, as well as plenty of moderate water slides and rides (including Skycoaster which won't get you wet!) for kids and families.

2. Sea World

Sea World
Say hello to the adorable animals at Sea World on the Gold Coast.

Sea World is the top pick for animal lovers and younger families. As well as seeing polar bears, the world's largest man-made shark lagoon, getting up close with playful seals and getting hands-on at Ray Reef, there are also plenty of rides and entertainment for families that will appeal to pre-tweens.

At Nickelodeon Land, there are kid-sized rides including a mini rollercoaster, meet-and-greets with all your favourite characters, live Ninja Turtle and Dora the Explorer shows, and Castaway Bay, a giant, interactive water playground!

3. Warner Bros. Movie World 

Movie World on the Gold Coast
Movie World on the Gold Coast is heaven for movie fans.

For families who want all the fun of a Gold Coast theme park but with a little Hollywood glamour thrown into the mix, Warner Bros. Movie World is the place for you!

Movie buffs and character lovers will particularly love it. There's plenty for families including a 4D theatre presentation of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Looney Tunes characters ready to take photos with you on the Main Street, a WB fun zone full of cartoons and colour, kid's rides including a Road Runner Rollercoaster and the Junior Driving School, or little ones can even play the coveted role of prince or princess in the daily street parade!

The rides for older kids and thrill-seekers are a huge drawcard, especially the DC Rivals Hypercoaster - the tallest, longest and fastest in the Southern Hemisphere! There's also a Scooby-Doo spooky coaster, a Green Lantern coaster, a Superman Escape coaster, and lots more.

4. Paradise Country 

Paradise Country
Experience an Australian wildlife adventure at Paradise Country.

One of the lesser-known Gold Coast theme parks, Paradise Country is an Australia wildlife adventure!

Here you'll find an animal lover's paradise where you can get up close with koala, kangaroos, emus, dingoes and snakes at the Wildlife Walkabout, or spend some time in the animal nursery or farmyard where you can cuddle baby pigs and pat goats, horses and sheep.

Daily shows include sheep shearing, ram parades, sheepdog demonstrations, and stock horse action. You can even have a unique farm stay experience sleeping in eco tents, tents, Swagman motorhomes or caravans.

This is for the truly nature-loving family, or city slickers wanting a real country retreat from their Gold Coast experience.

5. Outback Spectacular 

Outback Spectacular
Go deep into the Australian Outback at Outback Spectacular.

This is a dinner-and-show experience that can be included in many passes and tickets to Gold Coast theme parks.

The current Outback Spectacular show is called 'Heartland' and is full of country music and impressive horses and horsemen as they bring to life l the gripping tale of two struggling Aussie farmers, on a journey to the heartland of Australia. The all-new show features true Australian characters, a transformative arena, mesmerising animals and immersive technology. Dinner will perfectly accompany the outback style show, with a homestyle three-course meal and drinks.

6. Dreamworld 

Welcome to the biggest theme park on the Gold Coast.

Dreamworld is the BIGGEST theme park on the Gold Coast, and usually a top pick for families.

It has great attractions for toddlers and under 5s, and a host of rides for older children (120cm is the height requirement for most of them, so children this tall will be able to get the most out of the park). Wiggles World for little ones has regular live shows, small rides, and a water play area. At ABC Kids World, children can meet their favourite TV characters in the flesh - you'll see Hoot and Hootabelle, The Wiggles, Bananas in Pyjamas and lots more. 

Animal-loving families will love Dreamworld thanks to Tiger Island, where you can take a 1-hour stroll around the park with a keeper and a tiger in tow before the theme park opens, or have a 15-minute tiger feeding experience. There is also a suite of family rides that the whole crew can experience together, as well as the Big 9 Thrill Rides for thrill-seekers, mums, dads, older children and teens.

7. WhiteWater World 

WhiteWater World
Splash-tastic fun at WhiteWater World.

Part of Dreamworld, WhiteWater World has heated pools and water rides to a comfortable 26 degrees, so it is suitable to visit year-round. Of course, this park is only for families who are willing to get wet. 

Wiggle Bay is perfect for under 5s: an oasis of mini slides, interactive sprays, water cannons and musical water play. Pipeline Plunge is a massive water playground suitable for all ages with an impressive tree fort structure, water cannons and water slides. Rides for older kids and families include water slides that fit up to 4 people inside inflatable tubes, the Triple vortex, Hydrocoaster, and lots more, but little ones will have to miss out on these -  height minimum is 120cm for most of these rides.

Passes are available for just one or multiple Gold Coast theme parks, so make sure you make the right selections for your family! 

Other Family Attractions

Resorts Where Kids Eat FREE
The Best Kids Clubs In Sydney
Which Disneyland Park Should You Visit?

Have you signed up to our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!