Which Gold Coast Theme Park Is Right For Your Family?
By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
Much like selecting a Disneyland, choosing the right Gold Coast theme park takes careful consideration. The ages of your children and how adventurous or thrill-seeking they are 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!
1. WhiteWater World
Part of Dreamworld- this water park has heated pools and water-based rides to a comfortable 26 degrees, so 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 a massive 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 (height minimum is 120cm for most of these rides), the Triple vortex, Hydrocoaster, and lots more, but little ones will have to miss out on these. More information here.
Australia's most famous water park! Again, only for families who don't mind getting drenched. This 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, and 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. More information here.
3. Sea World
The top pick for animal lovers, and/or 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's also plenty of rides and entertainment for families, largely directed at an under 10s market.
At Nickelodeon Land, there's kid-sized rides including a mini rollercoaster and meet and greets with all your favourite characters, as well as a live Ninja Turtle show, a live Dora the Explorer show, and Castaway Bay, a giant, interactive water playground! More information here.
This 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. More information here.
5. Warner Bros. Movie World
For families who want all the fun of a theme park but with a little Hollywood glamour thrown into the mix! Movie buffs and character lovers will particularly love this one. 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, as the brand new DC Rivals Hypercoaster (the tallest, longest and fastest in the Southern Hemisphere) is coming this October! There's also a Scooby Doo spooky coaster, a Green Lantern coaster, a Superman Escape coaster, and lots more. More information here.
6. Paradise Country
One of the lesser-known Gold Coast parks, this 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. More information here.
7. Outback Spectacular
This is a dinner-and-show experience that can be included in many passes and tickets to Gold Coast theme parks. The show is called 'Salute to the Light Horse' and is full of country music and impressive horses and horsemen as they bring to life larrikin and legendary tales of the ANZACS. Dinner will perfectly accompany the outback style show, with homestyle pumpkin soup, chicken breast drenched in gravy and warm baked apple pie drizzled in caramel sauce featuring on the menu. More information here.
Passes are available for just one or multiple Gold Coast theme parks, so make sure you make the right selections for your family!