The Ultimate Guide to School Holidays in Coolangatta - The Strand at Coolangatta
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The Ultimate Guide to School Holidays in Coolangatta

The Ultimate Guide to School Holidays in Coolangatta

on 19 December 2018 in Family

If you’re planning a holiday on the Gold Coast, there are a million and one fun things to see and do for every member of the family. And the southern Gold Coast, in particular, has loads of school holiday action, with events and activities for every age group at any time of year.

Autumn School Holidays (March – April)

Autumn is a beautiful time on the Gold Coast – the beaches are less crowded than in summer. And there’s plenty to see and do in the Coolangatta region, with some awesome school holiday attractions including;

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Home to over 1400 animals, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is the number one wildlife attraction on the Gold Coast. Take the whole family for an exciting day of animal encounters and get up close and personal with a wide variety of Australian wildlife including kangaroos, koalas, wombats, echidnas, birds and reptiles. Explore 27 hectares of lush bushland and enjoy a range of experiences including the Tree Top Challenge, Segway Safaris, dingo encounters, free flight bird shows, saltwater crocodile feeding and the famous feeding of huge flocks of wild rainbow lorikeets.

Coolangatta Beachside Markets

Held on the second Sunday of the month, Coolangatta Beachside Markets are a great family day out and an amazing sight to see, set against the beautiful backdrop of the Coolangatta beachfront. There’s something for the whole family including market stalls, street food vendors, entertainers and face painting for the kids and it’s a great shopping experience in a fun family atmosphere, with over 150 stalls showcasing Australian made products from talented local artisans.

Crab Catching Cruise

Enjoy a cruise on the Tweed River and learn how to catch a crab! This tour is great for all ages and covers all aspects of crab catching, from pumping yabbies to catching and cooking the crabs. And it culminates in an oyster farm presentation and a delicious seafood lunch at a lakeside restaurant, where you can sample the delicious fresh produce first hand. An enjoyable day out on the water for the whole family, with morning tea and seafood basket lunch included.

Epic Skate Rink

Strap on your roller skates or rollerblades and head for Epic Skate Rink; a top family outing and a great way to exercise while having fun. A nostalgic venue in Tweed Heads South, Epic Skate Rink caters for every age and every skill level and offers skate and rollerblade hire, skating lessons and awesome kids birthday parties and disco nights by appointment. And there’s even a café for tired parents to rest in while the kids are cutting their moves.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Guide to Autumn School Holidays on the Gold Coast.

Winter School Holidays (June – July)

When the weather cools off, the entertainment heats up in the Coolangatta region, with great family school holiday attractions like these to enjoy;  

Whale Watching

The humpback whales are making their way north during the winter months and Coolangatta is the place to see them. Coolangatta Whale Watch departs daily for a three-hour whale watching experience and unlike the larger cruise operators, passenger numbers are restricted to 45 guests to ensure an intimate and comfortable viewing experience. And while you’re not guaranteed to see them, whales are migrating in ever increasing numbers each year, so it’s on the cards you’ll have a ringside seat when these majestic creatures appear.

Birch, Carroll & Coyle Cinema

Winter school holidays are the ideal time for movies and Birch Carroll & Coyle Coolangatta is an awesome cinema complex with 6 different theatres and seating for more than 1000 people. Located on the beach in the Strand Shopping Centre, Birch Carroll & Coyle Coolangatta has 3D capability, fully digital projectors and Dolby Digital surround sound for the ultimate cinema experience. The perfect family escape on a day when you’d rather be indoors than out.

Lighthouse walk

If you’re a family that likes their exercise, why not take an exhilarating walk to Point Danger Lighthouse on the headland between Coolangatta and Tweed Heads. It marks the border between Queensland and New South Wales and there are amazing views both ways along the coast. It is also the starting point for several breathtaking coastal walks. More of a sculpture than a lighthouse, the structure is actually a working light, keeping ships clear of the coastline with its powerful electric beacon.


Timezone is an awesome indoor winter activity for the whole family. A 3,000 square metre state-of-the-art entertainment venue, it features full size ten pin bowling, laser skirmish, dodgem cars and over 200 games and attractions from around the world. A fun palace for kids of all ages set in a bright, family-friendly space, Timezone is open every day at The Strand Coolangatta.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Guide to Winter School Holidays on the Gold Coast.

Spring School Holidays (September – October)

Spring is the time when the Gold Coast comes to life, with a ton of great outdoor family fun to be had. Great spring school holiday attractions include;  

Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Located in South Tweed Heads, the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre provides an unrivalled educational experience, offering talks by Aboriginal guides on native plants and animals and fascinating stories of life before the coming of Europeans when the region was still a pristine natural paradise. The centre features museum exhibits, Aboriginal artworks and performances of traditional dance and song and you’re welcome to pack a picnic or barbecue lunch and relax with the family in the beautiful bush setting.

Skydive at Kirra Beach

If you’re an adventurous family with kids aged 12 or over and you’re looking for the thrill of a lifetime, Gold Coast Skydive will deliver breathtaking views of the Gold Coast and Hinterland, as you tandem dive from 12,000 feet to land on the iconic white sands of Kirra Beach. This is the ultimate experience for adrenaline seekers and whether you take the plunge yourself or watch from the beach below, it’s a memory you’ll cherish as a family forever.

SWELL Sculpture Festival

If you’re in town between the 13th and 22nd of September, this is one event not to be missed. SWELL Sculpture Festival is Queensland’s largest free outdoor sculpture exhibition that for two weeks transforms Currumbin Beach into a vibrant outdoor art gallery. SWELL tells the cultural story of the Gold Coast in stunning sculptures set against the backdrop of the Gold Coast skyline and the festival also features masterclasses, kids workshops and a range of inspiring beachside activities.

Learn to surf

Whether you’re new to surfing or looking to improve your technique, Walkin On Water Surf School at Greenmount Beach is the Gold Coast’s premier surf school. A great experience the family can enjoy together, the school provides surfing lessons for all ages and abilities, conducted by highly qualified professionals and with everything included from wetsuits and surfboards to sun cream.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Guide to Spring School Holidays on the Gold Coast.

Summer School Holidays (December – January)

Summer is when the Gold Coast is at its most exciting and inviting, with hundreds of school holiday activities to enjoy. Fun in the sun down Coolangatta way includes;

Greenmount Beach and Rainbow Bay

These two beautiful locations are the Gold Coast’s only northern facing beaches, which means they offer safe, sheltered swimming conditions perfect for the whole family. They have a daily surf patrol all year round between 8am and 5pm and after a dip or a paddle, a walk to Point Danger Lighthouse or a bite to eat on the Surf Club deck are two of Rainbow Bay’s ‘must-do’ activities.

Watersports Guru

If you’re looking for outdoor adventures for the kids, why not sign them up for a Junior Adventure Program at Watersports Guru in Coolangatta. They’ll enjoy three hours of fun on the waterways supervised by qualified professionals and with a choice of water-based activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling, fishing, exploring and outdoor education and team challenges. Meanwhile, you can take some time out and enjoy a leisurely bite at one of Cooly’s laid-back beachfront cafes.

Currumbin Rock Pools

Just a 20-minute drive from Coolangatta in the beautiful Currumbin Valley, these local water holes are a great place to retreat from the summer heat for a leisurely swim and a relaxing family barbecue. Complete with rope swings and rock pools of varying depths, this magical oasis also has all the amenities nearby including picnic tables, toilets and hot and cold refreshments. If it’s too hot for the beach, then Currumbin Rock Pools is definitely the place to head.   

Tweed River Boating

Just a few minutes drive from Coolangatta, why not spend a leisurely day on the Tweed River with the family. You can hire a boat from Tweed River Boat Hire and explore the peaceful mangroves and islands of the river and Terranora Inlet. These are a haven for birds and fish and for the resident Tweed River dolphins, which love to play in the clear, calm waters.  

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Guide to Summer School Holidays on the Gold Coast.

Don’t stress over school holidays with The Strand

And remember, whatever season you come to Cooly, the Strand Coolangatta has a ton of free fun every school holidays. So why not bring the kids on your next shopping trip and check out what’s happening here at any time of year.