Guide to Summer School Holidays on the Gold Coast
If you’re planning a family holiday on the Gold Coast, make sure you read our School Holiday Summer Seasonal Guide. It’s packed with awesome attractions for the whole family, including things to do and places to stay between Southport and Coolangatta from December to February.
Eats and treats
There are lots of events and outdoor activities happening right across the summer months on the Gold Coast and many are family friendly and free. Some notable new additions include;
- BBQ Bazaar Night Market – a night market in Burleigh dedicated to barbecue, including grilled, smoked and charcoal cooked meats. It features 20 stalls offering everything from European sausage and Brazilian grill to barbecue ribs and rotisserie lamb. With sweet treats on offer plus live music and entertainment, it’s a fun place to meet and eat on Friday and Saturday nights.
- NightQuarter – the Gold Coast’s newest playground, featuring night markets, micro restaurants and shops, all housed in a unique shipping container city with over 120 speciality food sellers, designers, musicians and craftspeople. Another great destination for a night of family fun, food and retail therapy.
- GC Beach Bazaar – the Gold Coast’s newest market and food truck park in Surfers Paradise brings together food, sun, sand and snow in a weekend foodie festival. Choices include everything from tacos and buffalo wings to cooked spuds and donuts and after they’ve eaten, the kids can check out the Mini Snow Park’s tube slides, airbag jump and ice kart track.
Thrills and spills
It’s compulsory to visit at least one theme park on the Gold Coast and you’ll find a thrilling ride or attraction to suit every member of the family at Seaworld, Dreamworld, Movie World, Wet N Wild or White Water World. Thrills and spills aplenty can also be found at;
- iFly Indoor Skydiving – enjoy the amazing sensation of flying in this state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Surfers Paradise. Powered by multiple fans, it produces a powerful airflow as if you were free falling from 14,000 feet, making the dream of flight a reality in a safe, supervised environment.
- AquaSplash – an open water fun park on the Broadwater in Southport, AquaSplash is a giant inflatable obstacle course featuring water slides, trampolines, bouncing pillows and more; a great place for the kids to cool off and have fun.
- Infinity – an immersive sensory experience full of mazes and optical illusions to keep the kids entertained for hours. Located in the Renaissance Centre in Surfers Paradise, this is great indoor, all-weather entertainment for kids 8 and over.
- Adrenaline Park – this Surfers Paradise amusement park is home to some of the most awesome stomach-churning rides including the Slingshot, Vomatron and Fly Coaster. Take the kids at night and enjoy the amazing display of multi-coloured lights.
The Gold Coast is also home to a host of natural attractions and NaturallyGC is a program that allows the whole family to participate in free or low cost nature-based workshops, activities and events.
From citizen science, tree planting and guided bush walks to koala conservation and nature play, there are all sorts of activities you and the kids can sign up for on the City of Gold Coast website.
Other great family-oriented natural attractions include;
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – the GC’s number one wildlife attraction in Corrumbin, boasting 27 hectares of bushland full of awesome experiences from a Tree Top Challenge to Segway Safaris. Animal attractions include rainbow lorikeet feeding, dingo encounters, free flight bird shows and crocodile feeding.
- Currumbin Rock Pools – 20 minutes inland from Coolangatta, these popular water holes are a great place for a swim, a barbie and a family game of cricket. There are picnic tables and toilets and refreshments are available just across the road.
- Mt Tamborine Glow Worm Caves – located in the Gold Coast hinterland, these realistic purpose-built caves allow you to see glow worms up close and personal, without the usual night walk through the bush.
- Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens – set in 31 hectares in Benowa, these gardens offer a range of family activities including a playground, sensory garden and butterfly garden. A great place for a picnic and some family time in the great outdoors, just 10 minutes from Surfers Paradise.
Where to stay
If your family holiday to the Gold Coast is more than just a day trip, you’re going to need a base camp to explore the region from. And the area you choose will depend on your family, interests, time and budget. Choices include;
- Broadbeach – centrally located and close to everything, with a big selection of accommodation options from high rise apartments to high end hotels. It is one of the more expensive areas, so if budget is a constraint, you may want to look further north or south.
- Burleigh Heads – right on the highway with car and bus access to suburbs north and south, this is a good area to make your home base. And it has all local amenities, lovely scenery and reasonably priced accommodation, most within walking distance of the beach.
- Surfers Paradise – this is the liveliest region on the Gold Coast offering endless entertainment options. It has accommodation for every budget, but because of its central location, it can be a little noisy and hectic, especially at night and on weekends.
- Main Beach – just north of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach is a good all round accommodation choice due to its relative quiet, despite the convenient location. There are plenty of affordable accommodation options and it is a pleasant area, surrounded by greenery, riverways and nearby beach.
- Coolangatta – offering vast expanses of beach and with affordably priced accommodation nearby, this is a great base if you're looking at exploring some more popular parts of the southern Gold Coast region. It’s close to the airport, has a variety of public transport options and some of the most affordable accommodation if you’re holidaying on a budget.
Before your summer visit to the Gold Coast, make sure you check out what’s on at The Strand Coolangatta. There are plenty of things to keep the whole family entertained and a wide range of dining options to suit everyone. Get in touch with us today on 07 5506 5300.