Gold Coast Family Holidays
As holidays approach and the sense of excitement builds for the kids, a feeling of dread can descend upon parents – inflated peak-period prices, traffic jams with tired kids, who will feed the goldfish? But, at the end of the day nothing brings a family closer than spending quality time together on a beach holiday. So why not scrap the stress and consider a trip somewhere a little closer to home? Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast makes a perfect stress-free family holiday destination.
The Outdoorsy Family
The year-round warm weather and thousands of kilometres of pristine beaches are perfect for an outdoors Gold Coast holiday with kids. Kick off the good times at Putt Putt Mermaid Beach where you get to choose between three differently themed courses; their flexible multi-day passes mean you can experience the Jungle Trail, Fun Run and Waterways over the duration of your holiday. Every family member young and old will enjoy the 18-hole courses. In between rounds make use of the complimentary barbecue facilities and picnic area at Putt Putt’s Jungle Hideaway. A hot spot in school holidays, it’s best to book in advance.
If the kids are a bit older and love to surf, be sure to make a trip down to Burleigh Heads for the ultimate swell. Despite the name, the Main Beach at Surfers Paradise is not actually the best place to catch a wave.
Outdoor adventures work up an appetite so top off your day of fun in the sun with fine gastronomy at Oskars on Burleigh, which boasts pristine beach views over white linens. While you relax with a cocktail and struggle to choose between tantalising seafood mains (think fresh oysters, ocean trout with clams and seared scallops), kids will love the specially tailored children’s menu. If the weather is fine, sit out on the deck and enjoy the soundtrack of rolling waves to your dinner.
The Health-Conscious Family
Surfers Paradise doesn’t always conjure up images of healthy lifestyles, but if you’d like to see kale chips on the menu for your gold coast holidays then there are still plenty of options to keep your family nourished and entertained.
Mandala Organic Arts Café is just one block back from Mermaid Beach on the south end of Surfer’s Paradise proper, and prides itself on doing things a little differently. The vegan menu has everything from homemade waffles and rice paper rolls to an extensive pizza menu, but the good vibes extend beyond the food to a philosophy that’s all about inclusion. They encourage you to think of their venue, which encompasses the restaurant and several gardens, as a home away from home, where everyone is welcome. Before your visit be sure to check out their agenda for fun activities like kids festivals, cooking classes and theatre acts. Or simply enjoy a refreshing glass of kombucha under a parasol in the sun-filled garden.
Just one kilometre further north lies the Cardamom Pod café. After a morning hitting the waves in front of the Kurrawa Surf Club, dive into this light and airy oasis for soul-satiating dishes. The fully vegetarian menu includes hearty lasagne, moussaka and kofta balls, as well as a rainbow of salads and mouth-watering snacks, perfect for fuelling your beach holiday. The Pod, as it’s affectionately known by locals, lies just across from some of the Gold Coast’s popular spots, Jupiter’s Casino, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. Even if you’re not a die-hard vegetarian, their range of mocktails and cupcakes are sure to impress the fussiest of eaters.
The Thrill-Seeking Family
You’d be hard pushed to take your teenage family on a beach holiday to the Gold Coast and not visit at least one of the fantastic theme parks on offer. After all, it’s what Gold Coast family holidays are made of! If you want to amp the adrenaline up an extra notch be sure to add Gold Coast Watersports to your must-do list. Located right next to Sea World, this is your base from which to discover a different perspective of the Gold Coast from a seaplane, flyboard, parasail or Jet Ski. Your teenagers will love their Jet Ski Buggy Safari that takes you through the pristine waterways of the gold coast to a secret island destination, any child over the age of eight can double with a parent. Make the switch to a two-seater ATV buggy and continue the adventure, four-wheel driving your way through sand dunes and rainforest – look out for wallabies and sugar gliders darting through the trees.
If you’re more comfortable with both feet firmly planted on the ground and your kids are a bit younger, the futuristic worlds at INFINITY might suit you better. No less thrilling, the 20 different sensory environments provoke different emotions through special effects, both visual and aural. Enter INFINITY’s Time Tunnel and experience first-hand what others are calling a ‘mind-warping’ experience. Kids will love having the freedom to run wild through the different interactive zones – you might even find yourself letting your inner child go wild. INFINITY is indoors so it’s a perfect wet-weather activity, or a pleasant escape from the Summer heat!
Where to Stay
And after a day keeping up with the kids, the last thing you want to do is have to make a long journey back to your accommodation. This will never be an issue at Surfers – there’s a plenty of accommodation options so you’re sure to find a place that’s right for you and your family.
Moorings on Cavill is located in the heart of Surfers Paradise on thriving Cavill Avenue, just 300 metres from INFINITY. You won’t miss any of the action with plenty of restaurants and bars in the area; perfect if you’re looking for a beach getaway that doesn’t get dull after the sun goes down. The modern one, two and three bedroom apartments have private balconies and plenty of space. Kids will love the games room, heated pool and spa area and free Wi-Fi.
Another high-rise pad in the thick of the action is the Wyndham Surfers Paradise, which has spacious and stylish self-contained accommodation within walking distance of supermarkets, as well as the beach. The apartments are decorated in aqua and chocolate brown, complemented by expansive views of the beach. Self-catering is a great way to keep the price down on a family holiday. Simply stock your fridge before you head out for the day, so dinner can be on the table in no time when you return. Or let the kids cool off in the outdoor swimming pool while you fire up the barbecue on the deck.