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If you are looking for somewhere to have that perfect family holiday then look no further than the Gold Coast in Australia. This region of sunny Queensland is the ultimate beach holiday destination. If you are wondering what to do there, check out our list of the top 10 things to do on the Gold Coast.
1. Go Hot Air Ballooning with a Champagne Breakfast
What could be a better way to wake up to see views of the sparkling ocean, verdant rain forests and a golden, sandy beach all from the sky? You can see all of this from a hot air balloon ride over the Gold Coast. The ride will take you over the hinterlands; enjoy the beautiful Mt Tamborine in the distance and the turquoise ocean behind you.
Once you reach land again, you will then be greeted with some chilled champagne and a scrumptious hot breakfast at a local vineyard. There really is no better way to wake up to the Gold Coast
2. Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
No trip to Australia is truly complete without cuddling a koala, so your first stop has to be the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, you can not only get close to a koala but also see kangaroos, reptiles and native birds in a natural setting. Set over 27 hectares, there is plenty of bush land and rainforest for the animals to enjoy and special wildlife shows for you to see. I remember feeding the native birds and being surrounded by a flock of red, green and orange feathers. What fun!
3. Enjoy Warner Bros Movie World
Warner Bros Movie World is an exciting venue for movie buffs and those that enjoy the thrill of a good ride alike. For thrill-seekers, hold on tight when you take the Green Lantern Coaster or Superman Escape, or be prepared to be frightened in the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster.
For younger kids, there is the Road Runner roller coaster where you can feel like you are part of this loved cartoon. There are also several shows that introduce you to some of the secrets of the movie world like Hollywood Stunt Driver. I am personally a bit of an animation fan so my favourite has to be the 4D experience of Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
4. Explore sea life at Sea World
One of the oldest theme parks on the Gold Coast is Sea World and it still draws huge crowds for good reason. It gives you a fascinating insight into the underwater world of some gorgeous animals. Where else can you see inside a polar bear’s world or have a close range encounter with a shark?
Sea World has some unique adventures for dolphin lovers. You can get up close and personal with these friendly mammals or even go for a deep-water adventure with them. If you prefer a bit of luxury, you spend a day aboard the luxury $3.5m cruiser and explore the tributaries surrounding the Gold Coast.
5. Do the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
Exploring a rainforest really is a magical experience and at the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, you can actually walk above the lush forest and see it from a different perspective. The 300 meter bridge takes you to the top of the rainforest canopy where you can see the secret world below. Wandering along the skywalk, you will pass rock pools, a gurgling stream and even a butterfly lookout.
The highlight of the walk is the Cantilever. Suspended at 30 metres, it is here that you can see the forest in all its glory. The beauty of this walk is that anyone can do it and you can take your time with no set pace. It takes most about an hour to complete.
6. Get your thrills at Dreamworld
Dreamworld has it all in one location. Great rides, lots of wildlife and some exciting shows. No wonder it is Australia’s favourite theme park. There are over 40 rides at Dreamworld so it is almost impossible to get on all of them in just one day but don’t let that dissuade you from trying.
There are several different lands that make up Dreamworld. Enter from Main Street and jump on the Dreamworld Railway or catch a movie at the cinema. The Town of Gold Rush has the thrilling Thunder River Rapids Ride and Shooting Gallery. Before you have lunch, try the Rocky Hollow Log Ride, which is the tallest free fall ride in the world with a drop that reaches speeds of 135 kilometres an hour.
If you prefer staying close to land, try the Australian Wildlife Experience where you can see some native and farm animals or choose to dance along to the popular songs of the Wiggles. You might even forget for a moment that you are no longer in India when you visit Tiger Island, whichis home to Bengal and Sumatran tigers.
7. Splash about at Wet N Wild Water World
The weather sure is warm in the Gold Coast so what better way to cool down then to splash about at a water park. Grab your swimwear and a towel and head down to Wet N Wild Water World. Get your heart rate pumping on the Blackhole or Kamikaze rides or fly down the steep River Rapids. You can even experience white water rafting at Mammoth Falls.
For something that all the family can enjoy together, why not take a dip in the Giant Wave Pool or experience the Whirlpool Springs. Have a laugh practicing your best pirate accent in Buccaneer Bay as you set sail in this simulated world of pirates.
8. Go shopping at the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Market
After all the theme parks and daring rides, you will need a break. So, why not indulge in some retail therapy. You can search for hidden treasures in the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets that are held every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings.
With over 120 market stalls selling artwork, home wares and fashion, you are sure to find that perfect gift to take home. For some fun, there are live entertainers who add to the carnival atmosphere. On the beachfront are many different restaurants and cafes l where you can take a break or enjoy a rewarding post-shopping meal.
9. Jet Boating
The 880 hp twin jet power turbo engines deliver speeds up to 90kmph out in the ocean They have specially designed racing seats and highly experienced drivers so there is no reason to miss out on this awesome experience. Feel the thrill and ride the real waves!
10. Go surfing on one of the beaches
The Gold Coast has some of Australia’s best surfing beaches. Whether you are an experienced wave rider or have never jumped on a board before, this is the best place to give it a go. I remember trying my hand at surfing for the first time on a calm beach and I couldn’t believe how physically challenging it was. But nothing is better than the first moment you are standing on the board and can feel yourself gliding on the waves as they carry you towards the golden shore.
Some of the best surfing beaches on the Gold Coast include Snapper Rocks, Burleigh Heads or Surfers Paradise beach, which is busy and a great place to people watch. For somewhere quieter, you can try Currumbin Alley, which is perfect for beginners.