Attractions

GOLD COAST ATTRACTIONS

RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Surfers Paradise is a self-guided adventure where you come face to face with relics and rare treasures from around the world. With almost 9,000sqm to explore, you will discover 350 genuine artifacts, amazing stories of history and adventure, magic, mystery, illusions, fun interactive games, life-size figurines of unusual characters who actually lived and unbelievable movies.

Ripleys' Believe it or Not is great fun for the family.

Ripleys' Believe it or Not is great fun for the family.

PURLING BROOK FALLS

The little creek known as Purling Brook, peacefully winds its way under roads and over rocks before finding itself in a terrifying 100m drop off the mountain, into the valley below. The Purling Brook Falls are situated within the central section of Springbrook National Park as part of the Shield Volcano Group, at Springbrook which is part of the Gold Coast hinterland, southwest of Surfers Paradise.

Purling Brook Falls at Springbrook. Pics Adam Head

Purling Brook Falls at Springbrook. Pics Adam Head

CRAZY CANDLES CANDLE MAKING

Build your own colourful candle and watch the delight in your eyes as it’s sculpted into a special shape or character. Or you make your very own colourful Wax Hands. For a fantastic keepsake, your Wax Hands will be placed on a base.

DOUGHNUT FILLINGS

Create your own delicious masterpiece at Blackboard Coffee, where you can fill your own doughnut with salted caramel filling. Blackboard has also been tipped as one of the best coffee hot spots on the Gold Coast.

CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

It’s been around forever and there’s a reason why. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a Gold Coast institution. Experience Australian wildlife by feeding kangaroos and cuddling koalas. There are bird shows, sheep shearings, Aboriginal performances and treetop ropes courses.

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital has welcomed two little baby echidnas. Picture

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital has welcomed two little baby echidnas. Picture by Scott Fletcher

ADRENALIN PARK SURFERS PARADISE

If you can’t afford to keep visiting theme parks but the kids need a bit of an adrenalin pump, visit the Adrenalin Park in Surfers Paradise for amusement and thrill rides like the Vomatron and the Sling Shot. Inexpensive rides that will have the kids laughing for hours.

THUNDERBIRD PARK

There’s another cheap theme park that is a little hidden spot in the Tamborine Mountain. The Thunderbird Park offers high ropes courses with phenomenal views, a number of attractions, and you can even camp there overnight.

SNORKELLING HOTSPOT

Palm Beach Reef is a series of rocky ridges and gullies covered with extensive hard and soft coral growth, anemones, ascidians and sponges. Commencing at a depth of 24 metres it spreads over a large area up to the 8 metre bottom depth. In some areas the top of the reef is only 5 metres from the surface.

7D CINEMA SURFERS PARADISE

If the kids have hit up movie cinemas one too many times, check out the newly established 7D cinema in Surfers Paradise. Watch a movie with interactive 3D glasses while experiencing over seven different special effects on a platform that moves accordingly with the movie at 7D Virtual Reality Cinema.

HOT AIR BALLOON

Ditch the typical restaurant date and relight the flame with a romantic hot air balloon ride. Float over the majestic Gold Coast hinterland with a glass of wine and your significant other. Book through Hot Air Gold Coast.

The view of the Gold Coast from a hot-air balloon. Photo: Dean Johnson

The view of the Gold Coast from a hot-air balloon. Photo by Dean Johnson

OUTDOOR GOKARTING

This European style indoor centre features a massive 50m cross over bridge, tunnels, esses and sweepers. Sideways Go Karting Gold Coast promises to occupy the family with the ultimate racing buzz. Located just 10 minutes from Surfers Paradise, Slideways Go Karting Gold Coast is located just off the M1 Motorway at Nerang.

CURRUMBIN ROCK POOLS

A local’s secret in the Currumbin Valley, the Currumbin Rock Pools is nestled a fair distance away and tourists know nothing about it. Plunging waterfalls, rock slides, grass areas and massive pools to swim in, this spot is nature at it’s finest. The best part? It’s totally free.

People cooling down at the Popular Currumbin rock pools. Picture Mike Batterham

People cooling down at the Popular Currumbin rock pools. Picture Mike Batterham

STRIKE BOWLING BAR

Strike is much more than just a bowling alley. With an exciting atmosphere thanks to huge projector screens playing all of the latest music videos, you and your friends can keep rocking out in between turns.

Contact: 1300 STRIKE

COOKING CLASSES FOR KIDS

Cook For Your Life at Biggera Waters has cooking classes for kids. They’ll be taught basic, healthy kid-friendly recipes which will inspire them to want to do more. Get a group of their friends together and the host will bring everything needed to your venue.

Contact: 0418 782 905

GHOST TOURS

Explore the underbelly of old Surfers Paradise. Let the lanterns light your way on this guided tour of the city’s backstreets and laneways to reveal the macabre secrets and sordid gossip of the Glitter Strip. Each guided tour takes about an hour and is a leisurely 2km walk across the city. The organisers rate paranormal activity in the area as “moderate’’. Children must be eight years or older.

Contact: 1300 390 119

Rebecca Ottoway from Lantern Ghost Tours will take you down the hidden laneways and backs

Rebecca Ottoway from Lantern Ghost Tours will take you down the hidden laneways and backstreets of Surfers Paradise to reveal the city’s macabre secrets.

THE WISHING TREE TRACK

This mysterious little journey in the Green Mountains takes you on a 2.4km return trek to the Wishing Tree Track below O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. The journey to the wishing tree is downhill along a thin track passing lots of interesting native flora. At the Wishing Tree you can turn left into Glow Worm Gully or go ahead under the Wishing Tree to Morans Creek.

Where: Lamington National Park Road, Canungra

ZORB BALLING

You and up to two friends are thrown inside Zorb balls filled with a bucket of water and sent rolling down the hill. Described as a cross between a water slide and a roller coaster, Zorb balling is an often unheard-of school holiday activity kids will go crazy for.

Where: 232 Old Pacific Highway, Pimpama

A cross between a water slide and a roller coaster, Zorb balling is an activity the kids

A cross between a water slide and a roller coaster, Zorb balling is an activity the kids will go crazy for.

O’REILLY’S RETREAT

Wine tasting sells itself, but instead of remaining couped up indoors, take the activity outside into the vineyards and have a picnic overlooking the blue skies and green mountains.

TROPICAL FRUIT WORLD

Family owned and operated, Tropical Fruit World is a successful commercial farming operation distributing quality tropical fruit produce to interstate markets across the country. Take a guided tour of more than 500 varieties of exotic fruit.

DRACULAS

Draculas are constantly reinventing their shows, so what you saw two years ago won’t be what you see if you visit again. Throw a little excitement into your dinner schedule and book the family a table to witness their latest production, Spiderlash.

The cast & crew from themed restaurant Draculas. Picture by Scott Fletcher

The cast & crew from themed restaurant Draculas. Picture by Scott Fletcher

BOTANICAL GARDENS

Take a stroll around the Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens.

EVANDALE SCULPTURE WALK

Take a look at art made by local and international sculptors along the Evandale Sculpture Walk.

JELLURGAL DREAMING TOUR

Embark on a journey of discovery and explore the secret world of the first inhabitants of this region, the Yugambeh people. Designed for international travellers, interstate visitors and locals wishing to learn more about the Aboriginal history of their region, Jellurgal Dreaming is a five hour Aboriginal Cultural Experience in Burleigh.

MOVIES IN THE PARK

Spend the summer nights watching classic films in the great outdoors. Pack a picnic or grab a bite from local vendors on-site before settling in to watch the big screen with friends and family.

Where: Various parks.

MIAMI MARKETTA

Bring the family to enjoy live music, performers and lots of healthy foods with gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and raw food options at Rabbit and Cocoon in Miami every Saturday.

Contact: 0488 590 599

The beach is what the Gold Coast is famous for.

The beach is what the Gold Coast is famous for.

HIT THE BEACH

We’re not only famous for fun. Renowned for our beaches and huge stretches of sand, there are plenty available to choose from for those who love surf and sunshine.

PALAZZO VERSACE

Whether you take the girls for a high tea or just visit to marvel at the exquisite interior, you need to pay a visit to the only Palazzo Versace in Australia, right here on the Gold Coast.

Contact: 5509 8000

Where: 94 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

MAGIC MOUNTAIN

A historical amusement park, Magic Mountain closed in mid 1987 and remained a derelict unused site until 1991. The defunct site was briefly used as a set for a scene in the remake of the TV series Mission Impossible. The land was sold and is now the thriving Nobby Beach precinct which includes restaurants, shops and predominantly, Magic Mountain Resort Apartments, named in its memory.

Where: Great Hall Drive Nobby Beach

GOLD COAST SPORTING HALL OF FAME

There are a number of places to visit when the weather isn’t so great, where you can soak up some culture rather than some sun. Queensland’s first dedicated sports museum, which currently honours 33 Gold Coast sporting champions, is located in Southport’s Owen Park. It’s open every Wednesday from 9am until noon and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

Where: Queen Street, Southport

JUNGLE MADNESS

Channel your inner-lion at southern Skies Park in Reedy Creek. From 8.30am, a free, no bookings required obstacle course will be set up where you can run, jump, climb, crawl and slither through the challenges.

Check out the spectacular views from some of the city’s lookouts, including the “Best of

Check out the spectacular views from some of the city’s lookouts, including the “Best of All’’ lookout. Picture: Samantha Schull.

LOOKOUTS

There’s more to the Gold Coast than just the beach, with the city also famous for its glorious views. There are plenty of lookouts that take advantage of the best spots and many include picnic and barbecue facilities as well. The “Best of All’’ lookout at Mudgeeraba is among the best and there are plenty of others, from coastal areas to the hilly Hinterland.

EXERCISE

Maybe not enjoyable for everyone, but up and down the coast there are exercise machines and equipment that are free for everyone to use, plus loads of walking and cycle routes. They are fun and easy to use and offer gorgeous views.

DRACULA’S HAUNTED HOUSE

Enter if you dare. With five levels of interactive spooky fun house exhibits, this terrifying haunted house is family friendly, and great for kids of all ages. You’ll descend deep below ground level, and enter the scary underworld — with sharks, spiders, creatures and ghouls.

Contact: 1800DRACULAS

FIRE 4 HIRE

Try something different and take a joy ride on a fire truck with Fire 4 Hire. Travel aboard from Surfers Paradise to the Spit via Surfers Paradise, Narrowneck, Main Beach and Sea World. Once at the Spit, guests will be able to experience the operation of a fully functional fire hose, and pose for photographs holding the nozzle and wearing authentic fire helmets.

Visit: http://fire4hire.com.au/

GOLD COAST BUNGY TRAMPOLINES

Bounce around, harness up, jump up to seven metres and try a double or triple flip. Great fun for kids of all ages. Find them at Circle on Cavill, Surfers Paradise.

Contact: 0400 773 223

PLANET CHILL

Planet Chill, Paradise Resort, Gold Coast.

Planet Chill, Paradise Resort, Gold Coast.

Australia’s only resort based permanent ice skating rink. Planet Chill is an all-weather attraction which lends itself to family fun, year-round, whatever the weather and catering to kids big and small.

Where: 122 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

JET SKI SAFARIS

Explore the wild and get out there and among it all. Escape to your own paradise with the Jet Ski Safari specialists. Jet Ski Safaris specialise in serious fun and adventure, as they lead you on an unforgettable journey through narrow tidal passages that snake their way through endless miles of untamed mangroves.

Contact: 5526 3111

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP

At Build-A-Bear Workshop guests choose from more than 30 animals to create their new best friend. Create your own best friend by selecting your animal and adding a sound or even record a personalised message or heartbeat. Choose his or her outfits and voila!

Call 5570 3642

JET FLIGHT SIMULATOR

Experience a flying lesson in a state-of-the-art flight simulator based on the Boeing 737-800 next-generation aircraft, flying in and out of your choice of more than 22,000 airports all over the world. For just $99, you become the Copilot.

Contact:

1300 737 484

SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA GALLERY

Part art gallery, part retail store, the Spirit of Australia Gallery is home to authentic Australian-made product and Aboriginal artwork.

There’s more than just bowling at Strike Bowling Bar — but that's pretty fun too.