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The Family Guide to a Gold Coast holiday
When I first moved to the Gold Coast the first thing I did was get an apartment in Surfers Paradise. That was the best place to be right? For the first year that is what I thought but as I became more of a local I realised that the Gold Coast had so much more to offer than the bright lights and chaotic partying scene of Surfers Paradise.
Having now lived on the Gold Coast for 12 years I wanted to share some advice for families coming to the Gold Coast. So often I hear of families visiting who stay in Surfers Paradise and base their holidays around Theme Parks and visiting the expensive retail outlets in the Surfers Paradise mall. While this will make for a fun time for all, there is so much more to be scene.
My suggestions are as follows:
Accommodation
Avoid staying in the heart of Surfers Paradise – try staying in one of the more ‘local’ areas such as Broadbeach, Burleigh or even Coolangatta. A friend recently stayed at Coolangatta and said that being there made her want to move to QLD. The Suburban accommodation options will provide you with a more relaxed option and all of the above 3 options are located close to some of the best beaches, parks and shopping precincts on the Gold Coast. Buses will still take you directly to the theme parks and to Surfers Paradise.
Family outings
The Gold Coast has some of the most beautiful nature reserves in Australia. Why not spend a day at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where your children can pat the Kangaroos, hold a Koala, watch a live Aboriginal dance show and much more. Or hire a car and take a drive to Mount Tamborine – this beautiful location has a wonderful botanical garden and lots of trendy cafes and shops to browse through. It is also a beautiful drive. If you would like to combine an afternoon at the beach with play time at the park for your children – try the Pirate Park at Currumbin Beach. This park is very popular with children from as young as 1 through to the teens. It is also located right on the beach.
There is so much to do and see. I’m sure if you step away from the ‘norm’ you will find the Gold Coast has so much more to offer than just bright lights and over crowded malls.


Posted by alioop, 19th March 2014


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  • nice to read stories on this great site

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  • good nice story

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  • i love surfer’s paradise! i love the gold coast

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  • Thanks again; have shared some of your good tips.

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  • Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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  • Agree! I used to visit my parents when they lived on the gold coast and we always avoided surfers and the theme parks.

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  • thanks for this info will come in handy

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  • oh Burleigh Heads is my favourite beach in Oz, it does make for a great holiday destination

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  • also broadwater parklands at southport is great for kids!

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  • Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a detailed post. My hubby wants to go there for the lights and theme parks but I really don’t like that kind of thing and all those people. Your trips sound much more family orientated and a more fuller experience.

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  • This is great thanks. We’ve been twice over the years and stayed in the heart of Surfer’s once and further out with a hire car the second time, and the second time was so much better. More relaxed and less busy for us Tasmanians ;)

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  • We went last year and did the typical stay in surfers and the theme parks. My son wants to go again.
    I’m actually thrilled with your advice as I really wanted to do something different yet get away to some warmer weather, as it will be in July. Thanks so much.

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  • thank you for the fantastic tips!

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  • Thanks for the tips! Am going to Gold Coast with the kids and grandparents in 6 weeks. We already have passes for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, didn’t know about the Pirate park (will be a great place to stop for lunch and let the kids run off some steam) Mt Tamborine seems like a great way to spend a day and I know Nanna would love to have a look around!

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  • We’re looking at going to the Gold Coast for the upcoming Easter holidays, so I appreciate your tips. Thanks.

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