Family Vacations to the Gold Coast, Australia

Picture of resorts on Gold Coast Australia
Sufer's Paradise resorts on Australia's Gold Coast (Guy Vanderelst)

Gold Coast, Australia, Family Travel Tips

  • The Gold Coast basks in a warm and sunny climate. Regardless of the time of year, travel with plenty of drinking water and sunscreen, as well as sunglasses and a sun hat for every member of the family.
  • Pacific Ocean currents can be strong, so swimmers need to be responsible and swim only in designated areas. Lifeguards are on duty at many Gold Coast beaches.
  • Temperatures can climb above 82 degrees in summer, between December and February. Winter runs from June until August but still stays relatively warm, with average temperatures in the low 50s.

There is nowhere in Australia quite like the Gold Coast. Australia's Florida may stretch only 25 miles south of Brisbane, but its resorts are the most popular in the country. This is where Australians come and where travelers looking to enjoy a slice of Australian beach life and culture head to join them. The slick and efficient resorts are geared toward younger travelers, making the Gold Coast one of the country's finest family destinations.

Excellent beaches first brought tourists to the Gold Coast, and those beaches remain the number-one attraction today. This corner of the state of Queensland is rimmed miles of sandy beach. The climate is ideal too, with some 300 days of sunshine a year. Surfing can be enjoyed by all but the youngest children. Several surf schools and instructors have programs to show kids the waves, either on full surfboards or smaller, easier-to-use bodyboards. Surfing in Australia's Gold Coast is also a spectator sport, with talented locals always practicing for regular competitions. Even the lifeguards get in on the act when they're not working to keep everyone safe.

Surfer's Paradise is the most famous of all the Gold Coast resorts, and it is perfect for families. But many hotels and restaurants here are attuned to the needs of younger travelers. Budget-conscious visitors may want to avoid Australian school holidays, when the cheaper hotels fill up fast. Several local theme parks give the youngsters plenty to do. Wet 'n' Wild Water World is a thoroughly enjoyable water park, while WhiteWater World is newer and good for children of all ages.

For fun on dry land, Sea World Australia is a classic Gold Coast theme park with dolphin and whale shows as well as adrenaline-pumping rides. Dreamworld delivers yet more white-knuckle adventures, as well as a wildlife park and the Gold Coast's only Imax cinema.

South along the coast, the nearby town of Currumbin offers pristine, sun-kissed beaches and gentle surf where the rainforest meets the ocean. It is home to one of the Gold Coast's premier family attractions, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This forest oasis is rich with native flora and fauna, including that most famous of Australian marsupials, the kangaroo.

At whichever resorts you visit, you will be greeted by that classic Australian scene of sandy beaches and surfers frolicking in the waves, all framed by the sort of endless blue skies that help make the Gold Coast Australia's most popular family beach destination.

Published: 29 Apr 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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