Not sure how you’re going to keep the minions occupied these school holidays? There’s no better place than the Gold Coast to keep your kids challenged, entertained and, most importantly, happy.
But don’t think it’s all about the beach and the theme parks. There are loads of fun things to do in the Gold Coast region that don’t involve a single grain of sand or even a single dollar.
So, without further ado, here’s our hot list of free things to do on the Gold Coast these school holidays:
Having recently officially re-opened in May 2022, a visit to the newly upgraded Pizzey Park in Miami is worth a trip to the Gold Coast alone.
Already the stuff of legends on the Gold Coast, this totally epic street style skate park has been made even more epic thanks to a mind-blowing 3,000m2 expansion (that’s more than ten tennis courts). Designed following Olympic standards, the $5.6 million Pizzey Park upgrade means the venue is now ready to host international competitions and become a training base for pro athletes.
When you kids clap eyes on this place, they are going to think you are a total legend for taking them there (and will be secretly impressed that you were cool enough to know about it).
As the Gold Coast’s busiest skatepark, it certainly draws a crowd and just watching the talent on show can provide great entertainment and inspiration for beginner skaters.
It’s hard to believe that something so epic could be completely free. You’re welcome.
When you see this fun-filled, inclusive playspace in action, it’s easy to see that Disability Services Queensland played a part in the playground’s design of the Kurrawa All Abilities Playground in Broadbeach. Connected by wide wheelchair friendly paths, all of the play areas within the playground have been designed so that children of all abilities can join in and play together.
There’s a fully-accessible ‘underwater’ submarine that’s set below ground level to give the impression of being down deep and includes internal control panels set at wheelchair height.
Other highlights for kids of all ages and abilities include sound and sight periscopes, lively colourful sculptures and a giggle-inducing, wobbly sway bridge.
The playground is also fully-fenced with pool-style fencing (including gates with high, kid-proof latches) making it an appealing option if you have a little ‘bolter’ in your family.
Did you know that you can ride all the way along the beachfront from Paradise Point (just north of Surfers Paradise) to Coolangatta at the Southern end of the GC?
From end to end, it’s a 48km ride, but you can simply do as much, or as little, as your family’s littlest legs will go. With lots to see and do along the way, and plenty of opportunities for lunch or ice-cream breaks, you might be surprised just how far you get.
If your junior thrill seekers like to get some adrenaline pumping on their two-wheel adventures, load up the bikes and head just 12kms north-west of Surfers Paradise to Nerang National Park. This 1700-hectare mountain biking mecca, home to over 60kms of single trails, hosted the mountain-biking events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
While you will certainly find some gnarly trails to challenge the most experienced riders, there are also some friendlier trails for beginners including the Casuarina Grove Circuit and the Goanna Loop.
Another great family mountain biking spot is the Peter Hallinan Mountain Bike Precinct at Hinze Dam, just 10kms off the Pacific Motorway at Merrimac. Here you’ll find three family-friendly trails with an ‘Easy’ rating including Duncan’s Creek Track, Lower Duncan’s Creek Track and the appropriately named Family Loop. At Hinze Dam you will also find a playground, free BBQs and plenty of space to stretch out for a picnic making it a great spot to round out a family day out.
Less than ten minutes north of Surfers Paradise, the Broadwater Parklands stretch more than two kilometres along the glistening waterfront and offers everything you could possibly need for an action-packed day out with your crew.
Right on the edge of the Broadwater, you’ll find ‘The Rockpools’ saltwater playground, a series of interconnecting shallow, man-made tidal pools perfect for little toes to paddle in. Sculptural water fountains add to the fun and fixed shade umbrellas provide shelter on sunny days.
A little further along the parklands, the giant bouncy pillow is a kid-magnet, especially on weekends or at peak times like school holidays. Be warned, it can get a little hectic here, but that’s half the fun.
Right next to the bouncy pillow is a monorail track with pedal cars for some friendly racing and a themed junior bike track for BYO pedal power.
While you’re here, you can miss taking a stroll out the Southport pier. If you throw in your rods, you could even do a little fishing from one of the pontoons.
When the batteries are running low (yours not the kids) there are also a couple of cafés on hand for a quick coffee injection. You’ll find the lovely Café Catalina on the outer edge of the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre (which is also within the parkland) or head to the Shak on the edge of the Great Lawn for great coffee or a feed of fish and chips.
Have fun with the kids exploring Endeavour Foundation’s ultra-glamorous $1.8 million Gold Coast Prize Home at the prestigious Riverstone Crossing estate in Maudsland.
Task the kids with choosing their favourite glam bedroom before heading outside to discover the fairy-lit pavilion on the edge of the nature reserve. The Prize Home is open to explore from 10am-5pm daily until 4 August 2022. You’ll find address details and directions here.
Or if you can’t make it in person, take the kids on a virtual tour now.