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The best things to do on the Gold Coast with kids in 2018

Been to the Gold Coast with kids? It may be time to look again. The beachside city has some seriously great new attractions.

There are so many more options now to make time on the Gold Coast exciting, says Dean Gould, Gold Coast Tourism director of corporate affairs.

He’s not wrong. From roller coasters that will make you scream to cute and cuddly animals, there’s more to do on the Gold Coast now than just a day at the beach.

Here’s our pick of the best new attractions.

1. DC Rivals HyperCoaster Warner Bros Movie World.

The DC HyperCoaster is the tallest, longest and fastest in the Southern Hemisphere. It goes for 1.4 kilometres at speeds of up to 115 kilometres. It climbs up to a gateway adorned with a Joker’s head. From there, it’s a menacing, twisting 89 degree drop.

“You absolutely lose your mind on this roller coaster. It almost inverts as you go over the top. I challenge anyone to go on it without screaming,” Gould says.

To ride it you must be taller than 130 cm and aged seven and above. Serious adrenalin-junkies can turn the seats around and ride backwards.

Warner Bros Movie World is on the Pacific Motorway at Oxenford on the Gold Coast.

The DC Rivals Hypercoaster will make you scream.

2. Lost Valley at Currumbin Wildlife Centre.

Currumbin’s Lost Valley takes visitors through five acres of stunning rainforest to learn about the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. About 800 species of plants are in the new $2.5 million exhibit complete with timber boardwalks and cascading waterfalls.

But it’s the animals that most visitors come to see.

“You can see the most weird and wonderful animals, everything from Madagascan lemurs to red pandas, iguanas and boa constrictors,” Gould says.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm daily at 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin.

Currumbin Wildlife sanctuary.

3. Legoland at Dreamworld

Love Lego? You have to go to Dreamworld. The theme park’s new Lego mega-store offers the largest range of Lego in Australia. Kids (and big kids) will love the Pick-a-brick wall and the make-your-own mini-figure stations. You can even get your Lego bricks engraved.

“There’s five million lego bricks there. That’s enough to fill two olympic size swimming pools,” Gould says.

Master builders will love the huge Lego creations.

“They have got full-sized star wars stormtroopers and even a full-sized seven-foot incredible hulk made out of Lego.”

The store can be accessed from outside Dreamworld, but you may as well go for the day to experience the rides.

Find the store at 1 Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera. Dreamworld is open daily from 10am – 5pm.

4. Q1 Night Climb

Love heights? And glittering lights? Head over to Q1, Australia’s tallest building, and try the night climb. Q1 is currently the 25th tallest building in the world at 322.5 metres high.

Every Friday and Saturday night, thrill-seekers can soak up 360-degree views of the Gold Coast and beyond.

“The climb on the outside, 270 metres up in the air, allows you to check out the entire nightlife on the Gold Coast from the best vantage point you can imagine,” Gould says.

The whole experience takes about 90 minutes. It begins with a safety briefing. Once briefed and kitted up you’ll take one of Australia’s fastest elevators from the ground to level 77 (SkyPoint Observation Deck) in 42.7 seconds.

Guides connect you to a safety rail system before you climb the 298 stairs to the spire. Feeling a little daring? You can walk along the edge of the stairs to experience the thrill of a 270-metre vertical drop.

Prices start from $84. Climbers must be at least 130 cm tall. Children between 12 and 15 years must be with a responsible full-paying adult. Q1 also offers day and sunset climbs.

Q1 is at 9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise.

Surfers Paradise Gold Coast Queensland.

5. Coasting Around

Ever wished for a private BBQ on the water? Coasting Around offers motorised floating picnic tables for hire.

“You can fit ten people on them. They have a barbecue in the middle and a bluetooth speaker,” Gould says.

“They are actually a boat. You can go out to one of the waterways we have here and have the best day out you can imagine.”

Visitors can book one table, or the whole fleet to have a massive waterway party. Just be sure to drink responsibly.

Hire costs $15.90 per person. It’s BYO food and drink. The BBQ Boat Hire are self-drive, with a 5hp Mercury outboard motor and no skipper licence required. One person must be the designated driver if you plan to serve alcohol. Discounts are available for whole fleet hire.

There are two pick up locations: Mariners Cove (next to Marina Mirage), Main Beach and River Drive, Budds Beach, Surfers Paradise (opposite Bumbles Café). Bookings can be made for private daily cruises departing from 9 am to 5 pm.

6. TreeTop Challenge.

Head to the hinterland for a zip line experience like no other. TreeTop Challenge at Mount Tamborine has more than 100 adrenalin-pumping rope and wire challenges spread over six courses, spanning nine acres of unspoilt bushland.

The most extreme is the Canyon Flyer, Australia’s longest, fastest and highest.

“You can climb to the top of the canopy and do Australia’s longest zip line across the top of the rainforest,” Gould says.

They are more than 60 metres high and can reach speeds of up to 70 kilometres. The tour takes three hours and costs $100 for children and $120 for adults. Adventurers must weigh more than 40kg and less than 120kg.

The park also has suspension bridges, horse riding, laser skirmishes, putt-putt golf and a fully licensed restaurant.

The Treetop Challenge is at Cedar Creek Falls Rd & Tamborine Mountain Road, North Tamborine.

7. Gold Coast Wake Park

When on the Gold Coast you should get wet. But you don’t have to head to the beach. The Gold Coast Wake park was the brainchild of wakeboarding World Champion Daniel Watkins. It offers wakeboarding, kneeboarding or waterskiing in an affordable safe environment. If you have never wakeboarded before try the 2.0 cable with speed controlled by an expert operator.

“Within minutes you can be up, skimming on top of the surface up there,” Gould says.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, try the main cable. There are eight obstacles in the lake for advanced riders.

The park is open from 10am to 6pm seven days a week. It has a fully licensed bar and restaurant open for breakfast and lunch.

Gold Coast Wake Park is at 34 Maudsland Road Oxenford.

8. Arts Centre Farmers markets

The Gold Coast has a great emerging music scene. Almost every single cafe has live music. Venues such as the Miami Marketta have been driving this trend.

Gould’s local tip for a relaxing music experience is the Farmers Markets at the Arts Centre.

“This market has music, and chairs and shade all around the lake. You can get some incredible food truck food. You can go along and listen to some really cool tunes, have a quick swim and enjoy the morning,” Gould says.

The market is open from 6am Sundays at The Arts Centre Gold Coast, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise.


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