In the immortal words of everyone’s favourite fictional crab: darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter, under the sea! Looking for a one-stop kind of holiday for your mob of little mermaids? Want a treasure trove of options at your fingertips?
Maroon your family in all things marine and make Sea World Resort your next vacation destination. With animal encounters, Kids Club, family-oriented accommodation and a focus on accessibility, Sea World Resort is on our radar (or should we say sonar?).
Sail away to the Gold Coast, Queensland and enjoy the ultimate beachy holiday at Sea World Resort. There are no sea witches here – kids are looked after every step of the way.
Want to brush squishy shoulders with SpongeBob SquarePants himself? Feeling starstruck in Patrick’s presence? Keen for an adventure with Dora the Explorer? Meet your favourite Nickelodeon characters for free every morning from 9am at the Gazebo garden area. You can also check out the SpongeBob Light Show every night at 7pm. Dance and sing to SpongeBob songs under the musical water fountain at SpongeBob SplashBash.
As you would expect from an ocean-themed oasis, water babies are well catered for with a lagoon pool and water fall. The resort water park has sections of varying depths for different ages, and is heated depending on the season for year-round swimming.
For an extra charge, kids aged 4 to 12 years can join the Kids Club. Watch movies, play Xbox 360 and make friends over board games from Monday to Sunday, 5.30pm to 9.30pm. Kids Club includes dinner, meaning grown-ups are well and truly off the hook for the evening.
Grown-ups can also indulge, with massage and spa sessions available next to the sauna and gym. There is live music in the Lobby Bar on Friday and Saturday nights, with happy hour specials from 8pm.
We must admit to being slightly disappointed not to be sleeping in clam shells. However, Sea World Resort offers up the next best thing. Containing two double beds, the resort rooms are spacious and comfortable. Studio rooms also have two doubles, with an added kitchenette. Queen rooms can sleep up to five adults, with two queen beds and a rollaway. The interconnecting family option combines a studio and a resort room for extra space.
There are three accessible rooms available with open showers and handrails. They can interconnect with regular resort rooms. Give resort staff a buzz to arrange additional equipment in advance.
You can book tickets to Sea World Marine Park as a package with your accommodation. The resort lobby has a tour desk with information about Sea World and other Gold Coast theme parks.
In fact, if you stay two or more nights at Sea World Resort, you’ll be entitled to special treatment at the park. Interact with the Dolphin Discovery Presentation at Dolphin Beach Theatre for free, including witnessing dolphin training and grabbing photo ops.
The Marine Park
Sea World is a great introduction to the theme park experience for littlies, but also offers thrilling rides and animal encounters for teenage adrenaline junkies. Even if you don’t rest your fins at Sea World Resort, a day at the park is worth the trip.
Make animals your focus by immersing in the conservation and rehabilitation work conducted at the park. Some Sea World residents include dolphins, turtles, rays, seabirds, penguins, sharks, seals and a brand new polar bear cub called Mishka. You can watch daily penguin feeding, the Affinity Dolphin Presentation, Ray Reef Presentation and the new Seal Guardians Presentation.
Perhaps you’re here for the thrills and spills. Feel the splash at Thunder Lake Stunt Show. Then brave the Sea World Sky Flyer or Vortex. If heights and high speeds aren’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of low-key attractions including Shark Bay glass-bottom boat rides and PAW Patrol shows.
Many rides and attractions are wheelchair accessible. All main restrooms have wheelchair access. You can find a companion restroom at First Aid. If you are travelling with a wheelchair or other accessibility needs, stop by at Guest Services on arrival for help planning your visit. You can also hire wheelchairs and strollers here. Excluding some restricted rides, assistance animals are welcome in the park.
When it comes to buying tickets, consider adding on optional extras such as photo passes and fast track passes. A companion card entitles the bearer to a free companion ticket. A Carer’s Card allows for special discounts.
SeaWorld Marine Park is open daily except on Christmas Day. Opening hours are seasonal, and differ on public holidays.