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What to do this summer on the Gold Coast

As temperatures rise families flock to Queensland for fun in the sun, and there’s nowhere with more to do and see than the Gold Coast, as Natarsha Brown discovers.

To infinity and beyond!

Infinity is a futuristic and dreamlike maze that will take your family on a sensory adventure. The walk-through experience visits 20 different ‘environments’: propel yourself through a time warp in the Cyclotron, dodge the light beams in the Laser Zone and cross a bridge over a bottomless chasm in the Infinite Light Canyon. Located in the centre of Surfers Paradise, this interactive adventure will have the entire family laughing and screaming through the aromas, illusions and special effects.

Get in the Zone

For video game aficionados, Time Zone Surfers Paradise is a virtual mecca – the largest indoor family entertainment centre in Australia and the biggest Timezone in the world. Located on Cavill Mall, the arcade covers an area of 5000 square metres with an ever-changing array of cutting edge games and attractions including racing, shooting, bowling and basketball games, a mini-golf course, Typhoon Simulator, bumper cars and laser skirmish. Perfect for a rare rainy day, or any weather situation for that matter!

Movies and moonlight

With the weather well and truly warming up, what better way to spend a balmy summer evening than watching a free movie under the moonlight? Courtesy of the Gold Coast City Council, Movies Under the Stars will once again travel to a host of parks throughout the Gold Coast on Friday and Saturday nights through to April. Pack a comfy chair and rug, bring a picnic basket or support the local food vendors and veg out on a grassy knoll. All movies start at 7pm and are family-friendly. Films playing this summer include Paddington, Shaun the Sheep, Inside Out, Minions, Penguins of Madagascar, Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2. A full schedule of dates, locations and film choices until March are available online.

Sunrise in the skies

Children aged three and up can watch the sunrise over the majestic hinterland with Hot Air Balloon Gold Coast. Witness sweeping views of Lamington National Park, Tamborine National Park and the towering silhouette of Surfers’ skyline like you’ve never seen it.

Jewel in the Gold Coast Crown

The Gold Coast’s latest luxury property under construction is also the first absolute beachfront development in the area for more than 30 years. With a vision of joining the cast of the world’s signature architectural landmarks, the Jewel’s silhouette mirrors the boldness of buildings such as Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands or Dubai’s Burj Al Arab.


Kids Eat Free Wednesdays!

When the Surfers Paradise RSL first opened in 1960, there was only one high rise building in the entire town, so its established history is just as enticing as its food. The club houses a restaurant with a warm atmosphere and friendly staff and every Wednesday night of the summer holidays kids can now eat free! One child under 12 gets a free meal from the Little Diggers kids menu per every adult meal, choosing from a yummy selection of classic treats while mum and dad ponder their own. Dinner runs from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, and if that isn’t enough reason to visit, the kids will also love free face painting while their outgoing parents may like to try their hand at karaoke.

Meet Bengal baby Kai on the ‘VIP Tiger Cub Experience’

Upping the ante and the ‘awww’ factor, Dreamworld has recently welcomed its newest Bengal tiger cub, Kai, into its Tiger Island experience, and he is now ready to receive visitors wanting to make a warm and fuzzy feline friend. For a lucky 10 persons per session, Dreamworld is offering a VIP Tiger Cub experience, including a close encounter with the cub, a briefing session with his professional handlers in a back-ofthe- house enclosure and a Conservation Show Bag. Starting at $125 per person, all contributions raised go towards saving tigers in the wild. While you’re there, why not make a full day of it and experience the rest of Dreamworld’s attractions, including the ABC KIDS WORLD, Wiggles World, and rides to suit all.

Nickelodeon Land at Sea World

Sea World’s latest attraction has opened to much excitement, themed around some of the world’s most beloved Nickelodeon characters. The multi-million dollar Nickelodeon Land has expanded on the park’s existing Dora Live Show, with four new rides, three distinct neighbourhoods, and a Zamperla mini rollercoaster hoping to attract smaller daredevils while still playing host to old favourites such as the iconic carousel. Nickelodeon Land will be Sea World’s hub for character appearances and shows, including SpongeBob Square Pants and Patrick Star, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more.

Sparky Do Dah

The Gold Coast’s latest evening market, the NightQuarter Markets, are open in Helensvale and operate every Friday and Saturday from 4pm until 10pm. Within the markets, little ones can occupy themselves on the dedicated Interactive Family Playground, Sparky’s Carnival. Designed for children aged two to 12, this is a “unique environment for kids to play, explore and unleash their creative spirit!” Parents supervising but not participating themselves receive free entry, and with bench seating surrounding the fenced area, you can sit and enjoy the surrounds with friends while still keeping an eye on the little ones.

Park Life

Get cuddly with a koala

Guinness World Book of Records Winner, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with over 85 years of experience and 130 resident koalas. With 100 species of Australian animals, the family can hand-feed kangaroos, play with the colourful lorikeets, catch the Bird of Prey Free Flight Show or relax with a cup of organic coffee in the ‘Koala Forest.’

Soar through the treetops

The first of its kind in Australia and situated in Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s Treetop Walk is 15 metres above ground, taking you through the canopy for a birds-eye view of the rainforest. Made up of nine suspension bridges and 180 metres in length, the entire walkway is adorned in profiles depicting the flora and fauna so visitors can identify their surrounds.

Even more fun in the canopy

It seems everybody wants to be in the trees this summer. The TreeTop Challenge, with locations at both Currumbin and Mount Tamborine, offers the perfect adrenalin-pumping alternative for ages seven and up. The course involves an array of challenges, and even a ‘croc shock’ zip line, a flying fox that literally soars above live crocs!


Wet'n'Wild Junior

For a splashtacular day out for the whole family the Wet'n'Wild Junior experience is hard to beat. The new zone has been designed specifically for little swimmers, with kid-friendly miniature versions of their larger thrill slides like the Tornado and Aqua Racers so no one is left out.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not

With the recent release of the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Eye Popping Oddities book the unusual and enchanting odditorium in Surfers is trending with the little ones again. Ripley' offers 16 individually themed galleries of odd artefacts and interactive exhibits that are sure to intrigue everyone in the family.

Echidna baby boom at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Nestled within 27 hectares of lush eucalypt and rainforest, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary remains one of the most iconic tourist destinations of the Gold Coast. The wildlife shows and encounters have been reeling in visitors for years and the recent echidna baby boom is another reason on a long list of why you should visit this summer. Since 2010, 14 short-beaked puggles have been born in the sanctuary, with five more expected in the next year. Once the kids have had their fill of these spiky mammals, other wildlife encounters abound: cuddle a koala, stare into the predatory eyes of a crocodile, take a selfie with a kangaroo or feed a flamingo.

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