The Gold Coast is filled with so many fun things to do with kids of all ages and toddlers will find something to love at the theme parks, but we also found that there were plenty of other amazing things to keep little ones entertained and having a blast.

To see where we stayed on our latest Gold Coast holiday, check out our review of Air on Broadbeach.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Our favourite Gold Coast attraction for toddlers was Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Just a few minutes drive from the Cooloongatta Airport and around 25 minutes south of Surfers Paradise, this park is well worth the trip. Entry prices at the gate are $49 for adults and $35 for kids aged 4 – 14, however take a look at the Gold Coast tourist guide books when you arrive in Queensland, as we found many of them had a voucher for adults and kids prices, so we only paid $35 entry for myself and Little Miss 1.

There are lots of native Australian animals to visit at this park, but the thing we loved most was the opportunity to get up close and really interact with them in such close proximity.  The kangaroos are in huge areas where you can walk around among them and pat or feed them.  You can get little cups of food for $2 each and they eat right out of your hand.  Make sure you head over there in the early morning or late afternoon when they are at their most active and most hungry, as in the middle of the day they are sleepy in the heat and not interested in feeding.

Kangaroos

We also decided to pay for the photo with a koala which meant we got to hold him.  Little Miss 1 loved patting him and was so excited to take our photo home to show Daddy!  There’s a little train that runs through the park that is fun for kids to take a ride on and we also took a break from the animals and watched some of the Aboriginal Dance show that is on a few times each day.

Aboriginal Dance Show

Local Parks

I’m not sure whether its because of the year round great weather meaning they get much more use, but the Gold Coast really has some of the best local parks we have come across anywhere.

Broadwater Parklands

Our favourite was the Broadwater Parklands in Southport, where there is a fantastic water play area called Rockpools, with a manmade river, fountains, waterfall and swimming areas – it was perfect to cool down on a hot day. There are little deep pools scattered through out the area that kids love to jump in and out of, and plenty of grassy areas all along the park where you can base yourself.  This seemed like a great park for the locals, with plenty of groups of mums and kids meeting up for a play in the water.

Rockpools

Just a couple of minutes walk through the park from Rockpools, is Washington Waters Childrens playground which has a number of different play areas.  There was huge bouncing pillow which fits heaps of kids, and in the main park a flying fox, plus plenty of swings, slides and climbing equipment.

I drove up to Southport from Broadbeach and was easily able to park right near by the swimming area and then find our way down to the playground after our swim.  You could also take the Gold Coast lightrail to a nearby stop.

We stayed so long at this awesome park, that it was dinner time before we were done, so we headed to the nearby Fishermans Wharf Tavern in Main Beach (near Sea World) where we were able to get an early dinner in a very kid friendly restaurant.  There were plenty of high chairs available and whilst the kids menu was pretty standard, I was able to make changes to the meals to suit Miss 1’s tastes and to order some veggies as a side.  (Yes – she likes veggies better than hot chips!)  The waterfront view was lovely after an afternoon running round the park, and the seafood was fresh and delicious.

Pratten Park

We visited Pratten Park in Broadbeach on a daily basis during this holiday.  It is just across the road from Air on Broadbeach apartments, and is right near the main Broadbeach beachfront.  Its a great fully enclosed park, with lots of different equipment to suit a variety of young kids and has plenty of running and picnic space also.   Our favourite here was the round a bout swings which work kind of like a merry go round – and give mum or dad a great workout pushing the swings round in circles no end!

Pratten Park Collage

Seaworld

I did take Miss 1 to Seaworld on this trip also and we had a great time, but there were parts of the park that she found overwhelming still at this age.  We definitely needed our pram to get around the big distances between some of the attractions and needed a heap of water and a few icecream stops as it was a super hot day in the park.  We visited most of the aquatic animals, loved the huge aquarium and went on some little rides like a little train ride and a plane that you flew around in a circle, but Miss 1 found the best part of the park was the Water Park pool which is just perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.  There is a large shallow pool with a ramp going up to three mini waterslides in the middle.  If your kids love waterslides and pools, then you will know that this is all they need for non stop entertainment!

Toddler Pool Seaworld

The Water Park took a bit of finding as it wasn’t really advertised, but head past Castaway Bay and ask staff for directions.  It was an extra charge to get in to this section, but it was worth the cost for a cool, happy toddler who did not want to leave – so make sure you take bathers, towels, and swimming nappies if needed.

Overall it was pretty expensive day, and i think next time I would probably by a pass and visit at least one of the other theme parks also (just to feel like i was getting a bit better value) but we did have a great time.

Chilled out beach days

Make sure you allow some time to just hang out at the beach.  If you have room in your luggage, remember to take a bucket and spades and some beach toys as no matter where you stay, you are sure to be nearby some great beaches, and I always find that our time at the beach is the most relaxing part of our holiday.

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