The Gold Coast of Queensland is the one place every Australian child wants to go. It's not because of the warm, subtropical climate: there's plenty of sunshine everywhere in Australia. It's not because it's on the coast: most of Australia's population lives near a beautiful beach. It's because the Gold Coast is where the best theme parks in Australia are located. These are the top 5:
Every Australian child dreams of going to Dreamworld and most Australian parents are happy to oblige, because they want to go there, too. Dreamworld is home to the world famous (or infamous) Tower of Terror, the world's tallest and fastest thrill ride. If that's not enough of an adrenaline rush for you, you can freefall 38 storeys on the Giant Drop. The list of thrill rides goes on and on, but at some point, you're going to want to relax. While it might not sound relaxing, Tiger Island is home to some very happy and well cared for rare tigers. Watch them in action with their trainers or sit down and have your picture taken with one. As is there weren't enough waves in Australia already, Flowrider is an artificial wave pool and is a great way to cool off in between rides at Dreamworld.
Sea World is so massive, many visitors spend their entire vacation in this Gold Coast theme park. Why wouldn't you, when the weather is so often perfect and there's nothing you want to do more than get wet? You won't want to jump in the water when you explore the amazing Shark Bay and stare into the eyes of some of the world's most dangerous sharks, but you will get wet on the water slides in the Sea World Water Park Resort, should you decide to make that your Gold Coast accommodation. If you are not staying at the resort, don't worry: for a small surcharge, you can gain access to the water park. Both fun and educational, there's something for everyone at Sea World. If you think you have the stomach for it, try the 45 mile per hour Jet Rescue. Sitting inside your "jet ski", your mission is to rescue the sea lion trapped inside of the blowhole cave.
Wet 'n' Wild Water World
If your main goal is to cool off and have fun at the same time, then Wet 'n' Wild Water World is what you and your family are looking for. Some of the water slides at this aquatic theme park are definitely not for the young ones. For example, riders on the Aqua Loop have been clocked at 45mph as they take the vertical free fall that starts the ride. From there, it is a twisting, death and gravity defying plummet to the bottom, where you will be deposited with a splash into the pool. Of course, there are plenty of slides and rides for the kids and those who prefer gentler thrills. Wet 'n' Wild Water World
now has a Flowrider, making it the second one in Australia. When you've had enough action, take a ride on the gentle River Rapids or a slow cruise around Calypso Bay.
Warner Brothers Movie World
The Gold Coast Warner Brothers Movie World is just about everything you could want in a theme park. For the little ones, Looney Tunes Village is a magical wonderland, while the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coast is just scary enough to leave them screaming with delight instead of terror. For older thrill seekers, there's the Superman Escape roller coast that reaches a speed of over 60mph in just two seconds flat and the Batwing Space Shot. Of course, Warner Brothers Movie World is not just rides. Other attractions include the Main Street Parade, the Hollywood Stunt Driver stunt show and the "What's Up, Rock?" Looney Tunes show for kids of all ages.
Whitewater World is not just another aquatic theme park: it just may be the ultimate aquatic theme park. With so much competition in the area, they really had to pull out all the stops to make this one something extraordinary. They started by creating Wiggle Bay, a delightful mini-park just for the under-5s. Then they took things to extremes by putting together the Cave of Waves and the 4 foot high waves that rush out of it, racing over 50 yards to the shore. The Temple of Huey is Whitewater World's tribute to the Surf God, Huey. This and other surfing themed rides like the Green Room and the Rip are definitely not for the little ones and many adults will pause before they take them on, too.
Don't even think about spending less than a whole day at any of the Gold Coast's theme parks. The best plan is to find a central Gold Coast accommodation and stay awhile. You probably won't want to go to all of the theme parks, but choose one or two the whole family can agree on and go to those. You can always come back next year and try the others.
Rob Schneider writes for ‘Book It Now’ about popular holiday destinations around Australia. If planning a visit to the Gold Coast you will find a good range of Gold Coast Accommodation on ‘Book it Now’.