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Winter on the Gold Coast: 7 fantastic things to do 

As the kids will tell you, it’s always a good time to visit the Gold Coast—but here are 7 reasons they’ll have an absolute blast in winter!

Kids ice skating at Plant Chill at Paradise Resort Gold Coast
Kids ice skating at Plant Chill at Paradise Resort Gold Coast

Its warm, temperate climate means anytime is a good time to visit the Gold Coast, but there are plenty of drawcards that make a holiday here extra enticing in winter. 

From whale watching and WINTERFEST at Dreamworld to ice-skating at Paradise Resort Gold Coast, here are some great ideas for things to do with kids during the cooler months

7 fun things to do on the Gold Coast in winter

Dive into these winter activities for the ultimate mid-year getaway with kids! These seven activities deserve a place on your Gold Coast holiday itinerary:

A whale breaching in front of a Sea World Cruises boat on the Gold Coast. Image The Tour Collective
A whale breaching in front of a Sea World Cruises boat on the Gold Coast. Image: The Tour Collective

1. Whale watching

Seeing a humungous humpback spy hopping beside your tour boat, or a cute calf making its first attempts at breaching, are moments the kids will be talking about for years to come. While Mother Nature offers no guarantees, that’s the kind of experience your family could be lucky enough to have during a Gold Coast whale watching cruise

With an estimated 35,000 of the magnificent creatures passing by on the ‘Humpback Highway’ during their annual migration, between May and October, each year, your chances of an encounter are pretty good.

2. Ice skating

A family ice skating at Planet Chill at Paradise Resort Gold Coast
A family ice skating at Planet Chill at Paradise Resort Gold Coast

While Australia doesn’t get the below zero temperatures common in the northern hemisphere during winter, you can still experience the joy of ice skating here! 

Smack bang in the middle of Surfers Paradise, Paradise Resort Gold Coast’s Planet Chill Ice-Skating Rink is ideal for beginner skaters and families with kids aged three and up. Each session runs for up to 1.5 hours, with children five and under requiring a paying adult on the ice with them at all times. 

The Resort offers a range of other fun activities during winter, including penguin snow globe workshops, and has heated pools and spas and a water park. You can also hop aboard Dusty’s Safari Train Ride or the whimsical Cleo’s Carousel, while kids won’t want to leave the fantastic kids club.

WINTERFEST at Dreamworld
WINTERFEST at Dreamworld

3. WINTERFEST at Dreamworld

Experience the magic of a European winter Down Under with Dreamworld’s annual WINTERFEST event. Kids can devour giant pretzels and other tasty treats, go tobogganing and get a taste of snow at the event, which runs from June 29 to July 14 in 2024. 

Pick up a Snowflake Scavenger Hunt Booklet and embark on an adventure around the theme park, including walking through Belinda’s Arctic Adventure. There are loads of other attractions and experiences to enjoy while you’re there – from feeding big cats at Tiger Island and live shows to adrenaline-pumping rides like the Tower of Terror II.

Challenge Rooms at Surfers Paradise
Challenge Rooms at Surfers Paradise

4. Surfers Paradise Challenge Rooms

For the ultimate family bonding experience, book a session in the Challenge Rooms at Surfers Paradise’s Hijinx Hotel. Groups of two to six players work together to complete challenges and solve puzzles to score points on the leaderboard. 

Unlike an escape room, a challenge room has a single objective, like shooting a basketball through a hoop, solving word scrambles, or remembering song patterns on a giant piano, which get harder and harder as the clock ticks. Teams are assigned to a set of five challenge rooms on arrival and have four minutes to score as many points as possible before moving to the next one.

A girl with a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Image Tourism Australia Tourism and Events Queensland
A girl with a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Image: Tourism Australia Tourism and Events Queensland

5. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Feed kangaroos, cuddle a koala and witness free flight bird shows at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located in a beautiful rainforest setting on the southern Gold Coast. With a huge outdoor playground, Wild Island, and a miniature train, there is plenty to keep the kids entertained. 

The exotic Lost Valley precinct features 5 hectares of rainforest, where visitors can explore a forgotten world. Get up close and personal with some of the world’s most unique and distinctive flora and wildlife including lemurs, cotton-top tamarins, red pandas and exotic reptiles.

Book a sightseeing tour of the Gold Coast with Aquaduck. Image Tourism Australia Tourism and Events Queensland
Book a sightseeing tour of the Gold Coast with Aquaduck. Image: Tourism Australia Tourism and Events Queensland

6. Aquaduck

For the greatest novelty experience in town, book a voyage on the Aquaduck – a cross between a bus and a boat which is designed to operate on both land and water. The one-hour sightseeing tour begins in the heart of Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue before you head out along the famous beach towards the glamour and beauty of Main Beach before splashing into the water for a scenic cruise of the river and Broadwater. While on the water, children can drive the Aquaduck and receive a Captain’s certificate!

Discover Indigenous culture with Jellurgal. Image Tourism and Events Queensland
Discover Indigenous culture with Jellurgal. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland

7. Jellurgal Walkabout Tour

Learn about bush tucker, hear Dreaming stories and discover culturally significant sites with the Jellurgal Walkabout tour. An Indigenous guide leads guests on the tour around Burleigh Headland, which is traditionally known as Jellurgal, which means ‘the Dreaming Mountain’. 

Hear stories related to the peak’s creation, practices such as fishing and hunting and the connection to the land the Yugambeh-speaking people have had for thousands of years. The two-hour tour is run through the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre — the region’s only dedicated Aboriginal cultural centre that is owned and operated by the local Aboriginal community.

A family in the pool at Paradise Resort Gold Coast
A family in the pool at Paradise Resort Gold Coast

Where to stay on the Gold Coast during winter

Just 250 metres from the iconic Surfers Paradise Beach, Paradise Resort Gold Coast offers the ultimate in family-friendly accommodation, with an ice-skating rink, lagoon-style pool, water parks, a miniature train and daily activities and entertainment for children of all ages. There are several on-site restaurants to choose from, including themed restaurant Penguins (which even has a play corner), Jerry’s Burgers and Deb’s Pizza Shack.

A Junior Bunkhouse room at Paradise Resort Gold Coast
A Junior Bunkhouse room at Paradise Resort Gold Coast

A range of accommodation options are available to fit different sized families and budgets in wings named after the Resort’s four animal mascots, who make regular appearances around the property. It’s also the only resort in Australia with a kids’ club available to children as young as six weeks up to 12 years old. Many of its packages also include one fully supervised session per child to enjoy complimentary during your stay when you book direct.

Discover the Resort’s latest special offers here!

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In partnership with Paradise Resort Gold Coast

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