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Ice Age Mini Golf

Robina Town Centre's new addition. 

How fun are shopping centres right now. Gone are the days of traipsing from shop to shop with the odd strawberry donut thrown in for good measure. These days there are cinemas and bowling alleys and five star food courts and yep, you guessed it, mini golf courses.

Ice Age is due to open at Robina Town Centre this Saturday the 16th of September and it’s sure to be a golfing adventure the likes of which you’ve never experienced.

Created with an ice age theme, Lilliputt features giant, moving animals as realistic as extinct creatures no one has actually ever seen in the flesh can be.

A way-taller-than-you woolly mammoth is your main man and, although we don’t want to give away the surprise, the big guy watches you, makes noise and is generally the greatest thing you’ve ever seen in a mini golf establishment.

There are plenty more huge creatures lurking amongst the trees too, you can’t miss ‘em, but you and the family will have an adventure cruising through rooms filled with stunning landscape imagery and more greenery than you’ve ever seen indoors.

Yep, that’s right folks, the course is entirely inside so it’s the perfect wet weather plan when cabin fever sets in and everyone goes a little crazy. Or, the next time you’re at Robina Town Centre and someone needs to blow off some steam, stop in at Ice Age and hit a few balls around some giant animals, it’s a guaranteed good time.

Ice Age is a family-owned business run by three New Zealand brothers. They have five similar venues in NZ but Ice Age is the first of its kind in Australia so you can thank your lucky stars that at least our favourite neighbours are on the ball (get it).

Ice Age Mini Golf opens Saturday the 16th of September, plan your weekend accordingly.

LOCATION: Underneath Event Cinemas, Robina Town Centre, Robina
HOURS: 10am to 9pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

Your ultimate school holiday survival guide

Girl with lollypops (image supplied)

School holidays. Two words that can strike fear and dread into the hearts of parents far and wide. But fear not mums, dads, grandies et al, you’re reading this which means you’ve got this (fist pump emoji… and a wine glass emoji for good measure. Maybe two).

Now the next couple of weeks don’t need to be totally heckers – just filled with a good balance of physical, mental, and creative activities to bust boredom and preserve sanity (yours that is). And with the majority of suggestions on this list not costing anything more than the fuel to get there, just shut up and (don’t) take my money!

So, pull up your calendar app, hatch some srsly cool plans, and make some memories with your mini-me’s.

DIG It, Australia's first mini excavator park (image supplied)
DIG It, Australia's first mini excavator park (image supplied)

Thunderbird Park
Kiddos, it’s time to graduate from the sandpit to the driver’s seat at Dig It, Australia’s first mini excavator park for kids. The latest adventure drawcard at Thunderbird Park, prep your little peeps (and yourself) for real excavator machinery and construction-inspired activities where they are IN the driver’s seat! #Gulp. The two-hour (approximately) sessions start at $45 per child (accompanying parent is free), and there is no age limit. Bookings are required.
Where: Corner Tamborine Mountain Road & Cedar Creek Falls Road, Tamborine Mountain.

Pacific Fair
Calling all adventurers! At Pac Fair, explore The Adventure Camp where kids can navigate an obstacle course, conquer a rock-climbing wall, hit a bullseye with archery, and even make s’mores! All activities will take place from 24th June until 9th July between 10am to 2pm at various locations around the centre. It’s all free and no bookings are required, except for the s’mores making workshops which require pre-registration.
Where: 2 Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach Waters

Adventure Camp, Pacific Fair (image supplied)
Adventure Camp, Pacific Fair (image supplied)

Stockland Burleigh Heads
Do your kids fancy themselves as miniature foodies and LBH, you can’t fight genetics #IGotItFromMyMama. Let them have a crack at Stockland’s Food Workshops, where your small folk can learn a new recipe each day. Happening daily from Tuesday 27th June until Saturday 1st July from 10am until 1pm, you may even get a night or two off chef duty! Entry is free* however bookings are essential. *Conditions apply
Where: 149 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads

Paradise Centre
Our gnarly friends at the new you-beaut Paradise Centre are putting on four action-packed days of skateboarding thrillz with Skate Paradise from Thursday 29 June to Sunday 2 July. We’re talking a 7m x 5m skate ramp, semi pro skate shows, breakdancing performances, awesome workshops for kids aged 4 to 12 (no experience necessary), plenty of giveaways, and so much more radness. Mum, you can stock up on some srsly cool threadz and dine up a storm at the beachfront precinct. Everybody wins! Skate Paradise is free. Skateboarding workshops are currently fully booked but head to Paradise Centre’s website and get yourself (or your little sk8r) on the waitlist.
Where: 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Kids workshops, Robina Town Centre (image supplied)
Kids workshops, Robina Town Centre (image supplied)

Robina Town Centre
Pack your creativity and prepare for take-off these school holidays at Robina Town Centre with Jnr Jetsetters! Little explorers can design their own UV postcard to be printed and developed with a UV light station. Perhaps your young travellers would prefer to get creative and design their own personalised luggage tag, or maybe they’d thrive doing either (or both!) but in a sensitive session offering a low-stress, sensory-friendly environment? All workshops are $5 per person, running at various days/times over the holidays, and bookings are required.
Where: Robina Town Centre, Ground floor (outside Myer & Kookai), Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina

Naturally GC
NaturallyGC holiday programs are specifically designed to connect kids with nature and encourage outdoor play and learning. The workshops cover a range of nature-based activities and are suitable for everyone. Events include Little Ecologists, Totally Turtles, Fabulous Frogs, Discover Dolphins, Creatures of the Dark, Bugs Gone Wild, Nature’s Art and Craft, Indigenous Experience – Arts and Culture, and many more. Workshops are free, scheduled on various days, and registration is required.
Where: Various Gold Coast locations

NaturallyGC holiday programs (image supplied)
NaturallyGC holiday programs (image supplied)

The Oasis
It’s all happening these school holidays at The Oasis with a range of promotions and activities for winter.
Madison’s Café & Patisserie always delivers the (sweet) goods and these holidays are no exception. Kids and families are invited to decorate a cupcake with a winter theme these school holidays. Cupcake decorating classes at 2pm on Thursday 29th June and 3rd July. Bookings are essential.

Madison's, The Oasis (image supplied)
Madison's, The Oasis (image supplied)

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Full-day Wild Adventure programs at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary ALWAYS book out fast, and this is year is no exception. Choose from the likes of Zoo Scientist for a Day, Animal Trainer for a Day, Vet for a Day, and Wildlife Keeper for a Day. Perfect for children from 6 to 12 years of age, all Wild Adventure programs include a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and cultural immersion opportunities. Programs are $69 per person and bookings are essential (most booked out already!).
Where: 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

The Strand Coolangatta
The Strand is inviting us (well our kids, but by default that means us) to indulge our sweet tooth and yeah, you had us at sweet. Step into 12 days of crafts, games, and non-stop fun with The Chocolate Factory from Monday 26th June – Friday 7th July from 11am – 2pm. Whip up crafts inspired by your favourite chocolatey treats where your imagination is the only limit and enjoy laughter-inducing games. It’s free and bookings are not required.
Where: 72 – 80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

HOTA
If a drop-in workshop floats your boat, set sail for HOTA. Firstly, kiddos can get creative with 2D and 3D form to produce a unique hanging cloud mobile inspired by Samuel Leighton-Dore’s artwork with ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Craft Supplies’. Maybe creating a dual collage of themselves inspired by artist Maria Kozic’s ‘Manster ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ and ‘Dracula’ is more their vibe with Face Jam Portraits, or even Paper Bead Pets where they learn how to make small pet sculptures, keyrings, bracelets and other sculptural objects. Dates and times vary but it’s all FREE! Registration is required.
Where: 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Winterfest, Dreamworld (image supplied)
Winterfest, Dreamworld (image supplied)

Dreamworld
It’s Winterfest time again from Saturday 24th June till Sunday 16th July and we’re chilled thrilled! Think glistening snow, the srsly slippery fun of ice-skating in a full-size ice rink, tobogganing and sliding down the giant ice slide, and finish it all off with some toasty European food like waffles, pretzels, fudge, German snags, mulled wine, and more! BRRRing it on! Also, newsflash incoming; The Giant Drop will be back up and running for the school holidays! Winterfest access is included in the Dreamworld entry ticket price.
Where: Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera

Wrner Bros. Movie World
DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains returns to Warner Bros. Movie World as a limited time only special event! Be a part of the villainous fun with action-packed shows, entertainment, and an epic daily parade at 5pm. Access is included in the Movie World entry ticket price. From 24 June – 16 July.
Where: Pacific Mwy, Oxenford

Parade at Movie World (image supplied)
Parade at Movie World (image supplied)

Nature Play Passport
Adventure is calling with Destination Gold Coast’s Nature Play Passport! You don’t need to travel far to have fun when you can explore your own backyard! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take off on a Gold Coast themed adventure with your mini-me. Grab a copy of the Nature Play Passport and complete the missions and outdoor learning activities in the great outdoors.
Where: Get your passports here

Yatala Drive In
Kick it back old-school and pile into the family car for a night out at the drive-in. Screening hotly anticipated new releases including Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse, The Flash, Elemental, and The Little Mermaid, there’s a flick for everyone. And bonus – pyjamas, Spidey or Arial costumes are totally acceptable attire! Tickets are $40 per carload (up to 6 people) for one film and must be pre-booked.
Where: 100 Stapylton Jacobs Well Road, Stapylton

Words by Bianca Trathen.

15 things to do on the Gold Coast with kids

Level Up Arcade Broadbeach (image supplied)
Level Up Arcade Broadbeach (image supplied)

Feels like it’s been five minutes since the kids were on holidays and low and behold, the schools are letting them loose again. Sigh.

Keeping them occupied— and you sane — will need some carefully considered tact. But let’s face facts here: you are on the Gold Coast. That means beachesshopping and theme parks on your doorstep that other people would vacation here for. Nevertheless, what happens when the kids are keen for something a bit more diverse to pass the time?

Never fear, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some of our favourite things to do on the Gold Coast when school is out.

Level Up Arcade
The Arcade is the 80s and 90s incarnate. Found on the first floor of the Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach, Level Up features 62 of the best games from this era. With Lane Master Bowling, pool table, 3D pong, limited edition pinballs, a classic arcade with 40 of your old school games, LA Lakers hoops, big buck hunter, Jurassic Park, down the clown, ring toss and plenty more. Worn out kids by the end of the day are guaranteed.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Padlock’d
With 60 minutes on the clock, you and the family are left in a mysterious room to solve puzzles, crack riddles, open locks and escape the madness. It’s a fast-paced hour where you will either come out with big old smiles on your faces — or in need of a big old glass of wine. It’s such a fun time either way though.
Where: 3177 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Ripleys Surfers Paradise (image supplied by Lisa Tucker)
Ripleys Surfers Paradise (image supplied by Lisa Tucker)

Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium is Surfers Paradise’s most unusual and far-fetched attraction. Found in Soul Boardwalk, Ripley’s offers sixteen individually themed galleries of unbelievable artifacts and interactive exhibits where you will come face to face with remarkable relics and rare treasures from around the world. Experience the weird and unbelievable, see shrunken heads, survive a walk through the spinning vortex tunnel, unusual artwork, and things that make you go eww. Get a discount here!
Where: Soul Boardwalk, Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise

Currumbin Boatshed
Found at the edge of Currumbin Creek, Currumbin Boatshed Bait and Tackle offers plenty of choices to ensure you and the kids get to have the best possible time on the water. They’ve got fishing gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards and much more. All are available for purchase or they also have hire options for kayaks, SUPs and fishing gear. Ever seen somebody on a SUP and thought you’d like to give it a go? Well, here’s your chance folks, as they offer regular SUP lessons for beginners!
Where: 1/2-4 Thrower Drive, Currumbin

Lollie Land
It’s the perfect place for big and small kids alike. Spend some time choosing from over 1,000 different sweet treats, American brands like Hershey’s, Reese’s, Trolli, Twizzler and Cheeto’s, to your local favourites like Allen’s and Nestle. There’s also a wide variety of liquorice, rock candy and pick and mix sweets to choose from. From gobsmackers to chocolate fudge, you’re sure to find something to satiate your taste buds.
Where: Shop 1/3179 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Mini Golf
What child doesn’t love a bit of mini-golf? None, as far as we know. Luckily, the Gold Coast is home to a collection of enjoyable putt-putt spots, and they are dotted throughout the city — so you could even make a day of it and visit several of them — should that be your kind of thing! Our favourites are King Tutts and Mini Golf in Surfers Paradise and Putt Putt Mermaid Beach.
Where: Various locations

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (image supplied)
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (image supplied)

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature-based institution that’s been delighting families for the last 70 years. Check all your favourite Aussie animals, watch the bird show Wild Skies or wander through Lost Valley and gaze at some of the magical creatures that existed when Australia was part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. If you haven’t been before or it’s been a while, it’s about time you went and spent a fun day in Currumbin with some furry and feathered friends.
Where: 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin

Infinity
It’s an incredible journey through a world of illusion at Infinity. Think futuristic, maze-like world of wonder with unique rooms and sensory overloads that will have you laughing, jumping, and feeling as though you’re in a dream. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Get an exclusive discount here!
Where: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, G31/3240 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Theme Parks
It goes without saying the Coast’s theme parks are some of our biggest attractions for visitors. From Movie World with its themed rides, wandering movie stars and cartoon characters; to Dreamworld with its big thrill rides; Seaworld; with impressive sea creatures and mind-blowing live shows; Wet n Wild with all of the epic waterslides and a giant wave pool; Outback Spectacular with incredible special effects, a story of outback Australia and some absolutely beautiful animals. All SUCH a good time and the kids will be thrilled to be at any one of them.

Walkin on Water
Walkin On Water Surf School can be found at Greenmount Beach in Coolangatta and uses the town’s beautiful beaches to their full potential — which are the perfect places for all levels of surfer. These guys pride themselves on offering group and private lessons for all ages and surfing abilities, from the age of 4 right through to those in their 80’s. Greenmount is an amazing location for beginners and early intermediates, having a good amount of protection from southerly swells it is renowned, amongst others, as the ideal learn-to-surf location on the Gold Coast. Get $25 OFF here.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Infinity, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Infinity, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

FREE ACTIVITIES

Go for a picnic
Relaxation, good views and all of the food. It’s an almost free activity (you have to buy the food we’re afraid) and when choosing the right spot (maybe nearby a playground), can fill up a whole day. Check out our list of the best places to throw down a rug here.

Broadwater Parklands
For a real fun time hit up Broadwater Parklands in Southport. There’s a huge range of free activities including the rockpool water playground, giant bouncy pillow, BBQ areas, eats and a little train that fits big kids (you) and little ones.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport

Miami Marketta
Known as the Gold Coast’s favourite family-friendly nightspot for tasty street food, fun cocktails, boutique shopping and live bands, Miami Marketta is so so good. Save some coins and share a couple of tapas-style plates amongst the whole family. Oh, and make sure you check out the dessert area too.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami

Currumbin Rock Pools
If you’re looking for something more adventurous and exciting to do, Currumbin Rock Pools is just the ticket. The beautiful scenic drive through Currumbin Valley is enough of an attraction in itself, taking you straight to the natural swimming pool next to Currumbin Valley Primary School. In utter tranquillity, you may just want to cool down and splash in the water or enjoy some family time over a BBQ at the designated picnic area.
Where: Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Valley

Family Picnic on Currumbin Beach
Family Picnic on Currumbin Beach

Local Markets
Take the family and stroll along one of our many local markets on the coast. There’s everything from fresh locally grown produce to fashion, homewares, souvenirs, arts and crafts. Our top three favourite markets are Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets (4pm-9pm Wednesday, Friday & Sunday nights) and Carrara Markets (7am-4pm every Saturday & Sunday). Check out the rest here.

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Warner Bros. Movie World (image from Destination Gold Coast)
Warner Bros. Movie World (image from Destination Gold Coast)

9 out-of-the-box Gold Coast date ideas

Miami Marketta (image supplied)

Sometimes dinner and drinks just doesn’t cut it when it comes to the Hunger Games-style arena that is the Gold Coast dating scene and since Valentine’s Day is quickly creeping up on us again we’re here to help you up your game.

Here are 9 out-of-the-box ideas you’re welcome to steal when you next need to impress the potential love of your life. 

See some live music
Is watching live music not the best thing you can possibly do? Even better if you’re with someone you don’t know that well when there’s a strong possibility of running out of things to talk about. There’s also unlimited opportunities to bust out your best dance moves and impress the hell out of anyone with eyes. At a safe distance of course. Check out our list of live music venues on the Gold Coast here.

Go scuba diving
Underwater activities are an excellent date choice in that they offer the perfect opportunity to not talk and, on the flip side, will be a great story to tell the grandkids should you get to that point. Plus, you know, there’s plenty of pretty marine life to get up close and personal with and being immersed in the ocean will help you chill out should you be suffering from some form of fear – of the first date or great white shark varieties perhaps.
Where: QLD Scuba Diving, Mariners Cove Marina, 60 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

Taste wine and cheese
What could be better than eating as much cheese and tasting as much wine as is humanly possible with the object of your affections? Nothing, that’s what. Have a little look through our list of wineries that are within a 45 minute drive of the Gold Coast here. That’s a top date idea if ever we’ve come up with one.

Drive in movies
How romantic is setting up a sweet snuggle spot in the back of your car, filling it with snacks and enjoying a movie marathon in (relative) privacy under the stars. If that sounds like your jam, the Yatala Drive-In is your next date night adventure. It’s open seven nights a week and you can choose to do a Double Feature night and sometimes there are sing-a-longs.
Where: 100 Jacobs Well Road, Stapylton

Take a cooking class
Cooking together is a fun way to learn something new while also having a laugh at how hard it actually is to shake a cocktail while looking semi-cool. There are several fun cooking classes on the Gold Coast that offer everything from Chocolate Desserts to Spanish Paella so you’re guaranteed to take home some new skills that you can use on your next date. Genius. Check them out here.

Play all the games
Guys, 20 years later, Timezone is still one of the greatest places around. What could be better than racing your date on the Formula One track or whacking weird animals with giant sticks? It’s a laugh a minute. If you’re any good, you can impress ‘em with a giant stuffed animal they’re sure to keep forever. Just makin’ memories.
Where: Timezone Coolangatta – The Strand, 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Timezone Surfers ParadiseParadise Centre, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Icon the Cookery School (image supplied)

Walk through the trees
Getting high on a first (or second or third) date probably isn’t a great idea, unless of course it involves getting amongst the trees on a 15-metre high suspension bridge. Which of course, is a thing, at Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk in the hinterland. There’s a 40 metre cantilever bridge high above the creek and rainforest which is the perfect excuse for holding onto someone REAL tight.
Where: Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, 333 Geissmann Drive, Mt Tamborine

Watch whales
This one might be a little later in the year, but plan a future date to see everyone’s favourite sea-dwelling creatures when they make their way back down south with their tiny (but also giant) babes in tow. You could pack a picnic and perch yourselves on one of many local headlands or, for guaranteed up close viewing, book yourselves onto a whale watching boat and prepare to have the best date ever. Spirit of the Gold Coast offer epic tours when the season kicks in.
Where: Anywhere you can see the sea OR 60/70 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach (for a tour)

Go ice-skating
If you’re a lover of snow and ice and all things winter, but live here with the rest of us in South-East Queensland, all your prayers have been answered in the form of Gold Coast Iceland in Bundall (who knew). Take your mate for a few spins around the ring while adorably holding hands and pretending you’re in NYC’s Central Park.
Where: 15 Strathaird Road, Bundall

Words by Kirra Smith.

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