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The Gold Coast is getting its very own Wizard of Oz precinct

Wizard of Oz Precinct at Warner's Bros. Movie World (image supplied)
Wizard of Oz Precinct at Warner's Bros. Movie World (image supplied)

If there’s one thing we’ll never grow out of, its theme parks and do we really need to explain this? Who doesn’t love the vibe, with kids and big kids alike having the time of their lives riding rides, catching shows, and mingling with life-size film and cartoon characters. Not to mention buying way too many ice-creams and souvenirs (“but mum, that Batman has a bigger/longer/blacker cape than my other 35”).  The other thing we’re quite certain about is that our big love for all things Wizard of Oz will endure for the rest of time, because Dorothy’s ruby red sparkly slippers got us goooood. So, imagine our squeals of delight when we heard that Warner Bros. Movie World is planning a world-first Wizard of Oz precinct, proving there’s no place like home (aka the Gold Coast) when it comes to entertainment and fun!

Wizard of Oz Precinct at Warner's Bros. Movie World (image supplied)
Wizard of Oz Precinct at Warner's Bros. Movie World (image supplied)

Launching in 2024, The Wizard of Oz precinct will house not one but two family-friendly rides, and we haven’t been this excited since those yellow spinning things at Grundy’s. Speaking of yellow, follow that infamous yellow brick road and you’ll find a suspended coaster (eep!), a boomerang racer, and all kinds of wickedly wonderful immersive theming so awe-inspiring, you won’t want to leave (let alone the kids).

Let’s drop some numbers now shall we so that you can grasp the scope and scale of these world-class attractions. The Suspended Family Coaster is set on a 454-metre-long track, which is 19 metres high, and reaches a maximum speed of 67km/h which we’re pretty sure is faster than our first car.

The Family Boomerang Racer on the hand, features two separate racing tracks at 225 and 220 metres long, extending 22 metres high and hitting speeds of up to 58km/h which again, would have smoked our first wheels #RIPSuzukiVitara.

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

In addition to these awesome, small-person-friendly rides which like the rest of the precinct, boast high capacity / low height and age restrictions, there’s so much more to see and do as you journey Over the Rainbow. Experience thematic elements like projection mapping, stunning sculptures, and facades jam-packed with nostalgia, “ooh’s” , “ah’s’’ and wow-factor.

So as if there weren’t enough reasons for us to heart Warner Bros. Movie World, soon there’ll be another! Get your favourite red shoes at the ready and watch this space for more deets.

Where: Warner Bros. Movie World, Pacific Motorway, Oxenford
When: Coming 2024

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

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

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)


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), The Village Markets Burleigh Heads (8am-1pm, 1st & 3rd Sundays) 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)

8 places on the Gold Coast for kids birthday parties

Kids playing at Paradise Resort (image supplied)
Kids playing at Paradise Resort (image supplied)

Birthday parties are a big deal when you’re a kid (or an adult with kids). So much potential for sugar comas, bulk presents, and general good times with all your favourites. What’s not to love?

Organising good times for 15+ kids hopped up on sugar can be somewhat stressful… so we’ve come up with a solution. Well, to be more specific the following venues have the answer, and we’re here to share them with you in one convenient location as let’s be honest adulting is hard and time is (always) of the essence.

Here are the best spots for kids birthday parties on the Gold Coast. Ohh and good luck!

Paradise Resort
Make your kids birthday party one to remember — and quite possibly the envy of all of their friends — at Paradise Resort. This sprawling fun-packed venue has so many options for kids birthday parties we can’t possibly list them all. However, a standard 2-hour package for an ice skating party costs just $30 per head, or you can mix and match waterpark and magic show activities; so, the kids will love their time here regardless!
Where: 122 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Imagine sitting down at your birthday party and having 3D hologram fishes and butterflies surrounding you. Fun right? You can do precisely that and more at Holoverse in a multitude of holograph rooms. Parties start at $32 per person for a half-hour session, with a minimum of eight people and including popcorn and slushies. And did we mention we have a discount voucher here?! (You’re welcome)
Where: 59 Nerang Street, Southport

Slideways Go Karting (image supplied)
Slideways Go Karting (image supplied)

Slideways Go Karting
Go-karting is the greatest. And watching the kids race around a track as fast as possible having the absolute time of their lives is pretty great. At Slideways, all small people invited to the party need a membership (which is $10), and packages start at $72 for two ten-minute drives. Or use our special discount here and put that saved money towards that extravagant cake to match the party. Pretty sure you’ll be the most popular parent around with this one!
Where: 10 Spencer Road, Nerang

Miniature Golf
Who doesn’t love a game of mini-golf? The challenges and how you might be winning never gets old and somehow the one thats leading always somehow gets stuck and ends up taking 22 shots on one hole. It’s a sure-fire winner for all playing, and one that the little ones can get behind (maybe too much!) We are pretty lucky here on the Gold Coast as we are spoilt for choice with many Putt Putt’s venues to pick from.Whether it’s King Tutt’s and their Ancient Egyptian or Jurassic Dinosaur courses or Putt Putt Mermaid Beach with their three themed 18-hole courses or maybe even Surfers Paradise Mini Golf’s western-themed mini golf course you and the kids will love them all. Be sure to enquire with any of them about their birthday parties, as you’ll be able to organise a birthday package for the little one and their friends!
Where: Various

Mermaid Beach Putt Putt birthday parties (image supplied)
Mermaid Beach Putt Putt birthday parties (image supplied)

It goes without saying that Timezone is a good time for kids and adults alike. There are multiple party packages to choose from, ranging in price from $25 to $38 per person and includes everything from time on the games to snacks and a party host, depending on the one you choose. The kiddies will love it and be entertained for ages! (Bonus!)
Where: Paradise Centre, Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise and The Strand, Marine Pde, Coolangatta

Infinity Attraction
It’s an incredible journey through a world of illusion at Infinity. Think of a futuristic, maze-like world of wonder with unique rooms and sensory overloads that will have you feeling as though you’re in a dream. Pair that with tasty eats from Betty’s Burgers, and you’ve got yourself one of the best party packages around. Should we mention that you can get 10% of child entry here?! Go on and make your little one’s year!
Where: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, G31/3240 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

Infinity Attraction birthday parties (image supplied)
Infinity Attraction birthday parties (image supplied)

Escape Rooms
Locking the kids up for an hour might be one of the best party ideas of all time! Thank you, Escape Rooms. Plus, they’ll love it AND they’ll use their brains to get un-locked too. Break the kids up into two teams and have them race to escape the rooms. Sounds like the perfect party plan to us – especially when we have a 10% off discount to Padlock’d or The Escape Hunt Experience.
Where: Padlock’d – 3177 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise and The Escape Hunt Experience – 2/162 Scarborough St, Southport

RACV Royal Pines
RACV Royal Pines Resort is the place to be for a seriously cool kids party that both the little ones and the parents will enjoy. It’s certainly one to remember by combining coastal resort vibes, sprawling facilities, and the best party food around. Starting from just $25 per child, including party food, you can choose from a cutesy High Tea Party, active Playground Party (complete with a massive jumping pillow, climbing area, swings and slide in a completely gated area), or an action-packed Water Park Party. Think three waterslides, water cannons, water spouts and water tip buckets together with a separate heated pool, spa and toddler area. Really, it’s your ticket to the best Summer birthday. It’s worth noting though that it’s only available on weekends and not during school holidays.
Where: RACV Royal Pines, Ross St, Benowa

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Padlock'd exterior (image supplied)
Padlock'd exterior (image supplied)

9 kids activities in Surfers Paradise

Image supplied by Destination Gold Coast

If you cannot find fun in Surfers Paradise, then the fun cannot be found. The suburb of extreme good times is not just for school leavers and late-night revellers — oh no, it’s the ultimate place to take the kids on the school holidays.

Surfers Paradise is indeed a fun time for families, as demonstrated by the endless kids trailing slowly down Cavill Ave behind mum and dad, eyes wide in awe. There are just so many things to do in this bustling suburb, but we understand it can get a bit overwhelming, so, we have broken it down for you.

Here are the nine family-friendly activities to do in Surfers Paradise.

Padlock’d Escape Rooms
The kids (and you) will LOVE trying to escape from a multitude of immersive themed rooms on a time limit! Work together as a family (or leave the kids to it) to solve the puzzles, crack the codes and escape the madness in a fast-paced hour of fun. Good times.
Where: 3177 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Timezone Hologate (image supplied)
Timezone Hologate (image supplied)

It’s an incredible journey through a world of illusion at Infinity. Think futuristic, with a maze-like world of wonder and unique rooms with sensory overloads that will have you laughing, jumping and feeling as though you’re in a dream. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Get an exclusive 15% OFF here using the code: “INFOINSIDEGC”.
Where: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, G31/3240 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise 

Paradise Centre
The name says it all. From a parent’s point of view, this place has everything covered. You can park the car, amuse the little ones for hours, feed them and even find the time to do a little bit of shopping yourself. They have a Birds of Paradise promotion these holidays with the opportunity for snaps with some rather colourful feathered friends and the chance to win 1 of 5 pairs of Apple AirPods. Count us in!
Where: Paradise Centre, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Well, we can’t suggest Paradise Centre without suggesting Timezone… Obviously. Who doesn’t love Timezone? There are hours of entertainment right here in the one fun-filled space. They’ve just added a new section called Hologate too, where you get to battle dragons and robots in virtual reality. Go head-to-head with your kids or play as a team. How good?!
Where: Paradise Centre, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium ( image supplied)

Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Known as the Odditorium, Ripley’s is the Coast’s most unusual attraction. There are 16 individually themed galleries filled with unbelievable artifacts and interactive exhibits. You’ll come face to face with remarkable relics and rare treasures from around the world including fun interactive games and life-size figurines of unusual characters. A recently added Candy Shop with American and Australian lollies will really seal the deal for the kidlets. Click here for a special offer!
Where: Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise

King Tutt’s Putt-Putt
What child doesn’t love mini-golf? None as far as we know. Luckily, Surfers Paradise is home to one of the best mini golf spots around, King Tutt’s. They offer three fully themed courses with 18 holes of pure fun. Two of which are indoor-themed (Ancient Egyptian and Jurassic Putt) and one outdoor-themed (African Jungle). There’s LOTS of fun to be had here.
Where: Surfers Paradise Boulevard & Ocean Avenue, Surfers Paradise

The Wax Museum
Bet you didn’t know the Gold Coast’s wax museum is home to the largest collection of authentic wax figures in the Southern hemisphere. Impressive right? From the famous faces we know and love to the gruesome and gory Torture Chamber figures, there’s something to surprise and delight the kiddies (and you too). Here’s a discount voucher to take along with you.
Where: 56 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise 

Paradise Centre Family Fun (image supplied)
Paradise Centre Family Fun (image supplied)

Surfers Paradise River Cruises
Yep, you guessed it, you can cruise the Surfers Paradise waterways on a super relaxing boat, have someone point out famous peoples’ homes and landmarks along the way and also enjoy a buffet lunch on board. The kids will thoroughly enjoy being out on the water, seeing some stunning sights and maybe even a dolphin or two. But the best part? You won’t have to lift a finger (except to snap some pics). Get 10% off your cruise here.
Where: 63 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Quack’r Duck
All aboard the world’s most modern and environmentally friendly amphibious vehicle, the Quack’r Duck. Offering a land and sea experience like no other, the giant moving duck is tons of fun. Travel along the esplanade, past the ocean and splash into the Broadwater for a cruising adventure. It’s the most fun you can have going from land to sea and back! Grab a special offer here.
Where: 7 Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Kids playing on the beach
Kids playing on the beach
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