Things To Do

The Best Theme Parks To Visit On The Gold Coast

By Cayleh Ferguson - 01 Jun 2018

Theme Parks Gold Coast

Us locals might forget about them from time to time, but the plethora of theme parks we have here on the Gold Coast make it home to the biggest collection of thrill rides and slides in the Southern Hemisphere and we reckon that's pretty damn cool. So much so that we think it's about time to revisit our childhood faves. Those lucky enough to reside on the Coast can purchase a locals only pass that gives you unlimited entry for a whole year to three of the parks from the list below—sign us up! 

And if you’re visiting from another state or overseas, there’s loads of great options for you too! We recommend grabbing a three day pass for $119 per person which allows the holder unlimited entry to Movie World, Sea World and Wet ‘n’ Wild for three consecutive days–hello bargain! So whether you're a GC local or just visiting, we think it’s about time you round up your favourite crew and had some whole-hearted fun at the Gold Coast’s best theme parks.

Warner Bros. Movie World

This is the theme park that makes all your childhood dreams come true. A place where movies come to life and everyone’s a star, where it’s perfectly normal for Looney Tunes to mingle with Batman in the street and where you can eat candy floss until your hearts content (or your teeth stick together), whichever comes first. From the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster where you're taken along in a rickety carriage to the Doomsday Destroyer where you literally end up upside down, there’s loads of heart-stopping movie-themed thrill rides to keep you busy. The newest rollercoaster, named the Hypercoaster has speeds of 115km and features the world’s first non-inverted loop. If you want to give your stomach a break take in the Hollywood Stunt Show, the Streets Star Parade, or sit down for a rest—and ice cream cone—and watch the 4D Lego Movie because it wouldn’t be Movie World without watching an actual movie right?

Where: Pacific Mwy, Oxenford
Cost: Single day pass is $89 for adults, $79 for kids aged 3-13 years 
How to get there: There’s loads of parking available, while public busses and taxis arrive and depart regularly from the park
For more information, click here

Seaworld

While the rides at Seaworld might be a little more lowkey than other theme parks on the Coast, it's the absolute go-to place for animal attractions, exciting shows and educational presentations AKA it’s fab for the whole family. Pop along to Penguin Point and watch adorable rescued penguins play and enjoy mealtime, witness the daredevil jetski riders fly through the air at the Jet Stunt Extreme show, or head to Dolphin Beach to see the magical mammal’s bond with humans and learn about how to care for the precious sealife in our oceans. Want more? Check out Seal Harbour, Shark Bay, Ray Reef and the majestic polar bears. If you’re after a more hands on experience, part with a little extra dosh and sign up for the Shark Encounter where you’ll take a dip among the world’s most feared predators during a feeding session—FYI fish is on the menu, not you! If you’re after something a little more mellow we recommend hanging out with the sweet-natured dolphins and seals. And while the animals are the main attraction here, make sure you leave time for rides like Storm Coaster and Nicklelodeon Land for the kiddies.

Where: Seaworld Dr, Main Beach
Cost: Single day pass is $79 for adults, $69 for kids aged 3-13 years 
How to get there: There’s loads of parking available, while public busses and taxis arrive and depart regularly from the park
For more information, click here 

Wet'n'Wild

The biggest aquatic playground in the world—ok maybe a slight exaggeration ‘cause that’s probably the ocean, right? Wet’n’Wild is the perfect place for a first date, a great thing to do with the whole family or even just your nearest and dearest friends when they finally come and visit you on the Coast. Serious thrill seekers are in for a treat with stomach-flipping rides such as the Black Hole; a water slide fully enclosed, so it’s pitch black, The Kamikaze where you’ll experience zero gravity and The Mach 5, the longest slide at the park. They’re guaranteed to have you shaking in your swimmers! If you fancy more of a relaxing day then you can perch under a cabana—be sure to book one in advance during school holidays—frolic in the giant wave pool or float leisurely down Calypso Beach; a gentle river with tropical surroundings. If you start getting a little chilly then just have a dunk in the hot tubs and you’ll be good to go in no time. Wet’n’Wild is guaranteed to leave you with wrinkly fingertips, sun kissed skin and the biggest grin. 

Where: Pacific Mwy, Oxenford
Cost: Single day pass is $74 for adults, $69 for kids aged 3-13 years 
How to get there: There’s loads of parking available, while public busses and taxis arrive and depart regularly from the park
For more information, click here 

Outback Spectacular

Located between Wet’n’Wild and Warner Bros. Movie World is an Australian experience like no other—a dinner and show package that will entertain your socks off. Over the course of the evening you’ll be led through a captivating journey to the high country where legendary yarns come alive with death-defying stunts. All that yelling, hooting and cheering will leave you famished but fear not, a three-course gourmet Aussie feast will be in front of you before you know it and yes, it includes beer and wine—win! If you head along early there’s ample opportunity to pull up a bar stool at the Aussie pub and do how the Aussie’s do and wet your whistle while enjoying the pre-show entertainment. Some of Australia’s most talented musicians play at the extravaganza, incorporating a fusion of orchestral style music, contemporary country and rockin’ blues ensuring—you’ll be boot-scootin’ in no time.  

Where: Entertainment Rd, Oxenford
Cost: From $99.90 for adults, from $69.99 for kids aged 3-13 years 
How to get there: Some transfer options available when booking your ticket 
For more information, click here 

Paradise Country

When you live on the Gold Coast it’s quite an effort to leave the beach and find some greenery but head up the highway to Paradise Country for the ultimate farm fix. This is definitely the perfect place to take the little ones in your life as you’ll find yourself face to face with sheep, cows, horses, chickens, ducks, pigs and dogs with the opportunity to even cuddle cute koalas over brekky. Visit an authentic shearing shed to see master shearers in action and learn the process of wool production or see how it’s done when the farmers and their dogs round up a flock of sheep. Learn how to throw a boomerang and witness the skill it takes to get that almighty crack from a stock whip. If you fancy farm life for a bit longer, then you can even stay the night with your choice of camping, a caravan or glamping in the eco tents where you can chill by the campfire after the sun has set, then collect the freshly laid eggs and milk the cows at sunrise. 

Where: Production Drive, Oxenford
Cost: Tickets start at $27 for adults, $17 for kids aged 3-13 years 
How to get there: Some transfer options available when booking your ticket 
For more information, click here 

Draculas

Ok so Draculas isn't exactly a theme park but there's a ride at the start and a mad fantasy cabaret show after, plus it's been around since the 80s and is an absolute Gold Coast staple. Best of all it's made for all budgets—you can buy tickets to the show only, or splurge on the show plus a lush three course dinner, or really push the boat out with a full VIP experience which gives you spesh privileges like priority entrance, premium seating as well as food and bubbles on arrival—worth the extra $20 fo’ sure. It truly is like nothing you would have experienced before; think loud live music, partial nudity, unrestrained comedy, wild staff that keep you on the edge of your seat and supernatural adult rated themes. Just try not to make eye contact with any of the preformers, or you might get picked on all night, meaning most of the laughter will be at your expense. You'll be sure to leave here in fits of laughter. Definitely a night to add to your Gold Coast bucket list.

Where: 1 Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach
Cost: Tickets start at $59  
How to get there: Parking is limited, closest tram station is Broadbeach
For more information, click here 

Dreamworld

Last, but by no means least, is Dreamworld; the biggest theme park in Australia with over 40 different rides including five rollercoasters. This park has it all; a place called Corroboree where you can celebrate the history of this country, Tiger Island where you can learn about the jungle’s most fearsome predator, WhiteWater World (that actually has warm water year-round), ABC Kid’s World full of entertainment for the little ones and plenty of food and shopping options including the cutest ice-cream parlour and candy store we ever did see. There are loads of rides on offer to suit everyone’s taste. We recommend starting with The Wipeout—just make sure you empty your pockets as you’ll frequently be upside down. If you thought that was a piece of cake, then move onto the Claw; a sky-high swing before taking it up a level to The Tower of Terror. Now this is one to remember—before you know it, you’ll blast out backwards and get up to speeds of 161km/h in just seven seconds of stomach-churning weightlessness. The Giant Drop is another one not for the faint hearted, it just happens to be the tallest free-falling ride in the world. Our advice, take some spare underwear.

Where: Dreamworld Pkwy, Coomera
Cost: Single day pass for access to both Dreamworld and WhiteWater World is $95 adults, $85 for kids aged 3-13 years
How to get there: There’s loads of parking available, while public busses and taxis arrive and depart regularly from the park
For more information, click here 

Looking for more family fun ideas? Check out these fab farms you can visit on the Gold Coast.

Image credit: Village Roadshow

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