The title of Amusement Park Capital of Australia has to go to the Gold Coast. A true mecca for family-friendly thrills and record-breaking rides, the Gold Coast makes for an epic holiday. A visit to one or all of these theme and amusement parks will keep a windswept smile on your face well beyond your time spent in this sunshine-filled part of Queensland’s coast.
If you dream of theme parks, you’ll need to tick the Gold Coast’s biggest theme park off your to-visit list. Dreamworld has more rides than any visitor could imagine. Thrill rides achieve every superlative in the roller coaster book: fastest, tallest, biggest. Family rides have room for the whole family to soar through the sky or land. Meanwhile, kids rides spark imagination and allow beloved characters to take young visitors into their own dreamworld.
Animal adventures, thrill rides, character meet & greets… this amusement park really is a world of its own. Interactive animal exhibits allow visitors to get and up-close-and-personal view of dolphins and rays and see penguins, polar bears, and many other majestic creatures in special habitats. If that’s not thrilling enough, take to the sky in the Sea World Sky Flyer. Just recently, a new aquatic adventure zone called The Reef at Castaway Bay opened to allow kids to splash around and find sweet relief in the Gold Coast’s hot sun.
Leave the Gold Coast for a day to enter the world of your favourite Warner Bros. movie. Live out your superhero fantasies on the Superman Escape or Batwing Spaceshot, or see your childhood through fresh eyes on the Yosemite Sam Railroad or Road Runner Rollercoaster. Children can have their wishes granted with the Prince & Princess of the Parade experience, where they are crowned and invited to ride in the Streets Star Parade in a chauffeured golden limo, or as they meet their favourite characters roaming around Main Street.
When the Goldie is at its most golden, cooling down is essential. Enter Wet’n’Wild, Australia’s favourite water park. Visitors don’t have to give up catching thrills to cool down. Tube and body water slides rush and gush, while raft rides and slower body tubes are more relaxing. If you want to try your hand at surfing before heading to the real Surfers Paradise, jump on the FlowRider, a man-made wave ride.
New kids on the block
Gold Coast Fun Park is more of a hub for serious thrill-seekers than a destination for the day. The four attractions soar to the heights over Surfers Paradise and way beyond. Its most famous, perhaps even notorious, ride is the Sling Shot, bringing two people at a time straight up into the air are 160 kilometres per hour. If one direction isn’t enough, jump on the Vomatron, which brings its passengers every which way.
Of course the Gold Coast is home to the world’s first hologram arcade! When visitors walk into the arcade, they’re instantly transported to a different world - or many worlds, rather - thanks to holographic technology. Visitors can enter Experiences where they interact with the objects around them, from water filled with fish to snow. Visitors ready for a challenge can even enter the False Eden, where they have to battle monsters on an alien planet using holographic weapons.
Located in Nerang, Stunt Park is actually a centre for learning stunts in a professional capacity. But visitors are welcome to chase thrills as they learn how to do stunts like they see in movies, from the basics of tumbling and falling in a special obstacle course to special experiences such as the Stunt Park Superhero Experience (yes, you will dress up) and Gladiator Training Session.