The Gold Coast is an expanse of adventure and excitement, the perfect forty-eight hour retreat for a harassed pair of parents and their sticky-fingered, hyper active children. Imagine a world where loud laughter is the norm, where kids can run and jump, twist and turn, crash through the sand and dive into a gentle set of waves, slicing through the water. If your brain has exploded with envy, don’t feel so bad, for the Gold Coast is evolving into one of Australia’s most popular (and laid-back) tourist destinations. When the clock runs out and it’s time to leave, you’ll feel sad, in fact, you might call into work and organise a few more days free of the grind, it’s THAT addictive.
Coolangatta Esplanade: Cooly, as the locals refer to it, is a family friendly oasis of food for all fuss levels, patrolled beaches, kitschy markets and an occasional fairground, entertaining many first dates during the school holidays. There are accommodation options for all budgets. Coolangatta is the bottleneck of the Gold Coast, connected to the buzz and bluster by a winding road and a bustling highway, leading onto your next destination.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: A local holiday favourite, the wildlife sanctuary is cradled comfortably by twenty plus hectares of lavish rainforest, reflecting the truly contradictory image of the area; the sun, the surf, the concrete trappings of civilisation, offset by a natural spectacle of native conservation and education. Visitors are spellbound by wild encounters of the animal kind, as koalas, birds, crocodiles, dingos, Tasmanian devils and other friends greet the young and the young at heart with curiosity and amusement.
Pancakes in Paradise, Gold Coast Highway: You’re going to need energy tomorrow, lots of it, we have a big day planned! Take the kids to pancake heaven for wonderful waffles, no-nonsense nachos or a tasty classic stack with a twist. Sit back and enjoy a dash of wine or beer, after a long day of carrying around bags and fielding a thousand questions. The dense, yet tasty flavours will satisfy little mouths and big appetites; you’re on holiday, why shouldn’t you have pancakes for dinner?
Shake the dust with a quick dip at Kirra Beach, letting the cool morning tides wash over you or watch the sun sparkle through the sea-spray and early mist. Let the kids collect shells and enjoy the moment. How often do you just relax in the moment at home? After the sand is out of your hair (and your clothes), roll on in to Kirramisu Café and chill out together, coffee loading, milkshake sipping and breakfast eating your early hours away. Yes, we’re feeding you again. Read on and you’ll see why. Don’t forget to pack your swimmers!
Theme Park Alley, Helensvale: A neat thirty minute drive from Kirra beach, this stretch of theme parks is the bedrock of entertainment on the Gold Coast. Dastardly drops, ripping rollercoasters, water flumes, upside down adventures, slippery slides, action adventure, stunt shows and movie stars – Movieworld, Dreamworld and Wet ‘n’ Wild are dream makers, a guaranteed happy pill requiring a surprising amount of energy, lots of sunscreen and a truckload or two of relaxation – don’t try and control the fun, just let it happen. But which one to pick? My Fun has compiled the essential (and non-essential) details for discerning parents just like you, check out their site and book online.
By Jessica Hannah