FREE - the word we parents LOVE to hear when it comes to entertaining the family. And believe it or not the Gold Coast is brimming with free, exciting and downright delightful things to do with your kids when exploring the city. Join us for a fun, fabulous and FREE day out and about in our neck of the woods…
RISE AND SHINE - IT'S FEEDING TIME
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary wakes up with the birds – literally – with lorikeet feeding sessions daily at 8am and again on dusk at 4pm. If our feathered friends freak you out (and don’t worry, we won’t judge), join the avid bird watchers from a distance or grab out your gold coins and show us your plate balancing skills in the incoming zone, as raucous rainbow lorikeets claim you like a branch during their twice-daily dose of nectar.
Birds have been flocking here for over 70 years since the Sanctuary first swung open its doors, making it one of the Gold Coast’s favourite original family activities. Chances are your parents and their parents have a story to share – so why not start your own story and get up close and personal with one of Australia’s most colourful bird species (with a whole lot of character to tweet about too!).
AHOY THERE ME HEARTIES
Not far down the road at Palm Beach, let the kids’ imagination set sail as the captains of a full-size pirate ship complete with treasure map, binoculars and a plank to walk down those dastardly mutineers at Palm Beach parklands. Alongside the playground the kids can burn off some steam in the pretty beach-meets-creek side parkland, or enjoy a dip in the shallow shores of one of the Gold Coast’s favourite splash zones, Currumbin Creek. And bonus point? This charming estuary is also home to Palm Beach’s resident dog beach, so be prepared to meet a few adorable four-legged friends along the way.
For another playground worth a visit, head to Burleigh Heads and let the kids swing it out under a canopy of heritage listed Norfolk Island Pine trees while you soak up the scenery at one of the best surf breaks in the world. (Local tip: spotting famous surfers here is also free!) While in the ‘hood, take a spritely hike through Burleigh Heads National Park, one of the easiest walks to do with kids in tow but also a haven for spotting native flora and fauna including water dragons, lizards, scrub turkeys and the occasional curious wallaby.
Up top the views are endless, and offer the perfect vantage point from which to watch migrating whales from July to November, or dolphins claiming some of those famous waves that curl around the point. Venture to the other side of the Burleigh Heads National Park to feast your eyes on turquoise in one of the Gold Coast’s most picturesque waterways, Tallebudgera Creek. Dip your toes into the crystalline water to refresh and revitalise the soul, and come prepared with a picnic lunch – chances are the whole family will want to linger here just a little bit longer.
Rock pools, waterfalls and did somebody say free WATERSLIDE?!
Yep, someone did! Heading south again, take a turn towards the Currumbin Valley hinterland where the gold merges seamlessly into the green velvet cloak of Springbrook National Park. Stop for a splash at Currumbin Rock Pools or carry on to the gorgeous Cougal Cascades. It’s here you’ll lose yourself in the million-year-old Gondwana Rainforests of Australia’s World Heritage area, be inspired by the stories of the Yugambeh people who have called this place home for thousands of years, and spot wandering Australian wildlife in their natural habitats.
For a waterslide with a natural twist, Cougal Cascades is a popular choice with families and local teens as the rocks, worn smooth over time, cascade into a deep pool of fresh mountain rainwater. Blow up tubes are the perfect accessory for a not so bumpy ride, and the perfect pillow for when you want to bask in the sun afterwards. Local truth - numb bums are all part of the fun!
experience the lorikeet feeding and more
If you do have some cash to splash why not buy a membership or ticket and spend the day at the Sanctuary!