Gold Coast

Gold Coast Major Attractions

The Gold Coast is famous for its beaches and entertainment attractions. It has some of the best beaches in Australia, and in fact the world.

Great weather with over 280 days of sunshine each year  
57 klms of great beaches with some of the best surfing beaches in the world
Great shopping centres - visit one of the many world class shopping centres such as PacificFair, Harbour Town, Robina Town, Australia Fair
Great night life at the many night clubs on the coast, Jupitors Casino at Broadbeach
Over 500 Restaurants
If you do not live on the coast or nearby, you may need to find place to stay - the coast has a variety of accommodation to make your stay comfortable while you enjoy all the coast's attractions

More Attractions


Sea World

Sea World, facing The Broadwater, is a huge 25-hectare marine park (the largest of its kind in Australia). It offers a combination of rides, shows and attractions, including such hair-raising machines as the Three Loop Corkscrew and Lasseters Lost Mine. Unlike Wet'n'Wild (see subsequent entry), which is basically participation-oriented, Sea World is essentially a range of shows and rides. The crowds are attracted by the spectacular waterskiing displays and the dolphins, sea lions and penguins which perform for the crowds. So successful has Sea World become that there is now a specific hotel - the Nara Sea World - attached to the complex. It offers free entry with accommodation under certain circumstances.

Current publicity for Sea World states: "Come and see Australia's only Polar bear cubs Lia and her brother Lutik, in their home at Sea World's Polar Bear Shores - one of the most technologically advanced exhibits for Polar bears in the world. The playful cubs have joined older bears Ping Ping and Kanook, and will delight guests with their energetic and spirited antics.

"Cartoon Network Cartoon Beach, is the vacation spot for the globe's top toon stars. Kids of all ages can hang out toon favourites The Powerpuff Girls, Cow and Chicken, Dexter and Dee Dee, Johnny Bravo and Tom and Jerry. Kids can cruise the highways in 'Woody's Beachtrucks', catch a bird's eye view from the top of 'Toonpoint Lighthouse', take to the skies in the 'Air-See Rescue' choppers and then cool off in 'Dexter¹s Time Machine', a dancing fountain full of splashing surprises!

"Marvel at the new generation of Sea World dolphins at Dolphin Cove and laugh at the antics of the seals and sea lions in the Quest for the Golden Seal Show. There's also the action of Ski Challenge, the hottest, action packed stunt filled extravaganza, the swashbuckling Pirates 3D Adventure, the thrills of Australia's first triple loop Corkscrew rollercoaster and the excitement of Bermuda Triangle."

Admission prices, at December 1, 2002, are $56 for adults and $36 for children (4-13 years) and pensioners. A 14-day ticket is also available which allows access to Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild. The complex is generally open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Sea World is accessed via Seaworld Drive, which extends northwards along The Spit, at Main Beach. For 24-hour recorded information about operating hours, prices, shows and attractions ring (07) 5588 2205. To contact the office ring tel: (07) 5588 2222.

Cable Ski World

Located on Oxley Drive at Runaway Bay, Cable Ski World began as a waterskiing park but it has since diversified to include such aquatic and non-aquatic activities as kneeboarding, bungy jumping, jetskiing, wakeboarding, mini-golf, go-karts, mini speed boats, aqua bikes, paddle boats, fish-feeding and slingshot bungy. Instructors ensure a safe environment and there are separate areas for beginners and advanced skiers, with barefooting and ski jumpingf sessions. It is situated on a 95-acre site, consisting principally of five freshwater lakes, surrounded by sandy beaches and tropical rainforest. Facilities include a restaurant, kiosk, barbecue facilities, playground with paddle pool for young children, games room and beach volleyball.

They are open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily, with closing time extended to 9.00 p.m. in the summer months. Each activity incurs a separate charge. For further information ring (07) 5537 6300. Email is caboff@winfhop.com.

Ripleys Believe It Or Not Museum

This collection of displays relating to the bizarre, freakish, unusual and mysterious incorporates hundreds of exhibits, illusions, interactive displays, games and movies regarding feats, facts and stories of life on earth. Typical stories concern Bosco the labrador who outpolled two humans to become mayor of a small Californian community for eight years. The museum is located in Raptis Plaza, within Cavill Mall, and is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. As of December 1, 2002, the entry fee was $12.50 for adults, $11 for students, pensioners and backpackers and $8 for children (5-14 years). For more information ring (07) 5592 0040 or email: surfers@ripleys.com


Flycoaster is a free-fall device which drops up to three people from a height of twelve stories to a spot two metres above the ground in just over one second, reaching a speed of 130 kmph. A new addition is the Bungee Trampoline which consists of a trampoline and a harness attached to the waist which is connected to bungee ropes on either side. It allows participants to spring up to 14 metres in the air and to undertake somersaults and other airborne acrobatics. Flycoaster is open daily to 10.00 p.m. and is located at the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Cypress Ave, tel: (07) 5539 0474.

Bungee Rocket

The Bungee Rocket is a spherical metal capsule containing two adults which is attached by bungee ropes to two 40-metre supports. Like a giant catapult the ropes are stretched then the tension released, flinging the sphere 60 metres in the air at a speed of over 160 kmph. It reaches its apex after just over one second then drops back to the earth, bouncing up and down ten times before coming to rest. The whole affair is videotaped to review one's own terror from the safety of one's lounge room. The cost is $25 (including video cassette). It is located at 6 Palm Ave, tel: (07) 5570 2700.

Australian Shooting Academy/Timezone

The Australian Shooting Academy has six ranges with personal instruction and the only indoor clay pigeon target range in Australia. No license is required but ID is essential. They are open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. and are located at Level 1, the Paradise Centre, tel: (07) 5527 5100. Funtasia Timezone is also located in the Paradise Centre, tel: (07) 5539 9500.

Gold Coast City Art Gallery

This substantial gallery is part of the Arts Centre, adjacent the Evandale Civic and Cultural Centre, off Bundall Rd, on the western shore of the Nerang River, tel: (07) 5581 6567.

Sanctuary Cove

At the north-eastern end of the Gold Coast, on the southern bank of the Coomera River (just behind The Broadwater) is Sanctuary Cove - a dubious brainchild of the hype and 'entrepreneurial' activity of the turgid 1980s. It was created by a Queenslander named Mike Gore who became synonymous with the term 'the white shoe brigade', which was used to describe hucksterish businessmen whose ethics came a definite second to the business of making money. It was opened with a rare concert by Frank Sinatra and has since grown to consist of two excellent golf courses, a shopping centre called Marine Village, which has more than 75 shops ranging from gift shops to restaurants, cafes and bars and lots of very expensive housing designed for retired millionaires. Much of the development has been carved out of the shores of the river. It is an integrated design which smacks of both wealth and artificiality.


The three biggest family attractions of the northern Gold Coast have all been set up at a point most readily accessible to the hordes of Brisbane: on or just off the major motorway - the Pacific Highway - at the north-western end of the Gold Coast, thus ensuring visitors from the state capital can be spared the slog of navigating the heavy traffic and byways of the tourism mecca that is the Gold Coast. These three attractions are Dreamworld, Wet 'n' Wild and Movie World.

Dreamworld is located just west of Sanctuary Cove. It is an Australian version of Disneyland with a myriad of rides and entertainments to occupy children and adults for an entire day. The characters, such as Cooee and Kenny Koala, are mostly Australian, although Nick Central features Nickelodeon figures. Attractions include thrill rides such as the Cyclone and Thunderbolt Roller Coasters, the Tower of Terror, the Wipeout, the Giant Drop and the Eureka Mine Ride, family rides such as the Thunder River Rapids Ride, bumper cars, a chairlift, the log ride, a water playground, a railway, a carousel and a paddlesteamer, along with family features such as the white Bengal tigers, the Game Site, a shooting gallery, remote-controlled boats, Nick Central (featuring Nickelodeon characters), the Australian Wildlife Experience, the Australian Farm Show, the Outback Celebration, Kids Carnival, the Kenny Koala Show, an 1850s trooper station, roving musicians and helicopters for hire. Food is available from various sources, there is a substantial shopping strip and Dreamworld has one of the few IMAX Theatres in Australia. This remarkable movie technology provides a screen so large that it is quite impossible to sit in the audience and not be totally involved in the experience, especially with respect to the stunning 3D movies.

Dreamworld is located just off the Pacific Highway (along Dreamworld Parkway). It is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily with hours extended during the summer school holidays (9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.). For more information contact (07) 5588 1122.

Wet'n'Wild Water Park

Wet'n'Wild is one of the most comprehensive water fun playgrounds in the world, with heated pools and slides permitting year-round access. Spread over nearly 10 hectares the theme park's activities range from a freshwater wave pool, with waves up to one metre high, to an extensive series of spectacular water slides and raft or tube rides (it is claimed that, on the toboggan drop, it is possible to reach speeds of up to 70 km/h while the Super 8 Aqua Racer consists of an 86-metre plunge).

The emphasis is on diversity with something for each age group, from the hair-raising to the languid and lazy. Thus, while the toboggan drop and the white water twisters are meant for adults and older children, there are also attractions for younger children and more sedentary adults, including the Buccaneer Bay theme park play area and a calm drift along the 'river' past a pirate castle and subtropical gardens. A new addition is the relaxing Whirlpool Hot Springs, featuring ten 20-person hot tubs. Visitors should note that children must be 110 cm tall to participate in the more agitating rides.

Another recent addition is the 'dive-in' movie program, where latest release family movies are screened at ther Giant Wave Pool from September to April. The water areas are surrounded by grassy grounds with picnic and barbecue facilities and deck chairs for relaxation.

Wet'n'Wild is located on the Pacific Motorway at Oxenford. For 24-hour recorded information on Wet'n'Wild Water World's operating hours, prices, water slides and pools call (07) 5573 2255. During office hours visitors can ring Wet'n'Wild on (07) 5573 6623. They are open daily. From November to February hours are 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., with closing time extended to 9.00 p.m. in January. From March to April and September to October the closing time is 4.30 p.m. and from May to August it is 4.00 p.m.

A 14-day ticket is also available which allows access to Movie World and Sea World, as well as Wet'n'Wild.

Warner Bros. Movie World

Also on the Pacific Motorway at Oxenford is Movie World Theme Park. Designed as a working studio with a number of large stages and an extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment, it manages to combine a day out with a wide range of activities. The combination of studio and fun park means that most of the Park's attendants are young actors hoping for work, and their first big break, in the studios next door.

Warner Bros Movie World is basically a combination of Disneyland and Universal Studios. It celebrates the fun and excitement of movies offering entertainments ranging from impromptu street events and a daily stunt show which re-enacts a Police Academy-style hold up. The Police Academy show has as much to do with the Keystone Kops as it does with Police Academy. It is typical of the kind of show offered by the complex. The setting holds over 500 people. The action includes a car being blown up, a man being shot and falling from the roof of a building, and an endless stream of thrills and spills from the crew. While it is entertaining it is also informative about the nature of stunts in a movie. Other attractions include the Road Runner Rollercoaster, Looney Tunes Village, the Wild West Falls ride and a suitably scary Scooby Doo rollercoaster.

Like Disneyland the streets are full of characters from various shows, such as the Warner Bros cartoon team of Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck and Sylvester who walk along the main street amusing the crowds.

There are a wide variety of shops selling souvenirs (T-shirts, posters etc) as well as providing a wide range of food. Other attractions include rides through various movie scenes - the Batman ride is always popular - and a conducted tour of the movie studio which shows some of the techniques used to create cinematic illusions. One particularly appealing aspect of Movie World is the way that certain events just occur naturally (well as naturally as anything in a movie world) on the street. A visitor can be walking along when suddenly a rather shady character will come running out of the bank on the main street carrying a bag full of money. A policeman who, only moments earlier, was talking to some children, will give chase and, as by-standers watch, will draw his gun and fire off a series of shots at the robber. It is easy to spend a day here. There is a genuine variety of activities. It would actually be hard to see everything in under 4 hours.

Current publicity for Movie World states: "Visit Warner Bros. Movie World on Australia¹s Gold Coast where you will experience a fun-filled family adventure with all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Meet your favourite stars and enjoy all the behind-the-scenes action, comedy stunts and exhilarating rides, shows and attractions!

Warner Bros. Movie World brings you the all-new Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Movie Magic Experience. For a limited season only, you can journey to Knockturn Alley, see Mr Weasley¹s enchanted car and come face to face with the creatures of the Forbidden Forest.

Don't miss the scariest, spookiest spine-tingling rollercoaster ever created! Coaster cars launch guests on a hair-raising journey complete with laser lighting and sound effects, animatronics and a kaleidoscope of colour, depth, height and trickery of dimension. Ride the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster!

Batman Adventure - The Ride 2 doubles the adventure offering guests a brand new simulator journey starring the best of the Batman villains in a high tech, thrill speed showdown with the Caped Crusader.

Experience the fun of the Road Runner Rollercoaster, Australia's only family rollercoaster, situated in Looney Tunes Village, a magical cartoon world with rides especially for children. For more Looney Tunes fun, head to the Looney Tunes Musical Revue, performed daily and check out the awesome interactive water fountain, Looney Tunes Splash Zone, at Looney Tunes Village.

Be blown away by the thrilling Wild West Falls ride. Wild West is an action packed adventure with a 20 metre, 70 kilometre an hour, heart stopping drop to the final splashdown!

Then journey to Mars in the interactive 3D movie adventure, get an adrenaline rush on the suspended, inverted looping coaster, Lethal Weapon and laugh at the hilarious Police Academy Stunt Show. "

For a limited time only, the latest addtion is the "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Movie Magic Experience", including sets and themes from the movie.

Movie World is generally open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily. For 24-hour recorded information about operating hours, prices, shows and attractions ring (07) 5573 8485. To contact the office ring (07) 5573 3999. A 14-day ticket is also available which allows access to Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild.

Jupiters Casino

The casino boasts the $185 million Conrad International Hotel and Jupiter Casino complex with its gaming rooms, swimming pools, tennis courts and jogging tracks. Opened in 1986 it has over 600 guest rooms and is the only casino on the Gold Coast. Rare among casinos, it operates 24 hours a day allowing the gambler to lose money as easily at 5 a.m. as at 5 p.m. It is located on Broadbeach Island, with access off either T. E. Peters Drive or the Nerang-Broadbeach Rd, tel: (07) 5592 1133.