Family vacations may usually be costlier than solo travelling, but that doesn’t always need to be the case, especially in a fun-filled holiday locale like Gold Coast. Don’t believe us ah? Well, we did the ‘impossible’!
Inspired by the adorable Eva Mei and her fam, we came up with a full-fledged six-day itinerary at Gold Coast that’s not only affordable, but doesn’t skimp on the fun your family could have in this surfer’s paradise~ Here’s how it goes:
Day 1: Start off with beaches and seafood~
Enter holiday mode by sinking your toes into the golden sands of Gold Coast’s wealth of beaches, or catching the surf with a boogie board in tow. With 70km of coastline and plenty of beaches to choose from (Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Currumbin Beach, just to name a few), there’s no shortage of picturesque spots for you and the kids to throw down the towel, sand bucket and spades.
When it’s time for lunch, you won’t have to wander far – simply head over to Charis Seafood’s Kiosk and Seafood Market for the freshest, biggest supply of oysters, prawns, and mussels, and the best fish and chips on the Coast! They’re also famous for their pelican feeding sessions at 1.30PM daily, so you and the kids can get up close and personal with hundreds of pelicans for their special feed of fish.
Day 2: The adventure begins!
Every budget Gold Coast holiday should include a thrill-seeking trip to a theme park. While the likes of Dreamworld, Movie World, Wet n Wild or Seaworld isn’t cheap, there are special combo passes that offers access to multiple parks, like the Klook Gold Coast Pass. With 60 days of validity, you can get your theme park kick at Dreamworld, spot glow worms at the Tamborine National Park, and so many more – an all-in-one pass that lets you save up to 30%!
Plus, if your kids are under three-years-old, then they can enjoy free admission for most parks~
Day 3: Get closer to nature
It’s time to trade in golden beaches for the vast greenery of Gold Coast Hinterland. There are various ways to explore these lush, pre-historic mountains – from glow worm caves to high-speed ziplines across the rainforest, there’s little doubt your kids will be starstruck. Don’t forget to pack your own food for a little picnic!
If you’re strict with your budget, then look no further than O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park. This part of the UNESCO World Heritage Gondwana Rainforest houses free Tree Top Walk, serene nature hikes, majestic waterfalls, and the iconic Birds of Prey show that’ll absolutely stun your kids.
Next up, it’s time to take a break at a vineyard at the Mountview Alpaca Farm. You and the little ones can mingle with well-groomed, adorable-until-you-wanna-cuddle-them-forever alpacas and even feed them, with alpaca food for sale at A$3/bag or take them out for a walk from A$15 onwards. If you want to earn your spot as parent of the year, let your kids go on a 30-minute ride with the alpacas from A$36 onwards!
Day 4: Time to get wild!
The fun continues on the southern end of Gold Coast at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can meet all kinds of native and exotic animals, learn about conservation projects, and go behind the scenes at the wildlife hospital. Pick up a family pass (kids under three get free entry), and if your budget has a little extra wiggle room, you can also book experiences like breakfast with the koalas, treetop ropes challenge, or up close encounters with cuddly or scaly new friends.
On a serious budget? Simply stop by for the free wild lorikeet feeding at 8AM and 4PM daily, where you can donate to the sanctuary and let the kids feed and admire these technicolour birds up close.
Then, grab lunch with a view at the local favourite Currumbin Beach Vikings SLSC, where you can enjoy top-quality seafood at reasonable prices. In need a pick-me-up? There are great cafes nearby for coffee – we recommend trying out either The Salt Mill or Barefoot Barista!
End the day with even more beach time at Currumbin Beach. It’s a great spot for surfing or body boarding (and home to a few surf schools if anyone is eager to learn), but it’s also equally fun for beach wanderers, thanks to its unique rock formations which can be explored more closely during low tides. If you’ve got younger kids who aren’t quite up to tackling big surfs, head to the creek end of Currumbin Alley instead, where they can splash and play in the shallows.
Day 5: Take your creative side for a spin
After three days of outdoor excitement, immerse yourselves in local culture at the city’s arts and cultural institution, Home Of The Arts (HOTA). Check out their FREE art exhibitions, as well as a couple of hands-on workshops in the Little ArtLab which are suitable for kids of all ages. Be sure to check out their website for their activity calendar before heading over.
If you’re here on a Sunday, leave extra time to explore the HOTA Markets (open from 6AM – 11AM), one of the best community markets on the Gold Coast with vibrant live music and delicious food trucks!
Speaking of markets, it’d be a crime for the family to miss the Miami Marketta (open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 5PM onwards), where you can pick from a smorgasbord of global street food from this bustling market, not to mention it’s home to bars, entertainment and live music too.
Day 6: End the trip with more beachy fun!
The last day of a budget Gold Coast holiday calls for soaking up as much sun and sea as possible! If you and the rest of the fam are into cycling, we recommend renting a couple of bikes and tackling the Gold Coast Oceanway, which runs along the foreshore for 36km from The Spit to Point Danger in Coolangatta. Ride as much as your babies’ little legs permit – you can always stop along the way for a coffee or ice cream break.
If the gang is keen for even more time on the water, make tracks to Go Vertical Stand Up Paddleboarding. You can hire paddle boards or kayaks from as little as A$25/hour, and head out to explore the calm waterways of Gold Coast Broadwater to count dolphin sightings along the way. There are also tours and lessons available, so see what tickles your little ones’ fancy.
And finally, close out the holiday with a trip to the famous Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets (FREE!), where you can peruse artisanal/iconic local goodies, fresh produce, vibe with its slew of entertainment options, and so many more. Open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4PM to 9PM.
The golden standard of family holidays awaits
We hope our Eva Mei-inspired family-friendly itinerary at Gold Coast proves itself helpful in the planning of your next family vacay! If you haven’t booked your family flights to the golden sands of Gold Coast yet, we have one last recommendation that’s seriously worth your consideration.
From RM699 ONLY, you can book direct non-stop flights to Gold Coast via the airasia Super App from now until 3 September!
For those who want their family to have an even more comfortable flight, it’s possible to upgrade your seat to a Premium Flatbed from RM2469 only! As long as you’re travelling before 30 June 2024, then this deal is PERFECT for you.
Wanna save more on your Gold Coast family holiday? The airasia Super App has loads of deals that give you savings on hotel bookings, e-hailing rides, shopping and more, so it’s worth checking it out. Download the airasia Super App for free on Google Play and the App Store.