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Live it like a local: Gold Coast guide

If you think you’ve ‘done’ the Gold Coast – think again. Tonya Ward uncovers the top local spots for family time, whether it’s eating out, getting active outdoors, or even just the best beaches around.

Outdoor Action

• Hike the Cougal Cascades Walk through world heritage rainforest in the Currumbin Valley, with viewing platforms, explanation boards, and impressive range of flora and fauna.

• Explore the magical Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves at Cedar Creek Estate, a real spectacle of thousands of unearthly creatures glowing together.

• Take a horse trail ride at Numinbah Adventure Trails in the Gold Coast hinterland.

• Stroll the Ocean Walkway, a beautiful paved thoroughfare and bikeway along the Gold Coast foreshore.

• Discover the tree top walk through the rainforest canopy at O’Reilly’s in the Gold Coast hinterland, where kids can feed the lorikeets.

• Pick fresh berries from Pimpama Strawberry Farm, just north of Surfers Paradise.

• Visit the volunteer run research program at David Fleay Wildlife Park, Burleigh Heads, to see a huge variety of native animals.

• You’re guaranteed to catch a fish at Ecopark Fishing World in Luscombe, though don’t forget to throw it back!

• Take on the Green Challenge Adventure Parc high ropes course at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

• Hire a boat for the day and cruise the Broadwater, pull up on your own patch of private sand for a swim and picnic at South Stradbroke Island.

• Stroll above the trees at Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Mount Tamborine.

• Let the kids get arty at Energy Art in the Park on most Tuesdays at Apex Park in Burleigh Heads.

• Take older kids down to the Varsity Youth Precinct in Surfers and watch the skateboarders hit the ramps every second Friday night.

• Catch the ferry out to North Stradbroke Island for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Adrenalin Fix

• Go go-karting at Kingston Park Raceway with its own dedicated kids section.

• Take on Adrenaline Park in the heart of Surfers Paradise for trampolines, a giant slingshot, fly coaster, bungy jump and more.

• Roll up and have a ball zorbing at Zorb Gold Coast, Coomera.

• Of course, don’t forget the big theme parks: Sea World, Wet’n’Wild and Movie World. See our dedicated tips to conquering these behemoths here.


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