Build sand castles, explore the largest coral reef on the planet or scream your lungs out on an amusement park ride. Queensland has 84 patrolled beaches, seven free water pools and plenty of national parks. From educational experiences to theme parks, Queensland comes out on top when it comes to holidaying with the family. Here is a list of fun things to do in Queensland for families.
1-Warner Bros Movie World, Gold Coast
First-class rides, action-packed shows and celebrity characters make this Gold Coast theme park a fun-filled environment. There are movie-themed rides and attractions ranging from slow river rides to roller coasters and motion simulators.
Learn all the road safety aspects — a kid’s version — at the Junior Drive School which was launched in late 2014. Get a photo with one of the many costumed characters who patrol the park: Scooby Doo, Batman, Marilyn Monroe, The Mystery Inc. Gang, Austin Powers. Enjoy the street shows and all-star parades on move-themed floats.
Many films and television series were produced in the adjoining Warner Roadshow Studios, so when you visit, resurrect memories of the first Scooby Doo film, House of Wax, the 2003 Peter Pan film, Ghost Ship, The Condemned and Fortress, to name but a few.
2-Sea World, Gold Coast
Wildlife encounters are the drawcard to this premier marine animal park in Australia.
Even though it has animal exhibits and other attractions, Sea World endorses preservation not only through education, but also with the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.
The oceanarium and theme park was founded by entrepreneur Keith Williams in 1958.
3-Wet ‘n’ Wild, Gold Coast
Splish-splash your way into an aquatic wonder world with some of the biggest and most extreme water slides in Australia.
An area dedicated for children under 10 years old called Wet ‘n’ Wild Junior was opened in late 2014 and features pint-sized water slides, a sandcastle-themed lagoon area and kid-friendly water slides.
There’s also a multi-level interactive play structure, with eight slides and a giant tipping bucket. All the pools and slides in the park, which opened in September 1984, are heated during winter.
4-Dreamworld, Gold Coast
Australia’s biggest theme park is jam-packed with family fun and live entertainment, with more than 40 heart-stopping rides and attractions including five rollercoasters.
Each of the several themed lands (Wiggles World, DreamWorks Experience, Goldrush Country, Tiger Island, Rocky Hollow, Ocean Parade and Dreamworld Corroboree) have a selection of rides, animal exhibits, shows and food outlets and merchandise shops.
A new thrill ride called Tail Spin opened late last year where nerve-shattering flights get underway in one of the 12 mini airplanes.
5-Australian Outback Spectacular, Gold Coast
Here’s a novel way to experience the courage, splendour and fearlessness of some of the inspiring Australian stories from the outback. A new show was launched in December 2014 titled High Country — Myths and Legends.
You have to saddle up to be captivated by the passage that takes you to the snow-peaked mountains of the high country where enthralled murmurs and fabled stories thrive with the most stirring narratives of Australian characters.
6-Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast
Get up-close-and-personal within natural bushland with more than 1000 animals on this 40ha zoo. Australia Zoo is on the Sunshine Coast, near Beerwah and the Glass House Mountains.
This famous home of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, offers a myriad of opportunities for hands-on wildlife adventures.
Meet koalas, wombats, possums, kangaroos, tigers, cheetahs, red pandas, tortoises, dingoes, crocodiles, alligators, blue-tongue lizards, shingleback skinks, macaws, cockatoo and elephants.
A new attraction (named after Steve’s 16-year-old daughter) is called Bindi’s Island that opened in December 2014.
7-Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast
This heritage-listed zoological garden was built in 1947 and put on the Queensland Heritage Register in September 2009.
Home of one of the busiest wildlife hospitals in the world (it’s estimated that more than 45,000 native animals have been rescued and released and there will be many more), the sanctuary is world-renowned for feeding huge flocks of free-flying wild rainbow lorikeets.
Currumbin has the largest walk-through aviary in the southern hemisphere, a reptile house and exhibits include Tasmanian Devils. An adventure park course opened in 2009 and the sanctuary also has a miniature railway that has been operating since 1964.
8-Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane
The 4.6ha sanctuary in the Brisbane suburb of Fig Tree Pocket (founded in 1927) was the world’s first koala sanctuary.
With more than 130 koalas, this is a place where you can cuddle a koala, hand-feed kangaroos and encounter a large variety of Australian wildlife in beautiful, natural surrounds.
9-Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton
You can assist in bringing Australia’s pre-historic giants back to life as this is one of the only places in the world you can help prep the fossil of a real dinosaur. It’s the biggest fossil preparation laboratory in the southern hemisphere and where you will be taught by professionals.
10-Mon Repos, Bundaberg
Be in awe as you watch turtles hatch at Mon Repos in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. It’s simply marvellous watching them make their way to the beach, find a safe place to dig a nest and lay their eggs.
Within six-to-eight-weeks, you could come back and be lucky to see the tiny hatchlings come out from their sandy nests to dash down the beach towards the sea.
Mon Repos, on the coast of Bundaberg, has the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific.
11-Capricorn Caves, Capricorn region
Start the tour at the cave entrance where fig tree roots grip the limestone walls, rock wallabies take cover in crevices and cool air surfaces from the darkness.
Go on the Bats and Bones (Poo & Spew) tour for a hands-on experience where you’ll get the chance to examine extinct small mammal bones under a microscope.
Kids will love the narrow Zig Zag passage, which emerges into daylight on the swinging bridge in the dry rainforest.