Surfers Paradise ten best family holiday activities

Are you headed to Queensland these school holidays? Don’t leave until you’ve read our go-to list of top-ten Surfers Paradise family activities – all within easy walking distance! Surfers Paradise family activities

Surfers Paradise is overflowing with family  entertainment and fun – but what activities should you choose to spend your hard-earned holiday dollars on – particularly if your holiday stay is only for a few days?

We decided to save you some time and money, and test-run all of the best Gold Coast family fun activities. Several of these activities are short and sweet, so if your family is super-energetic you can probably fit most of them into just a few days. Best of all, everything is within walking distance of all the big Surfers Paradise hotels.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the Let’s Go Mum! top 10 Surfers Paradise attractions and activities for families!

1. Ripley’s Believe it or Not

Ripley's Believe it or Not on the Gold CoastA must-see for families, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not is a fascinating museum of the remarkable, unusual and sometimes even macabre. Situated right in the centre of Surfers, here you can see genuine artefacts, historical recreations, gory tortures, optical illusions, and even the odd shrunken head or two! With a laser room for the kids to try-out their spy creeping skills, and even a disco room to bust-a-move, the whole family is going to really love navigating the windy, intriguing passages of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Take a virtual walk-through with our video here

More info and current prices can be found at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not website here

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to Ripley’s Believe it or Not

2. Surfers Paradise Beach

Surfers Paradise BeachIf you visit Surfers Paradise and don’t take the kids to the beach – well, you really haven’t been to Surfers Paradise! The sand is pristine white, groomed every morning. The surf, whilst sometimes rough, is crystal clear blue. During whale season you can often watch Humpback Whales leaping and flapping about off-shore. Buy buckets and spades for the kids from any of the beach shops along Cavill Avenue, grab your swimsuits and head for the iconic Surfers Paradise beach arch sign. The beach is straight-ahead, and stretches for miles! An hour will do, or better-still, give yourself a morning or afternoon to play, swim, eat and chill on the scattered bench-lounges along the boardwalk – it’s the best Surfers Paradise family entertainment around!

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to Surfers Paradise Beach

3. Aquaduck Safaris

Aquaduck Adventures, Surfers ParadiseThis hour long land and water tour in an amphibious bus is a fabulous family activity, and it leaves right from the centre of Surfers Paradise. The kids will love boarding this enormous duck bus which tours through Surfers Paradise, along the Esplanade and makes its way to the Broadwater. Here it summarily plunges right on in to the waterway to become a boat! Every child gets to steer the Aquaduck, which they just adore, and makes for a brilliant photo moment! During the cruise you get to sticky-beak at rows of millionaire’s water-front homes. Eventually you once-again emerge out of the water via a boat ramp, and voila – you’re in a bus again to take you back to Surfers Paradise! You can see our YouTube video of the Aquaduck going from water to land here. This experience is easy to fit in to any schedule, and heaps of fun to boot. Tours depart regularly from 10am to 5:30pm. Departure location: 36 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise

More info and current prices can be found at the Aquaduck website here

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to Aquaduck Safaris

4. The Night Markets
Surfers Paradise Night Markets

The Night Markets are held three times a week – Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, open from 4pm to 9pm – so you really have no excuse to miss them! Strung along the beach esplanade, overlapping the Surfers Paradise beach arch sign, you’ll find all kinds of souvenirs, snacks and knick-knacks for sale. But it’s not the market stalls that you come for – even though they are great. It’s the fabulous atmosphere. Here’s a short video clip to give you a taste of the Night Markets – buskers play, tourists and locals mingle and the Surfers Paradise Beach waves tumble and roar in the background, lit up bright as day. What’s not to love about the Surfers Paradise Night Markets?!

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to the Night Markets

5. Surfers Paradise Timezone

Timezone Surfers ParadiseUpstairs from Cavill Mall in the middle of Surfers Paradise you’ll find the largest Timezone fun-parlour in Australia. It’s absolutely massive, chock-full of Dogems, video games, mini golf and indoor entertainment of all types – most ages are going to find something really fun here, and you can spend quite a lot of time having a go of everything. Timezone is the perfect activity for a rainy day or evening out with the family in Surfers Paradise.  Here’s a walkthrough video to show you just how big it is!

More info and current prices can be found at the Timezone website here

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to Timezone

6. Skypoint Q1 Observation Deck

Skypoint Observation DeckAt the top of the Q1 building, 77 Floors high above the Gold Coast you’ll find a an observation floor with amazing views up and down the Gold Coast. Board the super-fast lift to get to Skypoint – check out our video of the fun lift-ride here! At the top there’s a great relaxed atmosphere, with bands playing, a café and bar and a small theatre with videos all about Surfers Paradise playing. A great time to go is just prior to sunset so you get the best of both views – day and night. You can even do a climb up the spire outside (additional cost) if you are over 13 years of age.
Skypoint is around six minutes walk from the Surfers Paradise beach sign, and a great way to fill in an hour or two.

More info and current prices can be found at the Skypoint website here

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to Skypoint

7. Cavill Mall

Cavill Mall, Surfers ParadiseThe Cavill Mall is the true centre of Surfers Paradise. This is where you’ll find the crowds at any given time of day or night. Buskers put on great displays of magic, music, acrobatics and more. Restaurants line the way, along with gaudy boutiques, souvenir stores and tour guides touting their specials (don’t buy them – they’re usually an attempt to get you out to look at Time-Share condos or some-such). Running along one side of Cavill Mall is the Paradise Centre, an indoor shopping mall with some great boutiques. Downstairs you’ll find a full-sized Woolworths supermarket – this is the best value place around to stock up on your holiday grocery needs, or just grab a barbeque chicken for dinner! You haven’t soaked up the Surfers atmosphere until you sit down on one of the benches in Cavill Mall and people-watch. Here’s a little video clip of Cavill Mall at night.

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to Cavill Mall

8. 7D Cinema

7D TheatreThis 7D Cinema is located right in the middle of Surfers Paradise. This virtual ride has you seated in sports-car-type seats on a moving platform in front of a screen which takes you on a fun “ride”, whilst adding other dimensions to the experience such as sprays of water and air. The chair movement can get a little vigorous and jerky, so very young children or people not normally suited to theme park rides should perhaps avoid this one. It’s certainly a laugh, and my kids loved it, but considering the experience only runs for around 6 minutes, it’s a little on the expensive side. If you have holiday money to burn, it’s definitely worth a whirl!

Open Every Day & Night 9.30am – 10pm, including all public holidays

Location: Cnr Cavill and Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise
(2nd Surfers Paradise location 6/34 Trickett Street)

More info and current prices can be found at the 7D Cinema website here

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to the 7D Cinema

9. Draculas Horror House

The Haunted HouseTwo minutes walk away from the centre of Surfers Paradise you’ll find Draculas Haunted House. This walk-through fun house of scary sounds and sights is not for the youngest kids in the family – I say this, because both of my kids chickened out about twenty seconds after walking in – two days running! You can see them talking about why they wanted out, here! Later I returned alone to film inside so that you can decide on the fear-factor for yourself, but this activity is probably best-suited to families of teens. So be warned, it is quite nerve-wracking, but it’s all scary-good fun for those old and brave enough to handle it! You can watch my video walk-through of the Haunted House here.

More info and current prices can be found at the Haunted House website here

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to the Haunted House

10. Go Whale or Dolphin Watching (Seasonal)

Whales in Paradise

One Gold Coast whale watching business operates literally out of a wharf at the opposite end of Cavill Avenue – only five minutes walk from Cavill Mall, and even closer from many of the Surfers Paradise hotels. Whales in Paradise offer 2 hour whale tours during the months of May-November that are a fabulous way to fill in a couple of hours. Their boat is new, modern and fast, and you get a river cruise to boot. It’s one of the more expensive, longer options, but it’s so, so worth it when you see a Humpback Whale up close. You can watch our video of a whale surfacing next to our boat here! If you’ve missed whale season, this company operate Dolphins in Paradise for a trip to Morten Island.

More info and current prices can be found at the Whales In Paradise website here

Google Map location – Click here for walking directions to Whales in Paradise

Of course there are many more great Surfers Paradise attractions for families in addition to the ones we’ve listed here – but these are our top-ten picks – we hope your family has as much fun trying them out as ours did!

 Surfers Paradise ten best family holiday activities, Australia

Have you visited any of these attractions? Perhaps you’ve had a great family experience elsewhere in Surfers Paradise? We’d love to know! Tell us about it in the comments below…

All opinions are our own – Let’s Go Mum! were invited guests of Ripleys Believe It Or Not, Aquaduck, Whales in Paradise and Skypoint.


18 Responses so far.

  1. Agnes says:

    I don’t have kids, but I could still enjoy all the activities on the list. The Skypoint deck would be really nice to see also for grown ups and I would not say no to some shopping at the night market. The whale and dolphin watching would be something really special for all ages.

  2. These places looks so cool specially to have quality time with family.
    Glad to know that you had a great time. Trying 7D cinema is a fun activity.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. really nice list of activities, just a pity Australia is so far from Europe! majority of activities seems to be much fun also for an adult!

  4. Looks like a great place to visit. We visited New Zealand in 2013 but didn’t get a chance to make it to Auckland. We feel in love with NZ so we’ll be back.

  5. Surfers Paradise looks like so much fun. Thanks for this run down. When there’s so many choices, it can be tough to decide what’s worth the money.

  6. Josie says:

    Surfers is just a great place to visit with kids. I didn’t go there much when my kids were younger, but as teens we have been there a few times. No matter what the attractions are though, the favourite is always time on the beach.

  7. These ideas are great and I imagine that Surfer’s Paradise is a super family-friendly destination. I’m nearly 30 but would still love to visit the observation deck and night markets haha!

  8. Most of these seem fun to do even as an adult. I’ve always wanted to get on one of those duck buses that can go into the water. This is great for families with kids because you don’t have to do a lot of work!

    • LetsGoMum says:

      The Aquaduck is so much fun – the moment it goes into the water is one of shock, like, “Oh no, you can’t go there! We’ll sink!” – LOL

  9. Stacey says:

    That aqua duck land and sea bus looks like a lot of fun, but I am trying to figure out what a 7D movie experience is like. I recently saw Star Wars in 4D and hadn’t heard of 7D, so it looks like its interactive too? Not sure if I want to be thinking THAT hard trying to watch a movie. lol

    • LetsGoMum says:

      It’s hard to explain – the seats move quite a lot, and very ‘jerkily’, so you are really in the movie – whether you want to be or not! Star Wars in 4D would have been great!

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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at!