School holiday activities on the Gold Coast for 2021
Make your home a school holiday haven with these top indoor and outdoor activities.
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School's out which means it's up to you to organise the kids' daily schedule of activities. To get you on the front foot, we've compiled a heap of outdoor activities, indoor play and day trips out to the beach or the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Outdoor activities for the school holidays on the Gold Coast
Plan a trip to the Gold Coast's top theme parks and family attractions
Spring is here and so is school holiday fun at the top attractions on the Gold Coast. Organise to spend a day at each and you've got a decent amount of their break already sorted. If you're looking to stay in close proximity to the theme parks, Sea World Resort is our top recommendation.
14 Days Unlimited Pass to 4 Theme Parks and Attractions
Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium Entry
Warner Bros. Film World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild - 3 Day Pass
Go whale watching
Catch the end of the whale watching season and get up close to the giants of the sea. A whale watching cruise is a great way to spend a day outdoors and the kids will learn a copious amount about sea life too.
Whale Watching Yacht Cruise
Whale Watching Cruise - Main Beach
Private Whale Watching - Surfers Paradise
Have an on-the-water adventure
The water is always warm on the Gold Coast which means it's always a good time to hit the water. From surf lessons to stand-up paddle boarding, water babies are going to be spoiled for choice.
Kids Group Surfing Lesson
Stand Up Paddle lesson
Parasailing in Gold Coast
Go on a fast and fun ride
If your kid loves a good thrill, the Gold Coast has more than a handful of fast-paced activities to keep them entertained, including go-karting.
Go Karting, Laser Tag and Indoor Climbing Combo
Electric Go Karting - 4 Sessions
Electric Go Karting - 2 Sessions
Make a splash on the waves
Head out to the waterways and enjoy an exhilarating jet boat ride. Zoom, spin and slide up and down the coast with 360-degree spins. You may even spot whales and dolphins along the way.
Jet Boat Ride
Jet Boat Ride and Currumbin Wildlife Park Entry
Jet Boat Premium Adventure Ride
Zip-line through the forest
Hold on tight as you zip-line through Australia's largest and highest zip-line course. It's the ultimate adrenaline rush with views you don't want to miss.
Tiny Tots High Rope and Zipline Adventure
Zipline Adventure at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Extreme Zipline Guided Tour
Go on a fast and fun ride
Choose from hitting the go-karting track to zip-lining through the treetops. If your kid loves a good thrill, the Gold Coast has more than a handful of fast-paced activities for them.
Electric Go Karting session
Extreme zipline guided tour
Jet boat adventure ride
At-home activities for the school holidays on the Gold Coast
Sign them up for virtual workshops
Keep their cogs spinning during the school break with a workshop in something they're passionate about (or something they're currently learning at school). It could be coding. It could be animals. You decide. Either way, you can work from home while they participate online.
Online private magic class
Online Private Minecraft Rollercoaster Lesson for Kids
Online Mammals Experience for Kids
Get crafty at home
Watch their imaginations come to life with arts and crafts. If you're a little strapped for time, you can sign them up for an art workshop online. Otherwise you can tune in too and help them with their creation.
Picasso Self-portrait for kids
DIY Mosaic craft box
Dried Flower Crown Craft Box
Tuck into a night at the movies (at home)
When the weather turns and you're staring at a rainy day, there's more than enough entertainment on the tele to keep them entertained. Pop some kernels and flick on the TV for your pick of the family-friendly mix from streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Bingle.
Book in a games night
Bring the whole brood together for some rollicking good fun – and yes, some healthy competition. Buy your board games online or dust off some old favourites.
Mousetrap Board Game
Get creative in the kitchen
Cupcakes where they can frost the tops and pizza where they can get their hands stuck in are always winners with little ones. Pick a recipe or tune into an online tutorial and prepare to let flour fly.
The Kids Only Cookbook
Get your kids cooking Focaccia
Potato gnocchi cooking class
Play some video games
For little ones, games can hone motor skills and education. For older kids, it's a great way to distract them and keep them entertained for hours. Pick out a few new games for them that work with their console.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy - PS4
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX - Nintendo Switch
Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training - Nintendo Switch
Road trips you can take from the Gold Coast
Springbrook National Park
Distance from Gold Coast CBD: 40km or under a 50-minute drive. By public transport, take a train to Robina and connect by taxi.
This piece of the Gold Coast Hinterland is a favourite with families and tourists for its arresting scenery. Spend the day hiking through lush rainforests and picnicking to panoramic views and being dazzled by cave glow worms.
Glow Worm Night Tour
Natural Bridge Glow Worm Night Tour
Natural Arch and Springbrook Tour
South Stradbroke Island
Distance from Gold Coast CBD: 40-minute ferry ride from Main Beach, Sanctuary Cove Marine and the Runaway Bay Marina.
South Straddie (as it's commonly referred to) is the place to be for an adventure-filled day away from the city. Its conservation park offers swimming, surfing, bushwalking and rock climbing and you can camp overnight to make a weekend of it.
Jet ski to Stradbroke Island and jet boating
Sea kayaking, dolphin and Stradbroke Island tour
Wavebreak Island and Stradbroke Island half-day tour
Distance from Gold Coast CBD: 40km or a 50-minute drive. By public transport, take a tram to Helensvale and then a taxi to Tamborine Mountain.
Brimming with country charm and a rugged landscape, Tamborine Mountain has all the makings of a relaxing day out. Pop into market stalls on the sides of the road to collect your lunch and then drive the windy road up to the mountain's summit for forest views.
With extra time on your hands, visit the Rainforest Skywalk to walk the middle and upper canopies of the forest.
High Ropes and Flying Fox Adventure
Tiny Tot's High Rope and Zipline Adventure
Small Group Tamborine Mountain Half Day Tour
Distance from Gold Coast CBD: 80km or a 1-hour drive/public bus ride.
The state's capital serves up culture in spades. Visit its many kid-friendly museums, climb its icon – the Story Bridge – and take in a theatre production, magic show or musical.
Brisbane's Story Bridge Climb
Boggo Road Gaol Ghost and Gallows Tour
Gold Coast Magic Show
Deals and discounts for Gold Coast school holiday activities
Extra $10 off site-wide with code
Valid on all dates, including over Christmas, on activities like skydiving, quad biking, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, scuba diving, cruises, high tea and more. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.
Extra 10% off Australia activities with code
Valid on all dates on activities like skydiving, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, cruises, tours, high tea and more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 93% off things to do in Australia
Available on select dates and activities like classes, spas, getaways, dining experiences and more. Destinations include Sydney, Perth, Melbourne Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 31% off Gold Coast jet boat ride
Available for travel until 31 January 2021 for a 55-minute experience. T&Cs apply.
Up to 30% off Australia experiences + Extra 10% off with code
Available on select travel dates when you buy 2 or more experiences such as sightseeing cruises, hot air balloon flights, day tours and skydives. Destinations include Brisbane, Adelaide, Hunter Valley, Gold Coast, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to $39 off Gold Coast theme park passes
Plus get a free afternoon cruise or hop-on, hop-off ferry pass on 3- and 7-day passes. Attractions include Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild. T&Cs apply.
Up to 33% off things to do in the Gold Coast
Available on select dates for activities like driving experiences, hot air balloon flights, helicopter scenic flights, jet ski and boat rides, skydives and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 50% off helicopter ride experiences
Available on select travel dates in Townsville, Whitsundays, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Cairns and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 85% off land adventures
Valid on select dates and adventures like quad biking, sandboarding, bridge climbing, canyoning, horse riding, abseiling, soccer training and more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra, Cairns and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 65% off activities for kids
Available on select dates, including school holidays, for activities like sandboarding, whale watching, jet boat rides, indoor skydiving, cruises, swimming, go karting and much more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to $30 off skydiving experience
Available on select travel dates in Sunshine Coast, Airlie Beach, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.
8% off Gold Coast theme park combo pass
Available on select travel dates in 2021. Attractions include Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World, Paradise Country and Wet‘n’Wild. T&Cs apply.
Up to 24% off Gold Coast hot air balloon flights with breakfast
Available for travel in January 2021 and includes a free photo. T&Cs apply.
Up to 20% off Gold Coast hop on hop off ferry passes
Available on select travel dates in 2021. T&Cs apply.
Up to 48% off Gold Coast hot air balloon flights
Available for travel until 31 December 2020. T&Cs apply.
Up to 48% off Gold Coast experiences
Available on select travel dates in 2021. Includes hot air balloon flights, sightseeing cruises, tours, skydives, attraction passes and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 40% off Australia attraction passes
Available on select travel dates. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Gold Coast. Passes are valid for 12 months. T&Cs apply.
Up to 40% off Gold Coast attractions
Available for over 30 top attractions. Passes are valid for 12 months. T&Cs apply.
Gold Coast: Up to 50% off things to do + Extra 10% off with code
Available on select dates and activities including indoor skydiving, sightseeing cruises, hot air ballooning, getaways, spa treatments and much more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. T&Cs apply.
Up to 17% off Gold Coast hot air balloon experience
Available on select travel dates plus extra 10% off with code. Minimum spend of $100 applies. T&Cs apply.
Up to 31% off flying experiences + Extra 10% off with code
Available on select travel dates in Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hunter Valley, Sydney and more. Activities include hot air ballooning, skydiving, helicopter scenic flights and more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. T&Cs apply.
Kids activities from $18 + Extra $10 off with code
Available on activities which can be given as gifts such as day tour cruises, zoo experiences, hop-on hop-off bus tours, attraction passes, zoo and animal interactions and more. Destinations include Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide and more. Minimum spend of $80 applies. T&Cs apply.
Up to 18% off sightseeing cruises + Extra 10% off with code
Available on select travel dates in Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Whitsundays, Perth, Broome and more. Minimum spend of $100 required. T&Cs apply.
Up to 44% off Gold Coast experiences
Available on select travel dates for activities including tandem skydive, hot air balloon flights, zoo and wildlife interactions, sightseeing cruises and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 39% off sightseeing cruises
Available on select 2020 dates. Activities include whale watching, dolphin watching, lunch cruise, sunset cruise in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.
5% off first time experience
Available on select dates on activities like tours, sightseeing cruises, skydiving, hot air balloon experience, zoo and animal interactions and more. Destinations include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Adelaide and more.
Up to $26 off things to do in Australia
Available on select dates in 2020 and 2021 to Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Cairns and more. Activities include day tours, skydiving, flight experiences, transfers, attraction passes, cruises and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 20% off experiences
Valid on select experiences and activities like skydiving, scenic helicopter flight, kayaking, whale watching and more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Darwin and Perth. T&Cs apply.
Gold Coast activities from $27
Available on select travel dates and activities including tours, cruises, attraction passes, transfers and much more. T&Cs apply.
Gold Coast attractions 3-day pass from $149
Available on select 2021 dates for entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild. T&Cs apply.
Things to do in Australia from $5
Available on select travel dates across Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and more. Activities include day tours, zoo and animal interactions, tandem skydives, hot air balloon flights and more.
Dreamworld entry and transfer from $150
Available for travel on select dates. Includes air-conditioned vehicle, transfer from Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 42% off Australia activities
Available on select activities best as birthday gifts like skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, off road v8 race buggies and scuba diving. Destinations include Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.
Sea World Gold Coast tickets from $149
Available on select travel dates. T&Cs apply.
Byron Bay skydive from $359
Available on select travel dates for up to 15,000ft jump. Includes return pick-ups from Byron Bay, Brisbane and Gold Coast, and a $20 merchandise voucher. T&Cs apply.
Free activities on the Gold Coast over the school holidays
- Enjoy a picnic at Tamborine Mountain on a sunny day.
- Explore the rainforests of the Gold Coast Hinterland on a bushwalk.
- Take a brisk walk while the kids run around at one of the area's beaches, like Main Beach, Broadbeach or Burleigh Heads.
- Have a day out at Carrara Markets. It's Australia's largest market with over 400 food and market stalls.
- Sporty families can spend Saturday morning at the Surfers Paradise parkrun.
School holiday events on the Gold Coast for the September school holidays
Southern Gold Coast
- Skybound Gymnastics Club Holiday Camp - 21 September - 2 October
- Gecko EcoDiscoverers Holiday Program - 21 September - 2 October
Central Gold Coast
- Pacific Fairgrounds Carnival - 19 September - 4 October
Northern Gold Coast
- North Gold Coast Seahawks Basketball Camp - 1 and 2 October
- STEM Punks School Holiday Online Classes - 21 September - 2 October
Frequently asked questions about Gold Coast school holidays
What should I keep in mind with COVID-19 going out during the school holidays?
When planning your family's school holiday activities, remember to maintain good hygiene and social distancing. If you're planning to visit an attraction in an enclosed space, it's best to book in advance so you don't miss out.
Are all attractions on the Gold Coast open?
Favourites including Dreamworld, Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet'n'Wild and White Water World, among others, are open during the school holidays.
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