Gold Coast family holiday: Eight rainy day things to do in the Gold Coast with kids

If only all beach holiday towns had a wet weather plan as good as the Goldie. A host of options for indoor fun in the family getaway capital of Australia keeps the lustre on the glitter strip even when it rains.

Here are five ways to ward off cabin fever while you're waiting to get back in the water.


New on the strip, iFly is a guaranteed, if expensive, thrill for kids aged as young as six. But why let the kids have all the fun? You too can get a taste of the exhilaration of skydiving by soaring on a powerful cushion of air inside a glass tube.

Skilled flight trainers not only calmed the nerves of our young trio with reassuring attitudes and professional safety information, but also put on a show performing aerial trickery for our entertainment and inspiration.

Though you need to allow 90 minutes for the total experience including training and gear hire, the experience itself flies by in a 100-second adventure, split into two 50-second flights. Fast and furious.

How much: From $89 midweek

Where: 3084 Surfers Paradise Boulevard


Q1 Skypoint

Whizzing up 77 floors in 43 seconds is an exciting way to start your visit to the Observation Deck of the Q1 building in the heart of Surfers Paradise.


Walk around glass perimeter and get the kids to spot your hotel and other places they recognise from 230 metres above street level. Take in 360-degree views of the surf and golden sand of a dozen beaches, the exclusive homes on the Nerang river and the luscious hills of the hinterland.

A movie tracing the strip's evolution from low-rise motels and go-go dancer clubs to a world of towering skyscrapers and theme parks is well worth a look. As is a second trip up at nightfall.

How much: General admission $14, day and night admission (two visits) $19.

Where: 3003 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise



The Vmax theatre at the new Pacific Fair shopping centre is the premium economy class of movie-going. Bigger seats, more legroom, tables, better surround sound and a mega 22-metre screen is the new way to do a holiday blockbuster. Better than normal seats and not as pricey as Gold Class.

But if you really want to spoil the family and take them to the pointy end of the movie world, Gold Class is an even better way to fly.

The fanciest flicks experience offers huge recliner chairs, just 56 fellow movie-goers, a choice of hot food, a cocktail menu, waiter service and sound technology nearly 10 times more immersive than what's available back in cattle-class cinemas.

How much: VMax $26.50 adults, $21.50 children. Gold Class $41 adults and children.

Where: Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach


Ripley's Believe it or Not

There's nothing like photos of weird and wonderful people to get kids squealing at each other. A morning of pirate stories, vintage circus freaks and crazy inventions do the trick for our three aged 9, 11 and 12 at this globally franchised museum.

Illusions, interactive games, lifelike animatronics and mind-bending puzzles appeal to curious kids as well as make this part-museum, part magic show fun for a broad range of ages. Even hard-to-impress teens can have a laugh here.

A laser light race on the way out keeps the fun going until the last second.

How much: $13.90 kids 5-12, $19.90 13-17, $22.90 adults

Where: Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise


Australian Outback Spectacular

Bush tales of horsemanship and heroics told in a $23 million stadium extravaganza with lyrics and score composed by country music legend Lee Kernaghan.

Unashamedly touristy yes, but entertaining nonetheless particularly for young city kids rarely exposed to horses, border collies or cowboys.

A ticket includes a passable, mass-produced BBQ dinner and drinks during the show and pre-show, outback-themed entertainment of country music and photo ops with the animals. Expect a sudden urge to buy a drizabone in the chic RM Williams boutique.

How much: From $99.99 adults $69.99 children.

Where: A 20-minute trip out of town to Oxenford near the "worlds", 1 Entertainment Road, Pacific Highway.


Three more things to do

Slideways Indoor Go Karting

Two-seater karts and kids-only carts mean budding race car drivers can hit the three-storey track with or sans grown-ups.

Bounce Trampoline Park

Jump your way through a rainy day at this vast park of 50 interconnected trampolines.

Harbour Town

Shop for bargains at this mega factory outlet centre. Book your free shuttle bus from four locations on the Gold Coast.