Ever been on a family vacation where it turned out to be just for the kids? If you are looking for a trip where there’s something for everyone — from grandparents to dad and mum to the little ones — Gold Coast may be the perfect stop for your next vacation. Check out a day in the life of a laid-back family trip to this charming coastal city.
Grandparents and the little ones
Theme parks are always great fun for kids, but who says that there aren’t activities offering fun and adventure for both grandparents and the little ones? With day tours to local, fresh produce sites and exciting opportunities for sightseeing, grandparents and grandchildren can take the chance to bond and learn together.
For adventures in local produce, head to Catch-A-Crab, a crabbing cruise suitable for the whole family (www.catchacrab.com.au/catch-a-crab-tour). Both grandparents and children can enjoy exciting new experiences of trapping live mud crabs, fishing on the Tweed River, pumping for freshwater crustaceans called yabbies (tide and weather permitting) and feeding pelicans.
As part of the tour, visit an oyster farm and taste fresh and delicious crab and oyster dishes you won’t soon forget. Tours are from A$70 (S$67) for adults and A$40 for children.
Spend the rest of the afternoon at SkyPoint Observation Deck, located 230 metres above sea level at the top of Q1 — one of the tallest residential buildings in the world (www.skypoint.com.au/en). In fact, the Q1 building is taller than the famous Chrysler building in New York City. With one of the world’s fastest elevators, SkyPoint will bring you from the ground floor to Level 77 in just 42.7 seconds.
Both grandparents and children can take in the splendid 360-degree views of the entire Gold Coast, from the surf to the hinterland and beyond, at Australia’s only beachside observation deck. If the kids get peckish, there is also a lovely bistro where everyone can enjoy a hot meal or snacks (www.skypoint.com.au/en/Bistro-and-Bar).
Dad and Mum
With the young ones out on a day trip with grandpa and grandma, parents looking to spend time together can float away on a romantic hot air balloon flight. Enjoy spectacular views of the Gold Coast hinterland at sunrise with Hot Air from A$280 per adult, and indulge in a champagne breakfast after (www.hotair.com.au/gold-coast/balloon-rides/most-popular). Start the day early with a pick-up at 4am and return at 10am. The early start also means that dad and mum can maximise their day alone and hit the beach.
With abundant sunshine and beautiful beaches, this coastal city is a paradise for surfers and beach lovers alike. Dad, take the opportunity to relive your youth and learn how to surf while mum does yoga by the beach. Or, kayak as a couple for more bonding time. Take a dip and splash around in the cool sea water — it's an instant way to de-stress.
After a host of great beach activities, replenish your energy by grabbing a beer and a burger at a local surf life-saving club (you can find one in every beach precinct). Mum may prefer to head to Queensland's largest shopping and dining destination, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre (www.pacificfair.com.au), to grab a bite instead, to get a headstart on an afternoon of shopping adventures. Betty’s Burgers is great for milkshakes, as well as mushroom and chicken burgers. Or, drop by Charis Seafoods to pick up some fresh seafood such as oysters, prawns, Moreton Bay Bugs and other fresh sashimi for the family (www.charisseafood.com.au). Every day at 1.30pm, there is also pelican feeding that is a real visual spectacle for both children and adults.
For dad who may prefer to have a little down time on his day off, head to one of the many craft beer breweries sprouting up on the coast for beer tasting such as Balter Brewing Company (www.balter.com.au) (opened by famous surfer Mick Fanning) or Burleigh Brewing Company (burleighbrewing.com.au).
Family-friendly accommodation is available at The Ruby, which offers spacious and stylish one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, villas and sky suites (www.therubycollection.com.au). Featuring contemporary furnishings, the apartments are perfect for the whole family. One of the perks: An infant sleeps free of charge when sharing existing bedding. Or you can hire a cot for a small fee. In-room babysitting can also be arranged and Ruby Ambassadors can help with the bookings.
The Ruby also has a newly opened Junior Kids Club that caters for children aged up to two years. The Club has a nursery for sleep time, a dedicated area for stories and nursery rhymes, and playmats for activities. Some accommodation packages at The Ruby also include a complimentary Junior Kids Club session per stay and can be booked as part of other packages.
For eight people or more, Elite Holiday Homes has a larger number of rooms for big families (www.eliteholidayhomes.com.au).
As the whole family gathers at home after a long day out, the apartment offers more opportunities for bonding. Prepare a sumptuous dinner together, using fresh produce from Charis Seafoods, and serve it al fresco on the balcony and enjoy ocean views from your apartment.
Tomorrow, look forward to another day of fun-filled activities — theme parks for mum, dad and the children (themeparks.com.au) or a visit to Miami Marketta for international street food and great live music (www.miamimarketta.com), while the grandparents embark on a Southern Cross 4WD day trip tour to explore the beautiful Mount Tamborine of Gold Coast’s hinterland rainforests (www.sc4wd.com.au). The lush Gold Coast hinterland also offers farm stays where you can enjoy local hospitality and activities such as cooking classes, horse-riding and getting off the grid depending on the farm stay chosen. There is no shortage of things to do that are a perfect match for everyone.