Family Holidays in Australia – Part One: Brisbane, Gold Coast

In this three-part travelogue series, mum-of-three Natasha Liok shares her travel tips on where to go and what to do on a family vacation to Australia.

By Natasha Liok

I have always loved traveling to Australia because it is fairly close by and there are a variety of outdoor activities for the kids, without having to worry about the humidity like scorching Singapore.

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Brisbane, Gold Coast

Contrary to what some people might say about retirees going there to soak up some fun, we actually picked Brisbane, Gold Coast, for the sheer number of amusement parks in close proximity to each other. And we managed to sneak in some shopping as well towards the end at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, which had nice F&B concepts at its Patio area.

To start with, plan each day’s activities – it’s good to chart them out like a wish-list so you don’t have to wonder what to do.

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Sea World

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This attraction has fish exhibits and live shows, but it also offers rollercoasters – some of them are wet rides. For those with big families, head over to Castaway Bay when you’re at Sea World as it has Battle boats that seat a family of eight. Travelling with younger kids? Then go straight to Nickelodeon Land to see live shows and rides featuring characters such as Dora, SpongeBob and Ninja Turtles.

Movie World

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Be sure to watch the Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 live show – it is hilarious as its includes on-the-spot live filming involving members of the audience.

Junior Driving School was also fun and the décor is a souped-up version of our Road Safety Park at East Coast. Unfortunately, you do have to wait a while and the actual time you get to drive is relatively short.

My two-year-old son also got a chance to ride on the Yosemite Sam’s Railroad train and the Sylvester & Tweety bird cage ride, which is basically like a mini ferris wheel.

The Wild West Falls Adventure ride is very good on its period details.

My favourite ride of all was the Scooby-Doo indoor rollercoaster as it had a kicker in the middle of the ride, making it fun even for adults.

Wet & Wild

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I love the fact that this had a Wet & Wild Junior section for children aged under 10 with a few less-scary mini-version slides, which the adults can go on.

Maximum height 140cm; no minimum height. Adult and kids tubing.

Check out Calypso Beach and sit on a round-float slow ride.

Paradise Country, Australian Stockhorse Show

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The live demonstration of sheep shearing in a barn was a nice treat for the kids to watch because of the authentic feel. It was cosier than the one we saw in Perth.

Natasha Liok is a mum-of-three to Joshua, Sophia and Jacob (aged seven, five and two respectively). This is the first in a three-part travelogue series on family travel in Australia. Catch back next week for part two.

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