ALENEY DE WINTER discovers a wealth of treasure for families on the Gold Coast, from glittering gold to shimmering sapphire and radiant ruby.
If you ask my kids what they’re looking for in a family holiday, something “epic” is always on the agenda. And while the Gold Coast delivers on that count with its thrilling, chilling and watery-spilling theme parks, which are a rite of passage for Australian school kids, mine are seeking a different kind of Gold Coast treasure.
Taking on the action-packed, adrenaline-pumping thrill rides of Dreamworld, the cool slides of WhiteWater World, the Hollywood highs of Warner Bros. Movie World and fishy fun of Sea World, Raff(10) and Marlo (7) have been sliding, riding, coasting and splashing their way through them all over the past few summers. But this time the kids have had their heads turned by the Gold Coast’s other glittering attractions.
Of course, we scour the Gold Coast’s most timeless treasure: its stretches of stunning beaches. Over the duration of our visit, we begin at beautiful Burleigh Beach to watch the surfers in the sapphire-blue ocean and soak up a little sunshine and sea. Then we take the short, scenic walk from the surf beach to Tallebudgera Creek, the place in-the-know local families head for safe swimming, kayaking and boarding. The turquoise-hued waters are so calm, cool and ridiculously pretty that Marlo is more than happy to wallow in the precious Gold Coast jewel while her Action Man impersonating brother explores it by paddleboard.
We leave the beach but not the water at Currumbin Rock Pools, another haunt that’s an easy 15-minute drive from the coast in the Currumbin Valley. Here, daredevil Raffleaps off the rocks and showers under waterfalls into the water below, while Marlo flops happily in a smaller rock pool. Surrounded by lush rainforest and mountain rock pools, the effect of our forest bathing is rejuvenating. My little nature lovers are positively zen after our visit.
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