You guys are going on a Gold Coast family holiday? Why don’t you just go overseas…it is just as cheap. It’s too expensive to holiday in Australia.
There were so many people telling us we were mad to even consider a holiday in Australia, especially a Gold Coast family holiday. As some of you may know Marley has had this as her bucket list destination for so many years that even though so many people said we were mad it was a place we had to do. It was also a promise that I made to my mum before she passed away that if we planned on long-term travel we had to take the girls before we went.
But I must admit I was amazed at most people’s reactions to our Gold Coast holiday plans. So I set out to make sure we could prove to our friends that you could have an amazing, affordable, holiday right here in Australia…and on the Gold Coast. One friend told me if I could get away with it for under $5000 I was doing well…I had to recover from the shock. $5000 for 8 days, was this a joke? My mind was made up…I was going to do the lot AND for plenty less than that.
Gold Coast family holiday – Accommodation
There are so many accommodation options on the Gold Coast for your family holiday. You can stay in a hotel or you can have nights at a self-contained apartment, there are so many different Gold Coast deals. Whatever you do choose it should be best suited for you. We choose to rent an apartment for the week that we were there as there were so many options for us to do things close to the city but we had also hired a car so we wanted a place for it to be parked safely. We searched for a long time to find the best Gold Coast accommodation specials for us and our needs.
For 8 nights we paid $898 for a 2-bedroom apartment.
- Meters from the beach (one road was all we had to cross and we were there)
- Fully self-contained with laundry as well.
- Undercover and secure parking
- Indoor and outdoor pool
- Bbq facilities
- Free wifi
- Short walk to the centre of town
The apartment was fantastic for us. The girls had a single bed each so they were happy that they were not sharing a double bed. The balcony was absolutely fantastic to sit out at night and even in the morning to listen to the waves rolling in. We all ended up out there throughout the day. Marley even slept on the couch for the last few nights to listen to the waves; I can tell you it is a highlight of her Gold Coast family holiday. The big sliding doors made it seem like the beach was in our lounge room even though we were 9 storey’s up.
We were even able to hire beach towels from the desk downstairs for the week we were there. This was fantastic as we were considering taking some with us or having to buy them when we got there.
There was some laundry powder already in our apartment for the first load so I had enough time to shop before having to do a load of washing.
We stayed at the Seacrest Apartments in Surfers Paradise.
These fully self-contained apartments had 2 bedrooms, cooking and laundry facilities. Balconies overlooking the beach. A pool, spa, sauna, tennis court and bbq area onsite for you to use. The Seacrest is central to many things to do on the Gold Coast. We enjoyed our stay and would certainly stay at the Seacrest again.
For more information and prices at the Seacrest see here![/box]
Gold Coast Family Holiday – Food
There are all the big supermarkets close to the city centre. We shop normally at Woolies so we went there as much as we could. It was an easy walk there after dinner to get supplies for the next day. I must admit though I was not too keen on cooking after a huge day of site-seeing so most of the time we ate out for dinner.
On our first night, we bought a few supplies for the week.
Bread: $2.00 Milk: $2.00 2L
Coffee: $4.60 Butter: $2.00
Nutella: $3.75 Savoys: $4.00 (2 boxes)
Rice Crackers: $3.96 (4pkts @ .99cents ea) Yogurt: $4.50 (6 @ .75 cents ea)
Pringles: $6.00 (3 tubes @ $2.00 ea) Chips: $3.28 (2 pkts @ $1.64 ea)
Water: $3.00 (3 1L bottles @ .99cents ea) Muesli Bars: $1.99 (1 pkt of 6)
I also bought some bananas, grapes, apples and nectarines.
- I bought a green bag and put the snacks in a bag to keep in the boot of the car so I wouldn’t forget them.
- There were sugar packets in our apartment so we did not have to worry about buying sugar for our coffee
- If you have a freezer at your apartment you can do one shop and then keep it in there
- I didn’t see an Aldi Supermarket close in town but there was one out of the city
- Convenience stores are everywhere but they are crazy expensive
Our first night we ate at Fiddlers Green and it was fantastic. They had a great menu and deals on for most of the nights there. It happened to be a Tuesday when we ate there so kids ate free with a full-price adult meal. They also had a cheap steak night!
Due to the Gold Coast being a high tourist spot look out for deals that restaurants have. They may have early bird specials or a meal of the week. We found because we ate earlier with the girls there were specials on most nights that we ate in the city. Just make sure there is something for everyone!
We did not pay over $20 each for an adult-sized, main meal on any of the nights we were there. We looked around for the best places with the best deals.
Gold Coast Theme Parks
Saving money on the Gold Coast theme parks was one way to cut costs. They are so expensive and there are so many sites that offer Gold Coast theme park packages. But which one will give you the best Gold Coast deals?
We decided to get our tickets from our local RACV shop before we went on our Gold Coast family holiday. They have a discounted rate if you book them and you are a member. There are two options for you if you plan on going to all of the Gold Coast theme parks (otherwise you can purchase individual park passes):
- 3-day theme park pass
- 7-day theme park pass
Theme Park Tip:
- We decided to purchase the 7 day theme park pass as we had 8 days to do activities on our Gold Coast family holiday and we thought that if we liked a park we could return if a day freed up while we were there.
- Having the 7 day theme park pass also allowed us a fair amount of freedom as to when we attended the theme parks. We did not have to do them all close together.
- Because we got the 7 day theme park pass if the weather was bad on one day it didn’t matter at all.
- If you are not an RACV member you can also check out Groupon or Webjet for Gold Coast deals they may be having on entry prices. We know a lot of people that have saved a huge amount of money just by knowing when they are going and keeping an eye out for Gold Coast theme park deals.
Food is expensive in theme parks. If you can take your own then that is a brilliant idea. To be honest there were a heap of families that took their own food to all the theme parks that we saw. There are lockers that you can store your items in and also areas that if you are lucky enough to snag a spot you can leave it there. We did have one spot at Wet ‘n’ Wild where we left our towels and our bag with snacks while we had a go on some of the rides but we had hired a locker for our valuables.
*We do not recommend that you leave any valuable items in any of the bags if you plan on doing this. There are lockers to leave your valuables in and we highly recommend hiring one.
Food Prices in the theme parks:
In the theme parks you can get:
- Family meal deal for $54.99. (This was either 4 burgers with chips and a drink each or 4 small pizzas, garlic bread and 4 small drinks.)
- Individual meals like fish and chips, burger and chips or hot dogs and chips sometimes came with a drink. These started at around $12.99 each.
- There were sandwiches and salads and I think they started at around $5.99 each
- There are vegetarian options but I am unsure about vegan options.
Drink Saver Tip:
We found the days to be really hot when we were there and bottle of drink did not last very long. Frozen bottles were really heavy for me to carry around in my handbag or lunch bag for a long time too. Buying a cold drink for us all 2 or more times during a visit seemed crazy to me so we purchased a refillable drink. It was $13.99 and it came filled with a frozen coke on the first fill (there are other flavours) We could go up and re-fill it at certain points all around the park on that day. At the other parks we paid $8 to re-activate the drink bottle and we could again get unlimited refills. This was fantastic in a hot day and as we only bought one for us all to share it was brilliant value for money. It is one of the best Gold Coast theme park deals we saw. At one point as I thought we had had enough soft drink and I just filled it with ice which was so refreshing. Dream World also have the same deal as the Village Roadshow parks but you need to purchase one of theirs, you’re unable to use your Village Roadshow one to re-fill at the discounted cost.
Basic Tips for the Theme Parks
- They get really busy. You will have to wait in line for rides and for food. Get your food before everyone gets hungry!
- If you can get in line as early as possible to secure seats, especially at Wet ‘n’ Wild. They can be hard to come by as the park fills up.
- Nearly everything is available in the shops at the parks. So if you have a swimsuit malfunction, or need an extra towel or more sunscreen there is a shop there that can help.
- If you can take cheap thongs to the water parks to get yourself between water features…the ground gets extremely hot
- Wear good supportive shoes wherever you go.
There is so much more to do on your Gold Coast family holiday than the theme parks. We had the best time at them but if we return we would not go to all of them again (we would return to Wet ‘n’ Wild and Dream World as we believe that they are the best value for money for our family and what we like to do) There are so many ways that you can find a suitable experience in and around the Gold Coast that is suitable for the whole family. Here are some places you can follow to get your family the best Gold Coast deals.
You can sign up to receive emails every day on Gold Coast packages that are being offered by certain businesses. You can purchase so many different Gold Coast deals and then use them when you are visiting. You can sometimes save up to 50% off meals, entries and Gold Coast accommodation specials. Just be sure to check when the offer is available and if there are any dates you cannot attend.
There are some great Gold Coast package deals on this site that do include flights and accommodation. The ones we saw that were available on the Gold Coast were staying at a resort for 5 nights with 3 theme park passes for $999. This was a huge saving and there were also added inclusions in the package as well for families.
As I was not already a member of the Webjet Exclusives group I got a voucher to spend on any deal that was available. It did have to be redeemed within 30 days and if I had seen a deal I really liked I would have saved another $100.
We had no idea these even existed until we were wandering around the Gold Coast. They are small booths that have a daily special on them and they have some of the best Gold Cast deals we have seen. There are so many of them around and they all offer different deals so you can save a great amount of money if you have the time to have a look as you are wandering. They are all over the high tourist areas.
Discounted Gold Coast deals we saw:
- Whale Watching
- Theme park passes
- Discounted Outback Spectacular tickets
- Dolphin watching
We booked so many of our experiences before we left for our trip that we couldn’t use any of these great deals. Some were a fraction of the cost online but as I said we had booked already so we were unable to use them. They did have some conditions when you did purchase them so with anything that looks too good to be true, make sure you know what you are buying before you totally commit.
Basic Money Saving Tips
There seriously is so much to do on the Gold Coast that you can have days when you are just relaxing and spending no money at all. You don’t have to be going out and about all day to be doing things there on your Gold Coast family holiday.
Book Inclusive Accommodation:
If you book inclusive accommodation you can get free entry into added places or there can be free events for the kids to attend. Accommodation is also a great way if you book well. We had an apartment block that also had a swimming pool, tennis court, and games room and was meters from the beach. This was great as we don’t have a pool at home so we could relax while the girls were occupied.
Take a walk around the city
There are always things to see in a new city. You can take a walk through a park or visit the local markets. Many Australian cities are embracing the street art culture and there are so many that are fantastic. You can find free things to do on the Gold Coast in this article
Spend the day at the Gold Coast beaches
The beaches that are on the Gold Coast were some of the safest I have ever seen. They are patrolled which is very important if you are not a great swimmer or you have children. They are close to shops and have plenty of room to put up an umbrella to protect yourself from the harsh sun. Best of all it is totally free!
I honestly think that I could have saved much more money while we were on our Gold Coast family holiday. Another option is to stay in Brisbane with kids and make day trips to the Gold Coast. Now that I look back at it I have the power of hindsight and can think of extra ways. I have decided to write a complete guide as to what we spent while we were there and see if I can come up with some better Gold Coast deals for you!
HOW TO GET TO THE GOLD COAST
- The Gold Coast Airport is located in Coolangatta. The Gold Coast Airport is 27 km from Surfers Paradise and 68.9 km from Byron Bay. 6 million people travelled through Gold Coast Airport airport in 2016 making it the 6th busiest in Australia. ( Currumbin Sanctuary is just 5km away )
- The main carriers at Gold Coast Airport are Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways
- For cheap flights to Gold Coast Australia, you can check the prices of international and domestic flights to the Gold Coast with CheapOair.
- You can book a Gold Coast airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
- You can reserve a rental car and have it waiting for you at The Gold Coast International Airport.
GETTING AROUND THE GOLD COAST
- The new light rail system operates in the Surfers Paradise/Southport area from 5 am to midnight on weekdays and throughout weekends. The route links Helensvale, Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
- Buses service the urban areas of Gold Coast City. The network stretches south to Coolangatta, west to Nerang, and north to the developing areas of Coomera and Ormeau.
- The TransLink Journey Planner will help you to plan your trip and provides fare and timetable information
WHERE TO STAY ON THE GOLD COAST
- The Gold Coast has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotel rooms.
- You can search Airbnb for its Gold Coast City offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself a $50 credit by signing up and booking a stay right HERE
- Hotels on The Gold Coast generally start from around $296 a night for a double room 3star and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards the 5-star average price of $395.00.
- You can compare and book your stay on Agoda, Hotels.com, Hotels Combined and Expedia
Related posts from Wyld Family Travel
Please find 2 more articles below relating to the Gold Coast Australia. Just click the images to be taken to the article