ActivitiesGold Coast

Our Guide to Sea World Gold Coast

This page may contain affiliate links.
Learn more in our disclaimer.

During one exciting week we visited all Gold Coast theme and water parks to find the best rides and attractions for thrill seekers like ourselves. Read our overview post to discover what our favourite parks are and where to find the best tickets deals.

Not sure we would have visited Sea World if it was not included in the Local Season Pass deal we bought, but we’re glad we did. This isn’t a traditional theme park, but rather a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and theme park in one. Here is our guide to Sea World Gold Coast.

Getting the most out of your Sea World visit

Advice that works for every theme park in the world: get there early and enjoy the minimal queues during those first 1-2 hours. Sea World may have a limited amount of rides, but their queues are like any other theme park. It’s probably possible to do all those rides in the first couple of hours, but we didn’t try that approach.

Birthe & Brecht at Sea WorldBirthe & Brecht at Sea World

Upon arrival we took a minute to figure out a rough planning of the day based on the park map with times and locations of the different shows, feeding sessions and the like. Like that, you won’t miss out on a show because of bad timing. If you want to do the Sky Climb at Castaway Bay, you’d better go book a spot upon arrival in the park, but more on that later.

After our visit I read on the Sea World website that you’re not supposed to bring any food or drinks into the park. Weird, because we brought our own lunch and water, and nobody stopped us at the bag check. There are drinking water fountains throughout the park as well, so you can refill your bottle.

The Sea World Rides

As Sea World is mostly an animal park, there are only a couple of rides. We walked through Nickelodeon Land, where Brecht joined SpongeBob in his car for a brief moment, but we didn’t check out the kid-sized rides they have there. We did try all of the other rides, including a trip on the monorail.

Brecht made a new friend at Sea WorldBrecht made a new friend at Sea World
Jet Rescue CoasterJet Rescue Coaster

Our favourite was the Jet Rescue, a speedy coaster where you sit on a jetski. It looks kind of weird, but it was surprisingly fun! A locker is required though, you can’t bring anything with you in the queue. Bummer a locker costs $2, but luckily the queue was rather short throughout the day, so one of us watched our stuff while the other went on the “sea lion rescue mission”.

The Storm Coaster was a lot of fun as well, but the queue was too long to do it more than once. You will get wet on this one, possibly even soaked.

At Castaway Bay another opportunity to get soaked awaits you. Board one of the battle boats armed with water cannons to soak the people passing by, or man a water cannon at the edge of the water to give those pirates a taste of their own medicine. Brecht was excited to do the Sky Climb at Castaway Bay, clambering over rope bridges 12 meters above the ground. Unfortunately they were fully booked when we passed by. So if you’d like to be a monkey for a while, book that time slot as soon as you arrive at Sea World. Note that you’ll need enclosed footwear or hire shoes for $5.

Get wet in the Storm CoasterGet wet in the Storm Coaster
Get Soaked at Castaway BayGet Soaked at Castaway Bay

Still not wet enough? Try the Viking Revenge Flume! Or not, as it was kind of boring. It’s one of those classic water rides where you sit in a log, but you’ll just go up and back down once, not much to it. You will get wet though, if that’s your goal.

The Sea World Shows

As most theme parks do, Sea World has a couple of shows on offer as well. We only attended the non-Nickelodeon Land-shows. Our favourite was the dolphin show called Affinity, where a couple of dolphins do some amazing tricks. The stands are positioned around a big pool, so there are no bad seats. Front row seats make for better pictures of course, but we preferred a seat in the shade.

For Jet Stunt Extreme we were too late for a spot in the shade. It gets real hot in the sun, but it was worth the sweat, it’s a cool show! Amazing what those guys can do with a jetski.

Dolphin Tricks during the Affinity ShowDolphin Tricks during the Affinity Show
Jet Stunt Extreme at Sea WorldJet Stunt Extreme at Sea World
Fish Detective Sea Lion ShowFish Detective Sea Lion Show

The Fish Detective sea lion show was experiencing some technical difficulties, so we weren’t able to see the sea lions solve an environmental crime. Instead, one of the trainers gave an informative talk about the sea lions and showed us some tricks. The sea lions did the tricks of course, not the trainer. Too bad we couldn’t see the real show, but it was interesting nonetheless. Cool animals, those sea lions!

The Sea World Animals

There are lots of (marine) animals to be found in Sea World. Some you can visit whenever you want, others have special talks or feeding sessions scheduled. The coolest animals around are in our opinion the polar bears, but they weren’t particularly active when we were there. Too hot probably.

Don’t miss the Penguin Encounter, where you’ll see King Penguins in their natural frozen habitat. Majestical creatures. Their small cousins, the Fairy Penguins, are to be found at Penguin Point. Check out their feeding times on your park map. While feeding them, one of the caretakers will tell some interesting facts about those flightless birds. Arrive a couple of minutes before starting time to secure a spot on the front row.

Feeding at Penguin PointFeeding at Penguin Point
Creatures of the DeepCreatures of the Deep
Sea World Shark BaySea World Shark Bay
Creatures of the Deep Discovery CentreCreatures of the Deep Discovery Centre

There’s an aquarium as well, called Shark Bay. You’ll see sharks, stingrays, and lots of tropical fish swim by. Care to touch some stingrays? Head over to Ray Reef, where you can touch and feed those fascinating slimy sea creatures. Touching them is free, but if you want to feed them it costs you $9 and you can’t be afraid to touch the little dead fish they eat.

The Creatures of the Deep exhibit, including a discovery trail and a discovery centre, is quite creative, but not that interesting in our opinion. Last and least, Seal Harbour is probably skippable. You’ll walk between a bunch of pools where you catch a glimpse of a sea lion every once in a while. Not that interesting.

Do we recommend going to Sea World Gold Coast?

Our visit to Sea World Gold Coast turned out to be a lot more fun that we expected. We learned a lot, saw (and touched!) some amazing marine creatures, and to top it all off we got our adrenaline shot on the Jet Rescue speedy coaster. We recommend you to go have a look for yourself!