For thrill-seekers, Gold Coast is the place to be in Australia. With 3 theme parks and 2 water parks you’ll find plenty of exciting rides to enjoy. We spent a week at the perfectly located BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park and tried them all. In this post we’ll give you our opinion on the best Gold Coast theme parks. Just to be clear: that’s the opinion of a twenty-something couple who especially love rollercoasters but are not a big fan of most carnival-style flat rides.
We’ll be publishing an in-depth guide to all of these parks as well. After you’ve decided which ones are for you, use those posts to make the best out of your visit.
Overview of the Gold Coast Theme and Water Parks
Dreamworld is the largest Gold Coast theme park with 28 rides and attractions. Unfortunately, most of those are flat rides and the park lacks a big, bold and exciting rollercoaster. The Tower of Terror II and Buzz Saw are our favourites. Both are coasters that focus on 1 gimmick, so it’s a very short ride. Apart from its many attractions there is also an animal section to the park.
WhiteWater World is right next to Dreamworld and with the right ticket you don’t even have to leave the park to move from one to the other. Perfect for catching your favourite Dreamworld ride at the very beginning (no queues!) before enjoying a day in the water. The number of slides at WhiteWater World is a bit more limited and we had to do a fair bit of queueing. Especially the Super Tubes Hydro Coaster is pretty unique and definitely worth the wait.
Movie World has less rides but there a few very exciting ones. We loved all of its 4 coasters. Especially Superman Escape and Arkham Asylum are great thrills. Overall the scenery and queueing lines have a bit more going on than in the other parks and there are some shows worth visiting as well. If you spend the entire day in the park you’ll definitely have time for multiple rides on your favourite attractions.
Wet'nWild is located a bit further down the street from Movie World. It’s a very large water park with lots of slides and things to do. You can easily spend an entire day on different attractions, although there will be a fair bit of queueing as well. We loved most of its slides and found the Surfrider (a flat ride) to be surprisingly fun.
Sea World is a bit of a mix between an animal park and a theme park. There are only a few rides, but they are quite fun. The Storm Coaster and especially Jet Rescue are worth multiple rides, if the queue isn’t too long. The main attraction are the animals, of course, with plenty of shows you can choose from throughout the day. The Affinity dolphin show is a definite highlight.
Best Tickets for the Gold Coast parks
Compared to other theme parks, the ones in the Gold Coast are surprisingly affordable, especially if plan on visiting more than 1. We bought our tickets at Experience Oz and were able to get some good deals. Prices are in Australian Dollars.
A 7-day pass for both Dreamworld and WhiteWater World cost us $85.50 each and included entrance to the Skypoint Observation Deck as well, which is worth a quick visit.
For Movie World, Wet’n’Wild and Sea World we managed to buy a Local Season Pass for just $78.95 each. A great deal for unlimited visits to 3 theme parks until June 30, 2016.
Our favourite Gold Coast theme parks
As a service to our readers (and because we love theme parks), we just had to visit all of them. We spent an entire day at Dreamworld and started our day at WhiteWater World with a return to our favourite Dreamworld rides. Sea World and Wet’n’Wild were worth a full day each as well. Movie World was the only park we really wanted to return a second (half) day to, just to ride all of its coasters one more time.
So what are our favourite parks? As for the water parks, there is no doubt. Wet’n’Wild has more slides and (when we visited) less queues. Tons of fun to be had here!
When it comes to thrills we definitely prefer Movie World. It could do with a bit more rides, but the ones it has are great fun. Especially its 4 coasters are worth multiple visits.
Those interested in seeing amazing animals alongside some thrills have only one option: Sea World. While not a traditional theme park we had a great time here.
Best of all: the Local Season Pass (or similar) deal includes exactly these 3 favourites! Enjoy the ride!