I must have talked to at least 20 people about this and everyone had a different favourite. In the end we ended up going for the triple pass to Movie World, Wet and Wild Water World and Sea World so I can only tell you about those ones. The thing is though they are all awesome so regardless of what you choose you will have a brilliant time and still not get through everything.
Are 3 parks enough? Absolutely. Our plan of attack was to spend a day at each park and then decide which we wanted to go back and experience again. Definitely Wet and Wild Water World for our water mad dare devils.
We were also catering to a range of adventure levels. James and our two youngest girls (in particular the youngest) will try anything. In fact they went on rides that we saw adults back out of! My eldest on the other hand hyperventilated on the log flume! I’m a little more on that side of things so we ended up partnering up on most of the rides and there was still heaps for her to do.
There was a brilliant mix of everything across these three parks. The more sedate rides and some that quite frankly you wouldn’t catch me on but our then 7 year old was into boots and all.
There are loads of package deals available across the three parks and we ended up buying a Gold Coast Entertainment book which gave a great discount of a multi pass as well as some other great discounts while we were there.
The other thing we added in was the blow up obstacle course down on the water front. It’s surrounded by shark nets (freaky in itself) and was awesome getting out deep in the Australian ocean for a swim.
It’s a Wipeout style course and I was super pumped to go on it. Everyone is kitted out with life jackets and given an hour to go on the course any way they choose. I’ve got to tell you – it gave me a whole new appreciation of the people who go on Wipeout! Man, that was hard!
Turns out I have about zero upper body strength and with all the sunblock those things are really slippery. The kids were in fits of laughter as I slid again and again off the side. The lifeguards are great at pulling you out but maybe I should have hit the gym first! Definitely a great bonding experience!
Add in the extras
We paid for a couple of extras at Movie World and they were well worth it.
For James he got the chance to be a stunt driver for half an hour – spinning around the track at top speed.
For our youngest we booked her in as Princess of the Parade. This is hands down the coolest thing I have seen. For just a $30 donation (yep, it goes to charity) you can book your under 10 year old in to be the Prince or Princess of the Parade. There is just one child per day so you do have to get in early but if you have a child that you know would love to be Princess for a day it really is a unique experience and so worth doing.
Just before the parade begins your Prince or Princess gets taken into the staging room and given their robe and crown. Shortly after the gold limo pulls up and off they go on a parade with all the Warner Brothers characters through Movie World.
It’s an experience I am sure she will never forget and the other two were old enough to not care too much about princesses and be stoked to be in the VIP family area and meet all the characters that they didn’t care either.
Australian Outback Spectacular
We tossed up whether to go to the Australian Outback Spectacular. It was a big chunk of money on top of the investment for the theme parks. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
We ended up justifying it as a birthday present (on top of my 40th at Clooneys, the trip and the engagement – fair to say it was my most indulgent birthday ever!)
Our primary reason for going was to experience a little more of Australia than just the theme parks and it ticked those boxes for us. From the barn dance to start (and yes, we all got up and danced), the cowboy hats and the show – complete with dogs, aboriginal songs, utes and horses it was about as Aussie as it gets.
Throw in a dinner and a few drinks and it was pretty much the perfect night out.
My only advice, if you are travelling from New Zealand don’t do it on your first night. The show finishes quite late and for kiwi kids who haven’t adjusted to the time difference it’s a really late night!
You can read about the rest of our Gold Coast adventure over here.