10 Unmissable Family Stays

on the Gold Coast

Australia's premier beach playground and number one family holiday destination, the Gold Coast is right on Brisbane's doorstep. With its endless stretch of white sand beaches, stunning nature, world-class eateries, myriad attractions and things to see and do, there's no better place to make lifetime memories, as families have been doing for 60+ years. Here are 10 great places, from the northern Gold Coast to the southern tip, for family stays on any budget:

Treat the family to an unforgettable stay at Australia's only theme park resort, which, as well as direct access to Sea World and all that the iconic theme park has to offer, features its own fun attractions too. Designed with family in mind, the well-appointed resort has an aquatic adventure playground, an action-packed Kids Club and a different Nickelodeon character to greet the kids every day of their stay. Guests can opt for a Staycation package (accommodation only) or a Sea World Package (including unlimited visits during your stay!) The latter works really well for younger kids who can come and go for rests without having to traipse around the park all day). Or, if you're planning to be here for a while, there's an entire Theme Park package, which includes entry to Warner Bros Movie World, Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast and Paradise Country, too. And with plenty of dining options on site, when you come home tired and happy from a packed day of adventure, there's no need to go out for dinner

This 'paradise within a paradise' features everything you could dream of in a family holiday. From glistening lagoons, white sandy beaches, cascading waterfalls, swimming pools, unique aquatic activities to the spanking new Sports Courts (tennis, basketball, squash, badminton & cricket) 24-hour fitness centre and spa, there's enough activities to keep everyone busy for a week. Foodie families will be in heaven here too with onsite eateries Misono Japanese Steakhouse, Citrique Seafood Restaurant and Chapter and Verse bar and lounge (for everything from high tea to cocktails). When (and if) you've had your fix of everything the Marriott has to offer, a short walk away are Surfers Paradise Beach and its myriad of shops, eateries and attractions

Boasting 74 fully self-contained luxury apartments right on the beachfront at the peaceful southern beach of Tugun, here's the place to enjoy a nostalgic dose of the old Gold Coast, with thoroughly modern amenities. As well as a large heated outdoor pool, there's a spa, BBQ facilities in the landscaped gardens and a sauna and gym. With its central and handy location right next to Tugun's patrolled beach, Golden Riviera is also an easy walk (or 5 min drive) up to Currumbin where there are beachfront rockpools to explore and local landmark Elephant Rock to climb (via a staircase). From the top, there are views south to Snapper Rocks and north to Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island and, at its base, Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Lifesaving Club, a great spot for a family meal right on the ocean. There are also plenty of great cafes and restaurants (including popular family franchises) nearby

These chic new luxury residences feature stunning ocean views, pool and gym and are located in the heart of bustling Broadbeach, with everything it has to offer. Just a few minutes walk to wide patrolled surf beaches and gorgeous parklands with duck ponds, cycle paths and some of the best kids' playgrounds on the Gold Coast, AVANI is also a stroll away from some of Broadbeach's best restaurants, cafes, and bars.  While there, pay a visit to the famous Kurrawa Surf Club, with unbeatable views of the rolling surf and a family-friendly menu. Broadbeach is also the Gold Coast's shopping mecca, with The Oasis and world-class Pacific Fair Shopping Centre right on the doorstep. And that's not all - nearby is the G-Link tram which runs to Surfers Paradise and Southport

The award-winning holiday park, just 15 mins north of Surfers Paradise, is the place for either a relaxing family break or an action-packed holiday. Here you can choose the type of stay that suits your group. While there are plenty of neat cabins, spacious villas and compact camping sites to select from, why not tick off that bucket list experience and book into a glamping safari tent? There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained, with a colourful waterpark, swimming pools and playgrounds, and unexpected extras like mini-golf, a giant bouncing pillow and courts for ball sports – be sure to pack your basketball and tennis racquets. The park is also a short walk to the fantastic premium outlet shopping centre Harbourtown and a short drive from Southport's Broadwater Parklands

Located in the heart of Coolangatta and directly across the road from one of the Gold Coast's most beautiful patrolled beaches, the family will love a stay at Oaks Calypso Plaza. On offer are spacious 1 and 2-bedroom units and fantastic resort facilities including a large free-form, lagoon-style pool with dual water slides and childrens' pool set in tropical gardens. From here you can soak up the nostalgia of the iconic beach village, which still has unspoilt shades of the 1960s and 70s about it. Take a stroll along the esplanade with a double cone from one of the ice-cream parlours and check out the funky vintage boutiques that Coolie is known for. From here, it's an easy walk to Coolangatta's excellent range of eateries and shops, as well as nearby Rainbow Bay and Greenmount Beach

Offering some of the most affordable family-friendly accommodation on the beach side of the Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach Holiday Village has modern cabins ranging from camping and caravan sites to 2-bed villas and poolside penthouses to garden houses and larger penthouses for big groups. With onsite facilities including a mega water slide, 2 heated swimming pools and kids' playground, Nobby Beach Holiday Village is also just a short stroll from protected and patrolled surf beach Nobby Beach, with its great rock pools that kids will love to explore. From here, there's also a short but rewarding stair-climb up to the top of North Burleigh hill, where you'll enjoy stunning views north beyond Surfers Paradise, and south towards Burleigh. Keep an eye out for migrating whales, which are easily spotted from this prime position. And, when it comes to dining out, there are plenty of cool eateries nearby in charming old-school Nobby Beach Village and Miami. Currently, there is a reopening special with a 44% discount especially for Queenslanders

With a 1950s/60s California beach vibe reflected in its rooms and decor, this boutique hotel is one of the coolest on the coast, offering luxurious beds, designer bathrooms and custom furnishings. Featuring an outdoor pool and spa, 2 tennis courts, luxury day spa and concierge service, QT Hotel also has 4 fabulous dining options: Japanese-inspired restaurant Yamagen, Fixx Café and Bazaar Marketplace, an interactive buffet-style restaurant that will make the whole family smile. And for when the kids are asleep, there’s the retro-style Stingray Lounge for the adults to steal away to for a tasty nightcap after a day of family adventure

Step straight onto the fine white sands of Palm Beach when you stay at this beachfront family resort. Kids will love having the beach as their front yard, if they can tear themselves away from the 33-metre lagoon pool with its waterslide and waterfall, while parents can relax on the sun lounges. The whole family can have fun and get active on the tennis court or spend time lounging around and taking in the stunning ocean or hinterland views from the spacious apartments (from 2-4 bedrooms). If you can drag yourself away from the resort, nearby is Tallebudgera Creek, where the kids can paddle in the clear, turquoise water without waves, and Burleigh National Park offers an easy family hike where you'll discover secret beaches and stunning views. And, while peaceful Palm Beach has the nostalgic feel of the old Gold Coast, you'll still find everything from well-brewed barista coffee to rooftop cocktails at the funky cafes, eateries and bars nearby

With just 2 spacious apartments per floor and a prime beachfront location at beautiful Burleigh Heads, you can't beat a family holiday here. Amenities include a heated pool, full size tennis court and games room, with plenty of fun to be had onsite, whilst you are also in the epicentre of all that Burleigh Heads has to offer. Directly across the road are safe, patrolled surf beaches, fronted by a stunning Norfolk Pine and pandanus-fringed parkland that is perfect for walking and cycling, with several cool playgrounds, BBQ and picnic facilities dotted along the way. A short stroll away is iconic dining and shopping strip James Street, which is packed with fantastic eateries, cafes, bakeries, gelaterias and bars as well as fashion boutiques and quirky stores. And no visit to Burleigh would be complete without dining at Burleigh Pavilion, perched right on the ocean in what would have to be the best location on the Gold Coast. Another must-do is a walk through Burleigh Heads National Park with its sweeping views and secret swimming coves

Destination Gold Coast is a valued partner of Must Do Brisbane.com

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