Queensland’s Gold Coast is an absolute treasure trove for thrill-seekers.
Home to many of Australia’s biggest and best theme parks, the area is the perfect vacation destination for those who like to get their blood pumping and adrenaline levels soaring. Whether it’s coasters, vertical drops, racing water slides or weightless whirlpools, the Gold Coast has you covered.
Let’s take a look at what’s on offer…
Dreamworld is one of the Gold Coast’s heaviest hitters with an array of attractions in its huge park, including family rides and fun shows alongside its more hair-raising adventures.
If you’re after thrills, the Big 9 Thrill Rides should be your first port of call. They include:
- Buzzsaw – the highest inversion ride in the southern hemisphere at 46 metres in the air. Expect speeds of up to 105 km/hour, vertical drops and a 360° heart roll
- Hot Wheels Sidewinder – one of the tallest, high-speed gravity rollercoasters in the southern hemisphere
- The Claw – the most powerful pendulum ride on the planet with speeds of up to 75 km/hour and 360° spins
- The Giant Drop – a 119-metre high drop at 135 km/hour
- Tower of Terror II – a 100-metre vertical freefall achieving speeds of up to 161 km/hour in 7 seconds flat
Dreamworld Happiness is open every day of the year bar Christmas Day and Anzac Day, from 10:00 to 17:00.
Children aged 3-13: AU$85
Found in the same location as Dreamworld, WhiteWater World is a thrill-inducing water park for daredevil adults and adventurous kids alike.
Whether you’re after family time, aqua fun for the kids or white knuckle slides, WhiteWater World delivers.
Here’s a couple of their most hair-raising attractions:
- The Green Room – accelerate straight into the centre of the wave down a 75-metre tunnel before dropping through a 1-metre funnel
- The Wedgie – try not to bottle it as you blast feet first through Australia’s only human half coil. You’ll find out how the ride got its name as you drop down into the splash pool…
- The Rip – experience weightlessness as you launch from a 16-metre tall tower into a massive whirlpool and corkscrew core before blasting through a curtain of water
- The Bro – the world’s only 8-lane racer slide complete with 270° turns and 50km/hour speeds
WhiteWater World is open every day of the year bar Christmas Day and Anzac Day, from 10:00 to 17:00.
Children aged 3-13: AU$85
Wet n’ Wild is another of the Gold Coast’s premier water parks for those who get a kick from water-based slides and rides.
If you’re looking for thrills, head straight to the Extreme H20 Zone for extreme slides and scares, although you’ll find a ride for everyone in different parts of the park.
Here are some of the more extreme slides on offer:
- Tornado – a funnel slide that launches off a 15 metre-high platform before blasting you down a 40 metre long tunnel
- Kamikaze – a sheer 11-metre drop down a slide at a twisting 70° angle
- Aqualoop – a vertical freefall slide culminating in a 360° turn at 60 km/hour
- Mach 5 – the fastest and steepest water ride in Australia
Wet n’ Wild is open every day of the year bar Christmas Day and Anzac Dat, from 10:00 to 17:00.
Children aged 3-13: AU$59
You thought Hollywood was just on the west coast of the US, right?
Well, if you want a taste of that rock n’ roll lifestyle on the east coast of Australia, Warner Bros Movie World is the theme park for you.
Aside from wandering stars and superheroes, you can indulge your inner thrill-seeker on their many high-speed rides, including the following:
- Arkham Asylum – a rollercoaster reaching speeds of up to 85 km/hour, pulling 4.2Gs with 5 inversions
- Superman Escape – speeding along at 0 to 100 km/hour in just 2 seconds
- Batwing Spaceshots – one of the fastest thrill rides in Australia
- Green Lantern – a coaster with the steepest drop in the Southern Hemisphere
- Wild West Falls – a freefalling splashdown
Movie World is open every day of the year bar Anzac Day and Christmas Day, from 09:30 to 17:00.
Children aged 3-13: AU$74
If you prefer to get your thrills while catching some sea life sights, you can’t go wrong with SeaWorld on the Gold Coast.
Alongside a huge water park complete with slides and fountains, rides like Storm Coaster and Castaway Bay will get that blood pumping. For those keen on entering the next level of adventure, you’ve got Jet Rescue – a coaster reaching speeds of up t0 70 km/hour and 2.5 Gs as you rescue a sea lion in danger – and the intimidating Viking Revenge Flume – a 460 metre floating ride.
Promising to be fun for all the family, you can enjoy shows like the Fish Detectives Sea Lions, Penguin Encounters and Shark Bay in between the scarier adventures, while exploring other animal attractions like Polar Bear Shores, Seal Harbour and Seabird Rehab.
SeaWorld is open every day of the year bar Christmas Day, from 09:30 to 17:00 and from 13:30 to 17:00 on Anzac Day.
Children aged 3-13: AU$74
Additional costs are applicable for access to the Water Park.
Treetop Challenge is one of the more unusual theme park attractions on the Gold Coast as each adventure takes you within the treetops.
There are two locations, at Mount Tamborine and inside Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, with a total of 180 adrenaline-pumping treetop challenges spread over 9 acres of natural bushland. As well as rope and wire challenges, you can expect huge ziplines and the unmissable Croc Shock Course – a series of Flying Foxes over a bed of crocodiles. Only the fearless need apply!
Treetop Challenge is open every weekday from 10:00 and every weekend and public holiday from 08:30 although bookings are essential. Closed 25 and 26 December and open from 13:30 on Anzac Day.
Children aged 3-13: AU$39
Group discounts and further concessions are available.