The Gold Coast isn’t just a haven for beach-lovers and party-goers – it is also renowned for its vast array of family events. From cultural and adventure-based events to markets and food festivals, the Gold Coast has a variety of events and activities on offer that will keep the whole family entertained. Check out Airtrain’s guide to the latest Gold Coast events for the family.
Annual and seasonal Gold Coast events
For one of the best cultural Gold Coast events, you can’t miss Bleach* Festival. This unique Gold Coast event held from 3 to 13 August 2023 celebrates local creative talent and spirit. Held across various locations on the Gold Coast, the diverse program includes live music performances, theatre and dance, art installations and interactive workshops.
Gold Coast Whale Festival
Whale-watching season along the Gold Coast occurs from June to October when whales migrate south to Antarctica. To mark this special occurrence and learn more about these magnificent animals, why not go with the family to the Gold Coast Whale Festival on 12 August 2023 at Burleigh Heads? In the months that follow, you can book a dedicated whale watching cruise with one of the many local tour companies, or head to one of the popular vantage points and try to spot a whale from afar.
Swell Sculpture Festival
Swell Sculpture Festival is Queensland’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition held on Currumbin Beach. From 8 to 17 September 2023, large-scale artworks by national and international artists will be displayed along the sandy shore for the public to view up close. As part of the festival, Swell puts on other Gold Coast family events such as guided twilight walks through the art works, live music and comedy, and artist talks and workshops.
Ongoing Gold Coast events
When it comes to family-friendly markets, nothing beats the Gold Coast. For a fun Gold Coast family event, head to Carrara Markets which are held every Saturday and Sunday. At these bustling markets you’ll find an array of products, including fresh produce, arts and crafts, homewares, fashion and more. The Kids’ Corner with rides and games makes it a guaranteed hit with younger ones.
The open-air Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets are held every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night on the iconic Esplanade. Enjoy the live entertainment as you browse through the huge variety of stalls selling art and craft, jewellery, fashion and street food.
Home of the Arts
Home of the Arts (HOTA) is the premier cultural facility of the Gold Coast and has been built with families in mind. At HOTA you can enjoy various visual and performing arts experiences that are suitable from all ages. Fun family events include theatre, concerts and art workshops.
The Gold Coast is home to Australia’s biggest and best theme parks. Whether your family is after thrilling rides, close encounters with stars and superheroes, animal exhibits, water fun, or a combination of them all, there’s a theme park for everyone. As well as the usual rides and attractions, the theme parks offer a range of annual, seasonal and special events for the family. Upcoming theme park events include Spring Country Fair at Dreamworld, Dive in Movies at Wet’n’Wild, Fright Nights at Warner Bros. Movie World and Spooky Nights at Sea World.
Getting to your Gold Coast family events
Explore the Gold Coast’s events for the family with Airtrain. At Brisbane Airport you can visit the helpful staff at the Airtrain counter for assistance with pre-booking tickets to several Gold Coast events, experiences and attractions.
From Brisbane Airport, Airtrain departs every 15 minutes on-peak and every 30 minutes off-peak. Your train will take you to Helensvale Station, where you can then board a tram to take you into the heart of the Gold Coast, using the same Airtrain ticket.
With the Gold Coast’s extensive network of trains, buses and G:link trams, it’s easy to get around.
The go card is accepted on all Translink transport throughout Greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast. For selected travel, another payment option is Smart Ticketing where you can pay with your Visa, Mastercard and American Express debit and credit cards.
For short stays on the Gold Coast, we recommend the go seeQ smartcard, which allows you unlimited travel for 3 or 5 consecutive days on buses, trains, ferries and trams.