Guide to the Gold Coast’s best theme parks

man and woman riding a rollercoaster at Dreamworld, screaming happily

Danny Baggs

Posted March 24, 2023

The Gold Coast is Australia’s theme park capital. Here’s how to make the most of your next Gold Coast trip, so you can hit up all your favourite theme parks in style.

The Gold Coast is a popular tourist destination in Australia for both international and domestic travellers - and for good reason. Along with sandy beaches, rolling waves, endless shopping and vibrant nightlife, the Gold Coast is the theme park capital of Australia.  

Here’s what you need to know about the Gold Coast’s most popular theme parks, plus where to stay and how to get the best ticket deals. Best of all, RACV Members save on Gold Coast theme park tickets.

The Gold Coast’s best theme parks


Dreamworld is Australia’s biggest theme park, with over a dozen rides and more than one million annual visitors. Scream your way through The Giant Drop, Australia’s tallest free-falling ride, or feel the rush on Steel Taipan, Australia’s only triple-launch rollercoaster. Perhaps you’d like to experience the thrill of a 500cc racing bike aboard the Motocoaster, or take on 3.8 G-forces on the Serpent Slayer.

Toddlers and young children will have a blast at ABC KIDS World, with age-appropriate rides like a teacup ride, fun maze, carousel, mini Ferris wheel and the chance to meet colourful characters like Bananas in Pyjamas, Dorothy the Dinosaur or the Wiggles.

Dreamworld’s Tiger Island is also home to 10 Sumatran and Bengal tigers, which you can see swimming in their splash pool and playing with their keepers. The Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation (DWF) helps protect tigers, koalas, bilbies, tree kangaroos and more. In fact, DWF is the largest zoological contributor to tiger conservation in the world. You can also experience native Australian wildlife along Dreamworld’s Wildlife Walkthrough, including cassowaries, rufous bettongs, tree kangaroos, crocodiles, and many more.


people walking through Dreamworld's Tiger Island entrance

Dreamworld's Tiger Island is home to ten tigers. Image: Supplied

Warner Bros. Movie World

Ever wanted to see your favourite movies come to life? Gold Coast’s Warner Bros. Movie World might be the theme park for you. Every day, you can catch DC Superheroes and Super-Villains, Looney Tunes characters, Scooby-Doo, and more as they parade down Main Street. Meet favourite characters face-to-face around the park, like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, The Joker, Harley Quinn, Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Dug, Tweety, Sylvester and more.

Afterward, max out your thrills on the Green Lantern Coaster, Superman Escape, or Batwing Spaceshot – all guaranteed to get your blood pumping. If you’re after something for the kids as well as yourself, the Road Runner Rollercoaster is the perfect junior coaster, while the Looney Tunes Carousel will have the little ones clamouring to ride with their favourite character. The interactive ride Justice League 3D will have the whole family grabbing their laser blasters to join Superman, Batman and other superheroes in a wild 3D battle against evil.

Make sure to catch the Warner Bros. Studio Showcase, currently featuring the largest Batman exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere complete with costumes, cars and props from the Batman cinematic universe. There's plenty of other movie-themed experiences to enjoy too, from a 4D Scooby-Doo movie to a Hollywood stunt driver show.


people on a rollercoaster at Movie World

Meet your favourite characters at Movie World in between thrilling rides. Image: Supplied

Sea World

Sea World is another major Gold Coast theme park, with over 40 marine- and Nickelodeon-themed attractions available to visitors. Ride the towering Trident to soar and spin 42 metres above ground with views over Gold Coast Broadwater and beyond, hop aboard your own ‘jet ski’ on the Jet Rescue Coaster to rescue a sea lion, or venture aboard the other thrill and family-friendly rides.

Kids will love the meet-and-greets with Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob and Patrick, the high-energy PAW Patrol show, and the live Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show on-stage.

Sea World is home to much more than rides and characters. Here you can visit penguins, polar bears, dolphins, seals, sharks, seabirds, sea jellies and rays in their ecosystems, watching them swimming underwater and encountering them up close. Attend the Penguin Feeding Presentation and the Affinity Dolphin Presentation to see these aquatic animals up close, or sign up for an animal adventure of your own, like a tropical reef snorkel or meeting a dolphin or seal.


two adults and four children standing around a dolphin in the water

Booking a dolphin experience at Sea World will create many unforgettable memories. Image: Supplied


Wet’n’Wild has it all in the name: it’s Australia’s biggest water theme park and is filled to the brim with water slides and leisure pools for the whole family. Check out the thrill slides like Black Hole (slide, twist and turn in completely darkness) and Tornado (spin around the funnel before dropping through the eye of the storm). There’s plenty for the little ones in your family too, from the gentle raft ride Mammoth Falls to the River Rapids body water slide, where parents can catch their kids in the splashdown zone. The Wet’n’Wild Junior precinct boasts a tropical splash zone, eight kid-friendly water slides, and a shallow children’s pool for kids under 10 years old.

After more of a relaxing vibe? Chill out in the Whirlpool Springs hot tubs, cool down in the Giant Wave Pool, and float around the lazy river Calypso Beach in a soft tube. You can even hire a cabana for the day.


four people in an inflatable raft in a waterslide at WetnWild

Wet'n'Wild is Australia's largest water theme park. Image: Supplied

WhiteWater World

WhiteWater World is right next door to its sister theme park Dreamworld.

There’s plenty of white water for the kids, like the fun-filled Wiggle Bay: a haven made for parents and young children, with mini slides, water cannons, and interactive sprays. Older kids can splash around in the Cave of Waves under the watchful eye of lifeguards, explore the Pipeline Plunge water ‘tree’ fort, or rush down the SuperTubes Hydrocoaster.

If you want some more serious splashes, WhiteWater World has some of the most thrilling water slides in Australia. Try the Fully 6 body slides, with six different routes to choose from with varying thrill levels, or the Triple Vortex for high accelerations and decelerations as your raft hurtles through three funnels connected by slide sections.

Just like Wet’n’Wild, you can hire a cabana for the day at WhiteWater World to make a relaxing day of it with your friends or family.


boy playing in kids waterpark in WhiteWater World

There's plenty for kids to do at WhiteWater World. Image: Supplied

Australian Outback Spectacular

The Australian Outback Spectacular is an iconic Australian experience on the Gold Coast. Immersive technology like a complex projection mapping system turns the arena into the heart of the Australian bush, with stunning performances from actors, horses and dogs.

You’ll be plunged into the Australian outback from the moment you arrive, with scenic backdrops, corrugated iron roofs and heavy timbers around the venue. You can grab a drink from Bazza’s Bar before the show and listen to live music performed by the Spectacular cast members.  
A three-course dinner with drinks served by stockmen and stockwomen is part and parcel of the experience – all made with Australian-grown produce, of course. Think rustic tarts, heart eye fillet steaks or tender chicken breasts, and delicious chocolate desserts.


man and horse at the Outback Spectacular

The Australian Outback Spectacular is an iconic Aussie experience. Image: Supplied

How much are Gold Coast theme park tickets?

You can buy tickets to Movie World, Sea World, Wet ‘n’ Wild and Australian Outback Spectacular from Village Roadshow group, or tickets to Dreamworld and WhiteWater World from the Dreamworld group.

RACV Members save on Gold Coast theme park tickets and Australian Outback Spectacular tickets.

Where should I stay when visiting Gold Coast theme parks?

RACV Royal Pines Resort is located just a short drive from Surfers Paradise and is a great base for enjoying the Gold Coast’s theme parks. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a big day out on the rollercoasters and waterslides, with a day spa, tennis court and championship golf course onsite. There are also eight dining venues, from traditional Japanese to high teas, at the resort – so you don’t have to worry about dinner plans in the busy city.


RACV Members save on Gold Coast theme park tickets.
Discover more →