The Gold Coast is home to heaps of fabulous spots to take the family for a walk! Now more than ever, families are looking for options that get them out of the house, but also allow them to stick to the outdoors and keep away from the crowds. I’ve pulled together a list of 16 places to take an easy walk with the kids, and many of them would be perfect for bikes or scooters, most have a playground involved, and some even have animals to spot!
Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area, Coombabah
The Coombabah Lakelands Conservation area protects 1200 hectares of wetlands and eucalypt forest, right in the middle of the northern Gold Coast suburbs. If you visit in the late afternoon you’ll find grassy open fields bathed in golden sunlight and hundreds of kangaroos grazing on the grass! There are plenty of bushwalks to try, both short and long depending on ability.
Arundel Springs, Arundel
With a fabulous combination of parklands and walking tracks, the green space at Arundel Springs is perfect for young families. Situated on the edge of the Coombabah Lakelands nature reserve, kids can play on the playground, then grab the bikes for a ride along the many paths and spot the local wildlife.
Varsity Foreshore Parklands, Varsity Lakes
The Varsity Foreshore Parklands are a great community space, home to many local events. But when the events aren’t on, it’s a fabulous open parkland perfect for waterfront walks, a play on the playground and lunch time picnics! Take a stroll or a bike ride around the 2km loop of Lake Orr.
Coomera Springs, Coomera
This small park in Coomera is a great spot to head out for a stroll, located beside a lake and with a small playground on site. Many northern Gold Coast parents might recognise it, as it’s located right beside the Early Years Centre at the Benevolent Society Coomera Springs. Bring the pram and head out for a walk after your child health check!
HOTA Precinct, Surfers Paradise
A little known walking trail at HOTA will give you stellar views over Surfers Paradise and a glimpse of the city from a different angle. A hidden set of rock steps will let you climb the gardens that cover the top of the Outdoor Stage! It only takes about 10 minutes to do the return walk and take in the views. Once you reach the bottom of the walk on the otherside, you can stroll along the waterfront towards Evandale Lake. If the weather is in your favour, go for a swim, otherwise you might like to have a play on the sand. Here you’ll also find a fenced playground, best suited for children 4 and up. If you wanted to make a day of your visit, you could walk across the Blue Bridge to Chevron Island and do some shopping or grab a bite to eat, or jump on the Hoppo Ferry at the HOTA ferry stop.
Mangrove Jack Park, Helensvale
Ahoy there! Boat fans will love Mangrove Jack Park, with it’s paddle steamer inspired play structure accompanied by a little motor boat with water skis!! Set right on a beautiful lake, this is a smaller version of the ever popular Oxenford Lake park, and a walk here will take you on the 1km long footpath around the lake.
Bamboo Down Under, Wongawallan
Bamboo Down Under at Wongawallan is a garden centre with a difference. The perfect weekend outing, here you can stroll through their rainforest walk, explore the meditation garden, enchanted forest and bamboo tunnel, and get bamboozled in their bamboo maze! Best of all, it’s all free – although I can’t promise you won’t bring home a car full of plants too!
Gold Coast Botanic Gardens, Benowa
The Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens have something for everyone! Free to visit, you can smell, touch and taste plants in the Sensory Garden; discover butterfly friendly plants in the Butterfly Garden; check out the Bush Tucker gardens; grab a coffee in the cafe or let the kids play on the playground. The boardwalks around the lake are perfect for a stroll, and the whole place is very bike/scooter friendly too.
Tallowwood Park, Upper Coomera
This one is my favourite for taking the bikes and scooters. Start off with a walk around the lake, and be sure to look for the ducks and turtles! Then follow the pathways over to the playground area for a play – here you’ll find a little concrete bike/scooter track with plenty of dips and turns. There is also a cafe nearby so you can pick up a coffee, and toilet facilities are available at the park!
Emerald Lakes Parklands, Carrara
Another lake to walk around, this one is definitely a popular spot. The addition of an all-abilities, fenced playground has definitely upped the popularity, as does the ability to stop off for a spot of shopping or lunch in the French Quarter. Easy parking, this one is good for the bikes too. It is low lying so can suffer from minor flooding if there has been a lot of rain.
Harley Park & Ian Dipple Lagoon, Labrador
Harley Park is located on the Broadwater at Labrador, and is a bustling hive of activity any day of the week. With a swimming lagoon, pelicans, picnic facilities and two playgrounds, this is a very popular family destination. If you’re looking for a spot to catch up for a walk, this is the walker’s super-highway. The Labrador Heritage Walk footpath runs along the waterfront and is just under 2km long one way. You’ll find avid power walkers pounding the pavement all day long.
Jabiru Island Park & Phil Hill Environmental Reserve, Paradise Point
Jabiru Island Park and Phil Hill Environmental Park is a great place for a family outing that is all about getting back outdoors. Come prepared to get wet and sandy, pack your lunch and bring the bikes. Popular with fishermen and boaties, the small playground has toilet facilities, BBQs, a swimming enclosure and a boat ramp. Follow the path under the road and you’ll end up in the Phil Hill Environmental Park. Here you can walk along a 300m boardwalk through the mangroves out to a little outcrop in the canals. Not for children who are runners – the boardwalk doesn’t have any handrails so you will need to keep a close eye on the kiddies.
Macintosh Island, Main Beach
Macintosh Island Park is a real oasis in the midst of all the glitz and glamour of Main Beach! With big shady trees and cascading streams running through the park, the pathways here are perfect for little ones to ride their bikes on. The bird sanctuary in the middle is home to a number of native birds and you’ll usually spot a peacock or two that are popular in their own right. The playground is a big favourite, with Big Foot’s cave the highlight for all the kids.
Hinze Dam, Advancetown
While Hinze Dam is best known as the Gold Coast’s water supply, many are surprised when they visit and take in its stunning hinterland setting, with onsite View Café taking prime position to capture the breathtaking vistas. Add to this the state of the art information centre, dam wall walk, picnic grounds, pathways, fishing coves and mountain bike trails, and you’ve got yourself a great spot.
Sooty Owl Creekside Trail, Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens
The Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens is a hidden oasis, tucked away from the busy Gallery Walk and unfortunately, often missed by tourists. Spread over 11 hectares, there are numerous garden areas and walks, but one that is winning the hearts of Gold Coast kids is Sooty Owl’s Creekside Trail. A family-friendly discovery trail, it will intrigue, surprise and educate children and adults alike.
Pacific Pines Central Park , Pacific Pines
Here you’ll find two playgrounds (the toddler one is fenced!) and a beautiful big lake with ducks, turtles and other water life. Bring the bikes and head off for a ride all the way around the lake. There is also a full size cricket field and other sporting field space to kick a footy on.