Westfield Helensvale Playground

Westfield Helensvale Playground

Westfield Helensvale playground holds the unofficial award for what is probably the best shopping centre playground on the Gold Coast.

Set outside, close to toilets and the food court, the playground is perfect for a play during a shopping trip, after a bite to eat for lunch, or as we chose to do – just a quick coffee and play session!

The playground also caters to children from toddlers to 12+, with fun interactive low to the ground equipement suitable for 1-5 year olds, and a huge tree house and rope canopy combination that leads to a huge spiral slide for kids aged 6+.

Signs around the playground make recommendations about age suitability, but the tree-house with its rope climb is definitely for older,  confident children (trust me, a rescue mission on this one looks tricky!). Older kids also have a cool rope log swing to try out.

The playground for younger kids has a mini tree-house with climbing walls and slides. There are also balance beams, a multispinner, see-saw and steps for them to balance on. There is also a huge ladybird rope web animal, that our little guy hung on for a good part of our visit.

The playground is fresh and has a lovely mural theme that makes kids feel right at home. It is outdoors and partly covered by shade cloths. There is plenty of undercover seating for parents, a big lawn area for kids to run around and baby change facilities are just inside the shopping centre.

Westfield Helensvale Playground

LOCATION Westfield Helensvale, 1 – 29 Millaroo Drive, Helensvale

AGES 1- 12+

ENCLOSED: partially




TIMES  7 days – shopping centre hours

AMENITIES toilets, baby change, shopping centre, food court, coffee close by.

HIGHLIGHTS Varied play equipment, lots to explore, younger tots catered to, food and coffee convenient.

Yard Apes Coomera Review

Yard Apes Coomera Review

Yard Apes Coomera is the perfect place on the Northern Gold Coast for your little monkeys to let off some steam. It is also one of the only centres on the GC to encourage parents to play too, so families can have a bundle of fun together!

Yard Apes is in a bright and airy warehouse just off the M1 at Coomera, making it a handy destination for parents all over the Gold Coast. The centre is split into two main areas separated by cafe style seating, with plenty of room in between tables to fit prams (it’s always amazing when play centres get this wrong!) and no banging into the person sitting behind you. The centre is circus themed, with a big top and clown faces everywhere. It definitely had a fun-park feel and our little guy was excited as soon as he entered the centre.

There is a toddler (under 4s) area that includes a ball pit, double slide, rocker and big blocks. Cafe tables surround the edge of the play area and there were a few mums doing laptop work while watching their little ones.

Then there is an area for older kids with a huge slide split into four sections for racing your little ones to the bottom, a ball-shooter and a maze of climbing equipment set over lots of different levels. Our little guy also had a great time on the big kids equipment and found his way around without a problem (no rescues necessary!) One of the employees told me that she disinfects and cleans the mats throughout the centre daily, and was in the process of finishing as we had arrived. This is a huge plus for parents concerned about germs, and although I’m sure this happens elsewhere it was reassuring to see it in action!

There are a few things about Yard Apes that stand out. Firstly, there is a toy selection and ‘tv’ area for little tots to play with a truck or walker while mum is close by. The appeal of unfamiliar toys should never be underestimated (oh hi Kmart toy department!). Our little guy played relentlessly with play vacuums and trucks for almost the first hour of our visit. There are also cars, ride-ons, diggers and books for kids to make their own for an hour or two.

Secondly, their baby change room was clean, bright and welcoming. With a breastfeeding chair, room for a pram, change table, handwashing basin and nappy bin, it was a very comfortable place to change bubs nappy before we headed home.

Then there is the cafe!

What a great cafe with a selection to suit the fussiest of eaters, and different budgets. We enjoyed a kids $8 meal which included a cheese sandwich, hot chips (sauce included), a kids drink and a packet of chips. We also had a cappuccino in a real cup (which was lovely and hot), and a fruit salad that was fresh and tasty. There is also free water and hand sanitizer available.

Finally the staff interacted with the children frequently, chatting and playing with them when they had time – this was a lovely touch and is definitely unique to Yard Apes.

Overall we had a great morning out with a fun play area, yummy food and clean facilities. We also got a park out the front easily, with additional parking available on the street.

We were invited along for a visit to see Yard Apes before – wait for it – big changes! Yup they’re under new management and have some exciting changes on the horizon. We were super impressed on our first visit, but imagine that locals would be excited to see their favourite play centre get a refresh – so stay tuned. Changes will occur throughout August and we’ll be back with an update!


  • Cafe with child-friendly food and cheaper options. The children’s meal options are great.
  • Free water and hand sanitiser
  • Big baby change room for parents
  • Plenty of space to manouvre prams inbetween tables and chairs


  • Play areas at separate ends of centre, making supervision of multiple children a little bit harder
  • No airconditioning 
  • No undercover outdoor areas in the rain
  • Adults are charged to enter ($3.50), but this includes a free drink

LOCATION 24 Kohl St, Coomera

AGES All ages


Monday      9am to 5pm

Tuesday      9am to 3pm

Wednesday  9am to 5pm

Thursday     9am to 3pm

Friday        9am to 5pm

Saturday     9am to 5pm

Sunday       9am to 4pm


Kids Entry: $8.50 (all ages)

Under 12months: Free

Adults Entry: $3.50

Adults are encouraged to play with their children in the play structures. Adult entry also includes a complimentary Tea, Coffee or small softdrink

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Rotary Park Mudgeeraba

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Rotary Park Mudgeeraba

Rotary Park Mudgeeraba is a great local playground that is the perfect spot for a playdate or morning out. The Mudgeeraba Bakery close by combined with a train-themed park make it a fun and easy place for kids to play and parents to relax.

There is a swing set, Liberty Swing for kids in wheelchairs, a ride – on spring train, and a huge connected playground that includes climbing walls, bridges and monkey bars.

The Bakery is great value – you can easily buy a coffee, kids drink and treats for you both for under $10 (cupcakes are $1.65).

The playground is not fenced and does have close access to the road on two sides, so supervise closely.

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Rotary Park Mudgeeraba

LOCATION 1 School St, Mudgeeraba

AGES 2-12


GROUND COVER: rubber and woodchip


TOILETS: yes- inside swim school

AMENITIES Picnic table, benches, drinking fountain, toilets in swim school, parking

HIGHLIGHTS  Cheap and cheerful Mudgeeraba Bakery for coffee and treats, shady playground

Gold Coast Playgrounds Close to Coffee

Gold Coast Playgrounds Close to Coffee

The dishwasher is on, nappies are thrown quickly into the nappy bag and the kids are in the car faster than you can say “Where’s the coffee?”

Whether it’s because it stops the moaning or your house being torn apart,  most mornings parents everywhere just want to get the kids out of the house.

For parents with tiny tots, minimising the number of times you have to get the kids out of the car is also a priority. There’s only so many combos of car-seat to Baby Bjorn to pram and trolley and ‘HOLD MY HAND!’ a mum can take!

That’s why playgrounds with coffee RIGHT THERE are a mum’s best friend. We’ve put together a list of playgrounds where coffee is convenient (no more than a minute walk away).

Gold Coast Playgrounds Close To Coffee

Rotary Park Mudgeeraba (Mudgeeraba bakery)

Broadwater Rock Pools (Cafe Rockpool)

Tallowwood Park Coomera (Coffee Two Coomera)

Ed Hardy Park (North Burleigh Surf Club/Nook – Southern end of surf club)

John Laws Park Burleigh Hill (Nook)

Justin Park at Burleigh (Surf Club kiosk)

Tallebudgera Creek Playground  (Neptune Kiosk (Paddock/Bam Bam)

Ronnie Long Park at Talle Surf Club  (Cafe/kiosk )

Pirate Park Palm Beach (Dune Cafe)

Mermaid Park  Mermaid Beach (Bam Bam Bakehouse)

Harley Park Labrador (Charis Seafood)

Queen Elizabeth Park Coolangatta (number of cafes on the esplanade).

Paradise Point Parklands (take your pick from the cafes across the road)

Gold Coast Botanic Gardens  (Coffee at the Gardens)

Evandale Parklands (The Arts Cafe- The Arts Centre, Bundall Farmers Markets Sunday mornings)


Promenade Playground – Robina Town Centre


Food Court Playground – Westfield Helensvale


Pratten Park (the old park) Broadbeach – It’s not a permanent fixture, but there is a coffee van there every Thurs and Fri from 9.30am.


Broadbeach All Abilities Playground at Kurruwa Beach – Tower 28 Cafe under the Kurruwa Surf Club.

We’d love to hear from you if you know a playground close to coffee that isn’t on our list! Get in touch!
Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Robina Lions Club Park

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Robina Lions Club Park

14a Peach Drive, Robina

Robina Lions Club Park is a small local park that sits on the bank of Mudgeeraba Creek. As well as a playground, there are other areas to explore, including the creek bank and clusters of trees.

There is lots of birdlife and nature play opportunities. The trees drop all sorts of gumnuts and different shaped leaves, perfect for creating collages or sensory tables. We took a plastic shopping bag to collect some leaf litter and bits and pieces to take home and soon found we were surrounded by hungry ducks! There are signs in Robina asking locals not to feed the ducks, as not only are the ducks at risk of eating something that is bad for them, but foodscraps contribute to the algae bloom in Lake Lido and surrounding waterways. There are often people fishing in the water – I’m not sure about fish but I have seem plenty of turtles and eels!

The playground is fully-fenced, which is a must for any sleep- deprived/busy/lazy mum, and it has a soft wood-chip ground cover (which is this mum’s favourite).

The swings are great – there is a standard set and a cobweb swing (for mums to lie in while their kids play LOL).

There is also a spinning cup for the kids to sit in, and a spring ride.

The main play equipment has stairs and a climbing wall that can be used to reach the platforms. A bridge is in between the platforms and little ones have a lot of fun running from one end to the other. We have found the bridge quite slippery with the wrong shoes on little feet, so be careful. There are some drop-offs for younger kids to avoid.

In addition to the bridge, there are wheels to turn, a fireman’s pole and a slide. There is a bench in the shade outside of the fenced area, and an undercover picnic table

Overall Robina Lions Park playground is a great little facility for locals.

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Central Park Pacific Pines

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Central Park Pacific Pines

Central Park Pacific Pines is a wonderful facility for Gold Coast kids and families.

It has a range of different play areas, including an enclosed area for toddlers and a giant flying fox for older children. It is a great location for a children’s birthday party with plentyof shade,picnic areas and BBQs.

It had been a while since we last visited the park – we held our daughter’s 5th birthday there, and she is now 13, so a visit to refamiliarise ourselves was in order! The park itself hasn’t been updated significantly since it was first built, and some equipment is looking a little tired. Some equipment has also been permanently removed. There was graffiti on equipment, a hole burned in one of the slides and rubbish from local teens littering the park, but despite spending a little extra time making sure everything was safe, we still had a great time exploring all of the fun equipment and surrounds.

If you ever find our parks damaged or in need of cleaning, you can let the Gold Coast City Council know here.

We started off in the toddler play area, which was a hit for our little one. Pushing the pram through the gate was a little awkies, so we parked it outside the gate where it was still easy to access over the fence. Once inside there is a spring ride in the shape of a dinosaur and a very cute swing. The swing is low to the ground, so littlies can sit on it themselves, and the ground is soft-fall rubber, so you don’t need to worry about them hurting themselves. It’s a great swing for building independence, and learning about cause and effect – the swing movement causes giant flowers at the top of the swing chains to twirl around, which is super exciting when you are two years old!

There is also a mini-slide accessible by stairs, which has a mini imaginary play area attached to it. It’s not clear what is is exactly (a measuring station?) but our little guy still had a play.

The toddler area is protected by a lovely big tree in the middle. The tree was full of cockatoos when we visited, so the area was quite noisy. We found a quiet spot sitting at the end of the gated area, perfect for resting the pram and watching the kids play. If the area seems a bit sparse, it is! There is a couple of pieces of equipment missing, no doubt damaged at some point over the years.

The flying fox for older kids  is one of the best on the Gold Coast (you will also find flying foxes at Parklake Park and All Abilities Park Broadbeach). A refreshed chain bridge that is fun for climbing sits behind the flying fox. There is also a spiral platform, spinning disk to balance on, a standard swing set, bikes on springs and a slide set.

A highlight for younger kids is the train, which has a few carriages to sit in. Our toddler called out the obligatory “All aboard” and climbed on for a play. The boat was also great for our toddler, as was the sand under the giant climbing web – just a couple more years and I’m sure he’ll be climbing to the top as our daughter used to.

Overall Central Park Pacific Pines is a lovely place for kids and families. Closer to the lake there is outdoor workout equipment and another set of play equipment. The field is great for a game of footy or soccer and children will also enjoy riding their scooters and feeding the ducks, swans and eels!

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Central Park Pacific Pines

LOCATION 149 Pacific Pines Blvd, Pacific Pines

AGES 0-12

AMENITIES Car parking, shady playground, water bubbler, public toilets, picnic tables, BBQs, walking pathways, fenced toddler playground

HIGHLIGHTS  Flying fox, flower swing, train, ducks and swans

Boomerangs Helensvale Review

Boomerangs Helensvale Review

Boomerangs Play Centre is a super-fun indoor space for kids to play while parents enjoy a coffee and bite to eat. They also have two for one entry on Wednesdays – an offer too good to refuse! We had to pop along and check out this haven for kids at Helensvale Homeworld.
We invited another mummy and little friend for a play at Boomerangs. When we arrived, we noticed that the centre was lovely and quiet – there was no loud radio or noisy games in the centre. Sure there were kids yelling and babies crying, but the centre was calm, which we loved. We could have a decent mummy-chat!
Our kidlets ran into the play area straight away. After running after them to remove their shoes, we sat down at one of the many tables and chairs provided. We had a look at the menu placed on the table and ordered coffee and snacks at the cafe. The prices are good, and smaller portions are available. We were also excited to discover our coffees came in real cups! Everything was fresh, perfectly prepared and in generous serves.

Play areas

The play areas are easy to see from all areas of the centre and everything is nice and clean!
The babies area is an enclosed pen surrounded by low-wall seating. It has interactive bits and pieces for babies to play with, and is close to cafe tables and chairs.
The under 4s area has a smaller play gym including a ball pit and low-wall seating for adults to supervise. Various cars and bikes are available to drive on the mini track, and there are soft blocks to play around.
The main play area is smaller than other play centres, but it is also lighter and easier to see into. None of our children found themselves stuck or overwhelmed. It has three slides, a ball pit, flying fox and plenty of sections to climb. The long slides are very fast, but have a long bottom section that slows kids down fast.
Our children were busy on the equipment for a good two hours and were wrapped with the slides and climbing equipment.

In addition to normal play, Boomerangs also have characters and craft/dance/music activities in the centre during the week (check their website, below, for details), included in the entry fee.

To get the special entry deal we had to arrive at the same time, so we met out the front of the centre. Two for one deals are excellent for a cheap play date with a friend, or for parents who have more than one child. After you factor in coffee and treats, a trip to a play centre can cost $30+ for one child, so these deals can save you money! Note, if you take kids of different ages, you are charged at the rate of the older child.


  • Soft baby play area
  • Large toddler play area including ride ons
  • Coffee in real cups
  • ‘Red’ food available in smaller serves 
  • 2 for 1 entry on Wednesdays and other special events throughout the week
  • Airconditioned


  • One of the smaller play areas for older kids


Boomerangs Play Centre and Cafe

LOCATION Helensvale Homeworld – Oxenford/Hope Island exit off the M1

AGES 1-10

COST From $8.50

DEALS 2 for 1 entry Wednesday, before 3pm, term time only. Find more specials and information on their website.


HIGHLIGHTS Coffee in real cups, small affordable options on menu, easy to see children in equipment, quiet compared to other similar centres.

Bike and Scooter Tracks for Gold Coast Kids

Bike and Scooter Tracks for Gold Coast Kids

Finding safe bike and scooter tracks for kids can be challenging!


We’ve put together a list of parks and attractions where kids can feel the wind in their hair (under their helmets!) and pedal to their heart’s content.

Places Suitable for Toddlers on Scooters and Kids Who Are Learning to Ride


bike tracks gold coast kids

Kids on the Gold Coast have some amazing bike education tracks available to practise navigating a pathway while being aware of safety. On the tracks kids will encounter traffic signs, crossings and traffic lights, all in a safe area away from real roads and traffic. They are suitable for small bikes and scooters, and as well as helping kids learn some road sense, they are also lots of fun!

Broadwater Parklands, Marine Pde Southport

This is not a fenced area, and only a few metres from the road, so supervision is a must! It is, however, a bundle of fun and young kids will love negotiating the course. Sadly, we forgot our scooter on the day of our visit, yet our two year-old STILL made two or three laps on foot! We had to giggle – the track was just irresistible!

bike tracks gold coast kidsbike tracks gold coast kidsbike tracks gold coast kids bike tracks gold coast kids






















You can also find bike education tracks at these parks:

North Shore Park, North Shore Ave Varsity Lakes

Galleon Way Park, Galleon Way Currumbin Waters

Coronet Park, Coronet Crescent Burleigh Waters

The Ashmore Bicycle Safety Centre has its ow

n track for educating school students, and it is available for birthday parties on Saturdays (term-time) for kids aged 7+. Bookings: 07 5539 5774

Parks that are also great for smaller kids on bikes and scooters, and are fully fenced include:

All Abilities Playground/Pratten Park, Broadbeach

Laguna Park, Palm Beach

These parks have small pathways suitable for little ones to practise their skills in a safe environment.

laguna park


Places For Older Kids On Bikes and Scooters


Our favourite places for family bike rides…

bike riding gold coast



Broadwater Parklands


The Broadwater Parklands is a great spot for kids of all ages who want to ride, scoot, skate or run. There are pathways all over this 3km stretch, punctuated by playgrounds, water parks, grassed areas and eateries. We love the Parklands and think it’s one of the Gold Coast’s best free family days out!


Hinze Dam

Upper Gilston Rd, Advancetown, QLD 4211

Hinze Dam is a brilliant space for kids that just want to ride and ride and ride! You can actually cycle and walk along the wall – all 1.9km of it (3.8km loop). It is flat and has two lanes, just like a mini road.  It’s not quite sealed and can be a bit rough, so bikes are best (scooters will love the other paths around the dam facilities). A peaceful place, with lot of fresh air and open space to take in, the dam is a lovely way to spend an hour or two, finishing with a picnic before heading home.

Located approx 30mins from the beach, it’s easy to find Hinze Dam by following signage from Nerang. The cafe has fantastic food, there are lots of photo opportunities and an information centre with videos to watch for history buffs. Kids may be amazed to learn this is where the water in our taps comes from!

This park is also suitable for prams. Gold Coast locals will miss the old grassy playground and BBQ area which overlooked the dam, but the raising of the wall in recent years caused some ‘remodelling’ and they are now replaced by the new cafe and other amenities. Dogs are not allowed (even on a leash).

For more adventurous families, the Gold Coast Mountain Bike Club have trails that are free for the public to use and are accessed behind the Information Centre and a short ride along the wall. There is an easy ‘Family Loop and you can see a map of all trails here.

bike tracks gold coast kids


Coombabah Wetlands Reserve


This is a gravel track, so suitable for older kids on bikes only. The gate closes at 5pm, so time your ride to exit before the. There are plenty of kangaroos ans koalas to find, so expect to stop and look. Stay on the path to avoid wildlife encounters! Find a map here.


Surfers to Main Beach


A great beach-side ride for older riders (or patient parents). The ride covers approximately 5km of uninterrupted pathways on fairly flat terrain, so not a lot of pedal power required.


North Burleigh to Burleigh Headland


A fun pathway for the whole family punctuated with kiosks and playgrounds. Enjoy a cool drink on the headland and see/celebrate how far you can come. The path is a bit pebbly, so can cause uncomfortable vibrations on scooters.

Where are your favourite places to take the kids for a ride or scooter? Please let us know!


Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Ed Hardy Park

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Ed Hardy Park

Ed Hardy Park at Miami/North Burleigh is a fabulous beach-side play area for children. There are large open spaces, a lovely shaded playground, plenty of benches and BBQs, a patrolled beach with rocks to explore at low tide, and a gorgeous view of our coastline from the top of the lookout.

It has a nautical-themed playground on soft-fall surface, which is spread out over three parts – the bow of the boat has little shelf seats and potholes to poke little faces out of, and the back of the boat is a chain climbing net, which cleverly provides a physical barrier from the carpark/road that is very close to the playground.

The middle part of the boat includes climbing webs, a firemans pole, lots of things to twirl and poke at, and two slides. This is accessed by stairs at one end, so even little tots can easily climb up and have an explore.

Underneath the main section is a Galley for shop play and mandatory imaginary fish and chips.

There is also a standard swing set which is usually very busy.

When the kids tire of the playground, there is plenty of grass for kicking a ball around, paths for scooter or bike riding, a patrolled beach, surf club and the headland to explore.

You can definitely spend at least two hours, if not the whole day having fun in Ed Hardy park. Coffee is available from the nook on the southern end of the surf club, but they do close at 2pm. Food and drinks are also available from the surf club.

Our normal visit would normally consist of a play on the playground, coffee and an acai bowl from the nook, and an explore of the rocks on the beach, which at low tide has little rock pools to explore (just watch for crashing waves!). We always take a towel and beach toys and just let the kids explore.

Be warned that the road is quite close and the park can be used at night, so always wear shoes and look out for broken glass, particularly early in the morning before council workers clean up any rubbish.

While not as big as some parks, everything is accessible for younger children, and other features of the parks make it a must-do!

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks -Ed Hardy Park

LOCATION The Esplanade, Miami (North Burleigh)

AGES 2-10

AMENITIES Playground, public toilets, BBQs, picnic tables, benches, scooter path, showers, lots of parking, drinking fountain, scenic headland, patrolled beach.

HIGHLIGHTS Accessible for toddlers and non-climbers, see ocean from playground, combine with a visit to the beach, great food close by, scenic lookout.

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Parklake Park

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Parklake Park

Parklake Park is an exciting playground on the northern Gold Coast, nestled in a tree-lined gully.

It’s an imaginative play area, including one of the largest playground slides we have ever seen and lots of different play areas.

There are a few features that make this playground special. The shade from the trees and shade cloth over the younger play area makes this one great for sun – conscious families. It would also be nice and cool in summer. There were a few mozzies and midges about, so if you are susceptible to being nibbled on, take an insect repellant. We weren’t bitten but people around us were.

The landscaping of this park is such that while it’s not fully – fenced, you can see all openings from most positions in the park and the water is fenced off from the playground. There is also parking near the swim school, and even closer if you park on the road and walk down into the playground. A public toilet block is also super handy, but is set away from the equipment and doesn’t intrude on the park.

The best thing about the park? The range of ages covered here. From the little ones playing in and around the smaller equipment and around the giant turtle, igloo house and racing car, to the flying fox and scarily high slide for the older kids. There is also plenty of swings so no one needs to wait long for a turn.

Toddler area
There is a fun adventure playground for little ones with two slides, climbing wall, fireman’s pole turning games and various steps on different levels. This area is complemented with a rope bridge, four-person seesaw and a mini seesaw

Sand pit
This area next to the toddler area is surrounded by paths and rocks making a defined area for sand play with a fun spinning disk, igloo house, giant turtle, fabulous race car, talking pipes and a little shop front. There were plenty of sand pies served up during our visit!

Main Play Area

Walking into this park of the park is awe-inspiring on your first visit. The giant slide is a sight to see, as are the faces of the kidlets flying out the other end! We made our way up the path and stairs to climb up the platform and anticipated that our 2yo would choose the smaller slide. We watched in shock as he approached the giant blue slide and promptly backed himself into it. Running back down the path expecting to see our little guy in tears, we found him clapping in joy. He may have been in shock though, as he only went down once more before he settle on some less exciting play (thank goodness – we couldn’t handle the excitement).

In this area there is also a swift flying fox,balancing/climbing net, a ring of swings plus two more swings (in total there are two toddler swings). This is all nestled under a beautiful canopy of trees,making for some fun imaginative play (Lord of the Flies?!).

There is also a big playing field for older kids or family games, and an additional climbing wall (next to swim school).

It is a brilliant park for a morning out, a family picnic or BBQ, or playdate. Pack a blanket and some insect repellant and expect to be there for a few hours.

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Parklake

LOCATION  Greenway Blvd, Maudsland

AGES Toddlers to teens

AMENITIES BBQs (v/small ones), rotunda, covered picnic benches, benches around the playground, public toilet block, on and off-street parking

HIGHLIGHTS Giant slide, beautiful setting.

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Laguna Park

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Laguna Park

Ahoy there landlubbers! Do you love a pirate-themed playground? What about a BIG playground?  And what about a playground suitable for every age from toddlers to teens?

Laguna Park in Palm Beach definitely ticks all of these boxes, making it one of our favourite Gold Coast playgrounds.

It is the sort of park that you can spend a few hours playing at (similar to Kurrawa Park in Broadbeach but about ½ the size) with grassy areas to sit, picnic benches and BBQs, making it a great choice for a children’s birthday party.

It is fully fenced (tick!) and has a bark chip base (another big tick!). It’s also has a huge variety of play equipment, shade sails and a paths that circle the play area making it a great playground to let the kids loose with their scooters or trikes (probably not suitable for bigger bikes).

Small Pirate Ship area.

This area is separate to the large playground, sitting outside of the scooter track, and is suitable for kids 2-5 years. There are nooks and crannies for little ones to explore, a wobbly plank just a few inches off the ground, a slide and ‘shop-fronts’ for imaginary play. There are also some funny faces to put together, although these are a bit hard for tiny tots.

The Fairy Ring

There is a cluster of brightly painted fairy mushrooms at the eastern side of the park for children to explore. It is the perfect spot for talking with the fairy folk who live in this part of the playground, and it is protected by shady trees.

The Main Park

The main park is a huge oval shape and is surrounded by a scooter path (complete with zebra crossings), and a two-train monorail ride for mums that want to tone their thighs!

We tried out the monorail and, be warned, it is in a constant state of friction! There is no forward momentum here, just push or pedal power – we made 2 laps and couldn’t go on (Mum challenge: how many laps can you do?). The monorail goes underneath the main play equipment – exciting!

The main slides in the playground are attached to a huge play platform that has an underwater theme, with stingrays flying across the front of it. Despite its height, it is accessible by stairs, so adventurous little tots can get up there themselves. The main tunnel is quite low though, so we didn’t follow our little one in. Once children reach the other end, there are two ways they can go – down a spiral slide or climb down a firm netted tunnel, taking them to another two slides, and chain ladder (watch the drop here for little ones) and more stairs. Underneath are various play areas for little people and next door is a climbing web, fun for all ages

The rest of the park has quite a collection of equipment including a station intended for sand, however the ground covering is now bark, so this is a bit stiff and doesn’t really function as intended.

There are also wacky mirrors to play around, space-ship shaped spinners, two sets of swings (toddler and normal), and another smaller slide set with a chain ladder to access. There is also a liberty swing for kids in wheelchairs

We spent a good morning at Laguna Park. There is ample free parking within the park, a good coffee shop in the shopping strip across the road, and plenty of grassy spots close to the playground to put out a blanket and sit with friends or bubs while you watch the kids. There is also free hot water available so you can easily heat a bottle or make your own coffee!

Laguna Park Palm Beach

LOCATION 130 Laguna Avenue, Palm Beach, QLD 4227

AGES Something to do for kids of all ages 

AMENITIES  Fully fenced playground, free parking, coffee shop across the road (1 block back), BBQ area, hot water available for bottles and coffee, shaded picnic benches, benches, pathway for scooters, pathways for walking, public toilets, off-lead area for dogs, water fountain.

HIGHLIGHTS monorail pedal-train, fully-fenced, all-ages

GET THERE Take the Palm Beach exit off the M1, turn right down Tahiti, and lefi into Laguna.

Gold Coast Playgrounds that are Fully-Fenced.

Gold Coast Playgrounds that are Fully-Fenced.

Do you have a runner?

A fenced playground can make the difference between a relaxing trip to the park or the WORST trip to the park! That’s why we’ve put together this list of the Gold Coast’s fully-fenced playgrounds.

Find a park near you, pack a blanket and relax while your kids play safely.

Have you visited one of these neighbourhood playgrounds and have a photo we could share? We’re slowly getting to photograph each one but would love your help! Get in touch!


Girral Park: Kallaroo Crescent, Ashmore.

Glenmore Park, Glenmore Drive, Ashmore.

Gunyah Park, Girraween Grove, Ashmore.

Sun Valley Park, Parasol Street, Ashmore.

Sweetgum Park, 5 Parasol Street, Ashmore.


Benowa Park, Lambros Drive, Benowa.

Sir Bruce Small Park, St Kevins Avenue, Benowa.


All Abilities Playground at Kurrawa Pratten Park, Broadbeach.

Albert Park, 180 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters.

Hart Park, 1 Alaska Avenue, Broadbeach Waters.


Reg Chesters Playground, The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads.

Deodar Park, 2 Omao Avenue, Burleigh Waters.


Alan Nielsen Park, Nielsens Road, Carrara.

Boonooroo Park Central, 6 Michelmore Road, Carrara.

Paddington Drive Reserve, 17 Paddington Drive, Carrara.

Markeri Park, Markeri Street, Clear Island Waters.

Goodwin Park, Lanham Street, Coolangatta.


Marsupial Park, 61 Kangaroo Avenue, Coombabah.

Nolan Park, 53a Sidney Nolan Drive, Coombabah

Possum Park, 2 Possum Crescent, Coombabah.

Viney Park, 42 Beattie Road, Coomera.


Helensvale Rugby Park, 239 Discovery Drive, Helensvale.

Hession Park, 145 Discovery Drive, Helensvale.

Highland Park

Fred Cass Family Park, 13 Gumbeel Court, Highland Park.

Bayview Park, Hyacinth Avenue, Hollywell.


Chirn Park, 6 Turpin Road, Labrador.

Chris Yeomans Park, Stephenson Street, Labrador.

Harley Park, Marine Parade, Labrador.

Jim Slorach Park, 2 Bight Court, Mermaid Waters.

Stoner Family Park, 70 Merridown Drive, Merrimac.


Ernie Tebb Park, 12 Albion Avenue, Miami.

Pizzey Park, 80 Pacific Avenue, Miami.

Thorn Park, Marine Parade, Miami.

Your Park, 5 Bloodwood Crescent, Molendinar.


Glennon Park, Leagues Club Drive, Nerang.

Nerang Tennis Centre, Southport Nerang Road, Nerang.

Swift Park, 11 Centurion Crescent, Nerang.

Highland Park

Fred Cass Family Park, 13 Gumbeel Court, Highland Park.

Bayview Park, Hyacinth Avenue, Hollywell.


Chirn Park, 6 Turpin Road, Labrador.

Chris Yeomans Park, Stephenson Street, Labrador.

Harley Park, Marine Parade, Labrador.

Jim Slorach Park, 2 Bight Court, Mermaid Waters.

Stoner Family Park, 70 Merridown Drive, Merrimac.

Norfolk West Reserve, 15 Katunga Circuit, Ormeau.


Gambamora Park, 22 Riversdale Road, Oxenford.

Studio Park, 87 Village Way, Oxenford.

Pacific Pines Central Park, 149 Pacific Pines Boulevard, Pacific Pines. (gated toddler area)

Palm Beach

Laguna Park, 130 Laguna Avenue, Palm Beach.

Mallawa Drive Sports Complex, Mallawa Drive, Palm Beach.

Salk Oval Parklands, Sarawak Avenue, Palm Beach.

Boat Harbour Park, 20 Paradise Parade, Paradise Point.



Jack Wilson Park, 108 Cheltenham Drive, Robina.

Kuring Gai Park, 32 Beauty Point Drive, Robina.

Robina Lions Club Park, 14a Peach Drive, Robina.

Scottsdale Parklands, Scottsdale Drive, Robina.


Runaway Sport Complex, Morala Avenue, Runaway Bay.


Arthur Angove Park, Neville Avenue, Southport.

Lilli Pilli Park, 48 Lilli Pilli Drive, Southport.

Musgrave Sports Park, Musgrave Avenue, Southport.

Ron Short Park, 28 Alicia Street, Southport.

Surfers Paradise

Evandale Park, Ouyan Street, Surfers Paradise.

Lex Bell Park, Salerno Street, Surfers Paradise.

Vespa Park, 59 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise.


Atkin Park, 13 Kitchener Street, Tugun.

Golden Four Playground, Gold Coast Highway, Tugun.

Toolona Park, Toolona Street, Tugun.

Upper Coomera

John Siganto Park, 639 Reserve Road, Upper Coomera.

Tallowwood Park, Rosevalley Drive, Upper Coomera.

Seafoam Park, 30a Roundelay Drive, Varsity Lakes.

Pioneer Downs Park, 21 Vince Hinde Drive, Worongary.

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Cascade Gardens

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Cascade Gardens

After a rainy week in which we checked out Cafe Tahbella and visited Doodlebugs Miami, we decided to venture somewhere old but new, Cascade Gardens.

Cascade Gardens  is one of the Gold Coast’s hidden parks and playgrounds.  It is home to the Korean War Memorial, Kokoda Memorial Walk and wall, Autism Gold Coast and an array of public facilities. Perfect for a picnic, you will find plenty of undercover bench seats, BBQs, public toilet facilities, water bubblers, lots of green open space, and of course a playground!

We made sure to grab a drive-through coffee from Broadbeach McDonald’s on the way, as we weren’t sure if there was a cafe (there isn’t), and found the Gardens only 1km north (or a km south of Isle of Capri bridge if you are coming from the north). You can see the Oracle buildings from the Gardens, so it’s not far from Broadbeach.

Enter at the lights and just one ring road leads you to the playground area which is set amongst beautiful trees and grassy areas perfect for kicking a ball. Parking is plentiful, and we grabbed a park right in front of the playground.

The playground has different features for different ages and a bark ground cover. The jewel of the playground is the old – fashioned merry-go-round, because, well, kids don’t see them that often! The novelty didn’t wear off either. Our toddler wanted to spin and spin and spin and and spin….well you get the idea! There are two see-saws  (the modern kind on springs), different animals on springs, the standard swing set (on nice long chains for a swooshing good ride!), a flying fox (too high for our little guy – Ok for our teen) and two slides on platforms – one accessible by a climbing wall and one by a chain Web – not at all friendly for our toddler. Luckily he wasn’t worried about the slides – there was still plenty to do. (There are no noughts and crosses games or anything low to the ground for toddlers to explore except for the merry-go-round and so ring animals.) There is also a liberty swing for children in wheelchairs.

After a play we walked to the riverside (Oh be careful – the playground isn’t fenced! Supervise at all times as the river is 50m away!) We were able to sit on a bench and watch some boats go by, including a Police boat – what a highlight!

We then wandered around the trees. Because of the different trees there was lots of interesting leaf litter – pods, pine cones, gum nuts, banksia flowers, sticks, pine needles, and strips of bark. We had lots of fun collecting things, looking at animals crawling on trees, poking sticks in the ground and naming the colours we could see (orange sticks (pine needles) were a hit!

There is a raised field defined by small trees perfect for a footy game or cricket game, and LOTS of birds to chase (sorry birds! We hope he’ll grow out of it soon too!) A big bunch of bamboo creaks and sways in the breeze – we did a couple of laps of that too.

After a while mumma and bub needed a rest, so we sat down on one of the many benches while our little guy ran out the last of his energy. We then grabbed a drink at the bubbler and headed for the car.

We had spent three hours playing, watching, chasing, poking and exploring – not bad considering we don’t often make that milestone (Kurrawa Park is always a winner for a solid 3 hour morning out).

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks Cascade Gardens

LOCATION Gold Coast Highway Broadbeach

AGES Something to do for kids of all ages

AMENITIES  New and clean toilet block, bubbler, playground  (swings, slides, flying fox, merry-go-round, see-saws, climbing walls, chain bridge), BBQ, picnic tables, undercover tables, benches, open areas.

HIGHLIGHTS merry-go-round, river and open spaces

GET THERE Light rail stop approx 150m away


Broadwater Parklands – Free Family Fun on the Gold Coast

Broadwater Parklands – Free Family Fun on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast has a reputation for thrills: theme parks, glitzy nightlife, big surf and meter maids, but there is a lot more to this family-friendly city than meets the eye – or your wallet. The green and gold of our coastline city is bustling with family friendly parklands, cafes and a lot of totally free fun that can fill our long sunny Queensland days.

Our no.1 family destination? The Broadwater Parklands, Southport

If you want to wear out the kids (but not your bank balance) it is the perfect place for you!The Broadwater Parklands are a family-friendly gem loved by Gold Coast residents, and a destination to consider if you are on a short holiday to our city – or on a budget! There is no shortage of free things to do and the kids will fall asleep on the way home – guaranteed!

The Parklands sprawl across three kilometers of waterfront land and include the aquatic centre which will soon host the city’s Commonwealth games swimming events, stretching south to the Sundale Bridge – gateway to Surfers Paradise. Fully landscaped and kept meticulously clean, the Parklands are host to events including holiday celebrations and weekend markets, as well as having some of the best family-friendly playgrounds and amenities, making it the perfect place for kids of all ages to let off some steam!

The jewel of the playgrounds is the Rockpool Water Playground – it’s not for swimming though – this is pure ‘waterplay’ – no floaties required! It is a sculptured ‘creek bed’ full of splash-tastic water fountains and rock pools, filled with cute water creatures, that children will love to play in for hours. The fountains change according to set timings, so children are kept on their toes, or rather being splashed in the eye with a bubbling fountain! Open 7 am- 7 pm during summer, a lifeguard is on duty during opening hours. With plenty of shade, benches, and picnic areas on astro turf surrounds, this is the perfect water play area for even the youngest toddler. One of the best things about this play area? No sand to fill up shoes, swimmers, or the car!

The nearby Fish Shak cafe pours a lovely coffee and makes a mean fish and chips, which at $12.50 is more affordable than a work-day lunch. The cafe has amenities including baby-change area and sits on one of the many pathways overlooking the Great Lawn, the location of our city’s Christmas Carols and regular free family Movies Under the Stars. Check the wall alongside the cafe for upcoming events, or check online here (link: http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/thegoldcoast/broadwater-parklands-events-29755.html)

Follow the wide paths south (the kids can bring their scooters, bikes, roller skates – we’ve even seen a miniature Mercedes convertible cruising the park) to the main playground, which is a combination of ride-on ‘trains’, a pirate ship for the little ones,  a flying fox, swings and a big highlight – a giant inflatable jumping pillow which you won’t be able to drag the kids away from. It’s probably best for kids 5 and up, although the younger kids will still have a try. Just beware that children are literally catapulting in all directions! Fully fenced and with benches around the perimeter, including some in the shade, be prepared to sit here while the kids burn some serious energy.

There is also a bike/scooter ‘obstacle course’,  and equipment for children confined to a wheelchair. On the weekends and school holidays,  free children’s activities fill the park, including craft and sports activities.

Small coffee and ice-cream kiosks set up under the shady trees, and you can also bring a picnic lunch and make use of the many BBQs and picnic tables all over the Parklands (admittedly $12.50 fish and chips is expensive when you have more than a few mouths to feed!).

Grab an ice-cream and venture out on the pier for a spectacular view across the Broadwater. To the east, you can see SeaWorld and watch the helicopters take off on joyrides (kids young and old love to watch this), see the sails of Marina Mirage and the boats anchored in the marina at the Southport Yacht Club. South you can see the Surfers Paradise skyline, breathe in the salt air and feel the love for our gorgeous city. This view is spectacular by day or by night. If you feel inclined you can even drop a line in (there is a bait and tackle shop north of the aquatic centre) or learn about the pier’s history.

Of course, being waterfront land there are lots of swimming options including the swimming lagoon on the Broadwater which is a netted swimming area (the Broadwater and Gold Coast canals are known to be home to bull sharks – best be safe!). Older children will be able to race each other to the pontoon. An inflatable water playground, AquaSplash, is south of the lagoon, although it is not free, it is reasonably priced at about $13 per person. In the afternoons, dolphins sometimes come to feed at the water’s edge. Magic!

The Broadwater Parklands are a fabulous day out where the kids will be entertained all day, you can take a picnic, have a swim, play on the fun equipment and take in the view, all for free. You may even struggle to get the kids to stop for lunch, they will be having a ball!

Smileez Indoor Playground and Cafe Parkwood

Smileez Indoor Playground and Cafe Parkwood

Smileez Indoor Playground and Cafe has been a local favourite of Gold Coast families for many, many years.  It’s been on our ‘Rainy Days on the GC’ list for a while now, so when we heard that it was under new management, we just had to visit for ourselves and find out what changes were in store for the centre.
It may have been a few years since we walked through the doors (about 10!) but the magic and excitement is still the same. Colourful play areas, welcoming cafe and friendly staff instantly put parents at ease (and fill kids with excitement!).
All of the old favourites are still there:
  • Jumping castle
  • Merry-go-round
  • Ball pits
  • Gated under 3’s area
  • Multi-level adventure play maze
  • Slides
  • Cafe with Merlo coffee and full menu
Plus the new owners have given the centre a huge spring clean and are undertaking a lot of new improvements!
  • Sensory Sessions every Wednesday 3pm-5pm*
  • Wheelie Wednesdays 9am-12pm (fun with scooters, cars, bikes, walkers and more)
  • Disco Parties available to book Fridays 6pm-8pm
  • Free WIFI with coffee purchase (they have MERLO coffee! This is AWESOME)
  • A healthy sandwich bar
  • A new menu with a focus on healthy and affordable options
  • A new range of party options including healthy platters
  • Community activities to support local parents
  • More special fun on different days of the week!
Maybe it’s been a while since you took the kids to Smileez for a play? Now is the time to check it out again! Smileez offers a lot for children, but there are also a host of benefits for parents too! It’s a great place to meet friends and family for a coffee, complete some work or study while your children play, connect with other parents for a playgroup or even have a birthday party (with host included!).
A couple of things to make your visit easy-peasy:
1. Bring socks as they must be worn on the play equipment! If you forget, there are socks available for purchase.
2. If there is no parking directly out the front, drive around the back of the Smileez building where there is plenty of customer parking.
So call your friends and bring the kids – the team at Smileez is looking forward to seeing you!
PHONE 07) 5574 4491
ADDRESS 3b/250 Olsen Avenue, Parkwood
OPEN Mon – Fri 8.30am – 3.00pm

           Sat, Sun 8.30am – 5.00pm

Wed 3pm – 6pm (Sensory Session – all children welcome, however sounds and flashing lights will be at a minimum)